Blog Post 9 – The Geography of Thought

In this post I want to discuss the book by Richard E. Nisbett, The Geography of Thought.  This book discusses differences of thinking between asians and westerners. Higher Education can use this to incorporate cultural differences among many parties. Nisbett states that people hold the beliefs they do because of the way they think and they think the way they do because of the nature of the societies they live in. The nature of these societies, including their core values, have changed very little; because values are the slowest and most difficult to change. Thus, values endure for centuries, as Nisbett emphasized in the presentation of the dichotomies between Eastern interdependence (of people and objects) versus Western independence. Furthermore, his conclusions state that the United States is a highly individualistic culture whereas Hong Kong and South Korea are largely collectivistic, emphasizing that relationships are very independent in the West and interdependent in the East.  These characteristics are very relevant to consider when thinking f higher education, because higher education should represent and it should be shaped by the core values of a society.

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