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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Study: Rugged American Individualism Keeps Us From Unquestioningly Following The Orders Of Our “Betters”
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(Thanks to LC Trooper THX1138)

Once again, your research tax dollars at “work:”

Rugged American individualism could hinder our ability to understand other peoples’ point of view, a new study suggests.

And in contrast, the researchers found that Chinese are more skilled at understanding other people’s perspectives, possibly because they live in a more “collectivist” society.

“This cultural difference affects the way we communicate,” said study co-author and cognitive psychologist Boaz Keysar of the University of Chicago.

So what did they do?

The study, though oversimplified compared to real life, was instructive. Keysar and his colleagues arranged two blocks on a table so participants could see both. However, a piece of cardboard obstructed the view of one block so a “director,” sitting across from the participant, could only see one block.

When the director asked 20 American participants (none of Asian descent) to move a block, most were confused as to which block to move and did not take into account the director’s perspective. Even though they could have deduced that, from the director’s seat, only one block was on the table.

Most of the 20 Chinese participants, however, were not confused by the hidden block and knew exactly which block the director was referring to. While following directions was relatively simple for the Chinese, it took Americans twice as long to move a block.

“That strong, egocentric communication of Westerners was nonexistent when we looked at Chinese,” Keysar said. “The Chinese were very much able to put themselves in the shoes of another when they were communicating.”

More specifically, they were much more aware of Herr Komrade Director and felt a terrific urge to disregard their own thoughts in order to please him. Reminds me of an old joke from the Cold War:

A Russian applying for a job with the Party was asked “what is 2 plus 2?” and promptly replied: “What do you want it to be, Comrade Commissar?”

Needless to say, he got the job.

If only America was more like that, right?

33 Responses to “Study: Rugged American Individualism Keeps Us From Unquestioningly Following The Orders Of Our “Betters””
  1. Naviguesser Comment by Naviguesser

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    In other words, we individualists won’t make good socialist slaves.

    Try and make us, assholes! Pretty please?

  2. Unregistered Comment by Snarkmistress

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    I’m proud of those results - shows that we are free thinkers, capable of taking care of ourSELVES, and not relying on some governmental agent to tell us what to do and how to do it. THAT is the result of the study, as far as I can tell.

    We also recognize the capacity of others, and know that if the guy on the other side of the table wanted his box gone, he could do it himself, or kindly ask for assistance, which would be up to US whether or not to grant.

  3. Spartan24 Comment by Spartan24

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    Come and make me!!! They have already started this sort of thing in schools.

  4. LC NCLivingBrit Comment by LC NCLivingBrit

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    And the hilarious thing is, when they do….. all but one of my guns is of Commie origin!

  5. LC Mike in Chi Comment by LC Mike in Chi

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    If asked to hand over my guns I would only let ‘em have what they could see.
    I might show ‘em later on though…and how they operate.

  6. jaybear Comment by jaybear

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    O.K…..I’m all for being more collectivist. Let’s collect these marxist idiots and ship ‘em to China.

  7. BigDogg Comment by BigDogg

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    Gee …. rugged individualists have problems seeing things from a collectivist perspective??? No f**king shit, Sherlock!?!? How much grant money did they receive for that gem of obviousness????

  8. James, Imperial Mercenary Comment by James, Imperial Mercenary

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    It seems to me that this article was just reporting the study…not giving an opinion either way. Yet I still think the study sounds like a sham. Only 40 test subjects to deduce the state of mind of 300 million Americans and 1.2 billion Chinese? It seems a little ridiculous that you can conclude something this broad on such a small test group.

    LiveScience is full of BS articles. I used to read it often.

  9. James, Imperial Mercenary Comment by James, Imperial Mercenary

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    Actually, I take back my first statement. With a title like “Study: Americans Don’t Understand Others”, it’s quite obviously a cesspool of stupidity.

  10. SoCalOilMan, LC Comment by SoCalOilMan, LC

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    What a pile. The “director” asked them to move a block, not the block, so both parties knew there was more than one block. Perhaps it was a ploy by the director to see if there was a block in the section hidden from his view.

    In my case, being right-handed, I would have move whichever block was closest to my left hand in order to keep my gun hand free in case the tricky bastard tried to jump me while I was distracted.

  11. tvfoh Comment by tvfoh

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    Rugged American individualism could hinder our ability to understand other peoples’ point of view, a new study suggests.

    Its a shame that they are so stupid that they don’t realize that is what has made this our country the greatest on earth!

    And in contrast, the researchers found that Chinese are more skilled at understanding other people’s perspectives, possibly because they live in a more “collectivist” society.

    would that be because they are trained from childhood to think the same thoughts. are we talking about china or the US educational system. I cant tell the differance these days.

    TVFOH

  12. Unregistered Comment by jkaiseresquire

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    “In other words, we individualists won’t make good socialist slaves.”

    Amen brother. But don’t think they will settle for letting us retain our individualism. They won’t stop trying to collectivize us until they achieve success. Constant vigilance is our only defense.

    J. Kaiser
    http://totaltransformation.wordpress.com

  13. LC NCLivingBrit Comment by LC NCLivingBrit

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    Collectivism can kiss the fattest part of my ass.

  14. LC JackBoot IC/A-OBR Comment by LC JackBoot IC/A-OBR

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Rugged American individualism

    Oh such an awful attribute. Gee, with that people might actually be able to tame a vast frontier, creating individual prosperity and wealth, live peacefully with their neighbors (anti-social exceptions noted of course) attain self-government and rise to become the world’s only superpower.

    Must be a fluke, because everyone knows only socialism permits a society and culture to develop to that endpoint, take the USSR for example….oh sorry..ummm North Korea?

  15. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur

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    All of this sarcasm is disheartening. Afterall, this was a “scientific study”, performed by researchers, and published in a journal that has “science” in the title. Like global warming, it simply is beyond reproach [YOU WILL DRINK THE KOOL-AID, YOU WILL DRINK THE KOOL-AID], so you just need to get with the program. Now what’ll it be? Lemon-lime, or Strawberry-Watermelon?

  16. Trooper THX1138 Comment by Trooper THX1138

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    Lest we forget, the EuroPeon collective ideals are what allowed the Germans to be good little Nazis, and the Russians to be good little serfs, and the French, (mostly) to roll over at Occupation.

    There’s a reason Nazism, Fascism, Communism, and pretty much any totalitarianism have failed thus far (or taken as long as it has to come as far as it has) to flourish here in America.

    We like freedom. We’ll fight for it. We’ll kill for it. We’re kinda stubborn like that.

    Now, had they had me as a guinea pig in that study, I’d have moved both blocks. The one that the “director” could see would move rapidly while airborne towards said director’s skull. Or testes, if in possession of said organs.

  17. Unregistered Comment by mindy1

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    I think that the study was flawed, because it was so small. Anyone knows you can’t have a study with such a small sample size, otherwise the results are more easily skewed..As for the conclusion, I second everyone else’s so what? I love individuals,and individualist thinking.

  18. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    As for the conclusion, I second everyone else’s so what? I love individuals,and individualist thinking.

    That’s what it’s all about. I may despise any given particular individual’s thoughts, but I appreciate beyond words that I am a citizen, through the Grace of G-d and the unparalleled hospitality of her native sons and daughters, of a country where people actually do think for themselves and are encouraged to do so.

    The same freedoms and basic national mentality that allow us to make completely asshatted decisions (and trust me, I’ve made my fair share of those) allow us to revise our thinking and come up with new ideas free of fear of negative consequences. It’s a continuous, free-spirited brainstorm.

    I love that. I’ll die for it if I have to, because it’s the only way to live.

  19. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

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    I din’t follow orders to well when I was in the Army, either. I was always the smartass with the question.

    The Drills hated me. ;-)

  20. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur

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    You were in good shape at the end of boot, right Wil?

  21. WayneB Comment by WayneB

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    I wonder how that study would have gone if it had been set up like the one with the “training” study where the student was supposed to deliver electric shocks to the “subject” and the “Director” kept telling them to up the voltage past the danger mark.

    I know that when the original study was done, a surprising number of people did what the authority figure told them to do, even when the one supposedly being shocked was screeching in pretend pain. I just think that ALL of the Chinese participants would have gone way beyond safety levels because an authority figure was telling them to.

  22. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

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    BiW:

    You were in good shape at the end of boot, right Wil?

    Arms like the Hulk . .

  23. kwongdzu Comment by kwongdzu

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    Now that all depends. How much were participants being paid? I’m a filthy capitalist. Pay me enough, I’ll move both blocks and fetch more from the toy box.

  24. SoCalOilMan, LC Comment by SoCalOilMan, LC

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    The same freedoms and basic national mentality that allow us to make completely asshatted decisions (and trust me, I’ve made my fair share of those) allow us to revise our thinking and come up with new ideas free of fear of negative consequences. It’s a continuous, free-spirited brainstorm.

    [em…mine]

    So. I’ll take it from that you don’t want Shrillary of the Gorbot to protect and recompense you for those dumbass “American individualism” decisions?

    Wait a minute…did these occurrences happen while you were in the old country? How the hell could someone that came from an “enlightened” European nation crave a system that holds the individual responsible (in theory) for their own actions? Did you miss a lot of school and (or because of) decided to think for yourself?

    Good thing you’re not applying for your entry visa now. You’re not what we are looking for. To damn smart and not willing to take less to get less.

    You applied (and I’m assuming here) and came to your home when we were actually looking for people that fulfilled a necessary (dare I say) intellectual niche, rather than the current “we need bodies for not quit slave labor wages” (hey, we pay them).

  25. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    These people make my ass ache. This bullshit of
    resistance is futile falls on deaf ears here. One of the many disgusting traits these worms display, along with other numerous hypocrisies, is the notion that somehow you require them to lead you. Amendment two….to be fought for to the end, preferably theirs.

  26. Cannon Fodder Comment by Cannon Fodder

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    That has to be one of the dumbest studies I have ever heard of. The fact that the “director couldn’t see one of the block doesn’t negate it being there. Couple that with the fact that the American participants were told to MOVE “A” BLOCK, not move THE block and you could easily get some confusion. That or some would move the block obstructed from the “director’s” view. That is complete idiocy. Also, was the question asked in Chinese of english? I wonder if it was asked in chinese and was, “move THE block.”

  27. LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech Comment by LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

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    ‘Wish I could find that cartoon of two swarthy statued figures of men standing in noble pose:

    The Minuteman, with his musket, Lexington, 1775

    The Unknown Student with his broom, Tienamen, 1989

  28. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    Wait a minute…did these occurrences happen while you were in the old country? How the hell could someone that came from an “enlightened” European nation crave a system that holds the individual responsible (in theory) for their own actions? Did you miss a lot of school and (or because of) decided to think for yourself?

    A bloody curse, I tell you. Let’s just say I had an interesting time while I was growing up.

    You applied (and I’m assuming here) and came to your home when we were actually looking for people that fulfilled a necessary (dare I say) intellectual niche, rather than the current “we need bodies for not quit slave labor wages” (hey, we pay them).

    I lucked out, what can I say? If the Dem Cong had known what kind of people they might be letting in (such as myself), they’d be all in favor of locking down the borders and not even letting tourists in anymore.

  29. hitnrun Comment by hitnrun

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    First of all, while this line of study is certainly instructive and worthwhile, its practical application, as Misha has pointed out, is unlikely to be anything other than support for socialist policy and more fuel in the “white people are too individualist” movement.

    Second, you say they were “Americans” and “Chinese”?

    Well, let’s review. Who responds to requests for study subjects in the United States? That’s right, college students. And, besides them, what’s the largest demographic classification in the United States, outside of “men,” “women,” and “caucasian”? Let me see, what’s it called again…oh yeah, “Baby Boomers.”

    So college students and baby boomers. Really communicative, others-centered, understanding people right there. And on the other hand, you have communist Chinese serfs.

    I’m all for empathy, but it doesn’t do you much good to know how another person feels if it doesn’t matter how they or you feel about anything.

  30. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

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    Ok, move a block… which block? How many people asked that question? Did the asians ask that question or did they just make an assumption that the director only knew about the block in front of him? How long did it take for the non-asians to decide which block to move and if it was worth the time? Did they explain why they wanted a block moved? How long was “twice as long”? Lots of unanswered questions.

    And 40 people is nowhere near large enough a sample.

    Psychologists at Hokkaido University in Japan have found that Japanese gaze at the shape of a person’s eyes, while Americans focus on the mouth.

    Japanese people looking to see if the other person has folds at the corners of their eyes perhaps? Americans tend to try and read lips when people are talking to them. Makes it easier to get past some people’s accents.

  31. Unregistered Comment by Smitty

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    heh, they understood the perspective of 50,000,000 of their own citizens right before they shot a bullet through the back of their heads!

    “We feerrwl your pain” Bang!

  32. LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech Comment by LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

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    Just to be sure that the family of the executed were still onboard with the revolution, they offered them the chance to pay for the round that split their loved one’s head.

    Well, maybe offered isn’t the word…

  33. Unregistered Pingback by Inoperable Terran » Study: Americans “not socialist enough”

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    […] no! Posted by Ian S. […]