Tag Archives: cultural evolution

The Neolithic Revolution in the Near East: Transforming the Human Landscape

One of humanity’s most important milestones was the transition from hunting and gathering to food production and permanent village life. This Neolithic Revolution first occurred in the Near East, changing the way humans interacted with their environment and each other, … Continue reading

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Campfire Stories Helped Human Culture Evolve

While today sitting around a campfire, is just seen as good fun, a new study shows that 400,000 to one million years ago, these types of gatherings actually helped human culture evolve. All those years ago, the flames not only … Continue reading

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Evolution in Leaps: The punctuated Accumulation and Loss of Cultural Innovations

Archaeological accounts of cultural change reveal a fundamental conflict: Some suggest that change is gradual, accelerating over time, whereas others indicate that it is punctuated, with long periods of stasis interspersed by sudden gains or losses of multiple traits. Existing … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Cultural accumulation, Cultural change, Cultural evolution, Cultural innovations, Cultural population, Social stratification | 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

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Culture and the Self – Implications for Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation

People in different cultures have strikingly different construals of the self, of others, and of the interdependence of the two. These construals can influence, and in many cases determine, the very nature of individual experience, including cognition, emotion, and motivation. … Continue reading

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The origins of Cultural Cognition – Understanding and Sharing Intention

We propose that the crucial difference between human cognition and that of other species is the ability to participate with others in collaborative activities with shared goals and intentions: shared intentionality. Participation in such activities requires not only especially powerful … Continue reading

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Culture and Psychology

Interest in understanding cultural influences on mental processes and behaviors continues to grow in all areas of psychology, and new research and new knowledge on this topic is created constantly. Much of this new information has brought about increased awareness … Continue reading

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The Cultural Evolution of Socially Situated Cognition

Because human cognition is creative and socially situated, knowledge accumulates, diffuses, and gets applied in new  contexts, generating cultural analogs of phenomena observed in population genetics such as adaptation and drift. It is therefore commonly thought that elements of culture … Continue reading

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The Origin and Evolution of Cultures

Oxford presents, in one convenient and coherently organized volume, 20 influential but until now relatively inaccessible articles that form the backbone of Boyd and Richerson’s path-breaking work on evolution and culture. Their interdisciplinary research is based on two notions. First, … Continue reading

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Cultural, Cognition and Human Action

To understand culture and cultural evolution we must abandon the atomized and anonymous social environment of neoclassical economics. Culture is a product and a cause of the socialized nature of human action. Examination of the phylogenetic and ontogenetic neural mechanisms … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, Cultural evolution, Culture, Humans | Tagged , , ,