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

The Geography of Thought

How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why

Paperback Published: 1st April 2004
ISBN: 9780743255356
Number Of Pages: 263

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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 in "The 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 Thought" documents 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 Thought" offers both a map to that gulf and a blueprint for a bridge that might be able to span it.

    Industry Reviews

    Publishers Weekly
    The Geography of Thought may mark the beginning of a new front in the science wars.
    Providence Journal-Bulletin
    Understanding the thought processes of other cultures may very well turn out to be critical to the survival of Western civilization....The Geography of Thought is a wake-up call.
    Philadelphia Inquirer
    Nisbett's findings pose provocative challenges to universalist assumptions about human thought and inference.

  • Acknowledgmentsp. ix
    Introductionp. xiii
    The Syllogism and the Tao: Philosophy, Science, and Society in Ancient Greece and Chinap. 1
    The Social Origins of Mind: Economics, Social Practices, and Thoughtp. 29
    Living Together vs. Going It Alone: Social Life and Sense of Self in the Modern East and Westp. 47
    "Eyes in Back of Your Head" or "Keep Your Eye on the Ball"?: Envisioning the Worldp. 79
    "The Bad Seed" or "The Other Boys Made Him Do It"?: Causal Attribution and Causal Modeling East and Westp. 111
    Is the World Made Up of Nouns or Verbs?: Categories and Rules vs. Relationships and Similaritiesp. 137
    "Ce N'est Pas Logique" or "You've Got a Point There"?: Logic and the Law of Noncontradiction vs. Dialectics and the Middle Wayp. 165
    And If the Nature of Thought Is Not Everywhere the Same?: Implications for Psychology, Philosophy, Education, and Everyday Lifep. 191
    Epilogue: The End of Psychology or the Clash of Mentalities?: The Longevity of Differencesp. 219
    Notesp. 231
    Referencesp. 241
    Indexp. 253
    Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

    ISBN: 9780743255356
    ISBN-10: 0743255356
    Audience: Tertiary; University or College
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 263
    Published: 1st April 2004
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
    Country of Publication: GB
    Dimensions (cm): 20.96 x 13.97  x 1.91
    Weight (kg): 0.26

    Earn 48 Qantas Points
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