Perception development – cross cultural studies
If perceptual abilities are innate and a product of nature then we should expect similar perceptual abilities across different cultures with any differences highlighting a nurture playing a role.
Turnball completed research into depth perception. He found that a pygmy tribesman who was accustomed to the dense forest struggled with long differences. When he saw a buffalo in the distance he believed them to be insects because they appeared smaller in the distance. This suggests that the depth constancy are learned and his lack of experience let to his inability to use such cues for distance perception to interpret actual size. This shows the idea that depth perception is a learned process.
But, a problem with Turnball’s research is that it was a case study. We cannot then generalise one person’s findings to the wider population.