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Eye contact perception in the West and East: a cross-cultural study.

Uono S, Hietanen JK - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Finnish (European) and Japanese (East Asian) participants were asked to determine whether Finnish and Japanese neutral faces with various gaze directions were looking at them.Further, participants rated the face stimuli for emotion and other affect-related dimensions.This may be explained by Westerners experiencing more eye contact in their daily life leading to larger visual experience of gaze perception generally, and to more accurate perception of eye contact with people from their own cultural background particularly.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

ABSTRACT
This study investigated whether eye contact perception differs in people with different cultural backgrounds. Finnish (European) and Japanese (East Asian) participants were asked to determine whether Finnish and Japanese neutral faces with various gaze directions were looking at them. Further, participants rated the face stimuli for emotion and other affect-related dimensions. The results indicated that Finnish viewers had a smaller bias toward judging slightly averted gazes as directed at them when judging Finnish rather than Japanese faces, while the bias of Japanese viewers did not differ between faces from their own and other cultural backgrounds. This may be explained by Westerners experiencing more eye contact in their daily life leading to larger visual experience of gaze perception generally, and to more accurate perception of eye contact with people from their own cultural background particularly. The results also revealed cultural differences in the perception of emotion from neutral faces that could also contribute to the bias in eye contact perception.

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Examples of Finnish and Japanese stimulus faces with various gaze directions.The figure illustrates straight gaze (0°) and gazes averted at 2°, 6°, and 10° to the left and right. Although not illustrated, note that the experiment also included gazes averted at 4° and 8° to the left and right.
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pone.0118094.g001: Examples of Finnish and Japanese stimulus faces with various gaze directions.The figure illustrates straight gaze (0°) and gazes averted at 2°, 6°, and 10° to the left and right. Although not illustrated, note that the experiment also included gazes averted at 4° and 8° to the left and right.

Mentions: After a couple of sets of photographs, the best set (2°, 4°, 6°, 8°, 10° to the left and right, and 0°) was selected for each model. These images were changed to grayscale and were cropped in an ellipse 10.2° wide and 13.8° high using Photoshop (Adobe). Furthermore, we removed the reflections of lighting in the irises from all the images. Examples of the stimuli are shown in Fig. 1.


Eye contact perception in the West and East: a cross-cultural study.

Uono S, Hietanen JK - PLoS ONE (2015)

Examples of Finnish and Japanese stimulus faces with various gaze directions.The figure illustrates straight gaze (0°) and gazes averted at 2°, 6°, and 10° to the left and right. Although not illustrated, note that the experiment also included gazes averted at 4° and 8° to the left and right.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4340785&req=5

pone.0118094.g001: Examples of Finnish and Japanese stimulus faces with various gaze directions.The figure illustrates straight gaze (0°) and gazes averted at 2°, 6°, and 10° to the left and right. Although not illustrated, note that the experiment also included gazes averted at 4° and 8° to the left and right.
Mentions: After a couple of sets of photographs, the best set (2°, 4°, 6°, 8°, 10° to the left and right, and 0°) was selected for each model. These images were changed to grayscale and were cropped in an ellipse 10.2° wide and 13.8° high using Photoshop (Adobe). Furthermore, we removed the reflections of lighting in the irises from all the images. Examples of the stimuli are shown in Fig. 1.

Bottom Line: Finnish (European) and Japanese (East Asian) participants were asked to determine whether Finnish and Japanese neutral faces with various gaze directions were looking at them.Further, participants rated the face stimuli for emotion and other affect-related dimensions.This may be explained by Westerners experiencing more eye contact in their daily life leading to larger visual experience of gaze perception generally, and to more accurate perception of eye contact with people from their own cultural background particularly.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

ABSTRACT
This study investigated whether eye contact perception differs in people with different cultural backgrounds. Finnish (European) and Japanese (East Asian) participants were asked to determine whether Finnish and Japanese neutral faces with various gaze directions were looking at them. Further, participants rated the face stimuli for emotion and other affect-related dimensions. The results indicated that Finnish viewers had a smaller bias toward judging slightly averted gazes as directed at them when judging Finnish rather than Japanese faces, while the bias of Japanese viewers did not differ between faces from their own and other cultural backgrounds. This may be explained by Westerners experiencing more eye contact in their daily life leading to larger visual experience of gaze perception generally, and to more accurate perception of eye contact with people from their own cultural background particularly. The results also revealed cultural differences in the perception of emotion from neutral faces that could also contribute to the bias in eye contact perception.

Show MeSH