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Cultural evolution developing its own rules: The rise of conservatism and persuasion

Ghirlanda, Stefano and Enquist, Magnus and Nakamaru, Mayuko (2006) Cultural evolution developing its own rules: The rise of conservatism and persuasion. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Abstract

In the human sciences, cultural evolution is often viewed as an autonomous process free of genetic influence. A question that follows is, If culture is not influenced by genes, can it take any path? Employing a simple mathematical model of cultural transmission in which individuals may copy each other's traits, we show that cultural evolution favors individuals who are weakly influenced by others and able to influence others. The model suggests that the cultural evolution of rules of cultural transmission tends to create populations that evolve rapidly toward conservatism, and that bias in cultural transmission may result purely from cultural dynamics. Freedom from genetic influence is not freedom to take any direction.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:cultural evolution, personality changes, tabula rasa
Subjects:Biology > Sociobiology
Biology > Evolution
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Biology > Theoretical Biology
Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:5296
Deposited By:Ghirlanda, Dr Stefano
Deposited On:12 Dec 2006
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

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