We talk, therefore we think? A cultural analysis of the effect of talking on thinking

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Abstract

The Western assumption that talking is connected to thinking is not shared in the East. The research examines how the actual psychology of individuals reflects these different cultural assumptions. In Study 1, Asian Americans and European Americans thought aloud while solving reasoning problems. Talking impaired Asian Americans' performance but not that of European Americans. Study 2 showed that participants' beliefs about talking and thinking are correlated with how talking affects performance, and suggested that cultural difference in modes of thinking can explain the difference in the effect of talking. Study 3 showed that talking impaired Asian Americans' performance because they tend to use internal speech less than European Americans. Results illuminate the importance of cultural understanding of psychology for a multicultural society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-842
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume83
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2002

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