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Very Bad Wizards

May 28, 2024

It’s an old-school episode as David and Tamler dive into some intriguing research on the origins of cultural differences. Two neighboring communities in communist China were assigned to be wheat farmers and rice farmers. Seventy years later, the people in the rice farming communities showed signs of being more collectivist, relational, and holistic than the people in the wheat farming communities. Plus, we have some questions about a new study on censorship and self-censorship among social psychologists.


Clark CJ, Fjeldmark M, Lu L, Baumeister RF, Ceci S, Frey K, Miller G, Reilly W, Tice D, von Hippel W, Williams WM, Winegard BM, Tetlock PE. (2024) Taboos and Self-Censorship Among U.S. Psychology Professors. Perspectives on Psychological Science [pubmed]

A fascinating theory about the cultural influence of rice farming now has evidence of causality by Eric Dolan []

Talhelm, T., & Dong, X. (2024). People quasi-randomly assigned to farm rice are more collectivistic than people assigned to farm wheat. Nature Communications, 15(1), 1782.[]

Talhelm, T., Zhang, X., Oishi, S., Shimin, C., Duan, D., Lan, X., & Kitayama, S. (2014). Large-scale psychological differences within China explained by rice versus wheat agriculture. Science, 344(6184), 603-608. []