The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Apr 5, 2004 - Psychology - 263 pages
10 Reviews
A “landmark book” (Robert J. Sternberg, president of the American Psychological Association) by one of the world's preeminent psychologists that proves human behavior is not “hard-wired” but a function of culture.

Everyone knows that while different cultures think about the world differently, they use the same equipment for doing their thinking. But what if everyone is wrong?

The Geography of Thought documents Richard Nisbett's groundbreaking international research in cultural psychology and shows that people actually think about—and even see—the world differently because of differing ecologies, social structures, philosophies, and educational systems that date back to ancient Greece and China. As a result, East Asian thought is “holistic”—drawn to the perceptual field as a whole and to relations among objects and events within that field. By contrast, Westerners focus on salient objects or people, use attributes to assign them to categories, and apply rules of formal logic to understand their behavior.

From feng shui to metaphysics, from comparative linguistics to economic history, a gulf separates the children of Aristotle from the descendants of Confucius. At a moment in history when the need for cross-cultural understanding and collaboration have never been more important, The Geography of Thought offers both a map to that gulf and a blueprint for a bridge that will span it.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
5
4 stars
2
3 stars
3
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jewsbury - LibraryThing

This is a short book with simply presented discussions noting that attitudes are strongly affected by cultural traditions. In other words we don’t all think or reason in the same way. The emphasis is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rabindranath - LibraryThing

A scientist talks about things politicians and political-correct educators would love to ignore (forever), namely that differenct races actually think (if only slightly) different, or at least have slightly different preferences. Read full review

Contents

I
xiii
II
1
III
29
IV
47
V
79
VI
111
VII
137
VIII
165
IX
191
X
219
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 245 - Divergent consequences of success and failure in Japan and North America: An investigation of self-improving motivations and malleable selves.
Page 242 - Chalfonte, BL, & Johnson, MK (1996). Feature memory and binding in young and older adults.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Richard E. Nisbett has taught psychology at Yale University and the University of Michigan, where he is the Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor. He has received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association, the William James Fellow Award of the American Psychological Society, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2002, he became the first social psychologist in a generation to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The coauthor of Culture of Honor and numerous other books and articles, he lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Bibliographic information