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  1.  38
    Complex Societies: The Evolutionary Origins of a Crude Superorganism.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - unknown
    The complexity of human societies of the past few thousand years rivals that of social insect societies. We hypothesize that two sets of social “instincts” underpin and constrain the evolution of complex societies. One set is ancient and shared with other social primate species, and one is derived and unique to our lineage. The latter evolved by the late Pleistocene, and led to the evolution of institutions of intermediate complexity in acephalous societies. The institutions of complex societies often conflict with (...)
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  2.  3
    Complex Societies.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - 1999 - Human Nature 10 (3):253-289.
    The complexity of human societies of the past few thousand years rivals that of social insect societies. We hypothesize that two sets of social “instincts” underpin and constrain the evolution of complex societies. One set is ancient and shared with other social primate species, and one is derived and unique to our lineage. The latter evolved by the late Pleistocene, and led to the evolution of institutions of intermediate complexity in acephalous societies. The institutions of complex societies often conflict with (...)
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  3.  45
    The Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Human societies are based on cooperation among large numbers of genetically unrelated individuals. This behavior is puzzling from an evolutionary perspective. Because cooperators are..
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  4.  35
    Culture and the Evolution of Human Cooperation.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Receive free email alerts when new articles cite this article - sign up in the box at the top here right-hand corner of the article or click..
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  5.  21
    Why Does Culture Increase Human Adaptability?Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    It is often argued that culture is adaptive because it allows people to acquire useful information without costly learning. In a recent paper Rogers analyzed a simple mathematical model that showed that this argument is wrong. Here we show that Rogers ' result is robust. As long as the only benefit of social learning is that imitators avoid learning costs, social learning does not increase average fitness. However, we also show that social learning can be adaptive if it makes individual (...)
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  6.  3
    The Search for an Alternative to the Sociobiological Hypothesis.Peter J. Richerson & Robert T. Boyd - 1981 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (2):248.
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  7.  29
    Cultural Evolution in Laboratory Microsocieties Including Traditions of Rule Giving and Rule Following.William M. Baum & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Experiments may contribute to understanding the basic processes of cultural evolution. We drew features from previous laboratory research with small groups in which traditions arose during several generations. Groups of four participants chose by consensus between solving anagrams printed on red cards and on blue cards. Payoffs for the choices differed. After 12 min, the participant who had been in the experiment the longest was removed and replaced with a naı¨ve person. These replacements, each of which marked the end of (...)
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  8.  40
    Group Beneficial Norms Can Spread Rapidly in a Structured Population.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Group beneficial norms are common in human societies. The persistence of such norms is consistent with evolutionary game theory, but existing models do not provide a plausible explanation for why they are common. We show that when a model of imitation used to derive replicator dynamics in isolated populations is generalized to allow for population structure, group beneficial norms can spread rapidly under plausible conditions. We also show that this mechanism allows recombination of different group beneficial norms arising in..
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  9.  32
    Rapid Cultural Adaptation Can Facilitate the Evolution of Large-Scale Cooperation.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Over the past several decades, we have argued that cultural evolution can facilitate the evolution of largescale cooperation because it often leads to more rapid adaptation than genetic evolution, and, when multiple stable equilibria exist, rapid adaptation leads to variation among groups. Recently, Lehmann, Feldman, and colleagues have published several papers questioning this argument. They analyze models showing that cultural evolution can actually reduce the range of conditions under which cooperation can evolve and interpret these models as indicating that we (...)
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  10.  48
    Climate, Culture and the Evolution of Cognition.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - 2000 - In Celia Heyes & Ludwig Huber (eds.), The Evolution of Cognition. MIT Press. pp. 329--45.
    What are the causes of the evolution of complex cognition? Discussions of the evolution of cognition sometimes seem to assume that more complex cognition is a fundamental advance over less complex cognition, as evidenced by a broad trend toward larger brains in evolutionary history. Evolutionary biologists are suspicious of such explanations since they picture natural selection as a process leading to adaptation to local environments, not to progressive trends. Cognitive adaptations will have costs, and more complex cognition will evolve only (...)
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  11.  84
    Darwinian Evolutionary Ethics: Between Patriotism and Sympathy.Peter J. Richerson & Richard Boyd - 2004 - In Phillip Clayton & Jeffrey Schloss (eds.), Evolution and Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. pp. 50--77.
  12. Gene–Culture Coevolution and the Evolution of Social Institutions.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Social institutions are the laws, informal rules, and conventions that give durable structure to social interactions within a population. Such institutions are typically not designed consciously, are heritable at the population level, are frequently but not always group benefi cial, and are often symbolically marked. Conceptualizing social institutions as one of multiple possible stable cultural equilibrium allows a straightforward explanation of their properties. The evolution of institutions is partly driven by both the deliberate and intuitive decisions of individuals and collectivities. (...)
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  13.  29
    Transmission Coupling Mechanisms: Cultural Group Selection.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    The application of phylogenetic methods to cultural variation raises questions about how cultural adaption works and how it is coupled to cultural transmission. Cultural group selection is of particular interest in this context because it depends on the same kinds of mechanisms that lead to tree-like patterns of cultural variation. Here, we review ideas about cultural group selection relevant to cultural phylogenetics. We discuss why group selection among multiple equilibria is not subject to the usual criticisms directed at group selection, (...)
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  14. Why Possibly Language Evolved.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - unknown
    Human syntactic language has no close parallels in other systems of animal communication. Yet it seems to be an important part of the cultural adaptation that serves to make humans the earth’s dominant organism. Why is language restricted to humans given that communication seems to be so useful? We argue that language is part of human cooperation. We talk because others can normally trust what we say to be useful to them, not just to us. Models of gene-culture coevolution give (...)
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  15.  29
    Built for Speed, Not for Comfort.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - 2001 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 23:423-463.
  16.  22
    Cultural Innovations and Demographic Change.Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Demography plays a large role in cultural evolution through its effects on the effective rate of innovation. If we assume that useful inventions are rare, then small isolated societies will have low rates of invention. In small populations, complex technology will tend to be lost as a result of random loss or incomplete transmission (the Tasmanian effect). Large populations have more inventors and are more resistant to loss by chance. If human populations can grow freely, then a population-technology-population positive feedback (...)
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  17.  28
    Are Cultural Phylogenies Possible?Robert Boyd, Monique Bogerhoff-Mulder & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Biology and the social sciences share an interest in phylogeny. Biologists know that living species are descended from past species, and use the pattern of similarities among living species to reconstruct the history of phylogenetic branching. Social scientists know that the beliefs, values, practices, and artifacts that characterize contemporary societies are descended from past societies, and some social science disciplines, linguistics and cross cultural anthropology for example, have made use of observed similarities to reconstruct cultural histories. Darwin appreciated that his (...)
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  18. Simple Models of Complex Phenomena: The Case of Cultural Evolution.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - 1987 - In John Dupre (ed.), The Latest on the Best: Essays on Evolution and Optimality. MIT Press. pp. 27--52.
     
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  19.  34
    Response to Our Critics.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):301-315.
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  20.  88
    Is Religion Adaptive? Yes, No, Neutral. But Mostly We Don't Know.Peter J. Richerson & Lesley Newson - 2009 - In . Oxford University Press. pp. 100-117.
    Accession Number: ATLA0001788477; Hosting Book Page Citation: p 100-117.; Language(s): English; Issued by ATLA: 20130825; Publication Type: Essay.
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  21.  41
    A Simple Dual Inheritance Model of the Conflict Between Social and Biological Evolution.Robort Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - 1976 - Zygon 11 (3):254-262.
  22.  31
    Built for Speed, Not for Comfort. Darwinian Theory and Human Culture.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - 1997 - Philosophica 60 (3/4):425 - 465.
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  23.  55
    A Prolegomenon to Nonlinear Empiricism in the Human Behavioral Sciences.Charles Efferson & Peter J. Richerson - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):1-33.
    We propose a general framework for integrating theory and empiricism in human evolutionary ecology. We specifically emphasize the joint use of stochastic nonlinear dynamics and information theory. To illustrate critical ideas associated with historical contingency and complex dynamics, we review recent research on social preferences and social learning from behavioral economics. We additionally examine recent work on ecological approaches in history, the modeling of chaotic populations, and statistical application of information theory.
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  24.  22
    Payoff Biased Migration and the Evolution of Group Beneficial Behavior.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Human migration is nonrandom. In small scale societies of the past, and in the modern world, people tend to move to wealthier, safer, and more just societies from poorer, more violent, less just societies. If immigrants are assimilated, such nonrandom migration can increase the occurrence of culturally transmitted beliefs, values, and institutions that cause societies to be attractive to immigrants. Here we describe and analyze a simple model of this process. This model suggests that long run outcomes depend on the (...)
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  25.  23
    Evolution on a Restless Planet: Were Environmental Variability and Environmental Change Major Drivers of Human Evolution?Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - unknown
    Two kinds of factors set the tempo and direction of organic and cultural evolution, those external to biotic evolutionary process, such as changes in the earth’s physical and chemical environments, and those internal to it, such as the time required for chance factors to lead lineages across adaptive valleys to a new niche space (Valentine 1985). The relative importance of these two sorts of processes is widely debated. Valentine (1973) argued that marine invertebrate diversity patterns responded to seafloor spreading as (...)
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  26.  42
    Individual Decision Making and the Evolutionary Roots of Institutions.Robert Boyd, Gerd Gigerenzer, Peter J. Richerson, Arthur Robson, Jeffrey R. Stevens & Peter Hammerstein - unknown
    Humans hunt and kill many different species of animals, but whales are our biggest prey. In the North Atlantic, a male long-fi nned pilot whale (Globiceph- ala melaena), a large relative of the dolphins, can grow as large as 6.5 meters and weigh as much as 2.5 tons. As whales go, these are not particularly large, but there are more than 750,000 pilot whales in the North Atlantic, traveling in groups, “pods,” that range from just a few individuals to a (...)
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  27.  37
    Ethnic Interactions: Analysis of a Sample of Boundaries.Peter J. Richerson & Lore Ruttan - unknown
    In this paper, we analyze a sample of 46 ethnic boundaries drawn from the literature. The principal aim is to test whether there is a universal syndrome of ethnocentrism, the idea that ethnic relations can be characterized along a single dimension of differences, or, whether there are instead multiple types of ethnic relations. The latter hypothesis is based on a cultural evolutionary perspective that suggests that there may be competing forces leading to the evolution of ethnic markers, and hence to (...)
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  28.  21
    Beyond Existence and Aiming Outside the Laboratory: Estimating Frequency-Dependent and Payoff-Biased Social Learning Strategies.Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    The existence of social learning has been confirmed in diverse taxa, from apes to guppies. In order to advance our understanding of the consequences of social transmission and evolution of behavior, however, we require statistical tools that can distinguish among diverse social learning strategies. In this paper, we advance two main ideas. First, social learning is diverse, in the sense that individuals can take advantage of different kinds of information and combine them in different ways. Examining learning strategies for different (...)
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  29.  29
    Norms and Bounded Rationality.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Anthropologists believe that human behavior is governed by culturally transmitted norms, and that such norms contain accumulated wisdom that allows people to behave sensibly even though they do not understand why they do what they do. Economists and other rational choice theorists have been skeptical about functionalist claims because anthropologists have not provided any plausible mechanism which could explain why norms have this property. Here, we outline two such mechanisms. We show that occasional learning when coupled with cultural transmission and (...)
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  30.  24
    Shared Norms Can Lead to the Evolution of Ethnic Markers.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Most human populations are subdivided into ethnic groups which have self-ascribed membership and are marked by seemingly arbitrary traits such as distinctive styles of dress or speech. Existing explanations of ethnicity do not adequately explain the origin and maintenance of group marking. Here we develop a mathematical model which shows that groups distinguished by both differences in social norms and in arbitrary markers can emerge and remain stable despite significant mixing between them, if (1) people preferentially interact in mutually beneficial (...)
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  31.  23
    Rethinking Paleoanthropology.Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Ongoing advances in paleoclimatology and paleoecology are producing an ever more detailed picture of the environments in which our species evolved. This picture is important to understanding the processes by which our large brain evolved. Our large brain and its productions—toolmaking, complex social institutions, language, art, religion—are our most striking differences from our closest living relatives. Indeed, humans are unique in the animal world for our brain size relative to body mass and in the elaboration of our cultures. We are (...)
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  32.  27
    Migration: An Engine for Social Improvement the Movement of People Into Societies That Offer a Better Way of Life is a More Powerful Driver of Cultural Change Than Conflict and Conquest.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - unknown
    As cultural evolutionists interested in how culture changes over the long term, we've thought and written a lot about migration, but only recently tumbled to an obvious idea: migration has a profound effect on how societies evolve culturally because it is selective. People move to societies that provide a more attractive way of life, and all other things being equal, this process spreads ideas and institutions that lead to economic efficiency, social order and equality.
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  33.  17
    Culture is Part of Human Biology.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - unknown
    Rates of violence in the American South have long been much greater than in the North. Accounts of duels, feuds, bushwhackings, and lynchings occur prominently in visitors’ accounts, newspaper articles, and autobiography from the 18th Century onward. According to crime statistics these differences persist today. In their book, Culture of Honor, Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen argue that the South is more violent than the North because Southerners have different, culturally acquired beliefs about personal honor than Northerners. The South was (...)
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  34.  14
    Why Do People Become Modern? A Darwinian Explanation.Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    MOST MODERN PEOPLE think it is obvious why people become modern. For them, a more interesting and important puzzle is why some people fail to embrace modern ideas. Why do people in traditional societies often seem unable or unwilling to aspire to a better life for themselves and their children? Why do they fail to see the benefi ts of education, equal rights, democracy, and a rational approach to decisionmaking? What is the glue that makes them adhere to superstition, religion, (...)
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  35.  16
    The Evolution of Free Enterprise Values.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - unknown
    Free enterprise economic systems evolved in the modern period as culturally transmitted values related to honesty, hard work, and education achievement emerged. One evolutionary puzzle is why most economies for the past 5,000 years have had a limited role for free enterprise given the spectacular success of modern free economies. Another is why if humans became biologically modern 50,000 years ago did it take until 11,000 years ago for agriculture, the economic foundation of states, to begin. Why didn’t free enterprise (...)
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  36.  16
    How Does Opportunistic Behavior Influence Firm Size? An Evolutionary Approach to Organizational Behavior.Peter J. Richerson & Christian Cordes - unknown
    This paper relates firm size and opportunism by showing that, given certain behavioral dispositions of humans, the size of a profit-maximizing firm can be determined by cognitive aspects underlying firminternal cultural transmission processes. We argue that what firms do better than markets – besides economizing on transaction costs – is to establish a cooperative regime among its employees that keeps in check opportunism. A model depicts the outstanding role of the entrepreneur or business leader in firminternal socialization processes and the (...)
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  37.  8
    The Punishment That Sustains Cooperation is Often Coordinated and Costly.Samuel Bowles, Robert Boyd, Sarah Mathew & Peter J. Richerson - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):20 - 21.
    Experiments are not models of cooperation; instead, they demonstrate the presence of the ethical and other-regarding predispositions that often motivate cooperation and the punishment of free-riders. Experimental behavior predicts subjects' cooperation in the field. Ethnographic studies in small-scale societies without formal coercive institutions demonstrate that disciplining defectors is both essential to cooperation and often costly to the punisher.
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  38.  1
    Cooperation and Conflict, Large‐Scale Human.Francisco J. Gil‐White & Peter J. Richerson - 2002 - In Lynn Nadel (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Macmillan.
  39. .Peter J. Richerson & Lesley Newson - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
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  40. Many Important Group-Level Traits Are Institutions.Matthew R. Zefferman & Peter J. Richerson - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):280-281.
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