A dual process model for cultural differences in thought

Hiroshi Yama*, Miwa Nishioka, Tomoko Horishita, Yayoi Kawasaki, Junichi Taniguchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Nisbett et al. (Psychol Rev 108:291-310, 2001) claim that East Asians are likely to use holistic thought to solve problems, whereas Westerners use analytic thought more, and discuss the differences in the frame of the individualism/collectivism distinction. The holistic versus analytic distinction has been the greatest point of interest of dual process theories, which imply that human thinking has two sub processes. We apply a revised dual process model that proposes meme-acquired goals in both systems to explain cultural differences in thought. According to this, gene-installed goals are universal across cultures, whereas meme-acquired goals depend upon culture. To introduce a dual process model means that we discuss adaptation both in terms of culture and natural selection. Hence, we propose an interactive view that supports an adaptive relation between mind and culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-172
Number of pages30
JournalMind and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytic thought
  • Collectivism
  • Cultural difference
  • Dual process theory
  • Holistic thought
  • Individualism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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