Joseph Henrich explores WEIRD societies

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 14:30 in Psychology & Sociology

Joseph Henrich thinks many people reading this are probably WEIRD. He means no offense, only that they were raised in a society that is Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. About a decade ago, Henrich coined the term after determining that individuals from such cultures tend to exhibit a specific combination of psychological characteristics. Now, he’s put it all in a new book called “The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous.” In it, he lays out how people from these societies differ psychologically from most other people throughout human history. The Gazette interviewed Henrich, who is a professor in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology and its chair, on what being WEIRD is all about. Q&A Joseph Henrich GAZETTE: What do you mean when you say someone is from a WEIRD society? HENRICH: If you measure people’s psychology using the tools that psychologists and economists do,...

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