AN216      Half Unit
Cognition and Anthropology: Human Development in Cultural Environments

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Rita Astuti OLD 6.11


This course is available on the BA in Anthropology and Law, BA in Social Anthropology and BSc in Social Anthropology. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Undergraduates taking this course should have completed an introductory course in anthropology unless granted exemption by the course teacher

Course content

The course will examine the contribution that the study of human psychology can make to anthropology. After discussing why anthropologists should pay attention to psychology and why psychologists should pay attention to anthropology, we will examine a range of psychological findings (for example, on infant's knowledge of the physical and mental world) and their relevance to anthropology.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT.

This course has a reading week in Week 6 of MT.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare discussion material for presentation in the classes. Anthropology students taking this course will have an opportunity to submit a tutorial essay for this course to their personal tutors. For non-Anthropology students taking this course, a formative essay may be submitted to the course teacher.

Indicative reading

C Strauss and N Quinn, A Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning (1997); M Bloch, How We Think They Think (1998); D Sperber, Explaining Culture (1996); M Cole, Cultural Psychology (1996); M Tomasello, The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition (1999); P Boyer, Religion Explained (2001). Detailed reading lists are provided at the beginning of the course.


Exam (70%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (30%, 2500 words) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Anthropology

Total students 2016/17: Unavailable

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Capped 2016/17: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information