Culture and Causal Cognition

  title={Culture and Causal Cognition},
  author={Ara Norenzayan and Richard E. Nisbett},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={132 - 135}
East Asian and American causal reasoning differs significantly. East Asians understand behavior in terms of complex interactions between dispositions of the person or other object and contextual factors, whereas Americans often view social behavior primarily as the direct unfolding of dispositions. These culturally differing causal theories seem to be rooted in more pervasive, culture-specific mentalities in East Asia and the West. The Western mentality is analytic, focusing attention on the… 

Causal Cognition and Culture

This chapter summarizes empirical findings on the potential for cultural variability in the content of causal cognition, in the way this content is processed, and in the context in which all this occurs.

Culture and point of view

  • R. NisbettT. Masuda
  • Psychology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2003
East Asians and Westerners perceive the world and think about it in very different ways, with East Asians more likely to attend to a broad perceptual and conceptual field, noticing relationships and changes and grouping objects based on family resemblance rather than category membership.

Challenge and Contribution of Cultural Psychology to Empirical Legal Studies

Empirical legal studies can benefit from the research findings of cultural psychology to understand the fundamental principles of law. Research findings in cultural psychology have shown that Eastern

Culture, Education, and the Attribution of Physical Causality

Together, these studies suggest that culturally instilled folk theories of physics produce cultural differences in the perception of physical causality.

Cultural Variation and Similarities in Cognitive Thinking Styles Versus Judgment Biases: A Review of Environmental Factors and Evolutionary Forces

Cultural psychological research has compellingly demonstrated that reliable East-West differences exist in basic cognitive styles: in contrast to the analytic, focal, linear thinking prevalent in the

Cognition is … Fundamentally Cultural

It is concluded that cognition is indeed fundamentally cultural, and that consideration of its cultural dimension is essential for a comprehensive understanding.

Probing the Cultural Constitution of Causal Cognition – A Research Program

It is proposed that human causal cognition is not only superficially affected by cultural background, but that it is co-constituted by the cultural nature of the human species.

Culture and Change Blindness

Compared to Americans, East Asians were more sensitive to contextual changes than to focal object changes, suggesting that there can be cultural variation in what may seem to be basic perceptual processes.

Culture, religion and cognition : Buddhism and holistic versus analytic thought

Some cross-cultural psychologists have shown differences in cognition between Eastern and Western cultures, described as holistic versus analytic (H-A) systems of thought. It is widely assumed that

Causality and Agency Across Cultures and Languages

These findings justify the call for a more thorough investigation of the possibly constitutive role that culture and language may play for causal cognition and bring together researchers from various of its sub-fields who will present theoretical analyses and empirical findings on those factors that may constrain, trigger, or shape the way humans think and talk about causal relationships.



Causal attribution across cultures: Variation and universality.

Growing cross-cultural evidence suggests that East Asians are less likely to show the correspondence bias, or a preference for explanations of behavior in terms of traits, dispositions, or other

Running Head: CULTURE AND THOUGHT Culture and Systems of Thought: Holistic vs. Analytic Cognition

We propose a theory of how systems of thought arise on the basis of differing cultural practices and argue that the theory accounts for substantial differences in East Asian and Western thought

Culture, control, and perception of relationships in the environment.

The results showed that Chinese participants reported stronger association between events, were more responsive to differences in covariation, and were more confident about their covariation judgments, and these cultural differences disappeared when participants believed they had some control over the covariation judgment task.

Implicit Theories Individual Differences in the Likelihood and Meaning of Dispositional Inference

In their research, the authors have identified individuals who believe that a particular trait (intelligence, personality, or moral character) is a fixed disposition (entity theorists) and have

Culture and development of everyday social explanation.

  • J. G. Miller
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 1984
Evidence suggests that these cross-cultural and developmental differences result from contrasting cultural conceptions of the person acquired over development in the two cultures rather than from cognitive.

Culture and Cause: American and Chinese Attributions for Social and Physical Events

The authors argue that attribution patterns reflect implicit theories acquired from induction and socialization and hence differentially distributed across human cultures. In particular, the authors

The Attribution of Attitudes

Causal cognition : a multidisciplinary debate

Introduction Part I: Causal representation in animal cognition Part II: Causal understanding in na"ive physics Part III: Causal understanding in na"ive psychology Part IV: Causal understanding in

The ways of thinking of Eastern peoples

A landmark comparative study, this volume analyzes the characteristic thought patterns of four Asian peoples--the Indians, the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Tibetans--as these are revealed in their