EPH dream team

My post on Erotic Photo Hunt from way back continues to be one of my most popular. Check this line out:

We took the step of dividing up the team into specialties – hair, apparel, background, with secondary targets of footwear, breasts, pool balls.

And then today I read this:

…here’s a study that suggests that different cultures literally see things differently.

Shown a photograph, North American students of European background paid more attention to the object in the foreground of a scene, while students from China spent more time studying the background and taking in the whole scene, according to University of Michigan researchers.

The researchers, led by Hannah-Faye Chua and Richard Nisbett, tracked the eye movements of the students – 25 European Americans and 27 native Chinese – to determine where they were looking in a picture and how long they focused on a particular area.

“They literally are seeing the world differently,” said Nisbett, who believes the differences are cultural.

“Asians live in a more socially complicated world than we do,” he said in a telephone interview. “They have to pay more attention to others than we do. We are individualists. We can be bulls in a china shop, they can’t afford it.”…

Aristotle, for example, focused on objects. A rock sank in water because it had the property of gravity, wood floated because it had the property of floating. He would not have mentioned the water. The Chinese, though, considered all actions related to the medium in which they occurred, so they understood tides and magnetism long before the West did.

Nisbett illustrated this with a test asking Japanese and Americans to look at pictures of underwater scenes and report what they saw.

The Americans would go straight for the brightest or most rapidly moving object, he said, such as three trout swimming. The Japanese were more likely to say they saw a stream, the water was green, there were rocks on the bottom and then mention the fish.

The Japanese gave 60 percent more information on the background and twice as much about the relationship between background and foreground objects as Americans, Nisbett said.

In the latest test, the researchers tracked the eye movement of the Chinese and Americans as they looked at pictures.

The Americans looked at the object in the foreground sooner – a leopard in the jungle for example – and they looked at it longer. The Chinese had more eye movement, especially on the background and back and forth between the main object and the background, he said.

[via Worthwhile Magazine]

Our background guy? Korean. Did we stumble on to this deep cultural phenomenon?

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