The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently-- and why

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Nicholas Brealey, 2003 - Cognition and culture - 263 pages
6 Reviews
When Richard Nisbett showed an animated underwater scene to his American students, they zeroed in on a big fish swimming among smaller fish. Japanese subjects, on the other hand, made observations about the background environment and the different seeings are a clue to profound underlying cognitive differences between Westerners and East Asians. As Professor Nisbett shows in The Geography of Thought, people actually think - and even see - the world differently, because of differing ecologies, social structures, philosophies, and educational systems that date back to ancient Greece and China, and that have survived into the modern world...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 comparison to Western modes of reasoning, East Asian thought relies far less on categories, or on formal logic; it is fundamentally dialectic, seeking a middle way between opposing thoughts. 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 behaviour.

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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

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