The emotion structure of the isiNdebele speaking group in the Mpumalanga province
Masombuka, Johannes Sipho
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Emotions play an important role in the lives of human beings and, without doubt, emotions form an inherent part of the workplace (Ashkanasy, Zerbe, Charmine & Hartel, 2002). Studying emotions within the South African context is relevant for applied psychology. South Africa comprises eleven official languages which are representative of the general population in the working environment. As a result, knowledge and understanding of emotions is useful since it forms part of social interaction at work. The understanding of one’s own as well as others’ emotions and the ability to deal with those emotions contribute to the productivity and cooperation among employees in the working environment. The objective of this research was to determine the conceptualization of emotion and culture according to the literature study, to determine the different and representative emotion words within the isiNdebele speaking group, to determine the relevant and representative prototypical emotion words that have been encoded in this group, to determine the cognitive emotion structure of this group and lastly, to determine the interrater reliability of the raters and reliability of the measurement instrument as well as the dimensions of emotion structure in the isiNdebele speaking group in Mpumalanga province. A survey design with convenience sample was used to achieve the research objectives in a series of three independent studies. The study population of the first phase (N=126) consisted of a convenience sample of the isiNdebele speaking group who have metric and are working in the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga province. The study population of the second phase consisted of a convenience sample of Language Experts with degrees and diplomas (N=51) in isiNdebele language from different occupations. The study population of the third phase consisted of a convenience sample of the experts (educators) in isiNdebele speaking group (N=183) from different schools in the former KwaNdebele homeland in Mpumalanga province. In this study, free listing, prototypicality and similarity rating questionnaires were administered by a qualified psychometrist. Statistical methods and procedures (Multidimensional Scaling and Descriptive Statistics) were used and Cronbach alpha coefficients were determined to analyse the results of the isiNdebele speaking group. The results of the free listing task indicated the words with the highest frequency as cry (lila), happy (thaba), laugh (hleka), angry (kwata), disappointed (swaba), confused (hlangahlangana), depressed (gandeleleka), pain (ubuhlungu), tired (dinwa), and abused (hlukumezeka). The results of this phase also indicated the basic emotion concepts of happiness (thaba) and angry (kwata) as the only emotion terms which mostly came to mind to the isiNdebele speaking group. The results of the prototypicality rating task indicated the emotion terms ranked as the ten (10) most prototypical emotion terms for the isiNdebele speaking group (N=51) were “ukuthaba khulu” (exhilaration), “itukuthelo/ ukukwata” (anger), “ithabo elikhulu” (euphoria), “ukuthaba” (cheerfulness), “ithabo” (happiness), “ukudana” (dejection), “ukutlhuwa/ ukudana”(glumness), “ukuthaba” (joviality), “ukulila/isililo” (cry), “ithabo” (joy). A multi– dimensional scaling was conducted to determine the cognitive structure of emotion concepts whereby a two– dimensional structure (evaluation and power) was identified to the isiNdebele speaking group. Recommendations for future research to the organisation as well as recommendations for future research were suggested.