Commenting on the two surveys by Gallup calling Singapore the “least positive” and “emotionless” society, SMU Assistant Professor of Psychology William Tov noted that well-being is not equated with being emotional, as that could mean experiencing a lot of negative as well as positive emotions. "Well-being is more commonly understood as experiencing positive emotions more frequently than negative emotions," he said. On average, Gallup data shows that Singapore tends to report more positive than negative emotions, he added. On the other hand, SMU Associate Professor of Psychology Christie Scollon thinks that Singapore "has done a great job of providing safety, security and comfort to its citizens". These aspects may have had a greater impact on reducing negative emotions like fear, but may not have encouraged positive emotions like joy, she said. There could also be a cultural explanation behind the findings – countries like the United States tend to value positive emotions more strongly than Asian countries – she said.
Last updated on 26 Dec 2012 .