KEY FEATURES: A student-friendly writing style makes the content more approachable for readers to retain. Personal stories from fellows of the Association of Psychological Science (APS) convey to readers that even the most distinguished experts make mistakes that can be avoided through examination. Critical thinking questions give students the opportunity to reflect on preceding essays. Stories from all areas of psychology appeal to learners beyond subfields of psychology.

A Big Mistake in Interpreting Cultural Differences

A Big Mistake in Interpreting Cultural Differences

David Matsumoto Hyisung C. Hwang

There are many mistakes we have made over our research careers, with probably many more to come despite how much we learn from our previous mistakes. There’s no perfect study and no perfect researcher. But one of the biggest mistakes that stands out in our minds is one that one of us (DM) made many years ago in a cross-cultural study involving judgments of facial expressions of emotion. To explain what happened, let us give some background.

The original findings documenting the universality of facial expressions had emerged previously (Ekman & Friesen, 1971; Ekman, Sorenson, & Friesen, 1969; Izard, 1971), which set the ...

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