|From:||Ali Hashemi <ali@xxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Mon, 30 Aug 2010 12:33:03 -0400|
Ferenc thanks for the pointer! This reminds me of a discussion on these boards from a few months ago, whereby one participant was asking for measurable differences in how culture (and technology) can affect the way people think.
Leaving that particular discussion aside, I think anyone who finds value in the article linked to by Ferenc would also find the paper below of interest (and in case you are short on time, there is a link to media-ized version following). It provides a nice, thorough overview of, well, read the abstract - I'm having difficulty describing it any more succinctly :P (emphasis, mine).
The weirdest people in the world?
Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan
Abstract: Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world’s top journals based
on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers – often
implicitly – assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as
representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified? Here, our review of the comparative
database from across the behavioral sciences suggests both that there is substantial variability in experimental results across
populations and that WEIRD subjects are particularly unusual compared with the rest of the species – frequent outliers. The
domains reviewed include visual perception, fairness, cooperation, spatial reasoning, categorization and inferential induction, moral
reasoning, reasoning styles, self-concepts and related motivations, and the heritability of IQ. The findings suggest that members of
WEIRD societies, including young children, are among the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about
humans. Many of these findings involve domains that are associated with fundamental aspects of psychology, motivation, and
behavior – hence, there are no obvious a priori grounds for claiming that a particular behavioral phenomenon is universal based on
sampling from a single subpopulation. Overall, these empirical patterns suggests that we need to be less cavalier in addressing
questions of human nature on the basis of data drawn from this particularly thin, and rather unusual, slice of humanity. We close
by proposing ways to structurally re-organize the behavioral sciences to best tackle these challenges.
media gloss version: http://www.nationalpost.com/Westerners+World+weird+ones/3427126/story.html#ixzz0xoWQRf1Q
On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
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