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Title: Emotion norms, display rules, and regulation in the Akan society of Ghana : an exploration using proverbs
Authors: Dzokoto, VA
Osei-Tutu, A
Kyei, JJ
Twum-Asente, M
Attah, DA
Ahorsu, DK 
Keywords: Culture
Emotion regulation
Emotion display rules
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Source: Frontiers in psychology, Oct. 2018, v. 9, 1916, p. 1-14 How to cite?
Journal: Frontiers in psychology 
Abstract: Proverbs are widely used by the Akan of West Africa. The current study thematically analyzed an Akan proverb compendium for proverbs containing emotion references. Of the identified proverbs, a focus on negative emotions was most typical. Emotion-focused proverbs highlighted four emotion regulation strategies: change in cognition, response modulation, situation modification, and situation selection. A subset of proverbs addressed emotion display rules restricting the expression of emotions such as pride, and emotional contagion associated with emotions such as shame. Additional themes including: social context influences on the expression and experience of emotion; expectations of emotion limits; as well as the nature of emotions were present in the proverb collection. In general, Akan emotion-related proverbs stress individual-level responsibility for affect regulation in interpersonal interactions and societal contexts.
EISSN: 1664-1078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01916
Rights: Copyright © 2018 Dzokoto, Osei-Tutu, Kyei, Twum-Asante, Attah and Ahorsu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
The following publication Dzokoto, V.A., Osei-Tutu, A., Kyei, J.J., Twum-Asente, M., Attah, D.A., & Ahorsu, D.K. (2018). Emotion norms, display rules, and regulation in the Akan society of Ghana : an exploration using proverbs. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 1916, 1-14 is available at
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