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The Psychological and Cultural Foundations of East Asian CognitionContradiction, Change, and Holism$
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Julie Spencer-Rodgers and Kaiping Peng

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199348541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199348541.001.0001

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Dialectical Thinking and Its Influence in the World

Dialectical Thinking and Its Influence in the World

A New Perspective on East Asians’ Control Orientations

(p.309) Chapter 10 Dialectical Thinking and Its Influence in the World
The Psychological and Cultural Foundations of East Asian Cognition

Joonha Park

Susumu Yamaguchi

Takafumi Sawaumi

Hiroaki Morio

Oxford University Press

It is often assumed that East Asians, compared with Westerners, try to reshape their personal attitudes and expectations to fit the environment rather than attempting to influence realities. A recent review of the literature revises this idea by suggesting that East Asians, just like Westerners, do attempt to influence existing realities, but via subtly different routes: East Asians employ indirect strategies, seek support from influential others, or take a long-term approach to changing the world via self-improvement. This chapter discusses East Asians’ tendency to employ various tactics in association with dialecticism, and their default cognitive mode of understanding the self, others, and the environment as changeable, connected, and contradictory. Along with collectivist and interdependent cultural characteristics, dialecticism may have additive or interactive effects on control experiences and psychological functioning in East Asia.

Keywords:   control experiences, self-improvement, control strategies, dialecticism, East Asians psychological functioning

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