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107 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review of The Geography of Thought
This is a very insightful book with lots of information. It is well written and researched. There are many differences between the way Westerners and Easterners think. Some of the points may seem obvious, but they are still interesting to read about. Children who grow up in the East learn verbs faster. In contrast, children in the West pick up nouns faster. This is...
Published on March 30, 2003 by Robert G Yokoyama

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233 of 290 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad, and the ugly.
First the good. Several experiments on human subjects have shown that Asians and Westerners at a very basic level have biases in perception and categorization. Some experiments on human subjects even show that these differences are, surprise, a bit situational. I have lived in Japan for nine years, and I have noticed several of these things myself. So it was rather...
Published on April 18, 2003 by Matthew Dioguardi


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233 of 290 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad, and the ugly., April 18, 2003
By 
First the good. Several experiments on human subjects have shown that Asians and Westerners at a very basic level have biases in perception and categorization. Some experiments on human subjects even show that these differences are, surprise, a bit situational. I have lived in Japan for nine years, and I have noticed several of these things myself. So it was rather refreshing to see experimental data that actually objectifies a lot of these differences. I do think people are often unaware of just how different even a simple picture might look to someone from a different culture. As descriptions of these experiments take up a large part of the book, it certainly might be worthwhile to purchase the book merely to read about them. However, one caution I must add is that Nisbett preludes every experiment's reported result with an "as expected" or an "as anticipated." Nisbett seems content to try and find tests that support his views, but one is forced to wonder how hard he tried to falsify them. A subtle but important difference.
Now, for the bad. If Nisbett had stuck to his interesting and fascinating experiments on human subjects, this book might have made for some interesting reading. Instead, his aims are much larger. He wants to show that, "Each of these orientations -- the Western and the Eastern -- is a self-reinforcing, homeostatic system. The social practices promote the worldviews: the worldviews dictate the appropriate thought processes; and the thought processes both justify the world views and support the social practices. Understanding these homeostatic systems has implications for grasping the fundamental nature of the mind, for beliefs about how we ought ideally to reason, and for appropriate education strategies for different peoples." There is so much philosophical absurdity packed into this phrase it's hard to unpack it all, but it spills out all over the book making it disconnected and confused at times. What would it mean to understand how we "ideally ought to reason." If we "ideally" knew how to reason we could shut off all debate. Where is Karl Popper when you need him? Think about it. If there is an ideal way to reason, then all future debate is shut off immediately. There's no reason to argue or debate about anything, merely turn the levers and use the "ideal" reasoning principles. Where's Kurt Godel when you need him? Another thing Nisbett might want to ask himself is this, how does he escape his own homeostatic system? After all, if the system determined his beliefs about the system then how do we know they are true at all, and not just products of the system itself?
Given this fundamentally flawed thesis, and his attempt to take some very narrow experiments on human subjects and basically roam sloppily over virtually any area he chooses, ranging from philosophy to history to culture, we get a phantasmagoria of stereotypes and confusions. Nisbett's biases are clear, he favors the Western system, after all, the entire approach of the book is mostly logical and argumentative. Yet, Nisbett wants to alternate between putting on his homeostatic-system-hat-for-Asians and his homeostatic-system-hat-for-Westerners as he compares the two with complete relativistic glee. He states: "Medicine in the West retains the analytic, object-oriented, and interventionist approaches that were common thousands of years ago: Find the offending part or humour and remove or alter it. Medicine in the East is far more holistic and has never until modern times been in the least inclined towards surgery or other heroic interventions." What's he got against Western medicine? He thinks that removing the offending humour is the same as modern surgery? He claims he isn't a relativist, and that's right. He's just confused.
There's a lot going on in Japan, where I live, worthy of interest and study. There is a serious problem, though, with critical thinking in Japan. After all, there is a lot of authoritarianism in Japan, just as there is throughout Asia. People in Japan need to learn to express their opinion and they aren't learning how to do that enough. (For that matter they could do a better job in America as well!). The former Japanese ambassador to the UN Yoshio Hatano once said, "Study should not be memorizing what our teachers teach us but learning how to think on our own. And what many Japanese need is to be able to clearly express and advocate their own opinions, even if these might be "minority opinions."" He said this in reference to the fact that many Japanese can't argue their opinions. Nisbet reduces issues like this to : "Is it a form of "colonialism" to demand that they [Asians] perform verbally and share their thoughts with their classmates?" Give me a break! With Nisbett's confused homeostatic-system-causes-beliefs model he just muddles his way through a host of important ethical issues spreading more confusion than enlightenment.
All in all, I would say Nisbett's problem is too much looking for ideal methods of reasoning and too little Karl Popper. In _Objective Knowledge_ Popper states, "An observation always presupposes the existence of some system of expectations." Basically Nisbett's whole program revolves around giving Asians and Westerners vague commands like "observe" or "choose" and then seeing how their expectations or preconceptions influenced them. This is interesting, but it doesn't tell us much we didn't already know. People from different cultures have different preconceptions. According to Popper we all have preconceptions and it's trying to improve them and get a little closer to the truth that is important. Is this a Western approach? Is this an Eastern approach? Is that all that matters?
I do recommend people interested in Asia check out some of these experiments on human subjects, they are interesting and worth reading about. Nevertheless, I can hardly recommend this book in clean and clear conscience. It's just too ugly.
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177 of 224 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor, June 29, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why (Paperback)
Nisbett's book is intended to illustrate the apparent differences in ways of thinking between Westerners and East Asians. While the experiments and their results as documented in the book are interesting and fascinating, in the early portions of the book he makes comparisons between the cultures of ancient Greece and China as an exploration of the historical origins of the mental inclinations of contemporary Westerners and Asians, and along the way he makes several claims about the two cultures which I would seriously question. (Indeed I would go further and ask why only Greece and China should be singled out for comparison, and not the Near East and India as well, considering the vast impact Christianity and Buddhism had on the West and East.)
Nisbett -- somewhat typically of Western authors, be it said -- credits the ancient Greeks with such virtues as a recognition of the uniqueness of the individual, a sense of curiosity, a desire to plumb the underlying reasons and principles of things, and so on, all qualities which he claims are absent or largely absent in China (if not indeed everywhere else in the past). I really don't think these claims stand up to the facts at all. (Don't know if I'm being paranoid, but frankly I seem to pick up faint racist odors coming from this book. And I really do think Nisbett is selecting from the facts.)
A reading of the Analects shows that Confucius was highly sensitive to the differences in personality among his students and tailored his teachings to suit them accordingly. He also demanded a lot of independent thinking from them and got upset when all they did was parrot his words. Contrariwise, scholars like Paul Feyerabend and Bruno Snell have argued that the 'heroes' of Homer's ILIAD cannot be understood as integrated individuals, only as 'systems of loosely connected parts'. Also, the Greeks practised slavery, but the Chinese mostly didn't, according to sinologists Joseph Needham and Derk Bodde. So much for the claim that the Greeks valued the individual and the Chinese didn't.
Nisbett also claims that there was little debate and argumentation between different views in the Chinese tradition. But there have been disagreements aplenty in the history of Chinese thought. Letters of discussion went back and forth between the Sung Dynasty thinkers Chu Hsi and Lu Hsiang-shan. Maurizio Scarpari also spoke of 'a lively and productive debate' on human nature in China 'that has almost lasted twenty-five centuries'.
Chu Hsi, China's most influential thinker for seven centuries, also advocated 'the investigation of things' to uncover their LI (often translated as 'principle') -- what makes them what they are. Who says the Greeks were the only people to search for principles and to be curious to know, and not the Chinese? Not surprisingly, there is no reference to Chu Hsi in Nisbett's book.
Finally, I want to look at what Nisbett said about the ancient remains of a group of people found somewhere in China, being identified as being of Caucasian stock and showing signs of being operated on surgically. Alongside this he muses on the absence of the practice of surgery in the Chinese tradition. What's the intended point? That if those were the remains of Asians, then marks of surgical operation would have been impossible? Apparently Nisbett didn't know that the world's first book on forensic medicine was Chinese. And surely it is a very long way from the unusual features found on a few corpses to sweeping generalisations about differences between races and cultures.
All in all, the book is interesting, but it makes certain claims that warrant a little suspicion.
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107 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review of The Geography of Thought, March 30, 2003
By 
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This is a very insightful book with lots of information. It is well written and researched. There are many differences between the way Westerners and Easterners think. Some of the points may seem obvious, but they are still interesting to read about. Children who grow up in the East learn verbs faster. In contrast, children in the West pick up nouns faster. This is because Easterners learn the relationships between objects with action words first. Westerners generally just learn what the object is first. Conflict resolution is handled very differently too. The goal in Eastern conflict resolution is to reduce hostility and to reach a compromise. The goal in resolving conflict in the West is having satisfaction that justice was carried out with a clear winner and loser. However as the author suggests Westerners have to begun to embrace a lot of Eastern ideas. There is a greater emphasis in achieving harmony in a person's life in Eastern cultures. Asian people are more self critical of themselves as a result. In contrast, the goal of a Westerner is to achieve a sense of uniqueness and superiority. I also learned that students who study history in the West focus on the implications or outcomes of events first. Asian students study the causes of historical events first. Teacher training and evaluation is a process that never ends in Eastern countries unlike the West where it is short.
The Geography of Thought is a very short book, but it should not be read rapidly because of the depth and quantity of information. I have a greater insight and appreciation for the way people think now. I enjoyed it very much.
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54 of 68 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but could have been so much better, June 17, 2003
By 
Like Matthew Dioguardi said in his review, this is a good book that is
spoiled by trying to be more than what it is. The experiments
described are fascinating. But they're unsatisfying, because there's
so much more that could have been done.

A typical experiment puts Easterners and Westerners in some
situation, and notes that they behave differently. For example,
Westerners describe the fish they saw, while Easterners first describe
the pond. But given two piles of descriptions, it's typically fairly
easy to find SOME differentiators between them. Instead, this should
have been done in a double-blind fashion: given just the descriptions,
with what certainty could the authors' ancestry have been predicted?

Similarly, the rationalizations given for the results of the
experiments seem rather post hoc. For example, experimental subjects
were given an essay on a controversial topic, told that the writer had
been forced to support a particular view-point in the essay, and asked
what the writer's true view-point might have been. The "correct"
answer is that there need not be any link between the "forced"
view-point in the essay and the writer's true view-point. Would the
"rationalistic" Westerners or the "holistic" Easterners be better at
figuring this out? In fact, the Easterners were better, and this is
attributed to their understanding of the "whole situation." On the
other hand, if the Westerners had been better, could not that have
been equally easily attributed to their superior reasoning skills?

The differences between Easterners and Westerners is attributed to
two millenia of cultural differences. However, the book also says
that people can be trained to switch viewpoints by a few hours of
training. So the differences can't be that innate in people, even
after two millenia! For example, a Western researcher had worked in
Japan for a few years. Upon wanting to return to Canada, he prefaced
his letters of application for university jobs in Canada by
apologizing for his being unqualified for those jobs! Apparently,
that's a standard practice for such letters in Japan. So this seems
very much a learned cultural adaptation, and does not contradict the
theses by Pinker et. al. that important human characteristics are
"hard-wired" (as described in the editorial review).

When do Easterners switch to Western practices, or vice versa?
For example, Westerners apparently go to court looking for justice,
whereas Easterners seek hostility reduction. When would it take for
an Easterner to abandon hostility reduction and seek justice? "Yes,
he burned down my house, [took] my wife, and kicked my dog, but I just
want us to get along better."

The author also carefully avoids discussing in any meaningful
fashion whether Eastern or Western practice is objectively better.
For example, among just the Easterners, is there any correlation
between an individual's level of success (measured by income,
happiness, status, and/or other such measures) and how Eastern or
Western their thought processes are?

Western thought is characterized as focusing on attributes of
objects, while Eastern thought focuses on the continuous substances
that constitute those objects. I'm not sure how literally the author
means this to be believed, but surely Western thought is superior in
this case, because objects are NOT made of continuous substances.
This was established long ago by showing that when different liquids
are mixed, the total volume often decreases, strongly suggesting that
the liquids are composed of differently-sized particles (think gravel
and sand), rather than being continuous substances.

While reading this book, I felt that the author was very careful
to avoid any experiments or analysis that might undermine cultural
relativism. This gave the book a sour taste, in spite of how
interesting the experiments were.

Full disclosure: I've lived 57% of my life in Sri Lanka (near
India), 9% in Britain, and 34% in U.S.A., in that order. - Rujith.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for intercultural understanding, September 3, 2003
By 
J. Hansen "Human" (Japan (from the USA)) - See all my reviews
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Nisbett's book is the popular presentation of a decade-long (at least) revolution occuring in cultural psychology and anthropology. Essentially he tries to explain that the way that people think isn't just a standard "thought process" with different cultural definitions provided depending on where you grow up but that the process of growing up and absorbing the meanings and values provided by the cultural environment critcally and fundamentally shape how one thinks. People literally SEE the world differently. It isn't just language or concepts or values or customs.
I've been doing research as an anthropologist and studying cultural psychology here in Japan for the last 5 years. This change in conception of how culture creates cultured people (and then cultured people create culture in turn) is truly wonderful, as it provides a systematic way of understanding the human condition. We all know that we are social, cultural creatures (see Tomasello's Cultural Origins of Cognition for a great treatment of this issue as well) but many researchers tend to treat culture as a "thing," an approach that has been recognizably problematic for decades.
I found this new understanding of culture and self (it is referred to as "mutual constitution" as in they mutually contribute to the formation of the other) to be slippery though. At times, it makes so much sense and is so powerful for understanding culture that it feels like I'm looking through a microscope at the fundamental human cultural process, but then at other times the seemingly tautological aspect of it spins me around and spits me out like a carousel at high speed. Either it seems to make so much sense that it hardly feels worth mentioning or it makes very little sense. But don't give up on it, as it is the way our cultural species operates.
I've been talking generalities thus far, but this book also provides interesting specific information about Eastern and Western cultures, going back to early philosophical foundations and following them forward to see how the thoughts (cultural patterns) formed. Once these patterns form, when they are transmited to a new generation of babies, they become part of the mental substrate of cognition and fundamentally shape how the babies view the world and the elements within it.
This is NOT about cognitive science, nor is it incompatible with cognitive science findings. Nisbett and colleagues' research is well founded (check the bibliography) and published widely in peer reviewed journals. This books is intended to present this information without statistical analysis of the performance of different people from different cultures on particular tests or in particualr scenarios.
Okay, I've blathered on long enough. Good book, great thesis, essential to understand cultural differences or the nature of cultural animals such as ourselves. Enjoy!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read for general audiences and undergraduate students, August 10, 2006
By 
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This review is from: The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why (Paperback)
The field of psychology has long been dominated by a `universalist' position in which the results of experiments (often using American college students as subjects) have been generalized to the whole of humankind, and the complicating role of culture conveniently ignored. Therefore, as a cultural anthropologist, China specialist, and writer on cross-cultural aspects of visual perception, I was especially interested in this persuasive book by a leading social psychologist who has recently abandoned the universalist view.

Nisbett is at his best when he uses the results of various research studies as a platform for generalizing about differences between East and West. For those of us who work in related fields (anthropology, philosophy, international relations, international business, etc.), Nisbett's conclusions are neither new nor surprising. What makes his book worth reading is the way in which he effectively brings evidence from the field of social psychology into the discourse about East-West differences.

Chapters address cultural differences related to the construction of psycho-social self, styles of argumentation and negotiation, perceptions of parts vs. wholes, attributions of causality, relations between language and thought, models of logic and inference, and so on. Nisbett is at his weakest when opining about ancient `social origins of mind' where he conveniently glosses over the complexities of history. This chapter could (and perhaps should) have been omitted without affecting the overall integrity of the book.

The Geography of Thought is most useful for a general audience or for undergraduate students in comparative cultural studies. It's easy to read; it's clearly written; it presents the reader with a level of analysis and understanding that is more substantial than ordinary generalizations and stereotypes; and it does not overly burden the reader with technical details about the research.

Scholars, on the other hand, are apt to find points of irritation. The end-notes, for example, consist merely of citations, whereas the author easily could have (and to my mind should have) used this venue to provide a finer grain of detail about the studies to which he refers. Also problematic are the occasional lapses into describing Asian thought systems in terms of "absence", "lack", and "failure to develop", which reinforces an `orientalist' perspective of the cultural other as a negative mirror of ourselves. Nisbett's limited comprehension of the dynamics of Chinese linguistic meaning construction prompts him to misleading assertions at a low level of analysis (e.g., that "there is no word for `size' " and "no suffix equivalent to `ness' in Chinese", p. 17-18). China scholars will also be annoyed by the unacknowledged inconsistency of Romanization systems (sometimes Wade-Giles, sometimes Pinyin) and his references (pp. 71, 121) to the early `80s as "toward the end of the Cultural Revolution" (which actually ended in 1976). Such flaws should have been identified and corrected through broader peer reviews and informed editing.
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79 of 104 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing cultural differences for cognitive ones, July 10, 2003
"The geography of thought" was written to demonstrate that there are fundamental cognitive differences between people brought up in "Western" and "Eastern" cultures. The book never distinguishes between fundamental cognitive abilities, which are presumably inborn thinking patterns, and culturally acquired styles of thinking. Nobody would argue against the proposition that how you are brought up and what you encounter in your culture affects how you approach problem solving and what you believe. By leaving the distinction unclear, Nisbett can make claims about cognitive processes and defend them with examples of cultural learning.
Nisbett appeals to cultural stereotypes and ignores contrary evidence. For example, he says,
"most Americans are confident that the following generalizations apply to pretty much everyone: Each individual has a set of characteristic, distinctive attributes. Moreover, people _want_ to be distinctive--different from other individuals in important ways."
I can see readers nodding in agreement at first, but then stopping and realizing that he could equally well and convincingly have written
"most Americans are confident that the following generalizations apply to pretty much everyone: Each individual often tries to conceal their characteristic, distinctive attributes. Moreover, people _do not want_ to be distinctive--different from other individuals in important ways. Many studies and our common experiences have shown that people strive to belong to groups. Teens have been known to commit suicide when they are not accepted into their peer group. The fad, current as I write, of body piercings with rings in noses, lips, tongues, and more intimate places is not the result of individuals having an inspiration some morning to be distinctive. It is an attempt to belong to and to exhibit belonging to a particular group. There is considerable disincentive to have a body piercing, there is pain and lingering discomfort; the rings can interfere with various activities and there are risks of infection and injury. In spite of all this, tens of thousands of people have submitted to piercings in order to signal a form of group solidarity."
Putting group association ahead of personal aggrandizement is not, as he claims, a marker more typical of "Eastern" than "Western" culture.
Another problem with this book is that it never reports quantitative results, not even giving the number of subjects in the experiments mentioned. Readers of daily newspapers can understand basic statistics, there is no excuse to omit them all. But we are given not so much as a footnote's worth of data to build some confidence in the results cited and in his interpretation of them.
Nisbett is also uncritical in his acceptance of Oriental lore. Here is one example: "Buildings in China.." he writes with evident approval, "are built only after an exhaustive survey by feng shui experts who examine every conceivable ecological, topological, climatologic, and geometric feature of landscape and proposed building simultaneously and in relation to one another." I think he meant "topographical" rather than "topological" and we note the impossibility of examining "every conceivable" attribute of anything. He seems not to know that when several feng shui experts are asked for their readings, without being informed that other experts have been consulted, it is often the case that their recommendations are wildly different, and even at odds with one another. One expert might say that red is the ideal color for the walls, the other might say that the one color that should not be used for them is red. Stage magicians Penn and Teller arranged such an experiment and videotaped it, the results are very funny, except to believers. Feng shui is, like psychic predictions and divining rods, demonstrably absurd.
I do not deny that being brought up in different cultures will lead to having different knowledge bases, assumptions, and methods of problem solving. And I agree that knowing about these differences is of value. But I do not trust this book's characterization of the differences in what seem more like pop psychology's shallow stereotypes rather than serious science. And the case for cognitive differences beyond those learned from the culture -- the main thesis of the book -- is not made at all.
-- from the reviewer's web site
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How do you talk about groups without being broad, May 19, 2006
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This review is from: The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why (Paperback)
For those who critique this book as being too broad, I find it ironic. If Nisbett had done anything but paint pictures with generalizations about populations he would have been attacked as racist. There are always exceptions in every sample group and these would surely have been held up as proof of racist views.

The book gives insight into two distinctly different approaches to logic and cognition and does so with explanations accessible to the layperson. As an American who lived 9.5 years in Japan, I can say without doubt this book provided valuable insight into why certain explanations succeeded with my Japanese audiences more often and why others generally failed. This book completely changed the way I made business presentations and explained complex concepts in both the US and Japan and led to greater success in both.

Do not kill the messenger just because you do not like the message. The book does get redundant in the last half, but the ideas have both merit and practical application.

I also feel the book provides interesting concepts when applied to the contextual nature of modern search engines like Google.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great primer for East West cultural understanding, March 10, 2006
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This review is from: The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why (Paperback)
Every educated Asian I know (who has read this book) has given this book high marks. While a number of Anglo Americans I know have given this book mixed marks and at times (as with some of the reviewers here) have challenged the premise that there are cultural aspects to how we think. In the field of anthropology, this kind of Anglo skepticism has a technical term "naive realism." Nisbett challenges his own self-admitted naive realism to see the possibility of radically different worldviews underlying East and West cultures. What is unique about the author's approach however is that rather than using the tools of Anthropology, he has utilized psychology... For many people (like myself) who have trouble with the language of Anthropology, and prefer quanitifiable studies - this book is a breath of fresh air and a ray of light on the murky question of culture!

Now if Nisbett would do a similar work focusing on Arab and Anglo worldviews...
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30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid if you're in academia, June 15, 2010
This review is from: The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why (Paperback)
I bought this book with hopes that it would lead me to new insights in regard to sociology, psychology, and the East vs. West. In truth, what I read was a rather long, repetitive, not-so-distilled version of previous Asian Studies courses I've taken. Perhaps it would be interesting if you'd never had exposure to that area of study previously. I felt as if Nisbett repeated himself over and over, simply using different prose, and never really presenting me the "meat" of the study.

Additionally, I was unimpressed by the overall structure of the book. Nisbett cited a lot of studies, sure, but he never detailed them in footnotes (this is coming from someone who detests endnotes) and in fact, many of the sources he used dated from the 60s and 70s. In an ever-evolving field such as social-psychology (at least, I would assume it not to be stagnant), I would imagine he should have more up to date resources. Nisbett only used articles that supported his poorly stated (or was it ever stated??) hypothesis. He never pointed out an article that may have slightly disagreed with his claims. Additionally, his notation of the articles was extremely poor. He did not explain variables in an accurate way (how were Asian Americans operationalized? That is to say, were they first-generation, second-generation...did it matter to him?). Basically, he failed to set up his book in a way I, as a student, could relate to. There was no clear-cut hypothesis, no methodology, no explanation of his variables or procedures used.

Nisbett also used extremely vague language in reporting statistics. Things such as "many" and "just a few" really have no effect on his work in such a form (this is to say--I don't have a clue as to what he considers "a few" or "many." I have no idea what the strength of these relationships are. This was one of the most unprofessional parts of the book). He would have been better off to give the actual numbers and even a few basic statistics (statistical significance and strength are EXTREMELY easy to measure with a basic stats program and can easily be explained to the casual reader.) Such statistics would have added clarity to his work, but would have also justified it. I simply can't trust what he's saying if he doesn't explain. As noted above, the lack of articles discrediting his ideas bothered me as well. A professor should know better than to present his work in this way.

Finally, as another review by a low rater pointed out, Nisbett consistently presents the world as a dyad--the East and the West. I can't accept the division so easily, especially as it makes it seem as if there are simply (only) two ways of thinking in this world.

I realize not all people reading this book will find the same faults. My annoyance with his writing/presentation comes largely from the fact that I am a student in the social sciences field (I claim no great knowledge or experience; I'm using knowledge I've acquired in classes and from reading). Perhaps people will enjoy this as a pop-psych book, but I would recommend avoiding it if you're used to academic writing. This is an absolutely unprofessional work in those terms. To summarize, I take issue with his lack of statistical explanation, old references [that always, always back up his claim], lack of explanation of terms/variables, lack of dissenting research, and overall set-up. Perhaps Nisbett wants to present his findings to the non-academic, but in the meantime, he alienates those who use even "chi square" on a regular basis.
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