Pictorial Depth Perception and Acculturation Among the Baganda1


  • 1

    An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meetings of the Central States Anthropological Society, Detroit, Michigan, 1968. The field research for this study was supported by a National Science Foundation Institutional Grant and a grant from the Agricultural Development Council, Inc., administered by the Pennsylvania State University. We would like to thank these foundations. The senior author would like to acknowledge support from a N.D.E.A. Title IV Fellowship at Pennsylvania State University and N.I.M.H. Grant No. 08395 at the University of Missouri. We would like to express our gratitude to the Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University College, Kampala, Uganda, for their assistance during our tenure there as Research Associates in 1967. John M. Bukenya and Vincent Matovu provided invaluable assistance in the collection and analysis of these data. Professors Dale B. Harris and Robert B. Freeman, Jr., kindly offered comments.


Data collected among the Baganda of Uganda indicates that pictorial perceptual skills are positively and significantly related to relative amounts of exposure to Western culture. Both urban and relatively more acculturated rural residents make overall more correct identifications of pictorial objects and more consistent use of cues to pictorial depth than more traditional Baganda. These results offer support for the proposition that visual perceptual skills are related to culturally constituted experience.