How the Body Shapes the Mind

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In this thesis we will be looking at embodiment and embodied cognition first. Our mind is embodied though our movements and interactions in the world, it shapes our cognition. Cognitive process are deeply rooted through our body’s interactions with the world. I will also look at body image and how it can affect people. Negative body image will leave a person as having a bad outlook on life, compared to a person with a positive body image who will see the world more brightly. I will finally look at body image in different cultures. The two cultures are individualist and collectivist, depending on which one people have been raised or live in it will shape their way of thinking. Collectivist identify in society as “We” and individualists identify as “I”. People in collectivist cultures try to fit in while individualists change their environment if they don’t like it. I will also look at other cultures and what they see as aesthetically pleasing. For instance teeth filing amongst the Mayans meant higher social class and more beautiful. In this thesis I have concluded that depending on the experiences a person has, what culture they come from or how they were raised, all shape our way of thinking and our body image, which will in turn affect our day to day interactions and well-being. This can in turn be linked to a person’s teeth, if they have an attractive smile they are more likely to smile, drawing people to them and generally improving their quality of life. However a person with a less attractive smile (eg. yellow teeth) may feel less confident in smiling, lowering their self-esteem.

body, mind