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Where do the differences between the western and eastern cognitive processes, respectively their way of thinking stem from ?

1. Differing social practices

2. Differences in what is attended to

(west - focal objects; east - surrounding field)

--> western societies are more independent whereas eastern societies are more interdependent


Eastern and western societies have different ways of thinking.

The eastern way of thinking can be described as ... whereas the western way of thinking is usual said to be ... .

1. holistic

2. analytic


What are "affordances" ?

They refer to environmental factors that play to our perception

--> they contribute to peoples habitual patterns of attention + perception


e.g.: When a scene intended to resemble Japanese environments, both japanese and americans found it easier to detect field changes


Self construal

Refers to how an individual perceives, comprehends and interprets the self

--> greatly influences human behavior and is used to explain cultural differences in behavior + cognition


What kind of self construals are encouraged in western vs eastern societies ?

West :

independence --> the self is autonomous + unique



interdependence --> the self is interconnected


Self construals mediate cultural group differences in brain activity.

Thus there is increased brain activity in western societies at the ... and for eastern societies at the ... .

1. Medial prefrontal cortex

2. Temporoparietal junction


Well intentioned efforts by US psychologists to help locals move on with their lives in the aftermath of the asian tsunami backfired and in the end even caused more harm.

Why was that ?

Western trained psychologists simply assumed that their methods would also apply to the eastern societies which was not the case




What is a culture ?

A culture consists of meanings + practices that are shared by a social group



Fosters more critical cultural awareness

--> stresses the importance of 2 aspects of cultural meaning:

a) folk psychology

b) moral visions


Folk psychology

Refers to a set of meanings concerning psychological life that is shared by a social group

--> every culture has their own


Moral visions

Are constellations of assumptions and values that define what a person is and should be


What does WEIRD stand for ?









Why do WEIRD people present a challenge to the understanding of human psychology and behavior?

Because psychological findings usually exclusively stems from WEIRD people who represent only a small percentage of the world population

--> this way psychology is limited


What are the Temporal value asymmetry effect vs Reversed temporal value asymmetry effect ?

1. Western societies tend to value the future more than the past and feel like for example 5 years from now is closer than 5 years in the past

2. Eastern societies feel like the complete opposite


What is the reason for the fact that dopaminergic pathways play a role in culture formation ?

People acquire rules and culture through reinforcements

--> Norm sensitivity hypothesis


What are the biases towards western cultures ?

1. Literature is based on WEIRD research, which doesn't adequately represent the rest of the world

--> 95% of it


2. Culture blindness


Norm sensitivity hypothesis

Suggests that the acquisition of global behavioral patterns and norms of culture, such as independence and interdependence, is influenced by reinforcement-mediated social learning


What are possible solutions to WEIRD biased research ?

1. More diverse samples

2. Evidence for generalization

3. Research in non-WEIRD countries

--> cross-cultural research should be put into focus


When talking about the self a certain brain region is involved. 

The difference here, between easterners and westerners is that this brain region is active in easterners when talking about the self and others, whereas for westerners it is only active when talking about the self. 


Which brain region is meant ?

Where do these differences stem from ?



2. Easterners see no difference between the self and others 

--> collectivity