Cultural Effects on Visual Perception

Mainstream psychology has generally assumed that psychological processes are universal and that the main role of psychology is to investigate these universal aspects of human beings. Visual perception, attention, and even visual illusion have, therefore, been understood mainly through the underlying optical mechanisms and characteristics of visual information hardwired in the human brain and shared by human beings in general.

During the last couple of decades, however, increasing numbers of cross-cultural studies have empirically reexamined this theoretical assumption and advocated an alternative view of human psychology in which culture and human psychological processes are considered to mutually influence one another. This entry reports some recent attempts to reexamine the so-called universal systems of visual perception and discusses the possibility of cultural influences on perception as evidenced ...

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