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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 Attitudes toward Action/Inaction Beyond East Asia

Dialectical Thinking and Attitudes toward Action/Inaction Beyond East Asia

Chapter:
(p.595) Chapter 21 Dialectical Thinking and Attitudes toward Action/Inaction Beyond East Asia
Source:
The Psychological and Cultural Foundations of East Asian Cognition
Author(s):

Ethan Zell

Rong Su

Dolores Albarracín

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199348541.003.0021

Previous research has focused primarily on assessing dialectical thinking among respondents in representative East Asian and Western nations (e.g., China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States). This chapter examines how dialectical thinking varies across 19 nations/subnations spanning four continents. Consistent with previous theory, dialectical thinking was highest in East Asian societies, such as mainland China, Hong Kong, and Japan. Dialectical thinking was lowest in Guatemala, Turkey, and Italy. Further, both individual and nation-level dialecticism significantly predicted attitudes toward action and inaction. That is, both cultural groups and individuals high in dialectical thinking evidenced greater balance and moderation in attitudes toward action and inaction than cultural groups and individuals low in dialectical thinking. Given that dialectical thinking exists to some degree in a variety of cultures, factors that cultivate dialecticism in both East Asian and Western cultures are addressed. The chapter concludes with discussion of avenues for future research examining patterns of dialectical thinking across the globe.

Keywords:   dialecticism, dialectical thinking, culture, cultural groups, attitudes, action, inaction, East Asian cultural groups

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