Exploring Cognitive Diversity Across Disciplines and Cultures

Abstract

Since the cognitive revolution, a widely held assumption has been that—whereas content may vary across cultures—cognitive processes would be universal, especially those on the more basic levels. Even if scholars do not fully subscribe to this assumption, they often conceptualize, or tend to investigate, cognition as if it were universal (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010). The insight that universality must not be presupposed but scrutinized is now gaining ground, and cognitive diversity has become one of the hot (and controversial) topics in the field (Norenzayan & Heine, 2005). We argue that, for scrutinizing the cultural dimension of cognition, taking an anthropological perspective is invaluable, not only for the task itself, but for attenuating the home-field disadvantages that are inescapably linked to cross-cultural research (Medin, Bennis, & Chandler, 2010).


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