cross cultural psychology lecture 7(2)

cross cultural psychology lecture 7(2) - andperception...

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Cross cultural studies of sensation and perception Sensation: The reception of sensory information by receptor cells in/on the body. Five Senses Vision Hearing Touch Taste Smell
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Perception Definition: Brain’s processing and organization of sensations into meaningful patterns. Integrates prior knowledge and experience with current sensory input Permits perceptual sets – perceptual expectations of what we experience based on prior experience Enable faster processing of sensory inputs Vary as a function of experience and so could vary by culture
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Cultural Differences in Sensation and Perception Sensation Generally, sensory systems are basic biological systems that do not vary across cultures Very little evidence of cross cultural differences in sensory processing Most general conclusion is that cross cultural differences in sensory systems is the exception rather than the rule.
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Examples of Exceptions Auditory Acuity Higher for Kalahari Bushmen than for residents of Denmark or USA Differences more striking for older participants Attributed to quieter environment of desert Red green color blindness Lower in some non European groups than European groups Primarily in hunter/gatherer groups where visual skills are important for survival. Genetic/evolution explanation
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Sensation Preferences Cultures vary in sensitivity and preference for sensations Evaluation of the loudness of neighborhood noises Japan, Great Britain, and West Germany Preference for sweet tastes Chinese higher than European Americans African Americans higher than European Americans Probably due to socially conditioned preferences of like or dislike
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Cultural Differences in Perception Mostly visual material studied Perception of pictures (two dimensional representations of 3 D world) Mekan of Ethiopia – Little exposure to pictorial representations at time of study (1972) Picture of leopard drawn on coarse cloth Correctly identified but takes some time and effort Accompanied by touching of cloth and sometimes even smelling cloth Interpretation of Safety Posters
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Cultural Differences in Perception 2 Interpretation of safety posters for industrial workers in South Africa Errors much lower for urban versus rural subjects Person holding out a hand to receive something. Seen as act of giving by many Misinterpretation attributed to African custom of accepting something with two cupped hands and giving with one hand .
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Optical Illusions Mueller Lyer Illusion: Two horizontal lines with arrows on both ends either pointing toward or away from line. Pointing toward line – line looks longer; pointing away, line looks shorter Horizontal vertical illusion: Horizontal line with
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