Eminent psychologist Richard Nisbett boldly takes on the presumptions of evolutionary psychology in a provocative, powerfully engaging exploration of the divergent ways Eastern and Western societies see and understand the world.
When Richard Nisbett showed an animated underwater scene to his American students, they zeroed in on a big fish swimming among smaller fish. Japanese subjects, on the other hand, made observations about the background environment. These different “seeings” are a clue to profound underlying cognitive differences between Westerners and East Asians. For, as Nisbett demonstrates in The Geography of Thought, people think about and see the world differently because of differing ecologies, social structures, philosophies, and educational systems that date back to ancient Greece and China and that have survived into the modern world.