Ethnological studies

Investigations of lifestyles and ways of thinking

Ethnological studies include the study of the lifestyles and ways of thinking of the peoples, the skills that have developed in their culture and their products. Knowledge of other cultures is the basis of social, cultural, economic and political interaction with them. The complete misjudgement of the feasibility and consequences of military intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, and largely misguided Middle East policies, are evidence of a lack of knowledge of the situation in these countries.

Traditional ways of living and thinking

In some of these cultures, traditional ways of living and thinking have survived until the second half of the 20th century. The Haza in Tanzania still live today as early Stone Age hunters and gatherers, know no huts, work no metals and hunt with bow and arrow. In Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Morocco and Algeria, traditional nomadic cultures still existed for a long time, which have disappeared today or are no longer accessible for research due to the destabilization of some of these countries. Even tribal societies organized in the early Middle Ages, such as those found in Afghanistan, remote areas of Pakistan and the Sahara, are no longer accessible today due to political and social instability. Knowledge of these societies is not only important for the assessment of current developments. They are at the same time living remnants of earlier societies, of which we have at best imperfect written or often only archaeological evidence.

Studies comparing cultures

In addition, studies comparing cultures have long posed the question of whether basic services, such as perception of space and time, in people who live in completely different environments and have no time measurement, nevertheless feel space and time in the same way as people in western industrial nations. Such results may be relevant, for example, in clinical trials to assess whether a result is due to lack of practice or whether it is a loss of performance that is independent of practice and the same for all people.

These picture galleries can only give a first impression of the author’s ethnological investigations.

Results and publications
The results were published in :

Werth R.:
Töten, Sterben und die Fiktion des Jenseits. celeco, München, im Druck

Werth R.
Die Natur des Bewusstseins – wie Wahrnehmung und freier Wille im Gehirn entstehen. C.H. Beck; München 2010.

Werth R.:
Hirnwelten. C.H. Beck; München 1998.

Werth R.:
The influence of culture and environment on the perception of time. International Journal of Psychophysiology 7 (1989) 436-437.

Werth R.:
Die zerebrale Repräsentation des Raumes. In: W Schönpflug (Hrsg.), Bericht über den 36. Kongress der DGfPs, Berlin 1988, Bd. II. Hogrefe, Göttingen, Toronto, Zürich, S.408-419.