Research Article

Large-Scale Psychological Differences Within China Explained by Rice Versus Wheat Agriculture

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Science  09 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6184, pp. 603-608
DOI: 10.1126/science.1246850

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Individualism Rules?

On a diverse and large set of cognitive tests, subjects in East Asian countries are more inclined to display collectivist choices, whereas subjects in the United States are more inclined to score as individualists. Talhelm et al. (p. 603; see the Perspective by Henrich) suggest that one historical source of influence was societal patterns of farming rice versus wheat, based on three cognitive measures of individualism and collectivism in 1000 subjects from rice- and wheat-growing regions in China.

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