An exhilarating new account of how psychology, culture and institutions co-evolved to produce the Western mind
Do you identify yourself by your profession or achievements, rather than your family network? Do you cultivate your unique attributes and goals? If so, perhaps you are WEIRD: raised in a society that is Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic. Unlike most who have ever lived, WEIRD people are highly individualistic, nonconformist, analytical and control-oriented. How did WEIRD populations become so psychologically peculiar? What part did these differences play in the industrial revolution and the expansion of European power? And what do they mean for our collective identity? Joseph Henrich, who developed the game-changing concept of WEIRD, uses leading-edge research in anthropology, psychology, economics and evolutionary biology to explore how changing family structures, marriage practices and religious beliefs in the Middle Ages shaped the Western mind, laying the foundations for the world we know today. Brilliant, provocative, engaging and surprising, The Weirdest People in the World will revolutionize your understanding of who – and how – we are now.