Richard E. Nisbett

University of Michigan

Research Initiative:

Richard E. Nisbett, Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, will spend the fall semester at Russell Sage working on projects that extend his research on the cognitive differences between the holistic styles of thought characteristic of East Asian cultures and the analytic styles prevalent in the West. Nisbett believes that social systems play an important role in cognition and that collectivist societies yield a more holistic way of thought while more individualistic societies encourage categorical thought. Nisbett will examine cognitive differences among Europeans to test this hypothesis: since Mediterranean and Eastern European societies are more collectivist and Northern Europeans are more individualistic, he predicts more holistic cognitive styles in Southern and Eastern Europe and more analytic styles in the North.

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Journal of the Social Sciences

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