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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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Sequence of events in a single trial.
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pone.0118094.g002: Sequence of events in a single trial.

Mentions: The sequence of events for a single stimulus presentation trial is shown in Fig. 2. At each trial, a fixation cross was first presented at the center of the screen for 500 ms. Then, a Finnish or a Japanese face with a direct or averted gaze was presented. After 150 ms, the face disappeared and the response window appeared on the screen. Participants were asked to answer whether the face was “looking at me” or “not looking at me” as accurately as possible. At each trial, the response window gave instructions on the use of assigned buttons (right and left button of a mouse) for each response. The instruction remained on the screen until a response was given. If 5000 ms elapsed with no response, the next trial was started.


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

Uono S, Hietanen JK - PLoS ONE (2015)

Sequence of events in a single trial.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0118094.g002: Sequence of events in a single trial.
Mentions: The sequence of events for a single stimulus presentation trial is shown in Fig. 2. At each trial, a fixation cross was first presented at the center of the screen for 500 ms. Then, a Finnish or a Japanese face with a direct or averted gaze was presented. After 150 ms, the face disappeared and the response window appeared on the screen. Participants were asked to answer whether the face was “looking at me” or “not looking at me” as accurately as possible. At each trial, the response window gave instructions on the use of assigned buttons (right and left button of a mouse) for each response. The instruction remained on the screen until a response was given. If 5000 ms elapsed with no response, the next trial was started.

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