Ishii et al.(2014)

Ishii, K. (石井敬子), Miyamoto, Y. (宮本百合), Rule, N. O., & Toriyama, R. (鳥山理恵)(2014).
Physical Objects as Vehicles of Cultural Transmission: Maintaining Harmony and Uniqueness Through Colored Geometric Patterns.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(2), 175-188.
doi: 10.1177/0146167213508151
We examined how cultural values of harmony and uniqueness are represented and maintained through physical media (i.e., colorings of geometric patterns) and how individuals play an active role in selecting and maintaining such cultural values. We found that colorings produced by European American adults and children were judged as more unique, whereas colorings produced by Japanese adults and children were judged as more harmonious, reflecting cultural differences in values. Harmonyundergirded Japanese participants’ preferences for colorings, whereas uniquenessundergirded European American participants’ preferences for colorings. These cultural differences led participants to prefer own-culture colorings over other-culture colorings. Moreover, bicultural participants’ preferences acculturated according to their identification with their host culture. Furthermore, child rearers in Japan and Canada gave feedback about the children’s colorings that were consistent with their culture’s values. These findings suggest that simple geometric patterns can embody cultural values that are socialized and reinforced from an early age.