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Journal Article

Culture and the body: East-west differences in visceral perception


McCall,  Cade
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Ma-Kellams, C., Blascovich, J., & McCall, C. (2012). Culture and the body: East-west differences in visceral perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(4), 718-728. doi:10.1037/a0027010.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-CE4D-0
This research investigated cross-cultural differences in the accuracy of individuals' perceptions of internal visceral states. We conducted 4 studies to test the hypothesis that Asians are less sensitive to internal physiological cues relative to European Americans. Studies 1 and 2 assessed cultural differences in visceral perception via tests of misattributions of arousal: Study 1 involved false heart rate feedback during an emotionally evocative slideshow and examined subsequent self-reported affective changes; Study 2 manipulated apparent physiological arousal and measured its effects on attraction via an immersive virtual environment. Study 3 directly assessed visceral perception using a heartbeat detection task. All 3 studies found Asians to be less viscerally perceptive than European Americans. Study 4 examined one possible cultural mechanism for the observed difference and found evidence for contextual dependency as a mediator of the culture–visceral perception link.