processes on persons' opinions in China and the United States. If the researchers arbitrarily choose a filler task such as solving a visual puzzle, they might conclude that Chinese respondents, whose verbal processing should be relatively more distracted by a visual task, are more influenced by peripheral cues and less by central arguments than are American respondents. They might reach exactly the opposite conclusion if they choose an auditory filler task instead, which should be relatively more distracting for the processing of alphabetic English words.
To summarize, scripts have quantitative and qualitative effects on memory, evaluative judgments, and inference making. These differences not only have cross-cultural implications for the comparison of information processing involving alphabetic and logographic scripts, but also highlight everyday effects the writing system has within a single language. In other words, thought appears to be scripted by the writing system adopted by a culture.
The author thanks Bernd Schmitt and Shi Zhang for their insightful comments on an earlier draft of this chapter.