Himba have Very Complex Mental Abilities; Useful To Know In Our Complex Society
When you think of the Himba people you may have viewed them as those folks on the left at the end of the political spectrum. However, a study has shown that they have exceptional problem solving abilities and they’re considered to be one of the best people at thinking outside the box.
The study used two groups of people to get results, which, as is known, is never as simple as it sounds, because a lack of reason can often cause a certain degree of bias to carry over into the results. In the end, the study showed that the Himba people are better at problem solving because of the availability of a strong mental framework for dealing with the situation, in this case the opportunity for rapid action.
What is the Himba?
The Himba are a native of Namibia. They do quite well in the internal trading of products and tend to live along the river and east of the Nile where they depend on wildlife for their food. The population of the Himba is quite small and it is likely that the cognitive traits that we see in the Himba are due to evolution, whereby the good traits that bind people together in an often-chaotic society came from this population.
The research also shows that the Himba are good at dealing with many different areas of life in such a variety of ways that we see in highly organized societies, like cities. For example, there were many elephants on the river and these can create an unusual situation. Heah-ze-giri is a situation where the easiest and quickest route is an unlikely one. People do quite well with the knowledge they gain from the strange circumstances and will look for ways to get past difficulties with ease.
Cognitive challenge and mental formation
The Himba may also face a complex problem that we would expect to be solved by experts, for example: if you think that a certain animal is dangerous to small children, but you can’t identify its physical features or identify its origins, how will you know how to effectively deal with the situation? The key here is to be able to make the mental model of the problem more predictable by seeing how other people solve it, then quickly solving that particular situation. When an explanation comes which is just what you need, you become more mentally organized. In this situation, someone from a different country may turn out to be a better problem solver than you.