The Construction of Intelligence in Term of Cultural Point of View (Comparison between East and West)

Illustration : Getty Images

It has recently been suggested that westerners are individuals with characteristics that make them unique and distinctive among others. In addition, they in control of their own behaviour and feel much better when they are free to choose and control the outcomes of their actions. Most westerners are goal-oriented and success-driven. Moreover, the relationship can sometimes interfere with success acquisition. For them, personal success and being positive in thinking about oneself are important for the sense of well-being.Contrastingly, easterners are less concerned with personal success; they are far more group-driven.  Their sense of well-being is closely related to harmony relation with community and environment around them. Moreover, rules that apply to relationship are not universal; instead relationships are dictated by the context and are specified to the roles of each holds context.

Another notion of eastern culture that has a substantial effect on its cultural conceptions of true intelligence and progress is self-criticism; which is regarded as a part of learning. It is taught to Japanese children to help them learn how to solve problem and improve relationship with others.

Difference in culture start early in life and continues throughout life. Western parent encourage their children to be independent. Generally, they do this by focusing their attention to objects. While in eastern culture, parents focus their attention on social relationship feelings. When children grow up, the difference can be seen in experiments, for example; that easterners have superior ability to be aware of the emotion of group of others.

In the west, it is communicator who is responsible for making the information clear to the listeners. Whereas, in the east, it is the responsibility of the hearers to understand what are told. The implication of these two contrasting style can leave westerners feeling that easterners are difficult to ‘read’ because of their subtle and indirect communication style. Conversely, easterners may feel westerners are so direct that they may even be thought to be rude.

Easterners and westerners also differ in their perception of control. In western culture, feeling in control promotes a feeling of well-being to a much graters extent that it does for easterners. Westerners tend to believe that if things are going change, it will be in the same direction and at the same level, whereas easterners see the world as a complex dynamic system.

Easterners appear to think historically, paying greater attention to relationship and context, relying more experience based knowledge that abstract logic and showing more tolerance for contradiction. Westerners are more analytic in their thinking, tending to separate objects from their context, to avoid contradiction and to rely more heavily on formal logic.

Taken all together, it is certain that people who grow up in different culture do not just think about different things differently. Thus, the connotations of the word intelligence do not include a particular set of mental functions but also some value-based conceptions of appropriateness, such as competence, helpfulness, and so on, which all depend on the context of the culture in which people live.


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4 Responses to The Construction of Intelligence in Term of Cultural Point of View (Comparison between East and West)

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