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

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 26, 2010 - Psychology - 288 pages
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.
 

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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

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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

Acknowledgments
The Syllogism and the
The Social Origins of Mind
Eyes in Back of Your Head or Keep Your Eye on the Ball?
The Bad Seed or The Other Boys Made Him Do It?
Is the World Made Up of Nouns or Verbs?
Ce Nest Pas Logique or Youve Got a Point There?
And If the Nature of Thought Is Not Everywhere the Same?
EpilogueThe End of Psychology or the Clash of Mentalities?
Notes
References
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Richard E. Nisbett, PhD, has taught psychology at Yale and currently teaches at 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, in 2002, a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He is the author and editor of several university press titles. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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