Feelings are Hard: Cognitive Complexity's Effect on Cross-Linguistic Emotional Identification




Wan, Channing

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Inspired by the circumstances of social globalization, this study assesses the possible correlation between the communication measure cognitive complexity and a person's ability to accurately identify emotions without the use of verbal messages. Cognitive complexity has been linked to a better understanding of affective messages and therefore could indicate higher emotional intelligence. Emotional identification exists as a factor of emotional intelligence since it deals with the accurate interpretation of emotional messages. Results were analyzed using correlation tests and indicated that there is most likely only a weak correlation between cognitive complexity and the ability to identify whether or not a person is angry. Additional ANOVA tests did indicate, however, that there are significant differences between gender identity and level of cognitive complexity. Ultimately findings revealed that, with this sample, there appears to be little correlation between degree of cognitive complexity and an individual's cross-linguistic emotional identification ability. Further, these results can inform future studies to explore the relationship between cognitive complexity and identification of anger, or the possible phenomenon that the 18-24 age group suffers from an inability to accurately identify emotions.



cognitive complexity, emotional intelligence, emotional identification, emotional comprehension, globalization, intercultural communication, far east culture, Honors College


Wan, C. (2017). Feelings are hard: Cognitive complexity's effect on cross-linguistic emotional identification (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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