Culture plays an important role in our everyday lives, yet the study of cultural processes and their impact on thinking and behavior is still in its infancy. This brief core text fills a void in the cross-disciplinary area of culture and cognition by providing a clear overview of approaches from varying disciplinary perspectives, discussing methodological problems as well as theoretical implications of these approaches. In addition, it discusses some of the methods and statistical tools that have been developed recently to tackle theoretical problems with promising new research strategies.
Norbert Ross (Ph.D., University of Freiburg, 1998) is at Vanderbilt University. Prior to his current position, he was a research assistant professor at Northwestern University, where he co-founded the Program in Culture, Language and Cognition, a cross-disciplinary program that targets teaching and research. He is Affiliated Researcher at the Program in Cognitive Studies of the Environment (Northwestern University) and the Centro Estudies Indigenas in San Cristobal de Lasa Casas, Mexico. He has taught classes at Northwestern University, the University of Freiburg, the College of the Menominee Nation, and the UNACH (Mexico). Ross's research focuses on cultural differences, within cultural differences as well as the acquisition of cultural knowledge among children, and he has received several NSF/NIH grants. He has published two books in Germany, including a case study of cognitive aspects of intergenerational change among the Lacandon Maya of Chiapas, Mexico. He is also author and co-author of several research articles in major journals of anthropology, psychology and the general sciences. These include articles in The Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences, Current Anthropology, Human Organization, Cognitive Development, and The Psychology of Learning and Motivation.