Explanations for cultural differences in thinking: Easterners' dialectical thinking and Westerners' linear thinking
Since Easterners' naïve dialectical thinking, which is contrasted with Westerners' linear thinking, was introduced, many cross-cultural studies on human thinking have been conducted, and explanations for the cultural differences have been proposed. First, after examining the robustness of these cultural differences, two existing explanations are discussed in this paper. The first is based on the discinction between Westerners' analytic cognition and Easterners' holistic cogntion. This is related to the distinction between Westerners' independent self and Easterners' interdependent self. The second is based on the philosophical tradition of China's Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which is contrasted with that of Ancient Greece. Second, we propose a new explanation based on the distinction between Westerners' low-context culture and Easterners' high-context culture (Beyond culture. Garden City, NJ: Anchor Books/Doubleday.). Finally, we show that this distinction can be based on socioecological approaches, and it is expected to explain the cultural differences between the Chinese and Japanese.