Science2014-06-10 3:52 PM

中美合作表明你的祖先播下的种子塑造了你 Large-Scale Psychological Differences Within China Explained by Rice Versus Wheat Agriculture

论文摘要 

在近几十年中,心理学家对东西方文化的差异进行了归类;即,他们说,西方文化更具个人主义及分析性思维,而东方文化则较为相互依赖及具有整体意识。造成这些差异的原因仍不清楚,尽管研究人员提出了有关的理论--其中包括现代化理论,该理论提出,社会会在其获得更多的财富及教育时而变得更具个人主义色彩;而病原体流行理论则提出,在某些国家(如中国)的传染病的高发生率使得应对陌生人变得较为危险,从而让这些文化更加封闭且具有集体主义色彩。

T. Talhelm及其同事对第三种可能性进行了探索,这是对维持生计方式理论的一种延伸,它被冠以“稻米理论”之名。维持生计方式理论提出,某些形式的耕作需要有更多的协作。例如,水稻在没有足够水的情况下是无法生长的,因此水稻种植地区的各个邻里之间需要进行协调灌溉,他们也需要对收割的日子进行协调以在收获的季节能够得到彼此的帮助。而小麦种植者则不是这种情况,他们的耕作更具独立性。

先前的评估维持生计理论的研究将所有的耕作方式——其中包括小麦和稻米——混在了一起,而Talhelm 希望对小麦相对于稻米耕作对社会的特别影响进行了更仔细的观察,他们认为这些影响驱动了东西方文化间差异的出现。他们聚焦于中国,因为中国对这两种作物都进行了耕种。

应用3种对个人主义或集体主义的认知检测,研究人员对整个中国的稻米及小麦种植区域的1000名受试者进行了测试,并在他们的全国范围内的数据集中以及在限于3个省份的人的较小的数据集中发现了支持他们假说的证据,这3个省份是种植小麦的北方与种植稻米的南方之间的分隔区。(他们所观察到的思维方式的区别是基于平均水平的;例如,并非每一个在种植稻米区域的个人都比在种植小麦地区的个人更具有整体意识。由Joseph Henrich撰写的一篇《观点栏目》对此提供了更多的见解。

Abstract 

Cross-cultural psychologists have mostly contrasted East Asia with the West. However, this study shows that there are major psychological differences within China. We propose that a history of farming rICE makes cultures more interdependent, whereas farming wheat makes cultures more independent, and these agricultural legacies continue to affect people in the modern world. We tested 1162 Han Chinese participants in six sites and found that rice-growing southern China is more interdependent and holistic-thinking than the wheat-growing north. To control for confounds like climate, we tested people from neighboring counties along the rice-wheat border and found differences that were just as large. We also find that modernization and pathogen prevalence theories do not fit the data.

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