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Surveying "The Geography of Thought": A Reaction to Nisbett's Research by Cacky Mellor

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Cacky Mellor

on 6 October 2012

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Transcript of Surveying "The Geography of Thought": A Reaction to Nisbett's Research by Cacky Mellor

By Cacky Mellor Surveying "The Geography of Thought": A Reaction to Nisbett's Reach I am concerned that there maybe too broad of a generalization in the research of Eastern and Western cultures in Nisbett's work. They brought this up in the NPR podcast as possible racism. I wouldn't go that far, but I do think that individual cultures within the larger cultures need to be examined and added to the research because there is a lot of potential variation. For example, the cultures of Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia are very different even though the countries are next to each other. I would be interested to see how a third culture would compare. I would feel more comfortable with the research with that additional information (2012). Criticism Nisbett In undergrad, I was fortunate to participate in a travel course to Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia that focused on forgiveness on the micro and macro level. I believe that Nisbett's theories are extremely applicable to what I learned in that course. Forgiveness is a fundamental part of those cultures, and it makes perfect sense, because they are "seeing the forest and not just the trees" as is discussed in Frank's PP. They are focused on the larger picture and not just themselves. Most of us students in the course were working on our own forgiveness. The fact that so much of that process was central to us as individuals certainly spoke to our cultural background. This concept came up for me when I was reading the "Human Rights" subsection of the "Geography of Thought" article (2003). Many in our culture have difficulty forgiving because we will not compromise our "rights". We get hung up on ourselves and our self importance, instead of the culture being the greater focus (2003).
I learned so much from those Eastern cultures about forgiveness and I do think that it is possible to see beyond our obvious. I takes extensive effort. Applying Nisbett to Forgiveness Look forward to our discussions! Thank you for watching! Trocco, F. "The Geography of Thought: Can We Learn to See Beyond the Obvious?"

Nisbett, R. (2012). Npr. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=1180660&m=1180661

Nisbett, R. E. (2003). Chapter 8: "And if the Nature of Thought is Not everywhere the same." In: The geography of thought: How Asians and Westerners think differently...and why: And if the nature of thought is not everywhere the same? pdf Resources I am conflicted about Nisbett's theories on the differences between the way an individual's thought process develops as a result of the culture they are surrounded by. I believe the research is extremely valuable in helping to cross cultural divides if utilized correctly, however I fear it could also be overgeneralizing both Eastern and Western ways of thinking. It is very interesting to consider.
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