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ID 15129

What is human behavior?, Sally McBrearty

Description:
Interviewee: Sally McBrearty. Paleoanthropologist Sally McBrearty talks about the behaviors that are considered purely human traits. (DNAi Location: Applications > Human Origins > Comparisons > Behavior > What is human behavior? )
Transcript:
It's very difficult not to be ethnocentric in doing this, and not applying criteria that applied to modern people living in the 21st century. And what we have tried to do is to take behaviors that we know were practiced by anatomically modern people and see how far back in time we can recognize them. So the behaviors that I mentioned like the use of red ochre, changes in technology, and so on, which we think may signal a cognitive advance of some sort. Other people would argue that maybe the circumstances of life in the past were quite different, and cognitively advanced people, in dealing with those different circumstances, would have behaviors unique to themselves that we might not recognize. So that's really the challenge, is to formulate questions that are appropriate to the kinds of behaviors practiced and also the things that get preserved.
Keywords:
what is human behavior,human origins,mcbrearty,ancient humans,location applications,dnai,human traits,changes in technology,interviewee,sally,ethnocentric,21st century,circumstances
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