A cross-culture, cross-gender comparison of perspective taking mechanisms

Kessler, K., Cao, L., O'Shea, K. J. and Wang, H. F. (2014) A cross-culture, cross-gender comparison of perspective taking mechanisms. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 281(1785), 20140388. (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0388) (PMID:24807256) (PMCID:PMC4024296)

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Abstract

Being able to judge another person's visuo-spatial perspective is an essential social skill, hence we investigated the generalizability of the involved mechanisms across cultures and genders. Developmental, cross-species, and our own previous research suggest that two different forms of perspective taking can be distinguished, which are subserved by two distinct mechanisms. The simpler form relies on inferring another's line-of-sight, whereas the more complex form depends on embodied transformation into the other's orientation in form of a simulated body rotation. Our current results suggest that, in principle, the same basic mechanisms are employed by males and females in both, East-Asian (EA; Chinese) and Western culture. However, we also confirmed the hypothesis that Westerners show an egocentric bias, whereas EAs reveal an other-oriented bias. Furthermore, Westerners were slower overall than EAs and showed stronger gender differences in speed and depth of embodied processing. Our findings substantiate differences and communalities in social cognition mechanisms across genders and two cultures and suggest that cultural evolution or transmission should take gender as a modulating variable into account.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wang, Dr Hong Fang and Cao, Dr Liyu and Kessler, Dr Klaus and O'Shea, Dr Kieran
Authors: Kessler, K., Cao, L., O'Shea, K. J., and Wang, H. F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Published Online:07 May 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 281(1785):20140388
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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