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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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When in Rome Think Like a Roman

When in Rome Think Like a Roman

Empirical Evidence and Implications of Temporarily Adopting Dialectical Thinking

(p.489) Chapter 17 When in Rome Think Like a Roman
The Psychological and Cultural Foundations of East Asian Cognition

Ashley M. Votruba

Virginia S. Y. Kwan

Oxford University Press

As a result of increasing globalization, people are exposed to an even greater extent to other cultures, making it possible for individuals to assimilate mindsets that are typical of another culture. Recent work on extracultural cognition has shown that immediate cultural contexts exert powerful influences on cognition and behavioral patterns. This chapter reviews empirical support for extracultural cognition. Specifically, the chapter focuses on dialectical thinking and the well-established finding in the cultural literature that Westerners tend to anticipate linear continuity in the environment and East Asians anticipate change in existing patterns. Research shows, though, that cultural cues may shift these tendencies and—at least temporarily—alter cognitive mindsets to reflect the cognitions of another culture. After a review of the literature, the chapter addresses the implications of extracultural cognition for understanding the influence of dialectical thinking on judgment and decision-making.

Keywords:   dialectical thinking, cultural context, cultural cues, extracultural cognition, judgment, decision-making

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