Owing to their developing cognitive abilities and their limited knowledge about the biological basis of illness, children often have less expertise at disease avoidance than adults. However, affective reactions to contaminants through the acquisition of disgust and the social and cultural transmissions of knowledge about contamination and contagion provide impetus for children to learn effective disease-avoidant behaviours early in their development. In this article, we review the ontogenetic development of knowledge about contamination and contagion with particular attention to the role of socialization and culture. Together with their emerging cognitive abilities and affective reactions to contaminants, informal and formal cultural learning shape children’s knowledge about disease. Through this process, the perceptual cues of contamination are linked to threats of disease outcomes and can act as determinants of disease-avoidant behaviours.

CONTAMINATION SENSITIVITY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF DISEASE-AVOIDANT BEHAVIOUR

FADDA, ROBERTA;
2011

Abstract

Owing to their developing cognitive abilities and their limited knowledge about the biological basis of illness, children often have less expertise at disease avoidance than adults. However, affective reactions to contaminants through the acquisition of disgust and the social and cultural transmissions of knowledge about contamination and contagion provide impetus for children to learn effective disease-avoidant behaviours early in their development. In this article, we review the ontogenetic development of knowledge about contamination and contagion with particular attention to the role of socialization and culture. Together with their emerging cognitive abilities and affective reactions to contaminants, informal and formal cultural learning shape children’s knowledge about disease. Through this process, the perceptual cues of contamination are linked to threats of disease outcomes and can act as determinants of disease-avoidant behaviours.
disgust; autism; language
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/27975
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