Top Runner Lecture by Prof. Takahiko Masuda
Joint Workshop | 2014.12.11

*This lecture will be jointly held with Top Global University Project.

Date & Time: Dec. 11, 2014 (Thu) 10:00-12:00

Location: Hokkaido University, The Humanities and Social Science Building, room W501-502

Speaker: Prof. Takahiko Masuda (University of Alberta)

Title: Culture and Development: Cultural Variations in Attention between Canadian and Japanese School-age Children and their Caregivers

Abstract: Cultural psychologists have reported systematic cultural variations in basic psychological processes, notably attention (e.g. Nisbett and Masuda, 2003). Empirical findings demonstrate that East Asians are more likely than their North American counterparts to attend to context (e.g. Masuda & Nisbett, 2001; 2006) and to produce/prefer context-rich visual representations (e.g. Masuda, Gonzalez, Kwan, & Nisbett, 2008; Wang, Masuda, Ito, & Rashid, 2012). The findings of eye-tracking research also suggest that East Asians tend to allocate their attention to both the target and contextual information, whereas North Americans selectively allocate their attention to salient objects (e.g. Masuda, Ellsworth, et al., 2008; Masuda, Wang, Ishii, & Ito, 2012; Senzaki, Masuda, & Ishii, 2014). However, it is until recently that researchers have started to examine when and how culturally specific patterns of attention emerge in development. In this talk, I will present our latest findings of developmental studies that demonstrate cultural similarities and variations in preschool and school-age children and their caregiver’s performances by using two cultural tasks: (1) School-age children’s and their caregivers’ emotion judgment styles (Masuda, Nand, et al. under review); (2) Preschool and school-age child interactions with their caregiver and their scene description styles (Senzaki, Masuda, et al. under review). I will then discuss the acquisition period for culturally specific patterns of attention, and the process of cultural transmission through caregiver-child interaction. 

Asuka Murata, Assistant Professor of Center for Experimental Research in Social Sciences
e-mail:, tel: 011-706-230