The Geography Of Thought : How Asians And Westerners Think Differently

2238 Words May 13th, 2016 9 Pages
In Richard Nisbett 's "The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why", the differences between Eastern and Western cultures are discussed thoroughly. Nisbett primarily compares them through their differing thought processes. Western culture is primarily very individualistic, while Eastern culture is very collectivist. I personally have grown up with both of these cultures myself and can back up Nisbett 's claims through personal experience. There are many differing views on where these cultures go from here, and my belief is that they continue to stay predominately separate.

In Eastern culture, the idea of the individual is based upon belonging to a larger group and your place in that group along with the belief that the world flows through its own natural forces of change and it is out of your control. This is what collectivism is all about. This type of thinking revolves around being in "harmony" with the natural world around you and your fellow man. You would look outward to your peers and up to authority for guidance and support, and whom you are with defines the role you play in society. It is also believed that the world is ever changing and is full of contradictions. Activities such as debate and confrontation are looked down upon in collectivist cultures such as in Asia, as it disrupts the "harmony" that they attempt to achieve. They instead seek to find a middle ground that is beneficial for everyone involved. People from…

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