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Death Awareness: From Biology to Developmental Psychology – Maël Theubet
@ 1:00 - 2:00
Death has been one of the great concerns of human beings since the dawn of humanity. For a long time, this topic has been studied in humans, particularly through the rituals following the loss of an individual. Indeed, it was accepted that our species was the only one to adopt behaviours when faced with the death of a fellow human being. However, over the years, several observations were made on non-human species behaviours toward deceased conspecifics. These records ask the question of the origins of death awareness and gave rise in recent years to evolutionary thanatology. Despite this emerging field, psychology was scarcely implicated in the project. Yet, it is important to highlight the cognitive processes involved in the treatment of death-related information. Such a list allows for potential new directions of research for cross-specific comparisons. Systematized review uncovered 16 variables influencing the development of children understanding of death. This presentation also showcases a highly interdisciplinary approach from biology to psychology, through anthropology and archaeology.