Skip to main content

Two Modes of Thinking: Evidence from Cross-Cultural Psychology

Part of the On Thinking book series (ONTHINKING)

Abstract

The long history of the study of human thought is shaped by a dichotomy of two different views of the nature of thinking: the logical, analytical, rule-following thinking on the one hand, and the intuitive, and holistic, experiential thinking on the other. Recently, a lot of empirical evidence has been accumulated for the dual mode view of thinking. In this chapter, I shall highlight some of this evidence and interpret findings in cross-cultural research on thinking in order to better understand and train holistic thinking, which has been neglected in our logocentric Western culture. The underlying claim is that thinking draws on both modes and that, instead of prioritizing one of the two, we are challenged to develop both concerted expert analytical thinking and expert intuitive–holistic thinking and to master their interplay.

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural research
  • Dual processes
  • Gestalt
  • Thinking

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-15423-2_15
  • Chapter length: 15 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-642-15423-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   249.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

References

  • Anderson JR (1996) ACT: a simple theory of complex cognition. Am Psychol 51:355–365

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bergson H (2007) The creative mind: an introduction to metaphysics (trans: Andison ML). Dover, Mineola

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruner J (1960) The process of eduction. Harvard University, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Buchtel EE, Norenzayan A (2008) Which should you use, intuition or logic? Cultural differences in injunctive norms about reasoning. Asian J Soc Psychol 11:264–273

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Buchtel EE, Norenzayan A (2009) Thinking across cultures: implications for dual processes. In: Evans J, Frankish K (eds) In two minds: dual processes and beyond. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 217–238

    Google Scholar 

  • Cha O, Oyserman D, Schwarz N (2005) Turning Asians into Westerners: priming an independent self-construal in Korea II. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the society for personality and social psychology, New Orleans, LA

    Google Scholar 

  • Chaiken S, Trope Y (eds) (1999) Dual-process theories in social psychology. Guildford, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Cole, M. and Scribner, S. (1974) Culture and Thought: A psychological introduction. New York: Wiley

    Google Scholar 

  • Dijksterhuis A (2004) Think different: the merits of unconscious thought in preference development and decision making. J Pers Soc Psychol 87(5):586–598

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Dijksterhuis A, Nordgren LF (2006) A theory of unconscious thought. Perspect Psychol Sci 1(2):95–109

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dijksterhuis A, van Olden Z (2006) On the benefits of thinking unconsciously: unconscious thought can increase post-choice satisfaction. J Exp Soc Psychol 42(5):627–631

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dijksterhuis A, Bos MW, Nordgren LF, van Baaren RB (2006) On making the right choice: the deliberation-without-attention effect. Science 311(5763):1005–1007

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Dreyfus H (1979) What computers still can’t do. MIT, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Duncker K (1945) Zur Psychologie des Produktiven Denkens. Springer, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein S (1994) Integration of the cognitive and psychodynamic unconscious. American Psychologist 49:709–724

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Epstein S, Pacini R (1999) Some basic issues regarding dual-process theories from the perspective of cognitive-experiential theory. In: Chaiken S, Trope Y (eds) Dual-process theories in social psychology. Guildford, New York, pp 462–482

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein S, Pacini R, Denes-Raj V, Heier H (1996) Individual differences in intuitive-experiential and analytic-rational thinking styles. J Pers Soc Psychol 71:390–405

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Evans JStBT (1977) Toward a statistical theory of reasoning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 29:297–306

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans JStBT (2002) Logic and human reasoning: an assessment of the deduction paradigm. Psychological Bulletin 128:978–996

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans J (2003) In two minds: dual-process accounts of reasoning. Trends Cogn Sci 7(10):454–459

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Evans J (2004) History of the dual-process theory of reasoning. In: Manktelow KI, Chung MC (eds) Psychology of reasoning: theoretical and historical perspectives. Psychology Press, Hove, pp 241–266

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans J (2008a) Exploring the two minds hypothesis. De Montfort University, Leicester

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans J (2008b) Dual-processing accounts of reasoning, judgment, and social cognition. Annu Rev Psychol 59:255–278

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Evans J, Frankish K (eds) (2009) In two minds: dual processes and beyond. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans J, Over DE (1996) Rationality and reasoning. Psychology Press, Hove

    Google Scholar 

  • Fodor JA (1975) The language of thought. Harvard University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Freud S (1975) Studienausgabe, 10 Bände. Psychologie des Unbewußten, vol III. Fischer, Frankfurt

    Google Scholar 

  • Gigerenzer G (2007) Gut feelings. Penguin, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Goel V, Dolan RJ (2003) Explaining modulation of reasoning by belief. Cognition 87:B11–B22

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Goel V et al (2000) Dissociation of mechanisms underlying syllogistic reasoning. Neuroimage 12:504–514

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Goel V (1995) Sketches of Thought. Cambridge MA: MIT Press

    Google Scholar 

  • Goel V (2005) Cognitive neuroscience of deductive reasoning. In: Holyoak K, Morrison R (eds) Cambridge Handbook of Thinking & Reasoning. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press

    Google Scholar 

  • Goel V, Dolan RJ (2003) Explaining modulation of reasoning by belief. Cognition 87:B11–B22

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Han S, Northoff G (2008) Culture-sensitive neural substrates of human cognition: a trans-cultural neuroimaging aprroach. Nature 9:646–654

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hobbes T (1651) Leviathan. In: Curley E (ed) Leviathan, with selected variants from the Latin edition of 1668. Hackett, Indianapolis

    Google Scholar 

  • James W (1981) The principles of psychology. Harvard University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Kahneman D (2003) Interview daniel kahneman: the thought leader interview. Published in Strategy+Business, issue 33, Winter 2003

    Google Scholar 

  • Kahneman D (2003a) A perspective on judgment and choice: mapping bounded rationality. Am Psychol 58(9):697–720. Maps of bounded rationality: a perspective on intuitive judgment and choice. Nobel Prize Lecture, 8 December 2002

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kahneman D, Frederick S (2002) Representativeness revisited: attribute substitution in intuitive judgement. In: Gilovich T, Griffin D, Kahneman D (eds) Heuristics and biases: the psychology of intuitive judgment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 49–81

    Google Scholar 

  • Kahneman D et al (1982) Judgment under uncertainty: heuristics and biases. New York: Cambridge University Press

    Google Scholar 

  • Kant I (1998) Critique of pure reason. In: Guyer P, Wood A (eds). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Knoblich G, Öllinger M (2006) Einsicht und Umstrukturierung beim Denken und Problemlösen. In: J Funke (ed) Enzyklopädie der psychologie, Bd. 8. Hogrefe, Göttingen

    Google Scholar 

  • Köhler W (1925) The mentality of apes (trans: Winter E). Kegan Paul, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Koo M, Choi I (2005) Becoming a holistic thinker: training effect of oriental medicine on reasoning. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 31(9):1264–1272

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kühnen U, Oyserman D (2002) Thinking about the self influences thinking in general: cognitive consequences of salient self-concept. J Exp Soc Psychol 38(5):492–499

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lakoff G, Mark T (1989) More than cool reason: a field guide to poetic metaphor. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Leibniz G (1981) New essays on human understanding (trans: Remnant P, Bennett J). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Lieberman MD (2000) Intuition: a social cognitive neuroscience approach. Psychol Bull 126(1):109–137

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lieberman MD (2003) Reflective and reflexive judgment processes: a social cognitive neuroscience approach. In: Forgas JP, Williams KR, von Hippel W (eds) Social judgments: implicit and explicit processes. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 44–67

    Google Scholar 

  • Masuda T, Nisbett RE (2001) Attending holistically versus analytically: comparing the context sensitivity of Japanese and Americans. J Pers Soc Psychol 81:922–934

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Max W (1924) Gestalt theory. [an address before the Kant Society, Berlin, '7th December, 1924], Erlangen, 1925. In the translation by Ellis WD published in his Source book of Gestalt psychology, 1938. Harcourt Brace, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Neisser U (1963) The multiplicity of thought. Br J Psychol 54(1):1–14

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Neisser U (1967) Cognitive psychology. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs

    Google Scholar 

  • Newell A, Simon HA (1972) Human problem solving. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs

    Google Scholar 

  • Nietzsche F (1967) The birth of tragedy (trans: Kaufmann W). The birth of tragedy and the case of Wagner. Random House, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Nisbett RE (2003) The geography of thought. The Free Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Nisbett RE, Miyamoto Y (2005) The influence of culture: holistic versus analytic perception. Trends Cogn Sci 9:467–473

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Nisbett RE, Norenzayan A (2002) Culture and cognition. In: Pashler H, Medin DL (eds) Stevens’ handbook of experimental psychology: cognition, vol 2. Wiley, New York, pp 561–597

    Google Scholar 

  • Nisbett RE, Peng K, Choi I, Norenzayan A (2001) Culture and systems of thought: holistic versus analytic cognition. Psychol Rev 108(2):291–310

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Norenzayan A, Smith EE, Kim BJ, Nisbett RE (2002) Cultural preferences for formal versus intuitive reasoning. Cogn Sci 26(5):653–684

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Piaget J (1953) Logic and psychology. Manchester University Press, Manchester

    Google Scholar 

  • Putnam H (1960) Minds and machines. In: Hook S (ed) Dimensions of mind. New York University Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Reber A (1993) Implicit learning and tacit knowledge. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Samuels R (2006) The magical number two, plus or minus: some comments on dual-processing theories of cognition. In: International conference on two minds: dual process theories of reasoning and rationality, Cambridge, UK, 5–7 July 2006

    Google Scholar 

  • Schneider W, Shiffrin RM (1977) Controlled and automatic human information processing I: detection, search and attention. Psychol Rev 84:1–66

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Schopenhauer A (1998) Die welt als wille und vorstellung (The world as will and representation), 1st edn München: Dt. Taschenbuch-Verlag

    Google Scholar 

  • Sloman SA (1996) The empirical case for two systems of reasoning. Psychol Bull 119(1):3–22

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Sperber D (1994) The modularity of thought and the epidemiology of representations. In: Hirschfeld LA, Gelman SA (eds) Mapping the mind: domain specificity in cognition and culture. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 39–67

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Stanovich KE (1999) Who is rational? Studies of individual differences in reasoning. Elrbaum, Mahwah

    Google Scholar 

  • Stanovich KE, West RF (2000) Individual differences in reasoning: implications for the rationality debate. Behav Brain Sci 39(23):645–726

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • von Helmholtz H (1977) In: Cohen RS, Elkana Y (eds) Epistemological writings. The Paul Hertz/Moritz Schlick centenary edition of 1921 (newly translated by Lowe M). D. Reidel, Dordrecht

    Google Scholar 

  • Wertheimer M (1959) Productive thinking. Harper Brothers, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Wason PC, Evans JStBT (1975) Dual Processing in Reasoning? Cognition 3:141–54

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang Q, Conway MA (2004) The stories we keep: autobiographical memory in American and Chinese middle-aged adults. J Pers 72:911–938

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Wu S, Keysa B (2007) The effect of culture on perspective taking, Psychological Science 18:600–606

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Britt Glatzeder .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2011 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Glatzeder, B. (2011). Two Modes of Thinking: Evidence from Cross-Cultural Psychology. In: Han, S., Pöppel, E. (eds) Culture and Neural Frames of Cognition and Communication. On Thinking. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15423-2_15

Download citation