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Cognition and Perception. Psych 448C 11/10/08. Objectives. Basic cognitive and perceptual processes may not be universal. Holistic reasoning (middle-class, Western) vs. analytical reasoning (middle-class, East Asian): 1. Attention to objects versus relationships

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Cognition and perception l.jpg

Cognition and Perception

Psych 448C

11/10/08


Objectives l.jpg
Objectives

  • Basic cognitive and perceptual processes may not be universal.

  • Holistic reasoning (middle-class, Western) vs. analytical reasoning (middle-class, East Asian):

    • 1. Attention to objects versus relationships

    • 2. Categorization using abstract rules versus similarity information


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Cultural Variations in Socio-Cognitive Processes

Self Concepts

In North America, people tend

to conceptualize “the self” as an

entity detached from others

and its context.

=Independent View of Self

In East Asia, people tend to conceptualize “the self” as a relational and contextual existence

=Interdependent View of Self

(Markus & Kitayama, Psychological Review, 1991)


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Analytic Thought

  • Origin: Greek Philosophy

  • The dominant patterns are

  • observed in Euro-American

  • societies

Determinants:

Relatively mild climates; economy

does not require strong social ties;

nature can be easily controlled.

World View: Things exist by themselves

and can be defined by their attributes

(context independent, object-oriented).


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Holistic Thought

  • Origin:

  • East Asian Philosophy

  • (Taoism, Buddhism,

  • East Asian Animism)

  • The dominant patterns

  • are observable in China,

  • Japan, Korean cultures.

Determinants:

Frequently changing climate;

Economy requires strong social ties.

World view: Things are inter-related. Various factors are involved in

an event (context dependent, context-sensitive).


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Early Social Differences in Ancient Greece and China

  • Social Structure:

    • China: family, village, emperor

    • Greece: city-states, king

  • Harmony in China: relationships

  • Debate in Ancient Greece: arguments

  • Differences in social systems remain between East Asians and the West


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General Assumption in Psychology:

Cultural factors are superficial or simply treated as noise.

Socio-Cognitive Processes

Self Concept

Causal Attribution

Attitude Inference

Basic Processes

Biological Factors

Attention

Culture

Ecological Factors

The assumption of Cultural Psychology

(1): Culture as a worldview shapes

human socio-cognitive processes.

The advanced assumption of Cultural

Psychology (2): Culture as a worldview

shapes even basic psychological

processes, especially attention.


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Cognitive Differences Follow from Social Differences:

  • Attention and Perception

  • Categorization and Reasoning



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Attention and Memory: Masuda and Nisbett (2001)


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American Participants:

Object

Moving Objects

Japanese Participants:

Background

Inert Objects

Masuda and Nisbett (2001):


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Phase 1-Judge how much you like the target animals.

Phase 2-Identify previously seen animals.

Attention and Memory: Recognition Task


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American Participants:

Object

Moving Objects

Accurate recognition of fish when background is changed

Japanese Participants:

Background

Inert Objects

Less accurate recognition of fish when background is changed

Masuda and Nisbett (2001):



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Attention to Change: What has changed?



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Change Blindness Results

USA

JPN

Number of detected changes

Contextual

Information

Focal Object

Information

(Masuda & Nisbett, under review; Nisbett & Masuda, PNAS, 2003)


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The Scenery (Picture-Drawing) Task

A drawing produced by an American student

A drawing produced by an Asian student

The Portrait (Picture-Taking) Task

Picture produced by an American

Pictures produced by a Japanese


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Results of The Picture-Drawing Task

American drawingsEast Asian drawings

N M SD N M SD t p

The ratio of

the horizon 43 56.37 18.92 46 67.16 15.06 2.98 .005

to the frame

The numbers

of additional 43 6.19 6.94 46 10.72 12.02 2.16 .05

objects


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Results of

The Picture-Taking Task

Americans

EastAsians

The ratio of the face to the frame (%)

Laboratory

Sitting Model

Laboratory

Standing Model

Atrium

Sitting Model

Atrium

Standing Model


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Culture and Attention

The Rod & Frame Task

Measuring the context

dependency-The RFT

(Witkin & Berry, 1977)

Task: Making the rod vertical while ignoring

the angle of the frame.

(Ji, Peng, & Nisbett, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000)


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East Asians were sensitive to the contextual information (Frame). As a result, they made errors when the frame was angled.

For North Americans: They focused on the rod by itself. As a result, they made fewer errors when the frame was angled.

(Ji, Peng, & Nisbett, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000)


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Culture and Attention (Frame). As a result, they made errors when the frame was angled. :

The Frame-Line Task

Absolute Task

East Asians performed the relative task better than the absolute task.

North Americans performed the absolute task better than the relative task.

Relative Task

(Kitayama, Duffy, Kawamura, & Lersen, Psychological Science, 2003)


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Cultural Variations in Attention: Summary (Frame). As a result, they made errors when the frame was angled.


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Reasoning (Frame). As a result, they made errors when the frame was angled.


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Object Categorization: (Frame). As a result, they made errors when the frame was angled. (Ji & Nisbett, 2000; Choi, Nisbett & Smith, 1999)

  • Americans:

    • Categories:

      • Pig and Dog are both examples of animals

  • Chinese and Koreans:

    • Relationship:

      • Pig eats corn


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Reasoning (Frame). As a result, they made errors when the frame was angled.


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Holistic: (Frame). As a result, they made errors when the frame was angled.

Focus on field in which object is located

Relationship b/w object and field to predict and explain

Absence of universal laws

Analytic:

Focus on object and attributes

Use attributes to categorize

Use universal laws about categories to model

Cognitive Styles: Analytic vs. Holistic Reasoning