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

ISBN-10: 0743255356

ISBN-13: 9780743255356

Edition: 2004 (Reprint)

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Description: When psychologist Richard E. Nisbett showed an animated underwater scene to his American students, they zeroed in on a big fish swimming among smaller fish. Japanese observers instead commented on the background environment -- and the different "seeings" are a clue to profound cognitive differences between Westerners and East Asians. As Nisbett shows inThe Geography of Thought,people 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.The Geography of Thoughtdocuments Professor Nisbett's groundbreaking research in cultural psychology, addressing questions such as: Why did the ancient Chinese excel at algebra and arithmetic, but not geometry, the brilliant achievement of such Greeks as Euclid? Why do East Asians find it so difficult to disentangle an object from its surroundings? Why do Western infants learn nouns more rapidly than verbs, when it is the other way around in East Asia? At a moment in history when the need for cross-cultural understanding and collaboration have never been more important,The Geography of Thoughtoffers both a map to that gulf and a blueprint for a bridge that might be able to span it.

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Book details

List price: $15.99
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 4/5/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Richard E. Nisbett is Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan and Research Professor at Michigan's Institute for Social Research. He has taught courses in social psychology, cultural psychology, cognitive psychology, and evolutionary psychology. His research focuses on how people from different cultures think, perceive, feel, and act in different ways. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association and the William James Fellow Award of the American Psychological Society and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Syllogism and the Tao: Philosophy, Science, and Society in Ancient Greece and China
The Social Origins of Mind: Economics, Social Practices, and Thought
Living Together vs. Going It Alone: Social Life and Sense of Self in the Modern East and West
"Eyes in Back of Your Head" or "Keep Your Eye on the Ball"?: Envisioning the World
"The Bad Seed" or "The Other Boys Made Him Do It"?: Causal Attribution and Causal Modeling East and West
Is the World Made Up of Nouns or Verbs?: Categories and Rules vs. Relationships and Similarities
"Ce N'est Pas Logique" or "You've Got a Point There"?: Logic and the Law of Noncontradiction vs. Dialectics and the Middle Way
And If the Nature of Thought Is Not Everywhere the Same?: Implications for Psychology, Philosophy, Education, and Everyday Life
Epilogue: The End of Psychology or the Clash of Mentalities?: The Longevity of Differences
Notes
References
Index
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