The article “The Culture-Cognitive Connection,” written by Lea Winerman, explained the recent research on Westerners and East Asians and the differences in their cognitive processes based on their heritage. Psychologist Richard Nisbett, PhD (2006) researched East Asians and Western Americans and the differences in the ways they view the world. The studies are based on how the people’s cultural backgrounds affect their cognitive processes such as categorization, learning, causal reasoning, and even attention and perception. There are examples of case studies, from simple to complex observations, giving evidence to the connection.
A Review of “The Culture-Cognition Connection”
In the Culture and Cognition Program at the University of Michigan, psychologist Richard Nisbett, PhD (2005), and his colleagues study how people’s cultural backgrounds affect their basic cognitive processes. The studies are based off simple processes such as categorization, learning, casual reasoning, attention and perception. During their research they found that East Asians and Westerners have different cognitive processes in the way in which they view the world. This is taking a turn from traditional psychology, formerly espousing that basic cognitive processes are universal. The studies have gained substantial attention over the last two decades (Winerman, 2006, p.89).
East Asians live in a collective culture that is emphasized by harmony and contextual understanding of situations, thinking in a more holistic way (p.89). The research has shown that when looking at pictures, for example, East Asians view all its elements and their relationships to each other. Alternatively, in Western culture, Westerners emphasize formal logic paying more attention to particular objects and categories (p.89). For example, when looking at a picture of a fish in a lake, Westerners were more likely to name the fish (p.89). In contrast the East Asians would say it is a lake or pond seeing the...