The Impact of Cultural Background on Structural Figure Perception: Cultural Biases in the Reproduction of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure

in Journal of Cognition and Culture
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


Visuo-spatial tests are often thought to be less subject to cultural bias than verbal tests. It has, however, been demonstrated that scores obtained, particularly using the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, vary according to the cultural context. In a previous study, we noted that the socio-cultural environment had an impact on structural figure perception. We compared the techniques used to draw the figures by school-children in France from different cultural backgrounds, with the hypothesis that the culture handed down by the parents has an impact on structural figure perception (N = 914). Subjects were classified according to type of approach, based on the order in which tasks were performed using a computer recording of lines traced. Results demonstrate substantial contrasts among groups of children of different cultural origins. Inherited culture appears to influence structural figure perception, which could explain the variation in scores obtained. The impact of the familiarity with this type of task and educational level of the families are discussed.

The Impact of Cultural Background on Structural Figure Perception: Cultural Biases in the Reproduction of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure

in Journal of Cognition and Culture



AbtL. E.BellakL. Projective psychology: Clinical approaches to the total personality 1950 New York, NY Alfred A. Knopf

AnastasiA. Psychological testing 1988 6th edn. New York, NY Macmillan

AnzieuD.ChabertC. Les méthodes projectives 1961 PUF, Paris Quadrige/

ArdilaR. Latin American Psychology and Social Commitment PsycCRITIQUES 1996 41 468 469

ArdilaA.MorenoS. Neuropsychological test performance on Aruaco Indians: An exploratory study Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 2001 7 510 515

ArdilaA.RosselliM. KnightJ.KaplanE. Educational effects of the rofc performance Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Handbook 2003 New York, NY Psychological Assessment Resources 271 281

ArdilaA.RosselliM.RosasP. Neuropsychological assessment in illiterates: Visuospatial and memory abilities Brain and Cognition 1989 11 2 147 166

BerryJ. W.PoortingaY. H.SegallM. H.DasenP. R. Cross-cultural psychology: Research and applications 1992 Cambridge University Press New York, NY

BossuroyM.WallonP.JobertC.MesminC.FalissardB.MoroM. R. Contribution à l’étude de la perception des formes géométriques, à propos de l’examen dynamique de la FCR-A au Burkina Faso et en Iran Approche Neuropsychologique des Apprentisages chez l’Enfant (anae) 2013 125 437 445

ByrneB. M.OaklandT.LeongF. T. L.vande Vijver F. J. R.HambletonR. K.CheungF. M.BartramD. A critical analysis of cross-cultural research and testing practices: Implications for improved education and training in psychology Training and Education in Professional Psychology 2009 3 94 105

ChenC.KasofJ.HimselA. J.GreenbergerE.DongQ.XueG. Creativity in Drawings of Geometric Shapes: A Cross-Cultural Examination with the Consensual Assessment Technique Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 2002 33 2 171 187

CramptonA.JerabekI. Culture-Fair IQ Test 2000 Montreal, QC Plumeus

DemaretE. Etudes des stratégies de réalisation de la Figure Complexe de Rey chez des enfants de culture différente 2003 Presented at the Xth aric Congress available online at

HambletonR. K.ZeniskyA. L. MatsumotoD.vande Vijver F. J. R. Translating and adapting tests for cross-cultural assessments Cross-cultural research methods in psychology. Culture and psychology 2011 New York, NY Cambridge University Press 46 74

HarrisM. Culture people nature: An introduction to general anthropology 1983 3rd edn. New York, NY Harper and Row

IrvineS. H.BerryJ. W. Human abilities in cultural context 1988 New York, NY Cambridge University Press

KlenbergL.KorkmanM.Lahti-NuuttilaP. Differential development of attention and executive functions in 3- to 12-year-old Finnish children Developmental Neuropsychology 2001 20 407 428

KnightJ.KaplanE. Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Hand book 2003 New York, NY Psychological Assessment Resources

KorkmanM.KirkU.KemptS. NEPSY – A developmental Neuropsychological Assessment 1998 Psychological Corporation San Antonio, TX

KorkmanM. Introduction to the Special Issue on Normal Neuropsychological Development in the School-Age Years Developmental Neuropsychology 2001 20 325 330

LezakM. D. Neuropsychological assessment 1995 3rd Ed. Oxford University Press New York, NY

MesminC. Au commencement était le dessin: Immigration et témoignages graphiques Enfance 2005 57 57 72

MesminC. WallonP.MesminC. De la technique de construction à la clinique. Comparaisons d’enfants et d’étudiants français et migrants La figure de Rey une approche de la complexité 1999 Eres Paris

MorrisJ. C.HeymanA.MohsR. C.HughesJ. P. The consortium to establish a registry for Alzheimer’s disease (cerad): I. Clinical and neuropsychological assessment of Alzheimer’s disease Neurology 1989 39 1159 1165

MulengaK.AhonenT.AroM. Performance of Zambian Children on the nepsy: A pilot study Developmental Neuropsychology 2001 20 375 383

NaglieriJ. A.BrunnertK. Wechsler Nonverbal Scale of Ability (wnv) Practitioner’s guide to assessing intelligence and achievement 2009 Wiley Hoboken, NJ 315 338

OsterriethP. A. Le test de copie d’une figure complexe; contribution à l’étude de la perception et de la mémoire Archives de Psychologie 1944 30 206 356

Perez-ArceP.PuenteA. E. SbordoneR. J.LongC. J. Neuropsychological assessment of ethnic-minorities: The case of assessing Hispanics living in North America Ecological validity of neuropsychological testing 1996 Delray Beach, FL CRC Press 283 300

PicaP.LemerC.IzardV.DehaeneS. Exact and Approximate Arithmetic in an Amazonian Indigene Group Science Cognition and Behavior 2004 306 499 503

ReyA. L’examen psychologique dans les cas d’encéphalopathie traumatique Archives de Psychologie 1941 28 286 340

RosselliM.ArdilaA. The impact of culture and education on non-verbal neuropsychological measurements: A criticalreview Brain and Cognition 2003 52 326 333

SalmonD. P.JinH.ZhangM.GrantI. Neuropsychological assessment of elderly Chinese in the Shanghai Dementia Survey Clinical Neuropsychologist 1995 9 159 168

TaylorE. M. Psychological Appraisal of Children with Cerebral Defects 1959 New York, NY Harvard University Press

UnverzagtF. W.HallK. S.TorkeA. M.RedigerJ. D. Effects of age, education and gender on cerad neuropsychological test performance in an African American sample Clinical Neuropsychologist 1996 10 180 190

VernonP. E. Intelligence and cultural environment 1972 Methuen New York, NY

WallonP.MesminC. La figure de Rey une approche de la complexité 1999 Eres Paris

WallonP.MesminC. Nouveau manuel de la figure complexe de Rey 2009 ECPA Paris



Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 33 33 17
Full Text Views 95 95 81
PDF Downloads 9 9 7
EPUB Downloads 2 2 2