Attention to the field. Mesuda and Nisbett (2001) presented
realistic animated scenes of fish and other underwater objects to
Japanese and American and asked them to report what they had seen.
The first statement by American participents usually refered
to the focal fish (“there was what looked like a trout swimming to the right”),
whereas the 1. statement by Japanese participants usually referred to
background elements (“there was a lake or pond”).
Although Americans and Japanse were equally likely to mention details
about the focal fish,
Japanese participants made about 70% more statements about background
aspects of the environment.
Japanese participants made about twice as many statements concerning
relations involving inanimate aspects of the environment
(“the big fish swam past the gray seaweed”).
In a subsequent recognition task,
Japanese performance was harmed
by showing the focal fish with the wrong background,
the perception of the object had been “bound”
(Chalifonte & Johnson, 1996)
to the “field” in which it had appeared.
American recocognition of the object was unaffected by the wrong background.
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