The Transformative Cultural Intelligence Hypothesis: Evidence from Young Children’s Problem-Solving

Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (1):161-175 (2018)
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This study examined 4-year-olds’ problem-solving under different social conditions. Children had to use water in order to extract a buoyant object from a narrow tube. When faced with the problem ‘cold’ without cues, nearly all children were unsuccessful. But when a solution-suggesting video was pedagogically delivered prior to the task, most children succeeded. Showing children the same video in a non-pedagogical manner did not lift their performance above baseline and was less effective than framing it pedagogically. The findings support ideas central to natural pedagogy, 148–153, 2009). They also challenge the Cultural Intelligence hypothesis, according to which only humans’ social, but not their physical, cognition differs qualitatively from that of great apes. A more radical, transformative variant of the Cultural Intelligence hypothesis is suggested according to which humans’ physical cognition is shaped by their social nature and must therefore be recognized as equally distinctive as their social cognition.



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