EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Cultural Mind: Environmental Decision Making and Cultural Modeling Within and Across Populations

Scott Atran (), Douglas Medin and Norbert Ross
Additional contact information
Scott Atran: IJN - Institut Jean-Nicod - DEC - Département d'Etudes Cognitives - ENS Paris - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CdF (institution) - Collège de France - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Département de Philosophie - ENS Paris - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres

Post-Print from HAL

Abstract: This paper describes a cross-cultural research project on the relation between how people conceptualize nature (their mental models) and how they act in it. Mental models of nature differ dramatically among and within populations living in the same area and engaged in more or less the same activities. This has novel implications for environmental decision making and management, including dealing with commons problems. Our research also offers a distinct perspective on models of culture, and a unified approach to the study of culture and cognition. We argue that cultural transmission and formation does not consist primarily in shared rules or norms, but in complex distributions of causally-connected representations across minds in interaction with the environment. The cultural stability and diversity of these representations often derives from rich, biologically-prepared mental mechanisms that limit variation to readily transmissible psychological forms. This framework addresses a series of methodological issues, such as the limitations of conceiving culture to be a well-defined system or bounded entity, an independent variable, or an internalized component of minds.

Date: 2005
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.science/ijn_00000563
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9)

Published in Psychological Review, 2005, 112

Downloads: (external link)
https://hal.science/ijn_00000563/document (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hal:journl:ijn_00000563

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Post-Print from HAL
Bibliographic data for series maintained by CCSD ().

 
Page updated 2024-04-22
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:ijn_00000563