Micro–Macro Dynamics of the Cultural Construction of Reality
A Niche Construction Approach to Culture
Humans think, communicate, and behave to adapt to a particular social ecology, and by doing so they collectively create, maintain, and change the very ecology (i.e., social niche) they adapt to. The niche construction approach to culture analyzes how people induce each other to think and behave in particular ways by behaving in particular ways themselves. The best support to this approach is found when cultural differences in cognition and behavior that are regularly observed in everyday life disappears in a social vacuum—in a situation in which people are rid of any social concern about implications of their behavior and can express their thoughts and behave free of any social concern. Examples of such experimental manipulations are presented and discussed.
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