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Appreciating Another Perspective

Research from the University of Chicago published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that people from Western cultures such as the United States find it particularly difficult to understand someone else's point of view because they are part of a culture that encourages individualism. By contrast, Chinese culture encourages a collectivist approach and, as a result, its people are more attuned to alternative perspectives.

Boaz Keysar, professor in psychology and graduate student Shali Wu, co-authors of "The Effect of Culture on Perspective Taking" highlight interpersonal communication problems as a major consequence. Previous studies of children have shown that the capacity to appreciate another perspective is universal, but not all societies encourage development of this skill.

Boaz Keysar said:

"Many actions and words have multiple meanings. In or

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