Seminar Series

Attention and perception across cultures

The “New Look” of the 1940s proposed that knowledge alters perception. The idea lost favour with effects being attributed to attentional or response biases rather than altered perception. However, evidence from cross-cultural studies will be presented to revive the idea. Data show that cultural differences in categorization affect visual search and that attentional variation across cultures is much greater than might be supposed leading to both more accurate and more inaccurate size judgements than in our own culture.