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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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The point of subjective equality between self-directed and averted gaze.
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pone.0118094.g004: The point of subjective equality between self-directed and averted gaze.

Mentions: An ANOVA on the PSE values revealed the same pattern of results described above (see Fig. 4). We found a main effect of stimulus faces’ cultural background (F (1, 58) = 4.99, p = .029), indicating that the gaze deviation degree with a 50% probability of eye-contact acceptance was greater for Japanese than Finnish faces. There was also a marginally significant interaction between participants’ and stimulus faces’ cultural backgrounds (F (1, 58) = 3.45, p = .068), indicating that gaze deviation degree with 50% probability of eye-contact acceptance in Finnish participants was greater for Japanese than Finnish faces (F (1, 29) = 7.13, p = .012). In contrast, stimulus faces’ cultural backgrounds had no effect on Japanese participants’ results (F (1, 29) = 0.09, p = .770).


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

Uono S, Hietanen JK - PLoS ONE (2015)

The point of subjective equality between self-directed and averted gaze.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0118094.g004: The point of subjective equality between self-directed and averted gaze.
Mentions: An ANOVA on the PSE values revealed the same pattern of results described above (see Fig. 4). We found a main effect of stimulus faces’ cultural background (F (1, 58) = 4.99, p = .029), indicating that the gaze deviation degree with a 50% probability of eye-contact acceptance was greater for Japanese than Finnish faces. There was also a marginally significant interaction between participants’ and stimulus faces’ cultural backgrounds (F (1, 58) = 3.45, p = .068), indicating that gaze deviation degree with 50% probability of eye-contact acceptance in Finnish participants was greater for Japanese than Finnish faces (F (1, 29) = 7.13, p = .012). In contrast, stimulus faces’ cultural backgrounds had no effect on Japanese participants’ results (F (1, 29) = 0.09, p = .770).

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
Related in: MedlinePlus