Publication Date



At present, we know very little about the transition from traditional learning skills to models of standardized learning, and how it can influence the way one understands and solves problems. This research will examine cognitive performance and the factors affecting variation across communities and between individuals as it changes with age. The objective of this dissertation is to measure cognitive performance among children between 8 and 18 years of age exposed to variable levels of formal schooling in order to investigate three main research questions: (1) Whether exposure to schooling and increased performance in school-based abilities, such as math and reading, are positively correlated with performance on tests that measure cognitive ability. (2) How training to the test affects performance within schooled and unschooled populations. And, (3) how upstream factors, including parental embodied capital and family size, can impact child outcomes in school and on cognitive tests.


Anthropology, Evolutionary Ecology, Education, Embodied Capital, Parental Investment, Psychometrics, Cognition, Bolivia, Tsimane

Project Sponsors

Program for Interdisciplinary Biological and Biomedical Sciences at the University of New Mexico, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Science Foundation, Latin American and Iberian Institute, Graduate and Professional Student Association, UNM Department of Anthropology.

Document Type




Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Lancaster, Jane

Second Committee Member

Gurven, Michael

Third Committee Member

Miller, Geoffrey

Included in

Anthropology Commons