National Cultures

Cultural Variations in Visual Environments (02-14-20)

Kuwabara, Alonso, and Ayala studied perception across cultures.  As they report “Previous studies investigating cultural differences in attention and perception have shown that individuals from Western countries (e.g., the U.S.) perceive more analytically [in a piecemeal fashion, with special attention to focal elements] whereas individuals from East Asian countries (e.g., Japan) perceive more holistically (e.g., Nisbett & Miyamoto, 2005). These differences have been shown in children as young as three years old (Kuwabara & Smith, 2016). . . .

Emotions - Worldwide Variations (01-06-20)

Researchers have learned more about language-related variations in emotional experiences; since the forms of physical environments influence moods, this work is relevant to designers. Investigators report in an article published in Sciencethat “Psychology researchers . . . studied [2,500] languages around the world and found that the way humans conceptualize emotions like anger, fear, joy and sadness may differ across speakers of different languages. . . . languages describe emotions differently across the globe.

Color Associations (11-27-19)

Tham and colleagues investigated associations to particular colors at a cultural level using language groups (adults who only spoke English, who only spoke Chinese, or who were bilingual in English and Chinese).  Their “findings reveal conceptual color associations that appear to be universal across all cultures (e.g., white – purity; blue – water/sky related; green – health; purple – regal; pink – “female” traits) as well as culture specific (e.g., red and orange – enthusiastic in Chinese; red – attraction in


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