The WEIRDEST people in the world

If you are reading this review, you are almost certainly from a WEIRD culture – Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic. Your psychology differs significantly from the mindset of traditional societies and, to a lesser extent, wealthy contemporary Asian societies. In ways consistent with this psychology, your society’s social, economic and political institutions are also very unusual in human history.

As a general observation this is not novel. In an early chapter of The Weirdest People in the World, Joseph Henrich acknowledges the cross-cultural psychology work of Harry Triandis and Geert Hofstede. Decades ago their surveys mapped attitudes and beliefs across countries on an individualism (Western) versus collectivism (the rest) scale.

The Weirdest People ‘s contribution is an ambitious bringing together of history, anthropology, evolutionary theory, theology, sociology, economics, political science and a bit of biology to explain how WEIRD psychology developed.

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