Context Sensitivity in Canadian and Japanese Children’s Judgments of Emotion

Context Sensitivity in Canadian and Japanese Children’s Judgments of Emotion Previous studies showed that East Asians are more sensitive than North Americans to contextual information, and that the cultural differences in context sensitivity emerge in preschool children. Yet, little is known about whether this generalizes to children’s emotional judgments. The present study tested Canadian and Japanese preschool children and examined cross-culturally the extent to which facial expressions of surrounding people influence judgments of a target person’s emotion. Japanese children were more likely than Canadian children to judge an emotionally-neutral target as more negative (positive) when the background emotion was negative (positive), demonstrating an assimilation effect. Canadian children, however, showed a contrast effect: judging the target person’s neutral emotion as more negative when the background emotion was positive. These data extend extant understanding of emotion recognition by illuminating nuances in perceptual processes across developmental and cultural lines. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Current Psychology Springer Journals

Context Sensitivity in Canadian and Japanese Children’s Judgments of Emotion

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Psychology, general; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
1046-1310
eISSN
1936-4733
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12144-016-9446-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Previous studies showed that East Asians are more sensitive than North Americans to contextual information, and that the cultural differences in context sensitivity emerge in preschool children. Yet, little is known about whether this generalizes to children’s emotional judgments. The present study tested Canadian and Japanese preschool children and examined cross-culturally the extent to which facial expressions of surrounding people influence judgments of a target person’s emotion. Japanese children were more likely than Canadian children to judge an emotionally-neutral target as more negative (positive) when the background emotion was negative (positive), demonstrating an assimilation effect. Canadian children, however, showed a contrast effect: judging the target person’s neutral emotion as more negative when the background emotion was positive. These data extend extant understanding of emotion recognition by illuminating nuances in perceptual processes across developmental and cultural lines.

Journal

Current PsychologySpringer Journals

Published: Apr 20, 2016

References

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