Abstract thinking in Chinese individuals living in the US
According to tests of rule-based reasoning, Westerners tend to think more abstractly than East Asians. However, thinking abstractly involves more than rule-based reasoning. According to tests of hierarchical event construal, Chinese individuals living in China are more likely to think abstractly than Caucasian Americans living in the US. This study investigated event construal in Chinese individuals living in the US. In a validated measure of abstract thinking, participants chose either abstract or concrete definitions of events. On average, the Chinese participants living in the US construed events significantly less abstractly than Chinese participants living in China; the immigrants’ performance did not differ from US participants’. Chinese individuals who had spent more time in the US chose more concrete event construals than the individuals who had spent less time in the US. Although these data are correlational, they are consistent with the proposal that people’s thinking style is influenced by the environment they live in. Specifically, living in the US may cause Chinese individuals to construe events more concretely.
abstract thought; culture; event construal
M.A., Human Development
Master of Arts
Attribution 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 4.0 International