Human Behavior and Thought Focus of Symposium

The driving factors of human behavior and thought will be the focus of a symposium at Wake Forest University on April 10.

The symposium, “Mind, Culture and Behavior: Discussions on the Interplay of Social and Evolutionary Processes,” will feature programs with three well-known researchers: Frans de Waal, a psychologist and ethologist and an expert on primate behavior; Richard Shweder, a psychological anthropologist and one of the founders of cultural psychology; and Hazel Rose Markus, an influential figure in the socio-cultural study of self and social behavior.

The conference will focus on the degree that human behavior and culture are best explained in terms of social processes or as evolutionary adaptations.

The event is open to the public and free to Wake Forest students, faculty and staff. A $10 registration fee is required of individuals not affiliated with the university. The symposium is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Benson University Center, Room 401. For more information, call the Wake Forest psychology department at 336-758-5750.

Each researcher will give a presentation followed by a panel discussion. Topics will include “The Place of Cultural Psychology” and “The Question of Animal Culture, and A Recent Trip to Koshima, where the Monkeys Salt their Potatoes.”

De Waal specializes in the parallels between the social behavior of humans and other primates. His books include “Chimpanzee Politics” and “Good Natured: Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals.” He is a psychobiology research professor at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, a psychology professor at Emory University and the director of the Living Links Center for Advanced Study of Human and Ape Evolution.

A professor of human development at the University of Chicago, Shweder is a leading researcher of cultural psychology, psychological anthropology and a branch of anthropology called ethnopsychology. The author of “Culture Theory: Essays on Mind, Self and Emotion,” Shweder focuses his research on the relationship among psychology, anthropology and human development.

Markus studies the cultural influences on the perceptions of self and social behavior. She is also an influential force in promoting the study of social psychological processes in non-Western societies. She is a psychology professor at Stanford University and the author of numerous books including “Emotion and Culture.”

The symposium is sponsored by Wake Forest’s Year of Globalization and Diversity, the Dean of the College and the psychology and anthropology departments.

Categories: Events, Research, Speakers