Shifting Tool Usage and the Genesis of Ideas

Alexander Maloney Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Brian Day Butler University
The transition from the atlatl, a handheld spear-throwing device, to the bow and arrow has recently received increased attention within anthropological and psychological circles (Breslawski et al, 2018). This technological shift has been documented at various times across all continents, except Australia, and marks a major transition in the pre-historical tool use of our ancestors (Grund, 2015). In turning away from the atlatl, human societies turned away from a well-established method for survival and embraced a new, specialized tool. Contributory factors posited as having relevance for this shift have been proposed, with the emerging complexity in prehistoric social structure, shifting ecological demands, and the ease with which one can adopt a new tool taking a central explanatory role (Breslawski et al, 2018). This investigation evaluated the above proposed contributory mechanisms via the conceptual and philosophical underpinnings of human factors psychology, with emphasis placed on shifting ecological demands and changes in sociocultural structure. Findings are extrapolated to discuss the relevance of shifting tool usage as it relates to the genesis of ideas.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

01:45 PM
Gallahue Hall 106