Charging from the experience of Americans in the outside world, there is evidence to suggest that many people in the outside world hold both positive and negative inferences and assumptions about America and its citizens. The human mind has a systematic way of analyzing and assessing the attitudes and actions of other people.
This phenomenon is referred to as critical thinking, which entails inferring and making assumptions among other elements of reasoning (Mayfield, 2010, p. 3). Here, inferences refer to the intellectual steps that one employs in concluding that one thing is true relative to another thing being or seeming true. On the other hand, assumptions refer to presuppositions made as a result of one’s past experience.
Therefore, perceivers can judge other people’s attitudes and actions on the basis of social projections, false consensus, and stereotypes (Ames, 2004, p. 573). In this essay, we will take an extensive look at the inferences and assumptions made by the rest of the world about America and its citizens.
Human nature dictates that a person expects others to see his or her character from his or her perspective. However, differences do occur in the way some people look at the attitudes and actions of others (Ames, 2004). For instance, most Americans believe that they are more accepting and tolerant to certain modern views than the rest of the world. However, charging from the most recent developments, the rest of the world perceives Americans to be intolerant to issues to do with homosexuality and gay marriages.
Moreover, on the issue of globalization, the rest of the world perceives Americans to be more pessimistic than others. Here, people argue that sentiments regarding anti-immigration campaigns are much stronger in America than the rest of the world (Schmidt, 2010, p. 35). For example, comparisons between France, Germany, and the United States show that anti-immigration campaigns are more profound in the United States than the other two countries.
On the other hand, the outside world claims that many Americans have a negative view of free trade as opposed to the rest of the world. Here, non-Americans believe that American citizens will agree with the terms of free trade if only the movement of goods and people occurs within the continent but not outside.
Furthermore, the rest of the world believes that most Americans hold negative impressions of the activities of foreign companies in America (Schmidt, 2010, p. 36). In fact, the rest of the world claims that Americans are infamous with traveling outside of their continent, and thus, some people assume that a large number of American citizens lack passports.
This assumption is based on the attitude of many Americans who believe that one can take a life-time to travel around America and never get to see the same place twice. As a result, many Americans do not see the essence of travelling outside their continent. Consequently, there is the possibility that the rest of the world sees Americans as being segregated and close-minded (Schmidt, 2010).
Further, the rest of the world perceives Americans to hold negative views about environmental conservation. This assumption is based on the fact that most Americans can be seen riding in big cars, which consume a lot of gas. As a result, many wonder how a country like the U.S. with 4% of the global population can consume 25% of the world’s oil resources (Schmidt, 2010). Furthermore, the price of gas in America is almost half the price of the commodity in other developed countries like Germany.
However, most Americans will always complain about the rising cost of living, and thus, the rest of the world claims that American citizens are selfish and self-centered. Furthermore, most people claim that the selfish nature of America can be traced back to the times of Hitler’s rule in Europe whereby despite that the Allied forces pleaded with Americans to help; they did nothing until they were attacked.
Away from the self-centered nature of Americans, the rest of the world believes that most Americans are religious believers. But according to other people, one may be mistaken to think that America’s religious nature has got anything to do with the Bible. The outside world’s perception is that it is only in America where leaders are supposed to be believers irrespective of their genuine belief.
As a result, the rest of the world sees Americans as Christian fundamentalists (Schmidt, 2010). Besides, Americans are well reputed for their efforts and involvement in foreign policies. But the world at large believes that Americans will only get involved in some parts of the world where they believe that they are bound to get something in return.
Overall, charging from the sentiments of the rest of the world in regard to the nature of most Americans, it is certain that these assumptions and inferences are based on criticisms and cases lacking evidence.
However, despite that most of the claims made by the rest of the world may be untrue, there is the paramount need for the American people to re-examine their attitudes and actions, and ask themselves why the world holds certain views against specific attitudes or actions. In this way, both the leaders and the American citizens can do well by changing certain aspects of their lives and display the real nature of America and its citizens.
Ames, D.R. (2004). Strategies for social inference: A similarity contingency model of projection and stereotyping in attribute prevalence estimates. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(5), 573-585.
Mayfield, M. (2010). Thinking for yourself: Developing critical thinking skills through reading and writing (8th ed.). USA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Schmidt, B.S. (2010). American government and politics today: The essentials. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.