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Publications (10 of 20) Show all publications
Enquist, M., Jansson, F., Ghirlanda, S. & Michaud, J. (2024). Cultural traits operating in senders are driving forces of cultural evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, 291(2018), Article ID 20232110.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cultural traits operating in senders are driving forces of cultural evolution
2024 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 291, no 2018, article id 20232110Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We introduce a mathematical model of cultural evolution to study cultural traits that shape how individuals exchange information. Current theory focuses on traits that influence the reception of information (receiver traits), such as evaluating whether information represents the majority or stems from a trusted source. Our model shifts the focus from the receiver to the sender of cultural information and emphasizes the role of sender traits, such as communicability or persuasiveness. Here, we show that sender traits are probably a stronger driving force in cultural evolution than receiver traits. While receiver traits evolve to curb cultural transmission, sender traits can amplify it and fuel the self-organization of systems of mutually supporting cultural traits, including traits that cannot be maintained on their own. Such systems can reach arbitrary complexity, potentially explaining uniquely human practical and mental skills, goals, knowledge and creativity, independent of innate factors. Our model incorporates social and individual learning throughout the lifespan, thus connecting cultural evolutionary theory with developmental psychology. This approach provides fresh insights into the trait-individual duality, that is, how cultural transmission of single traits is influenced by individuals, who are each represented as an acquired system of cultural traits.

Keywords
cultural evolution, cultural transmission, cumulative culture, dynamical systems, trait-individual duality, developmental psychology
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology) Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227521 (URN)10.1098/rspb.2023.2110 (DOI)001183512400006 ()38471552 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85187799771 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, 2021.0039
Available from: 2024-03-18 Created: 2024-03-18 Last updated: 2024-04-24Bibliographically approved
Jansson, F., Aguilar, E., Acerbi, A. & Enquist, M. (2021). Modelling cultural systems and selective filters. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, 376(1828), Article ID 20200045.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modelling cultural systems and selective filters
2021 (English)In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8436, E-ISSN 1471-2970, Vol. 376, no 1828, article id 20200045Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 assumed that traits are independent of one another and essentially exchangeable. But culture has a structure: traits bear relationships to one another that affect the transmission and selection process itself. Here, we introduce a modelling framework to explore the effect of interdependencies on the process of learning. Through simulations, we find that introducing a simple structure changes the cultural dynamics. Based on a basic filtering mechanism for parsing trait relationships, more elaborate cultural filters emerge. In a mostly incompatible cultural domain of traits, these filters organize culture into mostly (but not fully) consistent and stable systems. Incompatible domains produce small homogeneous cultures, while more compatibility increases size, diversity and group divergence. When individuals copy based on a trait's features (here, its compatibility relationships), they produce more homogeneous cultures than when they copy based on the agent carrying the cultural trait. We discuss the implications of considering cultural systems and filters in the dynamics of cultural change. This article is part of the theme issue 'Foundations of cultural evolution'.

Keywords
cultural evolution, cultural systems, cultural selection, social learning
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-195711 (URN)10.1098/rstb.2020.0045 (DOI)000651502300007 ()33993768 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2021-08-25 Created: 2021-08-25 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Smolla, M., Jansson, F., Lehmann, L., Houkes, W., Weissing, F. J., Hammerstein, P., . . . Enquist, M. (2021). Underappreciated features of cultural evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, 376(1828), Article ID 20200259.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Underappreciated features of cultural evolution
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2021 (English)In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8436, E-ISSN 1471-2970, Vol. 376, no 1828, article id 20200259Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cultural evolution theory has long been inspired by evolutionary biology. Conceptual analogies between biological and cultural evolution have led to the adoption of a range of formal theoretical approaches from population dynamics and genetics. However, this has resulted in a research programme with a strong focus on cultural transmission. Here, we contrast biological with cultural evolution, and highlight aspects of cultural evolution that have not received sufficient attention previously. We outline possible implications for evolutionary dynamics and argue that not taking them into account will limit our understanding of cultural systems. We propose 12 key questions for future research, among which are calls to improve our understanding of the combinatorial properties of cultural innovation, and the role of development and life history in cultural dynamics. Finally, we discuss how this vibrant research field can make progress by embracing its multidisciplinary nature. This article is part of the theme issue 'Foundations of cultural evolution'.

Keywords
cultural evolution, evolutionary biology, human evolution, cumulative culture, cultural systems
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-195713 (URN)10.1098/rstb.2020.0259 (DOI)000651502300013 ()33993758 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2021-08-25 Created: 2021-08-25 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Jansson, F., Birkelund, G. E. & Lillehagen, M. (2020). Segregation within school classes: Detecting social clustering in choice data. PLOS ONE, 15(6), Article ID e0233677.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Segregation within school classes: Detecting social clustering in choice data
2020 (English)In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 15, no 6, article id e0233677Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We suggest a new method for detecting patterns of social clustering based on choice data. The method compares similar subjects within and between cohorts and thereby allows us to isolate the effect of peer influence from that of exogenous factors. Using this method on Norwegian register data, we address the question of whether students tend to cluster socially based on similar background. We find that common background correlates with making the same choices of curricular tracks, and that both exogenous preferences and peer influence matter. This applies to immigrant students from the same country, and, to some extent, to descendants of immigrants, but not to students from culturally similar countries. There are also small effects related to parents' education and income.

Keywords
cross-ethnic friendships, secondary-schools, interracial friendship, educational choices, networks, diversity, peer, race, adolescents, integration
National Category
Educational Sciences Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-184608 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0233677 (DOI)000547893500020 ()32479511 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2020-08-28 Created: 2020-08-28 Last updated: 2022-03-23Bibliographically approved
Buskell, A., Enquist, M. & Jansson, F. (2019). A systems approach to cultural evolution. Palgrave Communications, 5, Article ID 131.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A systems approach to cultural evolution
2019 (English)In: Palgrave Communications, ISSN 2055-1045, Vol. 5, article id 131Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A widely accepted view in the cultural evolutionary literature is that culture forms a dynamic system of elements (or 'traits') linked together by a variety of relationships. Despite this, large families of models within the cultural evolutionary literature tend to represent only a small number of traits, or traits without interrelationships. As such, these models may be unable to capture complex dynamics resulting from multiple interrelated traits. Here we put forward a systems approach to cultural evolutionary research-one that explicitly represents numerous cultural traits and their relationships to one another. Basing our discussion on simple graph-based models, we examine the implications of the systems approach in four domains: (i) the cultural evolution of decision rules ('filters') and their influence on the distribution of cultural traits in a population; (ii) the contingency and stochasticity of system trajectories through a structured state space; (iii) how trait interrelationships can modulate rates of cultural change; and (iv) how trait interrelationships can contribute to understandings of inter-group differences in realised traits. We suggest that the preliminary results presented here should inspire greater attention to the role of multiple interrelated traits on cultural evolution, and should motivate attempts to formalise the rich body of analyses and hypotheses within the humanities and social science literatures.

National Category
Biological Sciences History and Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-180675 (URN)10.1057/s41599-019-0343-5 (DOI)000514114300005 ()
Available from: 2020-04-06 Created: 2020-04-06 Last updated: 2022-03-23Bibliographically approved
Strimling, P., Vartanova, I., Jansson, F. & Eriksson, K. (2019). The connection between moral positions and moral arguments drives opinion change. Nature Human Behaviour, 3(9), 922-930
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The connection between moral positions and moral arguments drives opinion change
2019 (English)In: Nature Human Behaviour, E-ISSN 2397-3374, Vol. 3, no 9, p. 922-930Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Liberals and conservatives often take opposing positions on moral issues. But what makes a moral position liberal or conservative? Why does public opinion tend to become more liberal over time? And why does public opinion change especially fast on certain issues, such as gay rights? We offer an explanation based on how different positions connect with different kinds of moral arguments. Based on a formal model of opinion dynamics, we predicted that positions better connected to harm and fairness arguments will be more popular among liberals and will become more popular over time among liberals and conservatives. Finally, the speed of this trend will be faster the better the position connects to harm and fairness arguments. These predictions all held with high accuracy in 44years of polling on moral opinions. The model explains the connection between ideology and moral opinions, and generates precise predictions for future opinion change.

National Category
Psychology Philosophy, Ethics and Religion Other Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-174958 (URN)10.1038/s41562-019-0647-x (DOI)000485813100012 ()31308486 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2019-10-25 Created: 2019-10-25 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Bursell, M. & Jansson, F. (2018). Diversity preferences among employees and ethnoracial workplace segregation. Social Science Research, 74, 62-76
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Diversity preferences among employees and ethnoracial workplace segregation
2018 (English)In: Social Science Research, ISSN 0049-089X, E-ISSN 1096-0317, Vol. 74, p. 62-76Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ethno-racial workplace segregation increases already existing ethno-racial inequality. While previous research has identified discriminatory employers as drivers of workplace segregation, this study addresses the role of the employees. Sociological and social psychological theory suggest that people prefer to surround themselves with people who positively confirm their social identity or who contribute with higher group status. Through web-based surveys, we measure employee attitudes and preferences concerning ethno-racial workplace diversity, to what extent they differ by ethnicity/race, and if they contain intersectional patterns. Thereafter, we use simulation models to analyze the consequences for workplace segregation that these preferences would have, if realized. The main survey results showed that all ethno-racial groups favored their own in-group as colleagues, especially European Americans. As a secondary choice, the respondents preferred the out-group with the highest labor market status. Intersectional patterns were identified, as minority women were preferred as colleagues over minority men. Our simulation model, based on the results of two surveys on stated vs. indirectly revealed preferences, showed that employee preferences were at best not diverse enough to desegregate workplaces. When based on the most common preferences (i.e. excluding a few outliers), the simulations even suggested that these preferences can cause segregation. We relate these findings to Schelling's model of segregation.

Keywords
Ethnicity, Race, Gender, Workplace, Segregation, Status construction, Social identity
National Category
Other Humanities Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-159004 (URN)10.1016/j.ssresearch.2018.03.009 (DOI)000440122500005 ()29961490 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2018-09-10 Created: 2018-09-10 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Lindenfors, P., Jansson, F., Yi-ting, W. & Lindberg, S. (2018). Investigating Sequences in Ordinal Data: A New Approach With Adapted Evolutionary Models. Political Science Research and Methods, 6(3), 449-466
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigating Sequences in Ordinal Data: A New Approach With Adapted Evolutionary Models
2018 (English)In: Political Science Research and Methods, ISSN 2049-8470, E-ISSN 2049-8489, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 449-466Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a new approach for studying temporal sequences across ordinal variables. It involves three complementary approaches (frequency tables, transitional graphs, and dependency tables), as well as an established adaptation based on Bayesian dynamical systems, inferring a general system of change. The frequency tables count pairs of values in two variables and transitional graphs depict changes, showing which variable tends to attain high values first. The dependency tables investigate which values of one variable are prerequisites for values in another, as a more direct test of causal hypotheses. We illustrate the proposed approaches by analyzing the V-Dem dataset, and show that changes in electoral democracy are preceded by changes in freedom of expression and access to alternative information.

National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-155035 (URN)10.1017/psrm.2018.9 (DOI)000431289200003 ()
Available from: 2018-04-10 Created: 2018-04-10 Last updated: 2022-03-23Bibliographically approved
Jansson, F. & Bursell, M. (2018). Social consensus influences ethnic diversity preferences. Social influence, 13(4), 192-208
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social consensus influences ethnic diversity preferences
2018 (English)In: Social influence, ISSN 1553-4510, E-ISSN 1553-4529, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 192-208Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is widespread segregation between workplaces along ethnic lines. We expand upon previous research on segregation and social influence by testing the effect of the latter on personal diversity preferences, specifically in employees' selection into hypothetical workplaces. In a survey study with 364 European American respondents in three waves, participants complied with social consensus preferences for either more or less workplace diversity. The new preference was sufficiently internalized to be retained largely unaltered a week later. Simulations suggest a self-reinforcing effect, where accurate social consensus information may be sufficient to change preferences. Given that initial choices were polarized, perceived social consensus can vary highly between people in society, and influencing this perception may feed back into greater acceptance of minorities.

Keywords
Social influence, segregation, workplaces, ingroup bias, status
National Category
Psychology Other Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-166639 (URN)10.1080/15534510.2018.1540358 (DOI)000456331600002 ()
Available from: 2019-03-14 Created: 2019-03-14 Last updated: 2022-03-23Bibliographically approved
Jansson, F. (2017). Using register data to deduce patterns of social exchange. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 45, 56-61
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using register data to deduce patterns of social exchange
2017 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 45, p. 56-61Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a novel method for deducting propensities for social exchange between individuals based on the choices they make, and based on factors such as country of origin, sex, school grades and socioeconomic background. The objective here is to disentangle the effect of social ties from the other factors, in order to find patterns of social exchange. This is done through a control-treatment design on analysing available data, where the treatment' is similarity of choices between socially connected individuals, and the control is similarity of choices between non-connected individuals. Structural dependencies are controlled for and effects from different classes are pooled through a mix of methods from network and meta-analysis. The method is demonstrated and tested on Swedish register data on students at upper secondary school. The results show that having similar grades is a predictor of social exchange. Also, previous results from Norwegian data are replicated, showing that students cluster based on country of origin.

Keywords
Networks, friendships, social preferences, school segregation, homophily, ethnicity, replication
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145816 (URN)10.1177/1403494817702562 (DOI)000405007800011 ()28683656 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2017-08-28 Created: 2017-08-28 Last updated: 2022-02-28Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8357-0276

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