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  4. Cross Cultural Ensemble Perception

【令和元年度 一般公募プロジェクト】Cross Cultural Ensemble Perception

研究課題  Cross Cultural Ensemble Perception

研究代表者 Yamanashi Leib Allison  UC Berkeley,Project Scientist

本センター担当教員  上田祥行  京都大学こころの未来研究センター 特定講師

連携研究員  Yuki Mura   UC Berkeley ,Postdoctoral Fellow 
       Shoko Kanaya Osaka University / Postdoctoral Fellow

Research across both vision science and social psychology demonstrates that the human visual system can evaluate gist information from crowds of people in a brief glance. For example, humans can easily evaluate the average emotional tenor (Haberman 2007; 2009; Wolfe, et al., 2015; Elias, et al., 2017; Hubert-Wallander & Boynton, 2015; Ji et al., 2017), dominance (Philips et al., 2018), family resemblance (Yamanashi Leib, et al., 2014; De Fockert, 2009; Neumann et al., 2013), and gender ratio (Haberman, 2007; Alt, et al, 2017) – even when only viewing crowds of faces for one second or less (Philips et al., 2018; Haberman, 2009). This critical visuo-social information is extracted via a visual mechanism called ensemble perception (Whitney & Leib 2018). Importantly, ensemble perception operates more efficiently than visual search, and ensemble perception acts across low-level (Alvarez, 2011; Hochstein, 2015), and high-level visual features, even when there is not enough visual capacity to identify or recall characteristics from individual faces in a group (Fisher & Whitney, 2011; Haberman & Whitney, 2011). As such, ensemble perception is an extremely beneficial heuristic, allowing us to precisely and rapidly extract social information from our environment—information that would otherwise be lost to us (Whitney & Yamanashi Leib, 2018).
It is unknown how cultural differences impact these critically important rapid percepts of social crowds. Our first impressions of groups of people mediate social interactions on a daily basis (Philips et al., 2014; Philips et al., 2018). What we perceive about groups shapes our long-term impressions and beliefs about them— and guides our moment-to-moment behavior toward them. With increasing globalization across business and academia, group perceptions are a fundamental aspect of modern life. Basic research in vision science suggests that Westerners may rely on analytic (or focused) processing, analyzing attributes of salient objects independently of context. In contrast, East Asians are more likely to engage in holistic (or diffused) processing, analyzing the perceptual field as a whole, emphasizing relationships between objects in the broader contextual field(Kitayama, Duffy, Kawamura, & Larsen, 2003; Chua et. al, 2005; Ueda & Komiya, 2012). Importantly, these culturally diverse visual strategies were only documented utilizing low-level visual stimuli (simple shapes, etc) under extended viewing durations. Importantly, culturally diverse visual strategies remain uninvestigated in rapid social perception, or ensemble crowd perception. Yet, holistic vs. analytic visual approaches may substantially impact first-glance impressions of social crowds, influencing the number of faces sampled in the crowd, the weighting of salient faces in the crowd, and subsequently modifying social perceptions and interactions. To investigate cultural differences in ensemble perception of social groups, we propose using the following methods across two matched populations at UC Berkeley & Kyoto University.