The Expression, Communication, and Regulation of Biological Emotions: Sex and Cultural Differences and Similarities
R. Buck & S. R. Powers
This paper summarizes sex and cultural differences and similarities in the expression, communication, and regulation of biological emotions from the viewpoint of developmental-interactionist theory. A model of the interaction between biological emotions and appraisal processes suggests bidirectional causality, but the agenda of appraisal is often set by immediate and effortless emotional responses. It is proposed that emotional systems function as filters, determining the impact of external and internal stimuli upon higher-order appraisal and attribution processes. A new model of emotion regulation based upon emotional communication is presented, and relevant evidence summarized including sex differences in expressing specific emotions, the effects of emotional inhibition and suppression, and the effects of emotional communication upon health. Emotion communication takes emotion and its regulation outside the individual, into the social context, with social relationships functioning as bioregulators.

Key words: emotion expression, emotion communication, emotion regulation, inhibition, suppression, control, alexithymia, sex differences, cross- cultural studies