September 2018
Volume 18, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2018
Does cultural background influence a viewer's Muller-Lyer illusion?
Author Affiliations
  • Milena Krstic
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Zili Liu
    University of California, Los Angeles
Journal of Vision September 2018, Vol.18, 799. doi:
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      Milena Krstic, Zili Liu; Does cultural background influence a viewer's Muller-Lyer illusion?. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):799. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose. It has been postulated that East Asians and European Americans visually perceive differently. Namely, object perception of East Asians is hypothesized to be influenced more by the object's context than European Americans. We investigated this question using the Muller-Lyer illusion. Method. Two Muller-Lyer figures were presented side by side. The left one always had its fins vertically oriented (90 deg). The right one had all its fins oriented either inward (30 and 60 deg), vertical (90 deg), or outward (120 and 150 deg). The right figure was either shorter or longer than the left one. Participants decided which was longer, and d' and bias were calculated. Participants. Data were collected at UCLA, with undergraduate participants who were either European Americans (42), East Asian Americans (57), East Asians (32), Hispanic Americans (42), or others (66). Results. A 2 x 2 ANOVA on the d' data only revealed a main effect of the fin orientation of the right figure (p < 0.001), however there was no main effect of culture (p = 0.21). A similar ANOVA on the bias data revealed a main effect of the fin orientation (p < 0.001) as expected, but the main effect of culture was not significant (p = 0.25). Conclusions. The Muller-Lyer illusion caused both a reduction of discrimination sensitivity and a criterion shift. However, we did not find any difference between participants from different cultural backgrounds.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018


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