Effects of Culture on Cognitive Development

Topics: Culture, Western culture, Sociology Pages: 2 (538 words) Published: October 25, 2008
Does culture determine cognitive development?

I believe that cognitive development is greatly impacted by culture. As a race we are social beings and learn from our surroundings, community and family. Cultural background and identity will influence us as we develop into adults, teaching us what and how to think..

There are many influences which contribute to cognitive development that span across all cultures but the greatest of these and most necessary is that of interactions and involvement with adults and primary caregivers. It is widely believed that active and positive interactions during the early years promote development. These interactions, from birth can include smiling, gazing, colourful and audible stimuli and of course, language. The variety and frequency of this stimuli depends greatly on cultural tendencies. Individual cultures will open children up to new experiences and therefore promote development

In western cultures many children spend copious amounts of time watching television, consequently, with entertainment only shows there is less interaction with a parent and less make believe play. There are a variety of educational programs available, such as Sesame Street, in which studies have shown the benefits for children in low income families but there are others which promote violence which can sometimes influence a child negatively.( Berk, 2003) In todays technical revolution many children now have access to computers and the Internet which again can provide very educational and stimulating activities. However, it has also been shown through studies that video games can be full of gender and ethnic stereotypes. (Dietz, 1998) It would seem that thoughtful and close monitoring of both television and computer access can, indeed promote positive growth socially and cognitively.

As there are so many different traditions and cultures in the world its hard to speak of all of them and how they influence development. Some tribal villages...
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