Academic Scholarship

Parsimony and affordance: Response to Coss and Moore (2002)

Ecological Psychology, 16(3), 189- 198, May 2004

Photo Needed Gregory A. Burton, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology

Coss and Moore (2002) reported that young girls, when prompted to indicate where they would hide in a tree if menaced by a lion, pointed to a spot significantly farther from the trunk than did boys of the same age. This pattern was interpreted as evidence that the children retained biases supportive of an ancient sexual dinichism, in which females but not males slept in trees for safety. This article discusses some inherent problems with the concept that an ancestral behavioral pattern can be revealed in modern behavior after generations in which it was not expressed.


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