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Perception and Expression of Emotions in Different Cultures

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Perception and Expression of Emotions in Different Cultures

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Facial Expressions develop in the Womb

baby-faces womb

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(…) Before he or she is born, a fetus begins to move his or her face — parting lips, wrinkling a nose or lowering a brow for example — making movements that, when combined, will one day assemble expressions we all recognize in one another. A new study has shown that, as the fetus develops, these facial motions become increasingly complex. (…)

Nadja Reissland, University of Durham in the United Kingdom

Read the full article online here or download pdf here.

(retrieved 04.02.2014 at http://www.livescience.com/15939-fetus-facial-expressions.html)

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Study of Facial Expression of Blind Athletes

Matsumoto Facial Expressions Blind Sighted

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(…) By studying the expressions of the blind athletes in the Paralympic Game and in comparing them to the expressions to the athletes’ (…) regularly games, we can tell whether they have the same expressions or not.

So the study of the blind athletes in the Paralympic Games told us conclusively, that the source of facial expression of emotions must be resident in some innate biological program, that we all have and are born with and that we have from birth. And that everybody from around the world, as long as you’re a human has that. (…)

David Matsumoto – Professor of Psychology, San Francisco State University (transcription from the video by the editor)

(retrieved 04.02.2014 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G6ZR5lJgTI&feature=player_detailpage)

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(…) Central to all human interaction is the mutual understanding of emotions, achieved primarily by a set of biologically rooted social signals evolved for this purpose—facial expressions of emotion. Although facial expressions are widely considered to be the universal language of emotion (…), some negative facial expressions consistently elicit lower recognition levels among Eastern compared to Western groups (…).

Read the full pdf here.

(retrieved 12.02.2014 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982209014778)

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Visual Perception of Emotions in Different Cultures

Cultural Influences on Perception

(retrieved 09.05.2013 at https://www.boundless.com/psychology/sensation-and-perception/advanced-topics-in-perception/cultural-influences-on-perception/)

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visual reception of emotions

(Color coding is as follows: blue, “left eye”; green, “right eye”; yellow, “bridge of nose”; orange, “center of face”; red, “mouth.”)

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cover_fig3

(The succession of blue → green → blue circles (indicated by the black arrow) corresponds to the fixation sequence “left eye” → “right eye” → “left eye.”)

(…) Here, we report marked differences between EA (East Asians) and WC (Western Caucasian) observers in the decoding of universal facial expressions. EA observers exhibited a significant deficit in categorizing ‘‘fear’’ and ‘‘disgust’’ compared to WC observers. Also, WC observers distributed their fixations evenly across the face, whereas EA observers systematically biased theirs toward the eye region. A model observer revealed that EA observers sample information that is highly similar between certain expressions (i.e., ‘‘fear’’ and ‘‘surprise’’; ‘‘disgust’’ and ‘‘anger’’). Despite the apparent lack of diagnostic information, EA observers persisted in repetitively sampling the eye regions of ‘‘fear,’’ ‘‘disgust,’’ and ‘‘anger.’’ (…)

Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal by Rachael E. Jack (1, 2); Caroline Blais (3); Christoph Scheepers (1); Philippe G. Schyns (1,2) and Roberto Caldara (1,2) / (1)Department of Psychology, (2) Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi) University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QB, Scotland, UK, (3) Department de Psychologie, Universite de Montreal,Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada

Download the full .pdf here or online here.

(Current Biology –  Volume 19, Issue 18, 29 September 2009, Pages 1543-1548: retrieved 19.02.2011 under http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VRT-4X0FH86-5&_user=10&_coverDate=09%2F29%2F2009&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=afe59a73a6b115faacec22215d993939&searchtype=a )

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Visual Expressions of Emotions in Different Cultures

perception of facial expression

Spatiotemporal location of emotional intensity representation in Western Caucasian and East Asian culture. In each row, color-coded faces show the culture-specific spatiotemporal location of expressive features representing emotional intensity,for each of the six basic emotions. Color coding is asfollows: blue, Western Caucasian; red, East Asian, where values reflect the statistic. All color-coded regions show a significant (P<0.05) cultural difference asindicated by asterisks labeled on the color bar. Note: for the EA models (i.e., red face regions), emotional intensity is represented with characteristic early activations. 

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Expression of Emotions in Western and East Asian Cultures

expression of facial expression

(…) The Western Caucasian models form six emotionally homogenous clusters (e.g., all 30 “happy” models belong to the same cluster, color-coded in purple). In contrast, the East Asian models show considerable model dissimilarity within each emotion category and overlap between categories, particularly for “surprise”,“fear”, “disgust”, “anger” and “sad”(note the heterogeneous color coding of these models). (…)

(…) First, whereas Westerners represent each of the six basic emotions with a distinct set of facial movements common to the group, Easterners do not. Second, Easterners represent emotional intensity with distinctive dynamic eye activity. By refuting the long-standing universality hypothesis, our data highlight the powerful influence of culture on shaping basic behaviors once considered biologically hardwired. (…)

Facial expressions of emotion are not culturally universal by Rachael E. Jack (a,b,1), Oliver G. B. Garrod (b), Hui Yu (b), Roberto Caldara (c), and Philippe G. Schyns (b) – (a) School of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Scotland G12 8Q (b); Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow, Scotland G12 8QB, UnitedKingdom; and (c) Department of Psychology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg 1700, Switzerland; see also PNAS May 8, 2012; vol. 109 no. 19

(retrieved 23.06.2013 at http://www.pnas.org/content/109/19/7241.full.pdf+html)

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Emoticons in Different Cultures

emoticon_style

(…) Emoticon styles can be either horizontal or vertical, where horizontal style is known to be preferred by western countries, and the vertical style by eastern countries. This study finds that an important factor determining emoticon style is language rather than geography. Regardless of their inherent meaning, most emoticons co-appeared with both positive and negative affect words (e.g., haha, smile, kill, freak). Furthermore, the contexts and sentiments that were frequently associated with a given emoticon varied from one culture to another. Our finding confirms that facial expressions may not be universal (…); people from different cultures perceive and employ facial expressions in unique ways, as easterners smile and frown with their eyes, whereas westerners do so with their mouth. This was even true in the online world. Therefore one might want to consider the cultural background of one’s followers to communicate efficiently in online social networks. (…)

emoticons in different cultures

Emoticon Style: Interpreting Differences in Emoticons Across Cultures by Jaram Park, Graduate School of Culture Technology, KAIST jaram.park@kaist.ac.kr; Vladimir Barash, Morningside Analytics vlad@morningside-analytics.com; Clay Fink, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory clayton.fink@jhuapl.edu; Meeyoung Cha, Graduate School of Culture Technology, KAIST meeyoungcha@kaist.edu;

Download the full .pdf online here or here.

(retrieved 30.10.2013 at http://mia.kaist.ac.kr/icwsm13_emoticon.pdf and http://crowdresearch.org/blog/?p=7720)

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Placing the Face in Context: Cultural Differences in the Perception of Facial Emotion

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Placing the Face in Context

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(…) Two studies tested the hypothesis that in judging people’s emotions from their facial expressions, Japanese, more than Westerners, incorporate information from the social context. In Study 1, participants  viewed cartoons depicting a happy, sad, angry, or neutral person surrounded by other people expressing the same emotion as the central person or a different one. The surrounding people’s emotions influenced Japanese but not Westerners’ perceptions of the central person. These differences reflect differences in attention, as indicated by eye-tracking data (Study 2): Japanese looked at the surrounding people more than did Westerners. Previous findings on East–West differences in contextual sensitivity generalize to social contexts, suggesting that Westerners see emotions as individual feelings, whereas Japanese see them as inseparable from the feelings of the group. (…)

Placing the Face in Context: Cultural Differences in the Perception of Facial Emotion by Takahiko Masuda, University of Alberta; Phoebe C. Ellsworth, University of Michigan; Batja Mesquita, Wake Forest University; Janxin Leu, University of Washington; Shigehito Tanida, Hokkaido University; Ellen Van de Veerdonk, University of Amsterdam

Download the full pfd here.

(retrieved 23.06.2013 at http://www.ualberta.ca/~tmasuda/index.files/MasudaEllsworthMesquitaLeuTanidavandeVeerdonk2008.pdf

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Perception of Bodily Sensations during Emotion in different Cultures

“While riding a train, a Chinese friend and I had eaten a lot of snacks that did not mix well. I suddenly suffered from nausea and realized that I was pressing the epigastric region with one hand. I was sure that I had strained my stomach.

At the same moment, my Chinese friend said that he was suffering from vertigo and he seemed very concerned about it. I inquired about his perception several times. He insisted that he was suffering from vertigo and only after some time he remarked that something was wrong with his stomach.

I tried also to experience vertigo, and actually found it was not very difficult because the nausea was associated with a feeling of unclarity or confusion in my head.”

(…) This anectodical story illustrates well how bodily changes in similar situations can be experienced very differently by members of different cultures. Such differences can originate at various levels of the somatisation processes, from the production of physiological changes, to their detection, to their labelling and, ultimatly, to their memory. (…)

The perception of bodily sensations during emotion: A cross-cultural perspective by Pierre Philippot & Bernard Rimé, Research Unit for Clinical & Social Psychology, University of Louvain at Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; to appear in Polish Journal of Social Psychology, 1997

Download the full article online here or download pdf here.

(retrieved 23.06.2013 at http://www.ecsa.ucl.ac.be/personnel/philippot/Intercult_Polish.pdf)

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(reviewed 26.04.2014)

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Written by NoToes

24/02/2011 at 20:27

Posted in All Articles, China, Collectivism and Individualism, Culture influences Brain, Emotions in Different Cultures, Intercultural Management, Surveys

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Culture Influences Brain / Cultural Differences in Perception

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Partly incorporated by the later post Arrow, Circle, Spiral and Cylinder – Different Conceptions of Time and History: Culture influences Brain

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MIT imaging shows culture influences brain function

Asians and Westeners had to answer questions about absolute quantities (is, is not, how many?) or relative qualities (bigger than, higher than, more red than,…)

It became obvious, that Western people have to spend more energy to render relative judgments (bigger than, lower than, …) than Asians. Vice versa it showed, that Asians needed more energy rendering absolute judgments (is or is not).


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IMAGE / TREY HEDDEN, MCGOVERN INSTITUTE FOR BRAIN RESEARCH

TechTalk by MIT (Mass. Institute for Technology), volume 52, No. 14 (30.01.2008), J. Gabriell and T. Hedden from the Mc Govern Institute

Download the full pdf here, the article is on page 4 below.

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How Asians and Westerners look at Faces

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(…) Western society is very individualist. Asian societies are much more collectivistic (…) Western approach to facial recognition is piece-by-piece and intimate. The East Asian approach is both more formal and holistic: peripheral information is gathered

(…). We tested some Chinese who had been in Glasgow for three or four years, and you see a clear difference between them and those who just arrived (…). That really demonstrates that it’s not genetic. It’s experience. (…)

Retrieved 14.01.2011 from http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/08/culture-shapes/
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Read the full research article “Culture Shapes How People See Faces” online here or download as pdf here.

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Citation: Blais C, Jack RE, Scheepers C, Fiset D, Caldara R (2008) Culture Shapes How We Look at Faces. PLoS ONE 3(8): e3022. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003022 Editor: Alex O. Holcombe, University of Sydney, Australia Received June 12, 2008; Accepted July 30, 2008; Published August 20, 2008 Copyright: ß 2008 Blais et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: This study was supported by The Economic and Social Research Council and Medical Research Council (ESRC) (RES-060-25-0010). REJ was supported by a PhD studentship awarded by ESRC (PTA-031-2006-00192), CB by a PhD studentship provided by the Fonds Que ́cois de Recherche en Nature et Technologies ́be (FQRNT) and DF by a FQRNT post-doctoral fellowship. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. * E-mail: r.caldara@psy.gla.ac.uk, retrieved 14.01.2011 from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003022

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How Asians and Westerners look at Emotions (Facial Expressions are not universal)

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How Asians and Westerners Encode Emotions~

Here, we report marked differences between EA (East Asians) and WC (Western Caucasian) observers in the decoding of universal facial expressions. EA observers exhibited a significant deficit in categorizing ‘‘fear’’ and ‘‘disgust’’ compared to WC observers. Also, WC observers distributed their fixations evenly across the face, whereas EA observers systematically biased theirs toward the eye region. A model observer revealed that EA observers sample information that is highly similar between certain expressions (i.e., ‘‘fear’’ and ‘‘surprise’’; ‘‘disgust’’ and ‘‘anger’’). Despite the apparent lack of diagnostic information, EA observers persisted in repetitively sampling the eye regions of ‘‘fear,’’ ‘‘disgust,’’ and ‘‘anger.’’

Download the .pdf here or online here.

Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal
Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal – Rachael E. Jack,, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Caroline Blais, Christoph Scheepers, Philippe G. Schyns, and Roberto Caldara,, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, 1Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QB, Scotland, UK, 2Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi), University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QB, Scotland, UK, 3Départment de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada ,Received 12 May 2009; revised 12 July 2009; accepted 13 July 2009. Published online: August 13, 2009. Available online 13 August 2009.
Current Biology –  Volume 19, Issue 18, 29 September 2009, Pages 1543-1548: retrieved 19.02.2011 under http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VRT-4X0FH86-5&_user=10&_coverDate=09%2F29%2F2009&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=afe59a73a6b115faacec22215d993939&searchtype=a

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The Stroop Effect on Morphosyllabic (Asian) and Alphabetical Readers (Western)

Stroop Effect

(1) No interference: Green Red Blue Purple Blue Purple (2) Interference: Blue Purple Red Green Purple Green

In psychology, the Stroop effect is a demonstration of the reaction time of a task. When the name of a color (e.g., “blue,” “green,” or “red”) is printed in a color not denoted by the name (e.g., the word “red” printed in blue ink instead of red ink), naming the color of the word takes longer and is more prone to errors than when the color of the ink matches the name of the color. The effect is named after John Ridley Stroop who first published the effect in English in 1935. The effect had previously been published in Germany in 1929. The original paper has been one of the most cited papers in the history of experimental psychology, leading to more than 700 replications. The effect has been used to create a psychological test (Stroop Test) that is widely used in clinical practice and investigation.

(Wikipedia, retrieved 08.01.2011)

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Stroop Effect on Morphosyllabic and Alphabetical Readers

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Twenty-three Chinese and 24 German undergraduate students were tested in a Stroop paradigm with the following stimuli: color patches, color-neutral words (e.g., friend printed in yellow), incongruently colour-associated words (e.g., blood printed in blue), and incongruently colour words (e.g., yellow printed in blue). Results revealed no differences in German and Chinese students’ response times to colour patches. Chinese participants, however, showed longer colour naming latencies for neutral words as well as for colour words and colour-related words. No differences between German and Chinese participants were found when print colour latencies for neutral words were subtracted from print colour latencies for colour words and colour-related words. This result does not support theories which suggest that for morphosyllabic readers there is a direct route from orthography to the semantics of a word. We rather argue, with reference to dual route models of reading, that access from print to phonology is faster for morphosyllabic than for alphabetic readers, and therefore interference caused by conflicting phonologies of colour name and written word will be stronger in Chinese readers than in German readers.

HENRIK SAALBACH and ELSBETH STERN / Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 2004, 11 (4), 709–715 / Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany

Download the full pdf here.

See “How Language influences our Thinking” or “Choosing a foreign Name” or search the Category “Language“.

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Updated 14.01.2011

MIT imaging shows culture
influences brain function