ERIC Number: ED339536
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Persons' Conception of Human Nature: A Comparative Study in Germany, Indonesia and U.S.A.
This study examined individuals' concepts of human nature in Germany, the United States, and Indonesia. Three procedures were used with about 100 subjects in each country. Only the second procedure, a presentation of a story involving a character's dilemma that has moral and social consequences, is reported here. In each culture, there were some individuals who tried to solve the dilemma at each of several stages of understanding of human nature. The three highest stages are discussed. In Stage IIIa, individuals are conceived as autonomous identities. In Stage IIIb, identity is defined as mutual relations between persons. In Stage IV, individuals are conceived as parts of a larger system. Stages IIIb and IV are characterized by dialectical thinking. Western and Indonesian subjects exhibited differences in the way they understood these stages. Results indicated a higher proportion of individuals from Germany and the United States approached the dilemma with a Stage IV understanding than individuals from Indonesia. Indonesians showed a lower frequency of the use of dialectical thought than subjects from Germany or the United States. Eight references are cited. (BC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dialectical Thought; Germany; Identity (Psychological); Indonesia; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).