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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2015 Feb;41(2):250-67. doi: 10.1177/0146167214563672. Epub 2014 Dec 24.

Liberals think more analytically (more "WEIRD") than conservatives.

Author information

1
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA tat8dc@virginia.edu.
2
New York University, New York City, USA.
3
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.
4
Beijing Normal University, China.
5
China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China.

Abstract

Henrich, Heine, and Norenzayan summarized cultural differences in psychology and argued that people from one particular culture are outliers: people from societies that are Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD). This study shows that liberals think WEIRDer than conservatives. In five studies with more than 5,000 participants, we found that liberals think more analytically (an element of WEIRD thought) than moderates and conservatives. Study 3 replicates this finding in the very different political culture of China, although it held only for people in more modernized urban centers. These results suggest that liberals and conservatives in the same country think as if they were from different cultures. Studies 4 to 5 show that briefly training people to think analytically causes them to form more liberal opinions, whereas training them to think holistically causes shifts to more conservative opinions.

KEYWORDS:

WEIRD; analytic; cognitive style; culture; holistic; politics

PMID:
25540328
DOI:
10.1177/0146167214563672
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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