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Differences between Asians and Westerners

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YF
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Differences between Asians and Westerners

Postby YF » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 4:31 pm

I think I brought this up before, but I actually had a chance to pick up this book and thought I would recomend it to everyone here. Prior to this I had only seen Richard nisbet give a lecture on it.

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


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743216466/103-7124421-7475863?st=%2A&v=glance&n=283155

The book was a real eye opener for me and really helped me both appreciate, and understand the differences eastern and westerners encounter with one another.

-Rob

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Postby Vaucluse » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 5:02 pm

Sorry YF, but:

opening up of:


Image


Quite honestly, and no offense, many of us have been living here or elsewhere in Asia for a long time and don't need social anthropologists, or whoever, telling us these things . . .


Lines like:

Chinese and Americans literally view the world differently,


and

"If people are literally looking at the world differently, we think it would be natural for them to explain the world in different ways," said Richard Nisbett, a psychologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.



Seriously, this guy is getting paid to come up with pseudo-intellectual crap like that -

East Asians, by contrast, tend to look at the whole picture
Ah, so the Japanese and Chinese and Philippinos and Papuans are the same? Friggin' nonsense.

Very impressive credentials:
Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan
Co-Director of the UM Culture and Cognition Program
Research Professor at the Research Center for Group Dynamics of UM's Institute for Social Research
First social psychologist in a generation to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, American Psychological Association
William James Fellow Award, American Psychological Society
Guggenheim Fellowship

and while doing all this - how much time has he spent living in Asia, with Asians? Is he basing his findings on American culture and values vis-a-vis 'Asians' or is he lumping us all in the same bucket like he does with Asians?

I'm shocked that such pretentious writing is even published.

Sorry, YF.
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Postby emiko08 » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 8:01 pm

no difference. we are all human. O:)

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Postby dot dot dot » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 8:17 pm

let's debate! :D

Eric

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Postby emiko08 » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 8:23 pm

Eric from the Netherlands wrote:let's debate! :D

Eric


it wouldn't be nice. O:)

surely somebody will feel insulted.

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Postby riversandlakes » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 9:06 pm

The difference is as WIDE as the ocean, yet we are actually closer to each other than we think. Celebrate the diversity, but it's all in the mind.
Goatboy will always cherish his former goatgirl.
But the world is full of fluffier ones.

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Postby Vaucluse » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 9:47 pm

Eric from the Netherlands wrote:let's debate! :D

Eric



Do we have to . . . :-|
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Postby T2K » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 9:51 pm

I bought that book in some airport (maybe HK) years ago and, while I didn't read it cover to cover, I've read most of it.

He defines "Asians" for the purpose of his book as "East Asians, primarily from Japan, Korea and China" as far as I recall. Indians and other Asian nationalities, including Singaporeans I think, are involved in some studies but mostly it is the former.

The book is not all pseudo-psychology as most of it is based on tests given to Americans (only) and the Asians. So, there is actual data. The analysis leans towards the hazy side sometimes. The usual stuff about Asians being group oriented, Westernes being individual oriented and other stuff like that.

In the end, all I got from the book was: Asians and Westerners are different sometimes, but not all the time. Which I knew before I ever set foot in Asia.

It's a goo book to keep on your coffee table and browse through to see the results of various tests and comparative studies. Make your own conclusions though.

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Postby Vaucluse » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 10:11 pm

In the end, all I got from the book was: Asians and Westerners are different sometimes, but not all the time. Which I knew before I ever set foot in Asia.


Quad erat demonstrandum
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YF
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Postby YF » Fri, 16 Dec 2005 3:57 pm

Vancluse,

Maybe you should read the book before you attack it. It is clear that you don't really know what you're talking about. Actually this research program began as a collaboration with a *chinese* post-doc who was in his lab and *much*, if not most of the research discussed in the book,was carried out by east asian researchers.

You called it "pseudo-intellectual" but the fact of the matter RN is offering us a *scientifc theory* on the differences between east asian thinking and western thought, and not just speculative thought. Thus, as a scientific theory one can make claims which can be tested and falsified -- this is the basis of science. The book just doesn't SAY there are differences between east asians and westerners, but rather goes into the research which tries to tease apart these differences and why they exist.

-Rob

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Postby Vaucluse » Fri, 16 Dec 2005 4:09 pm

Well shucks there YF - it's clear you didn't read my post correctly and it's a lot shorter than the book, which, in theory, would make it easier to understand,

From such highbrow statements as:
"If people are literally looking at the world differently, we think it would be natural for them to explain the world in different ways"


to gems like :

Chinese and Americans literally view the world differently,


You will forgive me if I don't quake in my shoes at this astounding and clearly intelectually earthshattering news - could a Nobe prize be waiting at the end of this?

And yes, I have actually read enough of it to come to my conslusions, and as I am/was a published academic myself I really don't need your condescending attempt to educate me on what constitutes scientific theory and what doesn't.

Thus, as a scientific theory one can make claims which can be tested and falsified -- this is the basis of science.


Can you see all my quotes - remind you of someone used to writing texts based on research and academia, perhaps?

Aside form that - have a nice time in Singapore.
......................................................



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Postby sapphire » Fri, 16 Dec 2005 5:32 pm

Vaucluse wrote:I am/was a published academic myself

Can I have your autograph please? :P
It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 16 Dec 2005 5:43 pm

I'm a published farmboy! If the "New Paper" counts! :mrgreen:

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Vaucluse
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Postby Vaucluse » Fri, 16 Dec 2005 5:45 pm

sapphire wrote:
Vaucluse wrote:I am/was a published academic myself

Can I have your autograph please? :P


OK:

For Sapphire, a fan
Vaucluse
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sapphire
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Postby sapphire » Fri, 16 Dec 2005 6:11 pm

Vaucluse, you're such a cheapster.

SMS, ok your autograph then. But for that you have to show up at WNDC. No cheap tricks like Vaucluse's. :roll:
It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you.


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