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Cultural Inheritance of Cultural Learning

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Duration: 0:54:38 | Added: 22 Aug 2011
Loading Video...
Duration: 0:54:38 | Added: 22 Aug 2011
It is widely acknowledged that the cumulative cultural inheritance of technological skills and social practices has played a major role in shaping the ways of life of modern humans.

The term 'cultural learning' refers to the psychological processes that make cultural inheritance possible. Curiously, even those researchers who have been most influential in demonstrating the importance of cultural inheritance emphasise that cultural learning depends on gene-based psychological adaptations. Like Evolutionary Psychologists, they assume that cultural learning is made possible by genetically-evolved, human-specific and domain-specific cognitive processes. I will suggest that these assumptions are not supported by recent research on social learning and imitation, social decision-making, and social motivation. This research raises the possibility that many processes of cultural learning are themselves culturally inherited. It may not only be the grist but also the mills of cultural inheritance that are acquired through social interaction in the course of ontogeny. Presented by Cecilia Heyes (All Souls College, University of Oxford, UK).

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