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Title: Evolutionary psychology and stone tool production : an examination of novice blow strength judgement in a knapping task
Author: Dennington, Paul James
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 6056
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2016
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Despite representing an approach to psychology that places the most emphasis on the importance on the role of our ancestral past in shaping the human cognitive architecture, Evolutionary Psychology remains largely neglected in the field of archaeology. Though archaeologists have incorporated approaches into their research that adopt both cognitive and evolutionary perspectives, the lack of engagement with the concepts and methodologies of Evolutionary Psychology arguably risks the abnegation of valuable opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration that could greatly benefit both fields. This research applies the methodology of Evolutionary Psychology to the study of stone tool production, which is arguably the most abundant source of evidence from our ancestral environments regarding past cognition. The research provides an assessment of the adaptive advantages and information-processing problems of the various task domains associated with stone tool producing behaviours, together with considerations of possible test designs from the perspective of Evolutionary Psychology. The data collected relating to novices’ judgment of blow strength adopting a mixed-methods, explanatory sequential test design are also presented. The results are then evaluated to determine the extent to which a posited cognitive bias for acquiring competence in blow strength judgement is supported.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available