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The Geography of (Visual) Thought : The Effect of Culture on the Reception of Visual Communication

Sabrina Bresciani, Martin J. Eppler, A. Kaul & R. Ylinen

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version abrégée Visual communication is particularly useful in inter-cultural contexts for its ability to overcome linguistic barriers, leveraging the universal meaning of symbols, pictures and metaphors. Yet much is still unknown regarding the effectiveness of visual communication in different cultures. Few scholars have provided evidence of
differences in the perception of visualization, caused by differences in traditions and thought patterns between Asia and the western world (Segall et al. 1966; Nisbett 2003; Pattanaik 2008).

Beyond cultural dimensions, we propose an innovative theoretical approach by extending the concept of the Geography of Thought (Nisbett 2003) to conceptual visualization. A model is proposed with culture (East and West) as a moderating variable on the effectiveness of communication formats (text versus conceptual
visualization). The model is tested with a cross-cultural experiment, comparing the attitude of subjects exposed to a business strategy expressed in a text format (control group) or in two types of conceptual visual formats, one more suitable for Westerners and one for Asians. The results from 240 professionals in Europe
(Switzerland and Finland) and India provide full validation of the proposed model. Visualization is more beneficial than text in all cultures, and when a culturally appropriate visualization is used, its effects are enhanced.
   
Genre papier de conférence (English)
   
mot-clé visualization, cross-cultural experiment, attitude, strategy, India
   
nom de la conférence 18th NIC (Nordic Network for Intercultural Communication) Symposium (Helsinki, Finland)
date de la conférence 1-12-2011
title of proceedings Theoretical Turbulence: A Paradigm Shift in Intercultural Communication?
page(s) 1
maison d'édition x
Review pas de Review
   
profile area SoM - Business Innovation
citation Bresciani, S., Eppler, M. J., Kaul, A., & Ylinen, R. . (2011). The Geography of (Visual) Thought: The Effect of Culture on the Reception of Visual Communication. In Theoretical Turbulence: A Paradigm Shift in Intercultural Communication?, pp.1: x.