Authors:W. Arie Kruglanski, Mark Dechesne, and W. Young Chun
This paper considers the question whether the human thought process is uniform or whether there exist qualitatively distinct thought processes differentially used by different cultures, or in different situations. Whereas early positions on both sides of this debate (in late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) rested upon a questionable evidential basis, recent decades of research in social and cognitive psychologies have produced a plethora of controlled experimental findings seemingly supportive of the notion of multiple thinking modes. We consider this body of evidence and the general issues that underlie it in terms of a novel theoretical perspective referred to as the unimodel (Erb et al. 2003; Kruglanski, Erb et al. 2003). The unimodel reinterprets diverse differences in reasoning outcomes in terms of several thought parameters that have not been controlled for in former research. New evidence in a number of content domains supports the view that human reasoning can be characterized as uniform after all, and that the prior differences in thinking outcomes (observed in comparing cultures, and situations within cultures) may be understood as special cases of the same underlying process.