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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Ecological perspective on human behaviour

P. 3-32.

The ecological approach to understanding phenomena examines them in their contexts, and attempts to identify relationships between the phenomena and these contexts.  Essential to this approach are the concepts of interaction and adaptation.  Interaction implies reciprocal relationships among elements in an ecosystem; adaptation implies that changes in these elements will take place that may (or may not) increase their mutual fit or compatibility.  The core claims of the ecocultural approach to understanding human behaviour are that: cultural features of human populations interact with, and are adaptive to, the ecological contexts in which they develop and live; and that the development and display of individual human behaviour are adaptive to these ecological and cultural contexts.  There are two kinds of cultural contexts that shape the development and display of human behavior. First is the original cultures of groups that are transmitted to their individual members through the process of enculturation. Second are other cultures that the original cultures are in contact with that are transmitted through the process of acculturation. This chapter reviews these core ideas, and illustrates them with research on cognitive and social behaviour.

In book

Edited by: A. Uskul, S. Oishi. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.