Tag Archives: cultural complexity

Stone toolmaking and the evolution of human culture and cognition

Although many species display behavioral traditions, human culture is unique in the complexity of its technological, symbolic and social contents. Is this extraordinary complexity a product of cognitive evolution, cultural evolution or some interaction of the two? Answering this question … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural accumulation, Cultural complexity, Cultural diversity, Technology | Tagged , , ,

The niche construction of cultural complexity

Interactions between innovations, population size, and the environment. Niche construction is a process through which organisms alter their environments and, in doing so, influence or change the selective pressures to which they are subject. ‘Cultural niche construction’ refers specifically to … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural complexity, Cultural innovations, Innovation | Tagged , ,

Population Size does not explain Past Changes in Cultural Complexity

Archaeologists have long tried to understand why cultural complexity often changed in prehistory. Recently, a series of highly influential formal models have suggested that demography is the key factor. According to these models, the size of a population determines its … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural complexity, Cultural development, Cultural evolution, Culture, Demography, Evolution, Population | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently

A few years back, a brilliant student from China began to work with me on questions of social psychology and reasoning. One day early in our acquaintance, he said, “You know, the difference between you and me is that I … Continue reading

Posted in Cross-cultural psychology, Cultural complexity, Cultural differences, Cultural diversity, Cultural practices, Culture | Tagged , , , , ,

Sociality Influences Cultural Complexity

Archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence suggests a link between a population’s size and structure, and the diversity or sophistication of its toolkits or technologies. Addressing these patterns, several evolutionary models predict that both the size and social interconnectedness of populations can  … Continue reading

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Group Size and Cultural Complexity

A decade ago, Henrich proposed group size as a driver of cultural complexity. Derex et al. now present experimental results they say support this ‘group size hypothesis’ by seemingly showing that larger groups perform better than smaller groups under imitation-based … Continue reading

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