Daniel Haun: "Comparative Cultural Psychology"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Blåsenhus – 12:128
  • Organiser: Department of Psychology, Division of Perception and Cognition
  • Contact person: Linda Forssman
  • Seminarium

The General Seminar

Professor Daniel Haun, Director for the Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany: "Comparative Cultural Psychology – Evolving a Research Program"


Abstract
One of the most striking characteristics of human behavior in contrast to all other animal is that we show extraordinary variability across populations. Human cultural diversity is a biological oddity. More specifically, I propose that what makes humans unique is the nature of the individual ontogenetic process, that, amongst other things, results in this unparalleled cultural diversity. Hence, our central question is: How is human ontogeny adapted to cultural diversity and how does it contribute to it? This question is critical, because cultural diversity does not only entail our predominant mode of adaptation to local ecologies, but is key in the construction of our cognitive architecture. The colors we see, the tones that we hear, the memories we form, are all the consequence of an interaction between our emerging cognitive system and our lived experiences. I will present several ongoing research- and methods development projects that combine developmental, cross-cultural and comparative studies, aiming to develop an integrative account of uniquely human cultural diversity and its universal developmental roots.