How East and West think in profoundly different ways

“Psychologists are uncovering the surprising influence of geography on our reasoning, behaviour, and sense of self.”

“Some of the most notable differences revolved around the concepts of “individualism” and “collectivism”; whether you consider yourself to be independent and self-contained, or entwined and interconnected with the other people around you, valuing the group over the individual. Generally speaking – there are many exceptions – people in the West tend to be more individualist, and people from Asian countries like India, Japan or China tend to be more collectivist.”

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170118-how-east-and-west-think-in-profoundly-different-ways

Why our emotions are cultural – not built in at birth

“There is no scientific evidence that we are hardwired with emotions, says Lisa Feldman Barrett. They develop as we grow.”

“Emotions are thought to be a kind of brute reflex, very often at odds with our rationality. This internal battle between emotion and reason is one of the great narratives of western civilisation. It helps define you as human. Without rationality, you are merely an emotional beast. This view of emotions has been around for millennia. Plato believed a version of it. So did Hippocrates, Aristotle, the Buddha, René Descartes, Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin. Today, prominent thinkers such as Steven Pinker, Paul Ekman and the Dalai Lama also offer up descriptions of emotions rooted in the classical view.

“And yet there is abundant scientific evidence that this view cannot possibly be true. Research has not revealed a consistent, physical fingerprint for even a single emotion. When scientists attach electrodes to a person’s face and measure muscle movement during an emotion, they find tremendous variety, not uniformity. They find the same variety with the body and brain. You can experience anger with or without a spike in blood pressure. You can experience fear with or without a change in the amygdala, the brain region tagged as the home of fear.”

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/26/why-our-emotions-are-cultural-not-hardwired-at-birth

How To Say “This Is Crap” In Different Cultures

“Managers in different parts of the world are conditioned to give feedback in drastically different ways. The Chinese manager learns never to criticize a colleague openly or in front of others, while the Dutch manager learns always to be honest and to give the message straight. Americans are trained to wrap positive messages around negative ones, while the French are trained to criticize passionately and provide positive feedback sparingly.”

https://hbr.org/2014/02/how-to-say-this-is-crap-in-different-cultures/

Is Cultural Appropriation Always Wrong?

“It’s a truth only selectively acknowledged that all cultures are mongrel. One of the first Indian words to be brought into English was the Hindi ‘’loot’ — ‘plunder.’ Some of the Ku Klux Klan’s 19th-century costumes were, of all things, inspired in part by the festival wear of West African slaves; the traditional wax-print designs we associate with West Africa are apparently Indonesian — by way of the Netherlands. Gandhi cribbed nonviolence from the Sermon on the Mount.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/04/magazine/is-cultural-appropriation-always-wrong.html

The fascinating cultural reason why Westerners and East Asians have polar opposite understandings of truth

“The geography shaped the way people interacted with one another. In ancient Greece, one could decide to move his goat heard with little consideration of what other people thought — unless his livestock invaded somebody else’s property. But, if in ancient China, one were to make the most of his rice harvest, he’d need cooperation from neighbors.”

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/fascinating-cultural-reason-why-westerners-162722303.html