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Discuss How Socio-Cultural Factors Impact one Cognitive Process

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SAQ- Discuss how socio-cultural factors impact one cognitive process.

(Pollitt’s Study 1995)

Various socio-cultural factors, such as customs, traditions, and methods of operations that take place in a society, affect the members of the societies in every realm, from health and education to business and quality of life. It is proven that socio-cultural factors affect and impact different cognitive processes, one such being – memory. Memory is the ability of the brain to recall and retain previously gained knowledge and past experiences through various stimuli. A key study that examines poverty as a socio-cultural factor, and hence affecting the child’s cognitive development is one carried out by Pollitt in 1995.

Pollitt conducted a study in 1995 which tested the effects of malnutrition on children living in Central America and Panama. The main objective of this study was to conclude and prove true that poverty is the cause of cognitive impairment. This study was conducted between 1969 and 1977 in 4 poor villages of Guatemala. Since it was thought that protein was the most important nutrient missing from the villagers’ diet, it was decided to give villagers a nutritional supplement. Over 2000 people took part in this research study which consisted of pregnant women as well as children under the age of 7. Participants in two of the villages received a high protein supplement called Atole. The inhabitants of the other two village - who served as the control group - received Fresco, which contained no protein. Both supplements provided vitamins and minerals as well as calories, but Fresco only had one-third of the calories of Atole. The results showed a significant drop in infant mortality in both sets of villages, but with a noticeable 69% decrease in villages taking Atole and only a 24% decrease in the villages taking Fresco. Children on Fresco suffered a slower rate of growth

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