Umbra Institute students have been, for the past several years, subjects in a study undertaken by the University of Perugia and La Sapienza University in Rome.
Previous research has demonstrated that Asians tend to process information more holistically than Westerners. The goal of this study was to determine if there was a within-Western culture difference similar to this between culture difference. Researchers from the joint team from universities in Perugia and Rome wanted to compare data from Asians to both Italian and non-Italian westerners.
Given the excellent relationship between the University of Perugia and the Umbra Institute, professors from the former asked permission to use Umbra students as guinea pigs for their comparison. Over the last three years over 140 students have filled out surveys for the study, the results of which was just recently published in the Journal of Cognitive Process. The findings indicate a within-Western culture difference in reasoning style and indicate that foreign context can influence one’s reasoning style.