The Profile photographs of Americans usually smile and show his face in close-up, while the East Asians are more serious and prefer not to stand out from surrounding objects.
For millions of Facebook users choose photos of an important decision. What will be the photo, funny or serious, personal or more abstract, depends not only on individual preferences, but also more profound cultural differences at the subconscious level. This is the conclusion, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), whose article was published in the journal International Journal of Psychology.
According to previous studies, culture affects not only the language and customs, but also on the perception of the world as a whole. For example, Western culture encourages people to perceive themselves as independent individuals, while East Asian culture emphasizes the superiority of collective over the individual start. Therefore, as shown by psychological tests, the representatives of Western culture, looking at the landscape or portrait, focus on objects or persons of the first plan, and pay less attention to their surroundings. But for the residents of East Asian background is less important than the objects in the foreground.
American psychologists decided to investigate how these differences manifest themselves in the Internet space. To do this, they analyzed more than 500 profiles of Facebook users in the U.S. and East Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan). They found that the photos posted by the Americans, are more focused on his face, while users from East Asia in the photographs contained more detail the background, but a person takes up less space. In addition, Americans often smiling in the photographs than the residents of East Asia.
“We believe that the revealed differences are related to the greater propensity of Americans to individualism and independence, and community-onset and interdependence in Asia”, – said Denise Park, one of the authors.
The study also found that the cultural influence on the image of a man on the internet may vary over time and from region to region. For example, Americans living in Taiwan, and the Thais living in the United States, as a rule, result in photos of your profile in line with the cultural attitudes of their new environment.
“Personal profiles on Facebook reflect individual preferences and social stereotypes, – told the Chi-Mao Huang, co-operation. – Our study represents a new approach to the study of cultural characteristics through the use of Facebook as a database. “