A 21st century cognitive portrait of the Himba, a remote people of Namibia

Trémolière, Bastien; Davidoff, Jules B. and Caparos, Serge. 2022. A 21st century cognitive portrait of the Himba, a remote people of Namibia. British Journal of Psychology, 113(2), pp. 508-530. ISSN 0007-1269 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This research sketches the cognitive portrait of the Himba, a remote population from Northern Namibia living in a non-industrial society almost completely devoid of modern artefacts. We compared the Himba sample to a French sample, exploring cognitive reflection, moral judgement, cooperative behaviour, paranormal beliefs, and happiness. We looked for both differences and similarities across cultures, and for the way cognitive functioning is associated with a range of demographic variables. Results showed some important group differences, with the Himba being more intuitive, more religious, happier, and less utilitarian than the French participants. Further, the predictors of these beliefs and behaviours differed between the two groups. The present results provide additional support to the recent line of research targeting cultural variations and similarities, and call for the need to expand psychology research beyond the Western world.

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Research Funding:
British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (SRG 2017 Round). Grant Number: 430-2014-00818

Data are available as supplementary material on OSF (temporary anonymized link: https://osf.io/


cooperation, cross-cultural psychology, happiness, Himba of Namibia, moral judgement, paranormal beliefs, thinking style

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23 October 2021Accepted
8 November 2021Published Online
May 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

23 Nov 2021 14:03

Last Modified:

08 Nov 2022 02:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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