Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world's top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these are as representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified? Here, our review of the comparative database from across the behavioral sciences suggests both that there is substantial variability in experimental results across (...) populations and that WEIRD subjects are particularly unusual compared with the rest of the species hence, there are no obvious a priori grounds for claiming that a particular behavioral phenomenon is universal based on sampling from a single subpopulation. Overall, these empirical patterns suggests that we need to be less cavalier in addressing questions of human nature on the basis of data drawn from this particularly thin, and rather unusual, slice of humanity. We close by proposing ways to structurally re-organize the behavioral sciences to best tackle these challenges. (shrink)
In our response to the 28 (largely positive) commentaries from an esteemed collection of researchers, we (1) consolidate additional evidence, extensions, and amplifications offered by our commentators; (2) emphasize the value of integrating experimental and ethnographic methods, and show how researchers using behavioral games have done precisely this; (3) present our concerns with arguments from several commentators that separate variable from or ; (4) address concerns that the patterns we highlight marking WEIRD people as psychological outliers arise from aspects of (...) the researchers and the research process; (5) respond to the claim that as members of the same species, humans must have the same invariant psychological processes; (6) address criticisms of our telescoping contrasts; and (7) return to the question of explaining why WEIRD people are psychologically unusual. We believe a broad-based behavioral science of human nature needs to integrate a variety of methods and apply them to diverse populations, well beyond the WEIRD samples it has largely relied upon. (shrink)
: A hallmark of Dogen's legacy is his introduction of Chinese Ch'an koan literature to Japan in the first half of the thirteenth century and his unique and innovative style of interpreting dozens of koan cases, many of which are relatively obscure or otherwise untreated in the annals. What constitutes the distinctiveness of Dogen's approach? According to Hee-Jin Kim's seminal study, Dogen shifts from an instrumental to a realizational model of koan interpretation. While this essay agrees with some features of (...) Kim's approach, especially his emphasis on the importance of language, it is argued that Kim overlooks the diversity of aims and intentions in Dogen's use of rhetorical and narrative strategies to highlight diverse doctrinal and ritual themes. There is no single underlying view of koans for Dogen, who continually modifies his interpretive approach to particular cases in order to articulate specific themes. (shrink)
Cultural variability in self-enhancement is far more pronounced than the authors suggest; the sum of the evidence does not show that East Asians self-enhance in different domains from Westerners. Incorporating this cultural variation suggests a different way of understanding the adaptiveness of self-enhancement: It is adaptive in contexts where positive self-feelings and confidence are valued over relationship harmony, but is maladaptive in contexts where relationship harmony is prioritized.
The Wu Gongan is primarily known for its minimalist expression based on Zhaozhou's “No” response to a monk's question of whether a dog has Buddha-nature. Crucial for the key-phrase method of meditation of Dahui Zonggao, the term Wu is not to be analyzed through logic or poetry. However, an overemphasis on the nondiscursive quality overlooks sophisticated rhetoric through metaphors used for the anxiety of doubt caused by Wu undermining conventional assumptions that is compared to a cornered rat; and the experience (...) of enlightenment generated by the power of Wu likened to a sword cutting through all delusions. (shrink)