In Lode degli Studiosi Astuti come Volpi

PRINCETON – Viviamo in un mondo complicato, quindi siamo costretti a semplificarlo. Classifichiamo le persone intorno a noi come amiche o nemiche, le loro motivazioni come buone o cattive, e attribuiamo a cause semplici gli eventi con radici complesse. Queste scorciatoie ci aiutano a navigare attraverso le complessità della nostra esistenza sociale. Ci aiutano a dare forma alle aspettative circa le conseguenze delle nostre e delle altrui azioni, e quindi ad agevolare il processo decisionale.

Ma, poiché tali “modelli mentali” sono delle semplificazioni, sono necessariamente sbagliati. Essi possono servirci mentre navighiamo tra le nostre sfide quotidiane, ma tralasciano molti dettagli e possono ritorcersi contro quando ci troviamo in un ambiente in cui le nostre categorizzazioni e le nostre spiegazioni prefabbricate si adattano meno bene. Il termine “shock culturale” si riferisce a situazioni in cui le nostre aspettative circa il comportamento delle persone risultano essere tanto sbagliate da farci sentire turbati da tale esperienza.

E tuttavia, senza queste scorciatoie saremmo perduti o paralizzati. Non abbiamo né la capacità mentale né gli strumenti conoscitivi per decifrare l’intera rete di relazioni causa-effetto della nostra esistenza sociale. Così i nostri comportamenti quotidiani e le reazioni devono essere basati su modelli mentali incompleti, e talvolta fuorvianti.

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