ERIC Number: EJ854642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
The Nestor Effect: Extending Evolutionary Developmental Psychology to a Lifespan Perspective
Greve, Werner; Bjorklund, David F.
Developmental Review, v29 n3 p163-179 Sep 2009
We extend an evolutionary perspective of development to the lifespan, proposing that human longevity may be related to the experience, knowledge, and wisdom provided by older members of human groups. In addition to the assistance in childcare provided by grandmothers to their daughters, the experience of wise elders could have served to benefit kin as well as members of the immediate group, and thus been the target of natural selection. We refer to the fitness-enhancing effect of cumulative and integrative knowledge of some members of a group as the "Nestor effect", after the oldest member of the group of Greek kings in the siege of Troy. Furthermore, we argue that the contributions of such Nestors resulted in cultural innovations that in turn may have promoted care and respect for the elderly. This bidirectional effect makes culture both the product and producer of longevity.
Descriptors: Evolution, Daughters, Developmental Psychology, Developmental Stages, Child Care, Parent Influence, Grandparents, Family Influence, Older Adults, Foreign Countries, Innovation, Social Attitudes, Cultural Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece