Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Artifacts and Original Intent: A Cross-Cultural Perspective on the Design Stance

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

How do people decide what category an artifact belongs to? Previous studies have suggested that adults and, to some degree, children, categorize artifacts in accordance with the design stance, a categorization system which privileges the designer's original intent in making categorization judgments. However, these studies have all been conducted in Western, technologically advanced societies, where artifacts are mass produced. In this study, we examined intuitions about artifact categorization among the Shuar, a hunter-horticulturalist society in the Amazon region of Ecuador. We used a forced-choice method similar to previous studies, but unlike these studies, our scenarios involved artifacts that would be familiar to the Shuar. We also incorporated a community condition to examine the possible effect of community consensus on how artifacts are categorized. The same scenarios were presented to university student participants in the UK. Across populations and conditions, participants tended to categorize artifacts in terms of a creator's intent as opposed to a differing current use. This lends support to the view that the design stance may be a universal feature of human cognition. However, we conclude with some thoughts on the limitations of the present method for studying artifact concepts.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology, Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture, and FPR-UCLA Centre for Culture, Brain, and Development, UCLA, 341 Haines Hall, Box 951553, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1553, USA; 2: University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; 3: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Cognition and Culture — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation