How the East and West Think in Profoundly Different Ways

Posted on January 23, 2017

Photo: flickr

Eastern and western cultures are dramatically different in a variety of ways. The types of food eaten, the architecture, philosophy and mannerisms are all examples of how different styles of thinking can produce drastically different ways of life. For years psychologists have studied the differences between western and eastern lifestyles and found sharp contrasts between the two cultures.

Identity is a major difference between the east and west. Numerous studies have revealed a fundamental difference in the perception of self. While westerners' image involves mostly self-identity, easterners' image involve the community. Thus one major difference is that the west is heavily individualistic while the east is a much more collectivist society. Westerners tend to value success and self-improvement whereas easterners focus more on group achievements. Westerners also value personal choice and freedom more than easterners.

This style of thinking has crucial influences on how one thinks and acts. From family life to the workplace individualistic and collectivist societies produce drastically different ways of life. Yet, how did these two styles of thinking emerge? Theories point out the idea of philosophy. In eastern cultures the idea of unity and harmony has dominated for generations. In western cultures the idea of independence was praised. Both styles has its benefits and one is not "better" than the other. People from both cultures can learn from one another.

Source material from BBC Future