The soft embodiment of culture: Camera angles and motion through time and space

Angela K Y Leung*, Dov Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Cultural assumptions about one's relation to others and one's place in the world can be literally embodied in the way one cognitively maps out one's position and motion in time and space. In three experiments, we examined the psychological perspective that Asian American and Euro-American participants embodied as they both comprehended and produced narratives and mapped out metaphors of time and space. In social situations, Euro-American participants were more likely to embody their own perspective and a sense of their own motion (rather than those of a friend), whereas Asian American participants were more likely to embody a friend's perspective and sense of motion (rather than their own). We discuss how these psychological perspectives represent the soft embodiment of culture by implicitly instantiating cultural injunctions (a) to think about how you look to others and to harmonize with them or (b) to know yourself, trust yourself, and act with confidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-830
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


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