The Role of Assessor Teaching in Human Culture

Biological Theory 14 (2):112-121 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


According to the dual inheritance theory, cultural learning in our species is a biased and highly efficient process of transmitting cultural traits. Here we define a model of cultural learning where social learning is integrated as a complementary element that facilitates the discovery of a specific behavior by an apprentice, and not as a mechanism that works in opposition to individual learning. In that context, we propose that the emergence of the ability to approve or disapprove of offspring behavior, orienting their learning, transformed primate social learning into a cultural transmission system, like that which characterizes our species. Assessor teaching facilitates the replication and/or reconstruction of behaviors that are difficult to imitate and helps to determine which behaviors should be imitated. We also explore the form in which assessor teaching has conditioned the evolution of our abilities to develop cultures in the hominin line, converting us into individuals equipped with what we call a suadens psychology. Our main point is to defend the hypothesis that suadens psychology determines the stability and dynamics that affect the trajectories of many cultural characters. We compare our proposal with other theories about cultural evolution, specifically with dual inheritance theory and cultural attraction theory.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 78,059

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Cultural transmission and biological markets.Claude Loverdo & Hugo Viciana - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):40.
Is culture inherited through social learning?Kenneth Reisman - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (3):300-306.
The Long and Winding Road to the Ethical Capacity.Laureano Castro & Miguel A. Toro - 1998 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 20 (1):77 - 92.
Reasons to be fussy about cultural evolution.Olivier Morin - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (3):447-458.
May Chinese Culture be Taught in Teaching Foreigners Chinese Language.Gui-min Tian - 1997 - Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 6:50-57.


Added to PP

36 (#332,378)

6 months
3 (#248,962)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?