Still Puritan After All These Years By Matthew Hutson Essay

1087 Words Feb 7th, 2015 5 Pages
In a world much more advanced than that of the Puritans in the 17th century, the majority of Puritan ideas and rituals may appear unusual and strange, however, several of these ideas helped to shape American culture and identity into how it exists today. Numerous characteristics of modern Americans trace back to the ethics and ideas of the Puritans that first resided in America. In his article “Still Puritan After All These Years”, Matthew Hutson shows the American mind as largely guided by the philosophies of Puritans. An experiment performed with both Americans and Canadians with some test subjects exposed to ideas of salvation resulted in “the Americans — but not the Canadians — [solving] more anagrams with salvation on the mind.” This proves that Americans have more motivation to succeed when reminded of the Puritan idea that success in life will lead to salvation after life. Although one may argue that those Americans may have coincidentally been superior at solving the anagrams, the amount of test subjects solves this problem by making that number insignificantly small. Hutson also performed an experiment on Asian-Americans in which they rated support for a principal cancelling prom due to sexual dancing and a school that banned revealing clothing after being reminded of either their American or Asian heritage and primed with thoughts of work. The experiment revealed “that the participants showed increased approval of the prudish school officials when primed with…

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