Recentemente saiu uma pesquisa bastante curiosa: como andam as emoções ao redor do mundo? Quais os países que são mais (ou menos) “emocionais”? Desde 2009, a empresa de sondagens Gallup pesquisou pessoas em 150 países e territórios e, entre outras coisas, sua experiência diária emocional. Ekman (2011) já citava que os estados emocionais dos ocidentais diferem dos orientais, entretanto, a pesquisa feita pela Gallup foi além disto, pois tentou aprofundar ainda mais tal percepção.

O estudo perguntou para entrevistados em 150 países se, no dia anterior, eles haviam experimentado cinco emoções positivas (sensação de descanso, de ser tratado com respeito, de felicidade, ter dado risadas ou gargalhadas, aprendido a fazer ou ter feito algo interessante) ou cinco emoções negativas (raiva, estresse, tristeza, dor física e preocupações).

O país “menos emocional” considerado foi Cingapura. Uma das razões para isso seria que a neutralidade emocional é utilizada no combate ao estilo de vida estressante nos centros urbanos.

O “posto” de primeiro lugar ficou com as Filipinas (como o país mais emocional do mundo), com El Salvador em segundo lugar. De acordo com o estudo, 60% dos filipinos responderam sentir fortes emoções, positivas ou negativas, todos os dias.

Interessante que a pesquisa aponta que os países menos emocionais no mundo são os maiores consumidores de cigarros e álcool.

Pelo mapa, o Brasil está destacado como um dos mais emocionais, entretanto, perdemos para alguns vizinhos nossos. Interessante, não acham?

Emotional map

A América Latina dominou a lista dos 10 mais, com pessoas no Panamá, Paraguai, El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad e Tobago, Guatemala, Equador e Costa Rica experimentando os sentimentos mais positivos.

Outros dois, não países latino-americanos, na lista dos 10 primeiros são a Tailândia e as Filipinas.

Os povos da Cingapura, Armênia e Iraque deram as respostas mais negativas. Em Cingapura, apenas 46% respondeu “sim”, em média, às perguntas do Gallup, enquanto 49 e 50% das pessoas na Armênia e no Iraque responderam “sim”, respectivamente. Geórgia, Iêmen, Sérvia, Bielorrússia, Lituânia, Madagascar e Afeganistão foram os próximos na sequência.

O Gallup citou um estudo dizendo que a renda mais elevada não indica necessariamente bem-estar. Nos Estados Unidos, “a renda só tem um impacto significativo sobre emoções diárias positivas quando ganhando mais de 75 mil dólares por ano”, disse o instituto.

“Esses dados podem surpreender os analistas e líderes que apenas se concentram nos tradicionais indicadores econômicos”, afirmou o Gallup. “Os moradores do Panamá, que ocupa a 90ª posição mundial em relação ao PIB per capita, estão entre os mais propensos a relatar emoções positivas.”

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Since 2009, the Gallup polling firm has surveyed people in 150 countries and territories on, among other things, their daily emotional experience. Their survey asks five questions, meant to gauge whether the respondent felt significant positive or negative emotions the day prior to the survey. The more times that people answer “yes” to questions such as “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?”, the more emotional they’re deemed to be.

Gallup has tallied up the average “yes” responses from respondents in almost every country on Earth. The results, which I’ve mapped out above, are as fascinating as they are indecipherable. The color-coded key in the map indicates the average percentage of people who answered “yes.” Dark purple countries are the most emotional, yellow the least. Here are a few takeaways.

Singapore is the least emotional country in the world. ”Singaporeans recognize they have a problem,” Bloomberg Businessweek writes of the country’s “emotional deficit,” citing a culture in which schools “discourage students from thinking of themselves as individuals.” They also point to low work satisfaction, competitiveness, and the urban experience: “Staying emotionally neutral could be a way of coping with the stress of urban life in a place where 82 percent of the population lives in government-built housing.”

The Philippines is the world’s most emotional country. It’s not even close; the heavily Catholic, Southeast Asian nation, a former colony of Spain and the U.S., scores well above second-ranked El Salvador.

Post-Soviet countries are consistently among the most stoic. Other than Singapore (and, for some reason, Madagascar and Nepal), the least emotional countries in the world are all former members of the Soviet Union. They are also the greatest consumers of cigarettes and alcohol. This could be what you call and chicken-or-egg problem: if the two trends are related, which one came first? Europe appears almost like a gradient here, with emotions increasing as you move West. 

Media regiões GallupPeople in the Americas are just exuberant. Every nation on the North and South American continents ranked highly on the survey. Americans and Canadians are both among the 15 most emotional countries in the world, as well as ten Latin countries. The only non-American countries in the top 15, other than the Philippines, are the Arab nations of Oman and Bahrain, both of which rank very highly.

English- and Spanish-speaking societies tend to be highly emotional and happy.Though the Anglophone nations of the world retain deep cultural links, it’s not clear if Spain’s emotional depth has anything to do with Latin America’s. According to Gallup, “Latin America leads the world when it comes to positive emotions, with Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela at the top of that list.” Yes, even Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela is apparently filled with happy people.

Africans are generally stoic, with some significant exceptions. The continent is among the world’s least emotional, though there is wide variation, which serves as a non-definitive but interesting reminder of Africa’s cultural diversity. Each could be its own captivating case study. It’s possible that South Africa’s high rating has to do with its cultural ties to Western Europe, for example, and Nigeria’s may have to do with the recent protest movement in the south and sectarian violence in the north.

The Middle East is not happy. Gallup notes, “Negative emotions are highest in the Middle East and North Africa, with Iraq, Bahrain, and the Palestinian Territories leading the world in negative daily experiences.” Still, that doesn’t quite fully explain the high emotions in the Levant and on the Arabian peninsula, compared to the lower emotions in Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. Perhaps this hints at how people in these countries are being affected by the still-ongoing political turmoil of the Arab Spring.

Max Fisher for the Washington Post mapped country emotion ratings, based on the results of a recent Gallup study. Singapore was ranked least emotional, whereas the Philippines was ranked most emotional. The United States was also relatively high. From Gallup:

While higher incomes may improve people’s emotional wellbeing, they can only do so to a certain extent. In the United States, for example, Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman and Princeton economist Angus Deaton found that after individuals make $75,000 annually, additional income will have little meaningful effect on how they experience their lives. Consider this finding in the context of Singapore, a country with one of the lowest unemployment rates and highest GDP per capita rates in the world, but a place where residents barely experience any positive emotions. This research shows that it will take more than higher incomes to increase positive emotions or decrease negative emotions. Singapore leadership needs to consider strategies that lie outside of the traditional confines of classic economics and would be well-advised to include wellbeing in its overall strategies if it is going to further improve the lives of its citizenry.