cultural attraction

From storytelling to Facebook

Some content spreads better in social media, but how can we know if it is *because* of social media?

A continuum of fidelity and selection

Cultural traditions can be supported in many ways.

Culture without copying or selection

Typical examples of cultural phenomena all exhibit a degree of similarity across time and space at the level of the population. As such, a fundamental question for any science of culture is, what ensures this stability in the first place? Here we …

Cultural evolution in the digital age

From emails to social media, from instant messaging to political memes, the way we produce and transmit culture is radically changing. Understanding the consequences of the massive diffusion of digital media is of the utmost importance, both from the …

Cognitive attraction and online misinformation

The spread of online misinformation has gained mainstream attention in recent years. This paper approaches this phenomenon from a cultural evolution and cognitive anthropology perspective, focusing on the idea that some cultural traits can be …

Cultural complexity and demography: the case of folktales

We investigate the relationship between cultural complexity and population size in a non-technological cultural domain for which we have suitable quantitative records: folktales. We define three levels of complexity for folk narratives: the …

If we are all cultural Darwinians what’s the fuss about? Clarifying recent disagreements in the field of cultural evolution

Cultural evolution studies are characterized by the notion that culture evolves accordingly to broadly Darwinian principles. Yet how far the analogy be- tween cultural and genetic evolution should be pushed is open to debate. Here, we examine a …

Behavioral constraints and the evolution of faithful social learning

Behavioral “traditions”, i.e. behavioral patterns that are acquired with the aid of social learning and that are relatively stable in a group, have been observed in several species. Recently, however, it has been questioned whether non-human social …

Modelli evoluzionistici della cultura

Antropologia cognitiva e modularità della mente: il caso della folkbiology