We compared performance of Japanese and British observers in deciphering images depicting Japanese interpersonal relationships. 201 Japanese and 215 British subjects were assessed by means of a test consisting of 31 photograph problems accompanied by two or three alternative solutions one of which was correct. Japanese subjects outperformed British subjects on the test overall (z = 3.981, p < 0.001). A two-factor ANOVA (culture x gender) was performed for each of the problems. A cultural effect was found in 17 problems. Surprisingly, British subjects outperformed Japanese subjects in 7 of these problems. There was a gender effect in 4 problems and a culture x gender interaction in 6 problems. The results indicate that cultural experience facilitates nonverbal appraisal of interpersonal relationships, but it may sometimes cause specific errors. Differences in the perceptual cues used suggest that British subjects had difficulty reading Japanese facial expressions.
- FACIAL EXPRESSIONS