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

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Richard Nisbett

This book may mark the beginning of a new front in the science wars. Nisbett, an eminent psychologist and co-author of a seminal Psychological Review paper on how people talk about their decision making, reports on some of his latest work in cultural … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Richard Nisbett
Publisher: Free Press
1 review about The Geography of Thought : How Asians and...

My review of The Geography of Thought

  • Mar 30, 2003
This is a very insightful book with lots of information. It is well written and researched. There are many differences between the way Westerners and Easterners think. Some of the points may seem obvious, but they are still interesting to read about. Children who grow up in the East learn verbs faster. In contrast, children in the West pick up nouns faster. This is because Easterners learn the relationships between objects with action words first. Westerners generally just learn what the object is first. Conflict resolution is handled very differently too. The goal in Eastern conflict resolution is to reduce hostility and to reach a compromise. The goal in resolving conflict in the West is having satisfaction that justice was carried out with a clear winner and loser. However as the author suggests Westerners have to begun to embrace a lot of Eastern ideas. There is a greater emphasis in achieving harmony in a person's life in Eastern cultures. Asian people are more self critical of themselves as a result. In contrast, the goal of a Westerner is to achieve a sense of uniqueness and superiority. I also learned that students who study history in the West focus on the implications or outcomes of events first. Asian students study the causes of historical events first. Teacher training and evaluation is a process that never ends in Eastern countries unlike the West where it is short.

The Geography of Thought is a very short book, but it should not be read rapidly because of the depth and quantity of information. I have a greater insight and appreciation for the way people think now. I enjoyed it very much.

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