University of Twente Student Theses


'Now I have lots of money but I have no time to finish my dream' : emotion expression in student's possible selves

Wagner, Henrike (2019) 'Now I have lots of money but I have no time to finish my dream' : emotion expression in student's possible selves.

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Abstract:Feelings and emotions derive from personal evaluations which come into existence by what we perceive as important: Aspirations, goals or concerns. Different findings suggest that the way emotions are elicited, understood and acted upon is influenced by a certain sociocultural context. The emotions we express are therefore adjusted to the cultural norms we internalized since early childhood. Possible selves display a means to visualize oneself in the future and hence impersonate our aspirations, goals and concerns. Usually imbedded in future narratives, they allow to rebuild the self in accordance with one’s goals and virtues. Future narratives also allow to study personal sensemaking with reference to culture which is an important factor to consider, as ‘a self can never be described without reference to those who surround it’. In context of a progressing globalization, cross-cultural interaction is promoted more than ever before and also suggests a globalization of cultures. We qualitatively analyzed 33 letters from the future which have been written by international students during a summer school at the University of Twente. In order to investigate our main research question of ‘How do international students express their emotions in possible selves?’ we adopted an explorative approach. We detected three different patterns of emotion expression that display the student’s emotional states towards their expectations. Regarding the influence of culture, we did not find differences in emotion expression on basis of national identity or cultural background. The data also did not show evidence for hybrid identities. Instead, the participant group rather displays a homogenous subculture. Those results provide insights into how international students face their future and can possibly display a useful tool to be applied in career counseling and personality development.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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