ERIC Number: EJ982946
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Cumulative Culture and Future Thinking: Is Mental Time Travel a Prerequisite to Cumulative Cultural Evolution?
Vale, G. L.; Flynn, E. G.; Kendal, R. L.
Learning and Motivation, v43 n4 p220-230 Nov 2012
Cumulative culture denotes the, arguably, human capacity to build on the cultural behaviors of one's predecessors, allowing increases in cultural complexity to occur such that many of our cultural artifacts, products and technologies have progressed beyond what a single individual could invent alone. This process of cumulative cultural evolution underlies human cultural success and has enabled us to reach and inhabit some of the most inhospitable environments on this planet. Why humans, but not other animals, have exhibited a cultural explosion has caused much deliberation. The human propensity to imitate, teach, "mind-read" and cooperate have all featured prominently in accounts of the prerequisites for cumulative culture. However, this may not represent the complete picture. In this article we consider whether there exists a link between future thinking, specifically prospective mental time travel, and the observed distribution of cumulative culture.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A