Michelle focuses primarily on human emotion in her research. She looks particularly at cultural similarities and differences in the description of affect, a defense of the bipolarity thesis that pleasure is the opposite of displeasure, the development of a 12-point circumplex model in English and Chinese, a method relating two circumplex models in social-personality research, and the relativity of emotion judgments. Her secondary interest is in the usefulness of personality in profiling different cultures, studying national stereotypes, and predicting social behaviors including academic achievement.