A Cross-Cultural Study of Change Blindness in Turkish and American Students


Change blindness is a phenomenon that occurs when a person fails to notice changes in their perceptual field. Previous studies have shown that East Asians are sensitive to both contextual and focal changes while Americans are sensitive to focal but not contextual changes (Masuda & Nisbett, 2006). This difference was attributed to the fact that Americans have analytical and East Asians have holistic perceptions. This study questions whether Turkish students’ attention to changes in pictures is more like Americans or East Asians. Half of the study was conducted in Turkey and the other half in America. Participants looked at photographs that flickered back and forth from an original picture and an edited photograph. The photographs were Turkish, American, or Neutral. Half were complex, half were simple, and half the changes were made in the foreground and half in the background. We found that both Turkish and American students found the foreground changes a lot faster than the background changes. These results suggested that Turkish people’s perception is analytical like Americans’.

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