Culture and Development

Child peeking out from a cupboard
Children’s games can be opportunities for researchers to learn about how children think, feel, and behave

A group of children were playing hide-and-seek in the yard. Pilar (age 3) raced to her hiding spot as her six-year-old cousin, Lucas, loudly counted, “… six, seven, eight, nine, ten! Ready or not, here I come!” Pilar let out a small giggle as Lucas ran over to find her – in the exact location where he had found his sister a short time before. At first glance, this behavior is puzzling: why would Pilar hide in exactly the same location where someone else was just found? Older children and adults realize that it is best to hide in locations that have not been searched before but young children do not have the same cognitive sophistication. But why not… and when do these abilities first develop?

We have learned in previous chapters what it means to study both psychology and culture. Lifespan development examines the factors that influence growth and change over the course of an individual’s life, from conception to death. Human development is the interaction between our biology (nature) and our environment (nurture). For this chapter, we will add to previously discussed concepts to examine the role that enculturation plays in developing the human mind and fostering a unique sense of self.


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Culture and Psychology by L D Worthy; T Lavigne; and F Romero is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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