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  1.  31
    Why imaginary worlds? The psychological foundations and cultural evolution of fictions with imaginary worlds.Edgar Dubourg & Nicolas Baumard - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45:e276.
    Imaginary worlds are extremely successful. The most popular fictions produced in the last few decades contain such a fictional world. They can be found in all fictional media, from novels (e.g., Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter) to films (e.g., Star Wars and Avatar), video games (e.g., The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy), graphic novels (e.g., One Piece and Naruto), and TV series (e.g., Star Trek and Game of Thrones), and they date as far back as ancient literature (...)
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  2.  17
    Why and How Did Narrative Fictions Evolve? Fictions as Entertainment Technologies.Edgar Dubourg & Nicolas Baumard - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13:786770.
    Narrative fictions have surely become the single most widespread source of entertainment in the world. In their free time, humans read novels and comics, watch movies and TV series, and play video games: they consume stories that they know to be false. Such behaviors are expanding at lightning speed in modern societies. Yet, the question of the origin of fictions has been an evolutionary puzzle for decades: Are fictions biological adaptations, or the by-products of cognitive mechanisms that evolved for another (...)
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  3.  32
    The evolution of music: One trait, many ultimate-level explanations.Edgar Dubourg, Jean-Baptiste André & Nicolas Baumard - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44.
    We propose an approach reconciling the ultimate-level explanations proposed by Savage et al. and Mehr et al. as to why music evolved. We also question the current adaptationist view of culture, which too often fails to disentangle distinct fitness benefits.
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  4.  3
    When instrumental inference hides behind seemingly arbitrary conventions.Edgar Dubourg, Léo Fitouchi & Nicolas Baumard - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45:e256.
    We review recent evidence that game rules, rules of etiquette, and supernatural beliefs, that the authors see as “ritualistic” conventions, are in fact shaped by instrumental inference. In line with such examples, we contend that cultural practices that may appear, from the outside, to be devoid of instrumental utility, could in fact be selectively acquired and preserved because of their perceived utility.
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  5.  9
    Imaginary worlds through the evolutionary lens: Ultimate functions, proximate mechanisms, cultural distribution.Edgar Dubourg & Nicolas Baumard - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45:e309.
    We received several commentaries both challenging and supporting our hypothesis. We thank the commentators for their thoughtful contributions, bringing together alternative hypotheses, complementary explanations, and appropriate corrections to our model. Here, we explain further our hypothesis, using more explicitly the framework of evolutionary social sciences. We first explain what we believe is the ultimate function of fiction in general (i.e., entertainment) and how this hypothesis differs from other evolutionary hypotheses put forward by several commentators. We then turn to the proximate (...)
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  6.  7
    When instrumental inference hides behind seemingly arbitrary conventions—CORRIGENDUM.Edgar Dubourg, Léo Fitouchi & Nicolas Baumard - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45:e310.
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