Chen and colleagues evaluated how culture influences responses to stimuli; their findings can likely be extended to experiencing design generally. The investigators report that “Native Mandarin speakers from China and native English speakers from the United States were presented with audiovisual emotional stimuli from their own culture (i.e., familiar) and from a different culture (i.e., unfamiliar) and asked to evaluate the emotion from one of the two modalities.
Ho and colleagues studied links between culture and preferences for visual art. They report that their “research investigates the appreciation of visual arts cross-culturally by hypothesizing and testing a cultural-match effect (i.e., people tend to appreciate same-culture artworks more than they appreciate different-culture artworks). . . . naïve viewers from Poland and Hong Kong were presented with 128 visual artworks varying in artwork culture (West vs. East). . . .
Arshamian and teammates determined that worldwide people tend to find the same odors pleasant to smell. As they report, they “asked 225 individuals from 9 diverse nonwestern cultures—hunter-gatherer to urban dwelling—to rank . . . odorants from most to least pleasant. Contrary to expectations, culture explained only 6% of the variance in pleasantness rankings, whereas individual variability or personal taste explained 54%. Importantly, there was substantial global consistency, with molecular identity explaining 41% of the variance in odor pleasantness rankings. . . .
New research verifies that sensory experiences vary by culture. For a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences n international research team led by Elizabeth Margulis and Devin McAuley “asked hundreds of people what stories they imagined when listening to instrumental music. . . . listeners in Michigan and Arkansas imagined very similar scenes, while listeners in China envisioned completely different stories. . . .
Jeon, Han, and Namstudied how preferences for particular color vary.
Vink and colleagues have thoroughly studied how physical comfort is evaluated in different countries.
Cultures are ways of considering the world and how it functions. They help organize the thoughts of smaller sets of people, say work teams, and much larger ones, such as entire nations or ethnic groups. Neuroscience research details how design can recognize, reflect, and respect user group cultures, so people feel more comfortable and achieve objectives they prize.
Researchers studying gestures across cultures have identified similarities and differences in their use that are relevant to people designing systems interfaces and other places/objects to be used by people from varying cultures
Research confirms that our experiences are influenced by language being spoken and culture.
Where you're from influences what's best