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Chinanews, Jan. 26 - Not only are most Chinese inclined to hide their wealth, they even insist they do not have money.
The disinclination to show wealth has been ingrained in the Chinese culture since ancient times. People today are becoming even more private about their income. Psychologists believe this attitude derives from China's thousands of years of cultural tradition, evidenced in proverbs like "a prominent bird gets shot" and "a blossoming tree will be eventually destroyed". They summarize the essence of Chinese social experience, and reflect certain characteristics of Chinese society to some degree.
Exerting a profound influence on Chinese culture for thousands of years, Confucius' doctrine of the Golden Mean promotes a humble, calm way of life. Thus formed the Chinese people's unique psychological quality of disliking self-publicity.
Since Qin Shihuang, the first Qin emperor (248 BC to 206 BC), unified China 2000 years ago, China has mostly been a unified country. In this relatively stable society, there was little competition and no basis for comparison. In this environment, ancient people did not need to reveal their wealth at all.
Chinese people's unwillingness to show wealth also has a physiological reason. Scientists found more dehydrogenates in Chinese livers than westerners' through studies of intoxicated people from various countries. This explains why alcohol poisoning occurs much less frequently in Chinese even though the alcohol content of China's "white spirit" far exceeds that of foreign liquors. The existence of dehydrogenation enzymes in the human brain may have to do with the fact that the Chinese are better at controlling their moods than Westerners.
Cultural traditions and life styles can also have an impact on brain structure.The cultural traditions, conventions, living habits and attitudes that Chinese have inherited through generations cause gradual genic and neural changes. The accumulation of such quantitative changes eventually leads to qualitative changes, or gene mutation. When the mutated genes were inherited, the disinclination towards wealth exposure passed on.
Modern scientific studies find that only the brain's left hemisphere is active in speaking foreign languages made up of alphabets. However, since the Chinese language combines sound and shape, both hemispheres are used in speaking Chinese. Therefore, it is true that the disparity between people's personalities in the East and West has a physiological basis.
Chinese--Formal, hierarchical. People most comfortable in the presence of a hierarchy in which they know their position and the customs/rules for behavior in the situation.
American--Informal, egalitarian. People most comfortable with their social equals; importance of social rankings minimized.