Tag Archives: cultural evolution

Evolution of Social Learning and the Origin of Human Cumulative Culture

Because culture requires transmission of information between individuals, thinking about the origin of culture has mainly focused on the genetic evolution of abilities for social learning. Current theory considers how social learning affects the adaptiveness of a single cultural trait, … Continue reading

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Human Cumulative Cultural Evolution as a Form of Distributed Computation

Cumulative culture is the engine that drives the remarkable power of the global human computer. It enables societies to act as extremely powerful computers by ratcheting up technological and other cultural innovations. Once culture can accumulate, the ability of a … Continue reading

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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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Genetic and Cultural Evolution of Cooperation

Current thinking in evolutionary biology holds that competition among individuals is the key to understanding natural selection. When competition exists, it is obvious that conflict arises; the emergence of cooperation, however, is less straightforward and calls for in-depth analysis. Much … Continue reading

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