Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Human Enculturation

  • Andrea Karaiskaki
  • Xenia Anastassiou-HadjicharalambousEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1076-1



The progressive adaptation of human species within organized social norms that are characterized by values and social order.


The values that describe human societies managed to create a culture that renders humans as the only species to be separated qualitatively from other animals. It is argued that the tendency of early humans to be curious in their nature fostered the learning of useful strategies that selectively became genetic capabilities and which rendered the ongoing development of culture as a remarkable achievement. Human species evolved over generations, and communication became more complex. Arbitrary cultural meanings are found to be assigned to animate and inanimate objects in the environment, allowing for a vivid indication that early culture initiations were occurring. As communication is a vital component in the realm of enculturation, language...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Berry, J. W. (1980). Social and cultural change. In H. C. Triandis & R. W. Brislin (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology: Social psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 211–279). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  2. Boniolo, G., De Anna, G. (2006). Evolutionary Ethics and Contemporary Biology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Brosnan, S. F. (2006). Nonhuman Species’ Reactions to Inequity and Their Implications for Fairness. Social Justice Research 19, 153–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brosnan, S. F., Freeman, C., de Waal F. B. M. (2006). Partner’s behavior, not reward distribution, determines success in an unequal cooperative task in Capuchin Monkeys. American Journal of Primatology 68, 713–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brosnan, S. F. (2008). Non-human species’ reactions to inequity and their implications for fairness. Social Justice Research, 19, 153–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carrithers, M., Collins, S., & Lukes, S. (1985). The category of the person: Anthropology, philosophy and history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cooley, C. H. (1953). Human nature and the social order. Glencoe: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  8. Darwin, C. (1964). On the origin of species. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Darwin, C. (1981). The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex (Vol. I & II). Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Darwin, C. (1998). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. London: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  11. Dennett, D. C. (1995). Darwin’s dangerous idea. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  12. Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  13. Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity, youth and crisis. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  14. Fehr, E., & Gachter, S. (2002). Altruistic punishment in humans. Nature, 415, 137–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goleman, D. (1988). The meditative mind – The varieties of meditative experience. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.Google Scholar
  16. Haidt, J. (2003). The moral emotions. In Handbook of affective sciences (pp. 852–870). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Henry, C. F. (2008). Honor codes, from honorable intentions to honorable. Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics: Behavior.Google Scholar
  18. Keegan, R. (1994). In over our heads – The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Kelly, G. A. (1955). The psychology of personal constructs. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  20. Liebkind, K. (Ed.). (1989). New identities in Europe: Immigrant ancestry and the ethnic identity of youth. Aldershot: Gower.Google Scholar
  21. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  22. Nicol, M. (1980). The four bodies of man. In Psychological commentaries on the teachings of Gurdieff and Ouspensky (pp. 218–235). London: Watkins.Google Scholar
  23. Popper, K. R. (1972). Objective knowledge – An evolutionary approach. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  24. Rosenberg, A. (2006). Will genomics do more for metaphysics than Locke? In G. Boniolo & G. De Anna (Eds.), Evolutionary ethics and contemporary biology (pp. 178–198). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Silk, J. B., Brosnan, S. F., Vonk, J., Henrich, J., Povinelli, D. J., Richardson, A. S., Lambeth, S. P., Mascaro, J., Schapiro, S. J. (2005). Chimpanzees are indifferent to the welfare of unrelated group members. Nature 437, 1357–1359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Smith, A. (1817). The theory of moral sentiments (Vol. I & II). Boston: Wells and Lilly.Google Scholar
  27. Stewart, J. E. (2001). Future psychological evolution. Dynamical Psychology, 14(8), 58–92.Google Scholar
  28. Tajfel, H. (1981). Human groups and social categories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Weigert, A. J. (1983). Identity: Its emergence within sociological psychology. Symbolic Interaction, 6, 183–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Weinreich, P. (1983). Psychodynamics of personal and social identity: Theoretical concepts and their measurement. In A. Jacobson-Widding (Ed.), Identity: Personal and socio-cultural. Almqvist and Wiksell International: Stockholm.Google Scholar
  31. Weinreich, P. (2003). Identity exploration: Theory into practice. In P. Weinreich & W. Saunderson (Eds.), Analysing identity: Cross-cultural, societal and clinical contexts. London & New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Karaiskaki
    • 1
  • Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.University of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus