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Cultural learning

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Cultural learning is the way a group of people within a society or culture tend to learn and pass on new information. Learning styles are greatly influenced by how a culture socializes with its children and young people.

The key aspect of culture is that it is not passed on biologically from the parents to the offspring, but rather learned through experience and participation. The process by which a child acquires his or her own culture is referred to as enculturation.

Social animals also learn from other members of their group or pack. Wolves, for example, learn multiple hunting strategies from the other pack members. Human cultural learning is comparible but it is often believed human capacity for abstract thought is unique.

On the basis of cultural learning, people create, remember, and deal with ideas. They understand and apply specific systems of symbolic meaning. Cultures have been compared to sets of control mechanisms, plans, recipes, rules, or instructions.

Based upon Conrad, Phillip (2005). Window on Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Anthropology, New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-289028-2.

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