Atran, S.;Medin, D.;Ross, N.;Lynch, E.;Coley, J.;Ek, E. U.;Vapnarsky, V.
Folkecology and commons management in the Maya Lowlands
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Three groups living off the same rainforest habitat manifest strikingly distinct behaviors, cognitions, and social relationships relative to the forest. Only the area's last name Maya reveal systematic awareness of ecological complexity involving animals, plants, and people and practices clearly favoring forest regeneration. Spanish-speaking immigrant; prove closer to native Maya in thought, action, and social networking than do immigrant Maya. There is no overriding, "local," "Indian,'' or "immigrant" relationship to the environment, Results indicate that exclusive concern with rational self-interest and institutional constraints do not sufficiently account for commons behavior and that cultural patterning of cognition and access to relevant information are significant predictors. Unlike traditional accounts of relations between culture, cognition, and behavior? the models offered are not synthetic interpretations of people's thoughts and behaviors,butare emergent cultural patterns derived statistically from measurements of individual cognitions and behaviors.