Rice vs. Wheat Farming: Nature/Nurture Questions
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China is a good place to look for long-term impacts of different kind of agriculture because it had both rice paddy agriculture and drier grain agriculture (first millet, then wheat) for thousands of years. From Current Opinion in Psychology

Emerging evidence of cultural differences linked to rice versus wheat agriculture
Thomas Talhelm

• Historical rice farming linked to interdependent culture.

• Differences tested in China and Japan, as well as in worldwide comparison.

• There is evidence for differences among urbanites with no direct experience farming.

• Rice farming is also linked to holistic thought, fewer patents for inventions.

• Rice cultures are not ‘pro-social’ but rather tight ties, strong division of close versus distant ties.

Roughly four billion people live in cultures with a legacy of rice farm[ing]. Recent studies find that rice cultures are more interdependent than herding cultures and wheat-farming cultures. In China, people from rice-farming areas think more holistically and show less implicit individualism than people from wheat-farming areas. These differences are mirrored in micro-level comparisons of [how] neighboring counties differ in rice versus wheat. Research has also found evidence of cultural differences based on rice farming within Japan and around the world. However, we know little about the mechanism of how rice culture is transmitted in the modern world. More research is needed on the mechanisms, as well as other subsistence styles, such as corn farming and cash crops like sugar.

[Comment at Unz.com]

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