The next EHBEA conference in Paris will include a “satellite meeting” on cultural attraction theory: Cultural Evolution by Cultural Attraction: Empirical Issues
I will give a talk titled Three predictions for cultural attraction theory. Below the (tentative) slides. If you cannot wait, the three predictions are:
- lo-fi copying is more significant than hi-fi copying in cultural transmission
- domain-general social influence (context-biases) is not very important
- culture is a matter of global, often neutral, traditions, more than local, generally adaptive, differences
As I will explain, cultural attraction theory does not depend on these predictions being true but, if they are, cultural attraction is particularly appealing. If they are false, conversely, the explanative power of cultural attraction may be quite low. I just gave the talk to a group of philosophers that got rightly frustrated by my use of the term “prediction”. Given the alternatives (assumptions, prognostications, presuppositions, commitments, pillars) I might anyway stick with it for the time being.
I am not sure if I will be repeating the obvious or if I will (unwillingly) upset cultural attraction people, so perhaps the talk may not be too pointless.