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Psychol Sci. 2003 Jan;14(1):39-46.

Spontaneous attention to word content versus emotional tone: differences among three cultures.

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Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan,


A Stroop interference task was used to test the hypothesis that people in different cultures are differentially attuned to verbal content vis-à-vis vocal tone in comprehending emotional words. In Study 1, Americans showed greater difficulty ignoring verbal content than ignoring vocal tone (which reveals an attentional bias for verbal content); but Japanese showed greater difficulty ignoring vocal tone than ignoring verbal content (which reveals a bias for vocal tone). In Study 2, Tagalog-English bilinguals in the Philippines showed an attentional bias for vocal tone regardless of the language used, suggesting that the effect is largely cultural rather than linguistic. Implications for culture-and-cognition research are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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