NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1010527
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
NCT and Developmental Psychology: A Welcome Rapprochement
Gauvain, Mary
Developmental Science, v16 n2 p320-321 Mar 2013
For over 50 years, developmental psychologists have conducted research around the world to understand the relation between culture and cognition. In fact, psychologists have been interested in this topic for over a century. In the late 1800s, Wundt introduced "Elements of Folk Psychology," the study of how culture becomes part of higher psychological functioning (Cole, 1996). Cole even traces this inquiry back to Herodutus in the fifth century BC. In short, the question addressed by Flynn et al. (2012) is not new. But this does not mean that it is insignificant or resolved. This thought-provoking essay contains many interesting ideas about how human culture and biology define and support one another. It also calls for collaboration between evolutionary biology and human developmental psychology, a worthwhile suggestion. The paper concentrates on Niche Construction Theory (NCT), the idea that organisms actively modify their environments, resulting in changes to the setting and organism that are transmitted over time. Human beings are not unique in niche construction; however, as the authors argue, they possess characteristics, including neurological features (plasticity) and capabilities (learning), that give human niche construction "a special potency." Like developmental psychologists, Flynn et al. also contend that human niche construction largely unfolds during psychological growth.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A