Cross Cultural Differences in Implicit Learning


Previous studies have indicated cross cultural differences in conscious processes such that Easterners have a preference for a more global perspective and Westerners for a more analytical perspective. We investigated whether these biases also apply to implicit learning. In Experiment 1, Japanese and British participants were asked to attend to one of the two aspects of a set of GLOCAL strings, global or local. The results showed that they could learn the AG implicitly only from the attended level in both cultural groups. They also showed that the global superiority in implicit learning was found only for the Japanese. In Experiment 2, these cultural differences were examined without manipulating the participants’ attention. The results indicated implicit learning only at the global and not the local level for the Japanese, but equal learning of both levels by the British. We concluded that cultural biases strongly affect the type of unconscious knowledge that people acquire.

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