individual based models

Modelling cultural systems and selective filters

A specific goal of the field of cultural evolution is to understand how processes of transmission and selection at the individual level lead to population-wide patterns of cultural diversity and change. Models of cultural evolution have typically …

Individual-based models of cultural evolution. A step-by-step guide using R

The field of cultural evolution has emerged in the last few decades as a thriving, interdisciplinary effort to understand cultural change and cultural diversity within an evolutionary framework and using evolutionary tools, concepts and methods. …

Ape cultures do not require behavior copying

While culture is widespread in the animal kingdom, human culture has been claimed to be special due to being cumulative. It is currently debated which cognitive abilities support cumulative culture, but behavior copying is one of the main abilities …

Cultural stability without copying

What causes cultural stability? Culture can be studied as an evolving system, and the comparison between biological and cultural evolution has inspired a productive research agenda in which cultural stability is commonly attributed to the existence …

Copy-the-majority of instances or individuals? Two approaches to the majority and their consequences for conformist decision-making

Cultural evolution is the product of the psychological mechanisms that underlie individual decision making. One commonly studied learning mechanism is a disproportionate preference for majority opinions, known as conformist transmission. While most …

Reply to ‘Sigmoidal Acquisition Curves are Good Indicators of Conformist Transmission’

In the Smaldino et al. study ‘Sigmoidal Acquisition Curves are Good Indicators of Conformist Transmission’, our original findings regarding the conditional validity of using population-level sigmoidal acquisition curves as means to evidence …

Role of Neutral evolution in word turnover during centuries of English word popularity

Here, we test Neutral models against the evolution of English word frequency and vocabulary at the corpus scale, as recorded in annual word frequencies from three centuries of English lan- guage books. Against these data, we test both static and …

A reappreciation of “conformity”

Conformity cannot be identified based on population-level signatures

Conformist transmission, defined as a disproportionate likelihood to copy the majority, is considered a potent mechanism underlying the emergence and stabilization of cultural diversity. However, ambiguity within and across disciplines remains as to …

The role of redundant information in cultural transmission and cultural stabilization

Redundant copying has been proposed as a manner to achieve the high-fidelity necessary to pass on and preserve complex traits in human cultural transmission. There are at least 2 ways to define redundant copying. One refers to the possibility of …