19 Culture and Thought
- Culture is an organized social unit in which members of the group share values, beliefs, and understandings about the world, participate in common practices, and transmit information and ways of living across generations.
- Culture influences both the content and processes of human thought.
- Cultural contributions to human thinking exist in many forms including communication, material and symbolic tools, and formal and informal practices and institutions.
- As people participate in social interaction and other forms of social experience, the shared understandings and behaviors of the culture become part of the person’s own thoughts and actions.
- Human spatial understanding is vital to everyday functioning and culture informs both our knowledge of space and how we use space to carry out activities.
- Culture influences spatial thinking by providing methods that support exploration and memory of space, including communicative conventions such as route descriptions, material and symbolic tools such as maps and frames of reference, and traditional practices for conducting activities in space such as navigational routines.