Culture and cognitive development

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Human beings are biologically adapted for culture in ways that other primates are not. The difference can be clearly seen when the social learning skills of humans and their nearest primate relatives are systematically compared. The human adaptation for culture begins to make itself manifest in human ontogeny at around 1 year of age as human infants come to undestrand other persons as intentional agents like the self and so engage in joint attentional interactions with them. This understanding then enables young children (a) to employ some uniquely powerful forms of cultural learning to acquire the accumulated wisdom of their cultures, especially as embodied in language, and also (b) to comprehend their worlds in some uniquely powerful ways involving perspectivally based symbolic representations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • January 1, 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 37 - 40

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0963-7214

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/1467-8721.00056

Citation Source

  • Scopus