Perceiving an Object and Its Context in Different Cultures

  title={Perceiving an Object and Its Context in Different Cultures},
  author={Shinobu Kitayama and Sean Duffy and Tadashi Kawamura and Jeff T. Larsen},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={201 - 206}
In two studies, a newly devised test (framed-line test) was used to examine the hypothesis that individuals engaging in Asian cultures are more capable of incorporating contextual information and those engaging in North American cultures are more capable of ignoring contextual information. On each trial, participants were presented with a square frame, within which was printed a vertical line. Participants were then shown another square frame of the same or different size and asked to draw a… Expand

Figures, Tables, and Topics from this paper

Perceiving an object in its context: is the context cultural or perceptual?
The authors' 120 participants as a whole estimated a line's relative length more accurately than its absolute length, regardless of culture, by using the square as a frame of reference in the ratio estimation, an advantage well known in the literature. Expand
Culture and the Physical Environment
Japanese scenes may encourage perception of the context more than American scenes, and provide evidence that culturally characteristic environments may afford distinctive patterns of perception. Expand
East-West cultural differences in encoding objects in imagined social contexts
The results suggest that Chinese participants' memory advantage for social contexts may have its origin in the construction of elaborative and meaningful object-context associations at encoding. Expand
Mnemonic Context Effect in Two Cultures: Attention to Memory Representations?
A substantial cross-cultural difference in a mnemonic context effect, whereby a magnitude estimate of a simple stimulus such as a line or circle is biased toward the center of the distribution of previously seen instances of the same class is demonstrated. Expand
Schooling in western culture promotes context-free processing.
The capacity to abstract from contextual information does not stem only from passive exposure to the culture or the physical environment of Western countries, and Western schooling, as part of or in addition to culture, is a crucial factor. Expand
Culture and visual perception: Does perceptual inference depend on culture?
:  Some perceptual cues carry information about the overall pattern of an object (holistic cues), whereas others carry information about the distinct parts of an object (part cues). Drawing on recentExpand
When Is Perception Top-Down and When Is It Not? Culture, Narrative, and Attention
It is demonstrated that both European Canadians and Japanese attended to moving objects similarly when the task was to simply observe the visual information; however, there were cultural variations in patterns of attention when participants actively engaged in the task by constructing narratives of their observation (narrative construction). Expand
Cross-cultural differences in memory specificity
Attention and memory have been shown to differ across cultures, with independent Western cultures preferring an object-based feature analysis and interdependent Eastern cultures preferring aExpand
[Effect of contextual factors on patterns of eye-movement: comparing sensitivity to background information between Japanese and Westerners].
The results indicated that, even though the Japanese attempted to focus on thecenter circle, they failed to focus only on the center circle, and their number of fixations and variances from the center to each fixation points were significantly larger than found with the Westerners. Expand
Cultural influences on memory.
The present review describes the behavioral and neural studies exploring the contribution of culture to long-term memory and related processes and identifies some promising directions for future research. Expand


Attending holistically versus analytically: comparing the context sensitivity of Japanese and Americans.
The results showed that the Japanese made more statements about contextual information and relationships than Americans did and recognized previously seen objects more accurately when they saw them in their original settings rather than in the novel settings, whereas this manipulation had relatively little effect on Americans. Expand
Culture, control, and perception of relationships in the environment.
The results showed that Chinese participants reported stronger association between events, were more responsive to differences in covariation, and were more confident about their covariation judgments, and these cultural differences disappeared when participants believed they had some control over the covariation judgment task. Expand
Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation.
People in different cultures have strikingly different construals of the self, of others, and of the interdependence of the 2. These construals can influence, and in many cases determine, the veryExpand
Culture and systems of thought: holistic versus analytic cognition.
The authors find East Asians to be holistic, attending to the entire field and assigning causality to it, making relatively little use of categories and formal logic, and relying on "dialectical"Expand
Social cognition and social perception.
Higgins et al (1982) and Bargh and Thein (1985) have demonstrated that when people form an impression of a target person, they are more sensitive to information that is relevant to their chronically accessible constructs than that which isrelevant to other available constructs. Expand
Running Head: CULTURE AND THOUGHT Culture and Systems of Thought: Holistic vs. Analytic Cognition
We propose a theory of how systems of thought arise on the basis of differing cultural practices and argue that the theory accounts for substantial differences in East Asian and Western thoughtExpand
Culture and basic psychological processes--toward a system view of culture: comment on Oyserman et al. (2002).
  • S. Kitayama
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Psychological bulletin
  • 2002
The author suggests that the cross-cultural validity of attitudinal surveys can no longer be taken for granted and the meta-theory underlying this literature (called the entity view of culture) is called into question. Expand
Cross-cultural studies of psychological differentiation are reviewed with the objectives of: examining the applicability, across cultures, of the main propositions of differentiation theory and theExpand
Cultural variation in correspondence bias: the critical role of attitude diagnosticity of socially constrained behavior.
Upon observing another's socially constrained behavior, people often ascribe to the person an attitude that corresponds to the behavior (called the correspondence bias [CB]). The authors found thatExpand
Models of the self: self-construals and gender.
Recognition of the interdependent self-construal as a possible alternative conception of the self may stimulate new investigations into the ways the self influences a person's thinking, feeling, and behaving. Expand