Recent research suggests more enhanced processing of task-relevant self-information in Westerners than in Easterners. The current study further tested the hypothesis that self-related task-irrelevant information is processed more extensively in Westerners than in Easterners. British and Chinese participants were asked to judge the relative length of horizontal and vertical lines of a cross presented peripherally, while ignoring centrally presented self-related or non-self stimuli consisting of faces (Experiment 1) or names/dates (Experiment 2). We found that, relative to non-self stimuli, self-related stimuli delayed responses to targets in the short stimulus duration for British but not for Chinese participants. The effect was independent of stimulus domain. Our findings provide evidence for cultural differences in the processing of self-information that is independent of task demands.
Liu, M., Liu, C. H., Zhu, Y., Wang, R., Rotshtein, P., & Sui, J. (2015). Self-related information interfere with task performances: a cross-cultural investigation. Culture and Brain, 3(2), 112-121. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40167-015-0030-3