Saturday, February 09, 2008

A holistic view of poker

Continuation of my review of The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why.

Nesbitt describes a study that compared Koreans to Americans. Holistic thinking is defined (in the study) as a tendency to agree with statements such as
1. Everything in the universe is somehow related to everything else. and
2. It's not possible to understand the pieces without considering the whole picture.

Koreans were much more holistic than Americans.

The study also involved telling the participants a short murder mystery story then giving them a list of 100 items of information, asking them to eliminate the items that they could safely assume would be irrelevant to the solution of the murder mystery.

On the average Koreans eliminated 37 items and Americans 55. In addition, the higher the participant scored on the Holistic scale the more items they eliminated as irrelevant, no matter what the nationality.

What does this have to do with poker? I'm not sure. But I think it points to the possibility that asians will tend to look at more pieces of information at the table and be more likely to detect weakness as a result. Or maybe Americans are more likely to zero in quickly on the relevant items of information. I don't know.

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