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Keywords:

  • Analytic and holistic perception;
  • Culture and cognition;
  • Artistic visualization;
  • Children's drawings

Abstract

In a study of three indigenous and non-indigenous cultural groups in northwestern and northeastern Siberia, framed line tests and a landscape drawing task were used to examine the hypotheses that test-based assessments of context sensitivity and independence are correlated with the amount of contextual information contained in drawings, and with the order in which the focal and background objects are drawn. The results supported these hypotheses, and inspection of the regression relationships suggested that the intergroup variations in test performance were likely to result from differences in the attention accorded to contextual information, as revealed by the drawings. Social and environmental explanations for the group differences in context sensitivity are also discussed. The conclusions support the argument that cultural differences in artistic styles and perceptual tests reflect the same underlying perceptual tendencies, and they are consistent with the argument that these tendencies reflect corresponding differences in patterns of social and environmental interaction.