Learning Biases - Learning Biases First framework proposes...

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Learning Biases First framework proposes that cultural variation is channeled by genetically-evolved cognitive mechanisms that guide learning -- brain structures that make learning a non- random process and produce (on average) fitness-enhancing behavior All animal species are capable of learning to one degree or another, but humans have obviously elaborated this attribute the most One evolutionary explanation for this is that the human lineage has evolved under a ecological circumstances in which learning many things as rapidly as possible has been adaptive (fitness enhancing), hence favoring genes that built brains best designed for this task Specifically, humans are evolutionary products of turbulent Pleistocene epoch characterized by massive environmental change on a scale that dwarfs even global warming, deforestation, ozone depletion, and species extinction of contemporary industrial civilization; recent research (e.g., using Greenland ice cores) shows that this Pleistocene change was often extremely rapid (e.g., major climate shifts year by year) Furthermore, much of the success of our species is due to our being ecological generalists who can exploit many different types of niches, be flexible about what we eat, habitats we live in, species we interact with, etc. To large degree, this adaptive flexibility is due to culture: we learn what works in novel environments, invent new ways to adapt to them, and pass on this knowledge through cultural traditions In other words, culture can be seen as a way of fine-tuning genetic adaptation -- just like individual (trial-and-error) learning, only more so, since through cultural transmission we
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Learning Biases - Learning Biases First framework proposes...

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