Which should you use, intuition or logic? Cultural differences in injunctive norms about reasoning


Emma Buchtel, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2136 West Mall, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. Email: ebuchtel@interchange.ubc.ca


Past research has shown that tendencies to engage in holistic and analytical reasoning are differentially encouraged by East Asian and Western cultures. But little is known about cultural differences in the perceived value of analytic versus intuitive reasoning. In Study 1, Koreans and Americans ranked the importance of traits including ‘intuitive’ and ‘logical’ in work and family contexts. In Study 2, Euro-Canadians and East-Asian-Canadians read scenarios of intuitive versus rule-following business decisions. Relative to Western participants, East Asians rated intuitive reasoning as more important and reasonable than analytic reasoning. Implications for the epistemic status of reasoning modes, culture's effect on values about reasoning, and multiculturalism are discussed.