Postal Addresses as an Assay of Cultural Cognition


Present study investigated the cultural difference in explicit and implicit semantic processing in three countries: Japan, Malaysia and United States. In the experiments, we conducted both explicit and implicit priming tasks with state and city names as stimuli. Participants were required to judge whether the target city or state name was a real one or a fake one. The results indicated direction between prime and target (state-to-city or city-to-state) had no effects on amount of priming. The cultural difference was significant only in the explicit priming task: amount of priming was larger in Malaysian participants compared to both American and Japanese participants in SOA700, while there were no cultural differences in SOA200. These results imply Malaysians are engaged in more context dependent cognition; in other words, participants consciously use a prime as a context cue to anticipate a target item. And this cultural difference was disappeared in implicit semantic processing.

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