Culture, like water to fish, is essential for human beings to sustain their living. Psychologists have found that culture shapes individuals’ beliefs, knowledge, emotions, and behaviors. I will present two lines of research in which I attempt to understand the role of culture. In the first line of research, I examine how culture may influence individuals’ emotional feelings in social context. By a serious of studies, I found that the cultural differences in group-level emotion was moderated by the threat level of intergroup context, suggesting the context-bound nature of culture. In the second line of research, I investigate how culture might interact with other factors, such as aging. In particular, I argue that the particular patterns of aging differ across cultures. In one of my studies, I found that the age-related changes in death attitudes and preparation behaviors differed between west (Germany and U.S.) and east culture (Hong Kong). Finally, I will discuss the future directions, which will focus on how to apply the knowledge gained from the abovementioned research to develop culturally appropriated interventions that promote societal welfare, e.g., intergroup relationships, morality, successful aging, and acculturation adaptation.
Minjie Lu is a postdoctoral researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She obtained her PhD degree in the same university and master degree in University of Amsterdam. Her primary research specialty is in social culture psychology, studying how culture may play a role in individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in social contexts. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals (e.g. Cognition and Emotion, Personality and Individual differences) and invited book chapters on these topics.