We Aren’t the World - Why Americans Are The Weirdest People In The World

  • metta

    Posts: 38626

    Mar 01, 2013 5:40 PM GMT
    We Aren’t the World


    The WEIRD mind also appears to be unique in terms of how it comes to understand and interact with the natural world. Studies show that Western urban children grow up so closed off in man-made environments that their brains never form a deep or complex connection to the natural world. While studying children from the U.S., researchers have suggested a developmental timeline for what is called “folkbiological reasoning.” These studies posit that it is not until children are around 7 years old that they stop projecting human qualities onto animals and begin to understand that humans are one animal among many. Compared to Yucatec Maya communities in Mexico, however, Western urban children appear to be developmentally delayed in this regard. Children who grow up constantly interacting with the natural world are much less likely to anthropomorphize other living things into late childhood.

    Given that people living in WEIRD societies don’t routinely encounter or interact with animals other than humans or pets, it’s not surprising that they end up with a rather cartoonish understanding of the natural world. “Indeed,” the report concluded, “studying the cognitive development of folkbiology in urban children would seem the equivalent of studying ‘normal’ physical growth in malnourished children.”
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    Mar 01, 2013 6:00 PM GMT
    Dunno... the only time I was involved in a test of the prisoner's dilemma, not a single person opted to cooperate. Granted, it was a sort of right-wingish crowd.