Volume 3   Number 1      Fall 2008

Shimcheong Psychology: A Case of an Emotional State for Cultural Psychology
Sang-Chin Choi (Chung-An University, Korea)

Gyuseog Han (Chonnam National University, Korea)
pp. 205-224   (pdf)
ABSTRACT. Shimcheong is a Korean vernacular representing an aroused mind state precipitated by a relational event in we-ness relationship. Shimcheong is a complex cultural emotion for Koreans which plays vital roles in interpersonal relationships in everyday lives. Koreans react very sensitively to other's shimcheong as well as to their own, and consider those contents of shimcheong very important in maintaining the relationships. One of the major functions of maintaining relationships for Koreans is to develop and reinforce we-ness. This function is achieved through shimcheong mode of communications. When shimcheong communication runs smooth, the parties feel their minds are tuned to each other. This tuning confirms positively their existing we-ness and leads the relationship into deeper level. When it fails, conflict evolves which may cause break-up of the relationship. The characteristics of shimcheong and its mode of communication can be explicated as a typical phenomenon of dialogical nature. Shimcheong involves self-reflective thinking (internal dialogue among I-positions) and social validation (external dialogue with others). Although shimcheong is unique phenomenon operating in Korean society, dialogical analysis suggests it sheds light into working mind of individuality in a collective culture. A suggestion was made to expand the area of research for the theory of dialogical science.  

Keywords: Korean emotion concepts, Shimcheong, cheong, maum (mind)