How Our Ancestors Raised Children to Think as Modern Humans

Biological Theory 5 (2):142-153 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article argues that social selection pressures in recent human evolution were primarily responsible for the emergence of modern cognition. These selection pressures took three specific forms: Increased security and stability, which reduced allostatic load on developing children, facilitating expanded working memory development; increased opportunities for mother-infant joint engagement, which created positive selection for more sophisticated forms of cognition; and increased pressure on ritualized behavior associated with both mother-infant joint engagement and the construction and maintenance of an unprecedentedly complex adult social world. These pressures directly affected the development of the behavioral trait of effortful control in children. Effortful control is closely linked with executive functions, including working memory. Effortful control also shows characteristics that make it a prime candidate for rapidly spreading, culturally driven changes that were prevalent late in human evolution



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,621

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

Primate Sociality to Human Cooperation.Kristen Hawkes - 2014 - Human Nature 25 (1):28-48.
Thinking developmentally about counterfactual possibilities.Kevin J. Riggs & Sarah R. Beck - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):463-463.
Parental selection of vocal behavior.John L. Locke - 2006 - Human Nature 17 (2):155-168.
The Plot Thickens: What Children's Stories tell us about Mindreading.Michelle Sugiyama - 2009 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (6-8):94-117.
Let’s pretend!: Children and joint action.Deborah Tollefsen - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (1):75-97.
Young Children Enforce Social Norms.Marco F. H. Schmidt & Michael Tomasello - 2012 - Current Directions in Psychological Science 21 (4):232-236.


Added to PP

27 (#500,167)

6 months
4 (#310,987)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?