What makes us human?

Lewis, C (2009) What makes us human? In: The 5th Edniburgh Lectures Psychology 4 Students Event, 17 November 2009, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Developmental psychologists have a longstanding interest in identifying those aspects of human skills that make us different from other species. While much of this discussion has centred on comparative studies of language and communication, recent analyses have focused upon our understanding of others and ourselves as people. The term ‘theory of mind’ is often used to describe such abilities. In this talk I will describe why this area of research has been so central in theoretical debates over the past thirty years, the main theoretical claims that have become central and why I think they are wrong in placing too much stress on the child as a theoretician of mind an too little emphasis on the social processes that lead to and form these skills. I will describe two of our recent studies that suggest the importance of analysing the development of social interactional skills and the child’s grasp of these in order to answer the question of what makes us human.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects:4. Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis > 4.11 Ethnography
ID Code:1281
Deposited By: L-W-S user
Deposited On:31 Mar 2011 07:09
Last Modified:09 Feb 2012 15:07

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