Researchers studying paintings from the 16th through 20th centuries, for example, have found that in Western portraits, the subject took up a larger portion of the picture and was painted in a way to make the subject stand out, the study said. In Eastern portraits, the subjects tended to be smaller and to blend into the background.
Even now, the differences often remain. When [...] researchers handed students cameras in an earlier study and asked them to take portraits, the subjects filled more space in the frame of the photographs taken by the Americans.
I've noticed this type of thing myself when I compare family pics I've taken with ones taken by my (Japanese) wife. In fact, I frequently (and perhaps naggingly) have to remind my wife that there is indeed a zoom control on the camera; the people in her pics look tiny to me.
Anyway, I was reminded of the above quote from the Times article again this past weekend when I saw some "portraits" of me and my wife that our 5-year-old daughter had drawn. Here's the one she made of me:
And here's the one she made of her mother:
Now, if you're finished laughing about my "big head" (my wife isn't yet), it's possible that you've noticed the different approaches my daughter took in drawing these pictures. Not particularly scientific, I confess, but (I thought) kinda interesting...