So Hamedani and her colleagues... give volunteers messages about individual liberty or ask them to think about the greater good. And what she finds is that when people are asked to think about the greater good, it actually undermines their performance on a variety of mental and physical tasks that people actually work harder, try harder when they're asked to think about themselves as being trailblazing individuals....I love the way NPR lets it show that they don't like the American "diet." That Asian food is so much better. Why won't Americans swallow more of that? NPR keeps trying to serve it.
She finds that Asian-Americans are not turned off when you appeal to the greater good. And here's her theory: Everyone in America is raised to value independence, but there are some groups that are also raised to value interdependence. When you talk to those groups about the greater good, your message works just fine. But when you speak to people who've been raised on a diet of individualism and liberty and you ask them to think about the greater good, it creates this clash with this internal voice they have in their heads which says: March to your own drummer.
Funny that in their earnest left-winginess NPR doesn't hear themselves impugning Asian-Americans. Interdependence — that's supposed to sound so flattering. You know NPR would not mean to do anything other than flatter Asians here, even when — as they just revealed — Americans value independence. NPR, how can you be so lacking in perspective and self-criticism that you don't hear yourself blabbering out the old racist stereotype that Asians lack individuality?
But if you'd like more of this interdependent-commongoodliness-it's-all-in-the-framing that they're serving today at the NPR Restaurant, click on the link. The next bite is gun control.