Biased cognition in East Asian and Western cultures

Jenny Yiend, Julia André, Louise Smith, Lu Hua Chen, Timothea Toulopoulou, Eric Chen, Pak Sham, Brian Parkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The majority of cognitive bias research has been conducted in Western cultures. We examined cross-cultural differences in cognitive biases, comparing Westerners' and East Asians' performance and acculturation following migration to the opposite culture. Two local (UK, Hong Kong) and four migrant (short-term and long-term migrants to each culture) samples completed culturally validated tasks measuring attentional and interpretation bias. Hong Kong residents were more positively biased than people living in the UK on several measures, consistent with the lower prevalence of psychological disorders in East Asia. Migrants to the UK had reduced positive biases on some tasks, while migrants to Hong Kong were more positive, compared to their respective home counterparts, consistent with acculturation in attention and interpretation biases. These data illustrate the importance of cultural validation of findings and, if replicated, would have implications for the mental health and well-being of migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0223358
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Yiend et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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