To What extend culture and lifestyle affect human behavior?
To begin with and to avoid confusion, I will start by stating that there is a need to separate general patterns and particular examples, as well as to distinguish between knowledge and understanding. How would we recognize something as a general pattern or a particular example? Basically, general patterns are recognized by observation of patterns under a specific set of circumstances and conditions. By continually conducting this observation (we humans do it automatically throughout our life), we can then recognize that a certain something is a particular example that doesn’t follow any pattern. But how about knowledge and understanding? There are things we know and things we understand. The distinction is blurry, but real. And crucial. An example is evidently needed to explain this matter:
A barber tells his customer: Here comes the dumbest kid in the world. The barber holds out both his hands, palms open. In one hand he shows a dollar, and in the other hand two quarters. He allows the boy to choose, and the boy selects the two quarters. The boy exits the barbershop, 50¢ in hand, to the sound of the barber’s laughter.
Later that day, the customer sees the boy and asks why he doesn’t just take the dollar. The boy replies: The day I take the dollar is the day the game is over!”
Who’s outsmarting whom? To put it another way, there is a difference between knowing and understanding. Knowledge is facts, but understanding is the real meaning of the facts. The boy knows that a dollar is worth two times the 50¢, but he understands that it actually isn’t. He recognizes the pattern occurring and he understands the pattern that if he take the 50¢ repeatedly, it will be worth more than taking the 1 dollar once. So the boy have an experience in recognizing a pattern and he acts accordingly.
It must be noted however, that no one has a same psychological perspective on every situation. On the view that...