Faculty Articles


Cultural Conditioning: Influences on Critical Thinking

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2013


cultural conditioning, critical thinking, cultural differences on thinking, influences on decision making

Publication Title

Journal of the Worldwide Forum on Education and Culture








To determine whether cultural conditioning influences critical thinking, we utilized qualitative data from a literature review by comparing critical thinking focusing on but not limited to Europeans and Asians. The research questions were the following: How does cultural heritage impinge or assist critical thinking skills and abilities? How does cultural influence determine the way individuals critically think of government authority, moral and immoral judgment, decisions, and organizational success? Can individual frames of reference related to a culture influence or bias the thought process or differently affect the critical thinking process? The literature review indicated that cultural conditioning and language do affect an individual’s thought and decision-making process. Because educational institutions have diverse cultures among faculty, students, and staff, the academic environment provides an opportunity to view cultural conditioning and its effect on critical thinking during the decision-making process. In higher education, case studies have provided a means for students to respond to questions, issues, and challenges that provide reasonable alternatives influenced by cultural conditioning. Research on understanding critical thinking and influences by culture can assist in developing awareness of differences in the decisionmaking processes and might eliminate many of the misunderstandings incurred when leading a group toward strategic thinking and planning.

Peer Reviewed

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