Related: Theory of Niche Construction and Extended Mind Hypothesis

Intergenerational social learning

In intergenerational transmission of ecological and technical expertise, parental acts bias the environment explored by trial and error learning.

Parenting means that trials are guided — social/observational learning. Advantaged through:

  • aid of tools that initially chosen by others
  • access to raw materials in various stages of preparation

Natural bargain

  • Skilled practitioners ease their own burdens by having apprentices do low to medium skilled work.
  • Apprentices do grunt work from the perspective of the skilled, but for the beginner, it builds basic skills.

Over both evolutionary and developmental time frames, inner mechanisms have coevolved with and adapted to this rich environment of intergenerational learning. Language and arithmetical notation enhance our capacity to think