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  • 1. Bernard, Mark
    et al.
    Dreber, Anna
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    The subgroup problem: When can binding voting on extractions from a common pool resource overcome the tragedy of the commons?2013In: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, ISSN 0167-2681, E-ISSN 1879-1751, Vol. 91, p. 122-130Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using a common pool resource game protocol with voting we examine experimentally how cooperation varies with the level at which (binding) votes are aggregated. Our results are broadly in line with theoretical predictions. When players can vote on the behavior of the whole group or when leaders from each group can vote for the group as a whole, extraction levels from the common resource pool are close to the social optimum. When players extract resources individually, there is substantial overextraction. When players vote in subgroups, there is initially less overextraction but it increases over time. This suggests that in order for binding voting to overcome the tragedy of the commons in social dilemmas, it should ideally affect the group as a whole.

  • 2.
    Cordes, Christian
    et al.
    Universität Bremen, Institut für Institutionelle Ökonomik und Innovationsökonomik, Universität Bremen.
    Richerson, Peter
    University of California Davis, Department of Environmental Science and Policy.
    McElreath, Richard
    University of California, Department of Anthropology.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    A Naturalistic Approach to the Theory of the Firm: The Role of Cooperation2008In: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, ISSN 0167-2681, E-ISSN 1879-1751, Vol. 68, no 1, p. 125-139Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One reason why firms exist, this paper argues, is because they are suitable organizations within which cooperative production systems based on human social predispositions can evolve. In addition, we show how an entrepreneur, given these predispositions, can shape human behavior within a firm. To illustrate these processes, we will present a model that depicts how the biased transmission of cultural contents via social learning processes within the firm influence employees’ behavior and the performance of the firm. These biases can be traced back to evolved social predispositions. Humans lived in tribal scale social systems based on significant amounts of intra- and even intergroup cooperation for tens if not a few hundred thousand years before the first complex societies arose. Firms rest upon the social psychology originally evolved for tribal life. We also relate our conclusions to empirical evidenceon the performance and size of different kinds of organizations. Modern organizations have functions rather different from ancient tribes, leading to friction between our social predispositions and organization goals. Firms that manage to reduce this friction will tend to function better. 

  • 3.
    Cordes, Christian
    et al.
    Institut für Institutionelle Ökonomik und Innovationsökonomik, Universität Bremen.
    Richerson, Peter
    Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California Davis.
    McElreath, Richard
    Department of Anthropology, University of California.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    How does opportunistic behavior influence firm size?: An evolutionary approach to organizational behavior2011In: Journal of Institutional Economics, ISSN 1744-1374, E-ISSN 1744-1382, no 7, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper relates firm size and opportunism by showing that, given certain behavioural dispositions of humans, the size of a profit-maximizing firm can be determined by cognitive aspects underlying firm-internal 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 firm-internal socialization processes and the evolution of corporate cultures. We show that high opportunism-related costs are a reason for keeping firms’ size small.

  • 4.
    Cownden, Daniel
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Institute for Futures Studies, Sweden.
    A popular misapplication of evolutionary modeling to the study of human cooperation2017In: Evolution and human behavior, ISSN 1090-5138, E-ISSN 1879-0607, Vol. 38, no 3, p. 421-427Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To examine the evolutionary basis of a behavior, an established approach (known as the phenotypic gambit) is to assume that the behavior is controlled by a single allele, the fitness effects of which are derived from a consideration of how the behavior interacts, via life-history, with other ecological factors. Here we contrast successful applications of this approach with several examples of an influential and superficially similar line of research on the evolutionary basis of human cooperation. A key difference is identified: in the latter line of research the focal behavior, cooperation, is abstractly defined in terms of immediate fitness costs and benefits. Selection is then assumed to act on strategies in an iterated social context for which fitness effects can be derived by aggregation of the abstractly defined immediate fitness effects over a lifetime. This approach creates a closed theoretical loop, rendering models incapable of making predictions or providing insight into the origin of human cooperation. We conclude with a discussion of how evolutionary approaches might be appropriately used in the study of human social behavior.

  • 5. Cownden, Daniel
    et al.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Stockholm Institute for Future Studies, Sweden.
    The implications of learning across perceptually and strategically distinct situations2018In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964, Vol. 195, no 2, p. 511-528Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Game theory is a formal approach to behavior that focuses on the strategic aspect of situations. The game theoretic approach originates in economics but has been embraced by scholars across disciplines, including many philosophers and biologists. This approach has an important weakness: the strategic aspect of a situation, which is its defining quality in game theory, is often not its most salient quality in human (or animal) cognition. Evidence from a wide range of experiments highlights this shortcoming. Previous theoretical and empirical work has sought to address this weakness by considering learning across an ensemble of multiple games simultaneously. Here we extend this framework, incorporating artificial neural networks, to allow for an investigation of the interaction between the perceptual and functional similarity of the games composing the larger ensemble. Using this framework, we conduct a theoretical investigation of a population that encounters both stag hunts and prisoner’s dilemmas, two situations that are strategically different but which may or may not be perceptually similar.

  • 6.
    Enquist, Magnus
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Laland, Kevin
    School of Biology, University of St Andrews.
    Sjöstrand, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    One cultural parent makes no culture2010In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 79, no 6, p. 1135-1162Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ability to acquire knowledge and skills from others is widespread in animals and is commonly thought to be responsible for the behavioural traditions observed in many species. However, in spite of the extensive literature on theoretical analyses and empirical studies of social learning, little attention has been given to whether individuals acquire knowledge from a single individual or multiple models. Researchers commonly refer to instances of sons learning from fathers, or daughters from mothers, while theoreticians have constructed models of uniparental transmission, with little consideration of whether such restricted modes of transmission are actually feasible. We used mathematical models to demonstrate that the conditions under which learning from a single cultural parent can lead to stable culture are surprisingly restricted (the same reasoning applies to a single social-learning event). Conversely, we demonstrate how learning from more than one cultural parent can establish culture, and find that cultural traits will reach a nonzero equilibrium in the population provided the product of the fidelity of social learning and the number of cultural parents exceeds 1. We discuss the implications of the analysis for interpreting various findings in the animal social-learning literature, as well as the unique features of human culture.

  • 7.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Andersson, Per A.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Linköping University, Sweden.
    Moderators of the disapproval of peer punishment2016In: Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, ISSN 1368-4302, E-ISSN 1461-7188, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 152-168Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies have found disapproval of peer punishment of norm violations. This seems puzzling, given the potential benefits peer punishers contribute to the group. We suggest part of the answer is that peer punishers tend to come across as aggressive and as such may be viewed as more problematic than beneficial to have around. We used simple computer animations of geometric shapes to enact 15 precise variations of social sanctions against a norm violator. More than 1,800 subjects were recruited to watch an animation and judge the behavior and character of the animated agents. They also completed a trait aggression measure. Across the variations peer punishment was typically disapproved of, especially when severe or openly aggressive, and especially by subjects low on trait aggression. We conclude that there seems to be a social norm against peer punishment and that dislike of aggressiveness seems to be part of the reason why.

  • 8.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Andersson, Per A.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Institute for Futures Studies, Sweden.
    When is it appropriate to reprimand a norm violation? The roles of anger, behavioral consequences, violation severity, and social distance2017In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 396-407Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Experiments on economic games typically fail to find positive reputational effects of using peer punishment of selfish behavior in social dilemmas. Theorists had expected positive reputational effects because of the potentially beneficial consequences that punishment may have on norm violators' behavior. Going beyond the game-theoretic paradigm, we used vignettes to study how various social factors influence approval ratings of a peer who reprimands a violator of a group-beneficial norm. We found that ratings declined when punishers showed anger, and this effect was mediated by perceived aggressiveness. Thus the same emotions that motivate peer punishers may make them come across as aggressive, to the detriment of their reputation. However, the negative effect of showing anger disappeared when the norm violation was sufficiently severe. Ratings of punishers were also influenced by social distance, such that it is less appropriate for a stranger than a friend to reprimand a violator. In sum, peer punisher ratings were very high for a friend reprimanding a severe norm violation, but particularly poor for a stranger showing anger at a mild norm violation. We found no effect on ratings of whether the reprimand had the beneficial consequence of changing the violator's behavior. Our findings provide insight into how peer punishers can avoid negative reputational effects. They also point to the importance of going beyond economic games when studying peer punishment.

  • 9.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Cownden, Daniel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. INgrooves, Canada.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Institute for Futures Studies, Sweden.
    Social learning may lead to population level conformity without individual level frequency bias2017In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 17341Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A requirement of culture, whether animal or human, is some degree of conformity of behavior within populations. Researchers of gene-culture coevolution have suggested that population level conformity may result from frequency-biased social learning: individuals sampling multiple role models and preferentially adopting the majority behavior in the sample. When learning from a single role model, frequency-bias is not possible. We show why a population-level trend, either conformist or anticonformist, may nonetheless be almost inevitable in a population of individuals that learn through social enhancement, that is, using observations of others' behavior to update their own probability of using a behavior in the future. The exact specification of individuals' updating rule determines the direction of the trend. These results offer a new interpretation of previous findings from simulations of social enhancement in combination with reinforcement learning, and demonstrate how results of dynamical models may strongly depend on seemingly innocuous choices of model specifications, and how important it is to obtain empirical data on which to base such choices.

  • 10.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Simpson, Brent
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for Cultural Evolution.
    Political double standards in reliance on moral foundations2019In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 14, no 4, p. 440-454Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Prior research using the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) has established that political ideology is associated with self-reported reliance on specific moral foundations in moral judgments of acts. MFQ items do not specify the agents involved in the acts, however. By specifying agents in MFQ items we revealed blatant political double standards. Conservatives thought that the same moral foundation was more relevant if victims were agents that they like (i.e., corporations and other conservatives) but less relevant when the same agents were perpetrators. Liberals showed the same pattern for agents that they like (i.e., news media and other liberals). A UK sample showed much weaker political double standards with respect to corporations and news media, consistent with feelings about corporations and news media being much less politicized in the UK than in the US. We discuss the implications for moral foundations theory.

  • 11.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Linköping University, Sweden.
    Group differences in broadness of values may drive dynamics of public opinion on moral issues2015In: Mathematical Social Sciences, ISSN 0165-4896, E-ISSN 1879-3118, Vol. 77, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Here we propose the idea that the success of an argument in favor of an issue position should depend on whether the argument resonates with the audience's values. Now consider two groups, one of which has a broader set of values than the other. We develop a mathematical model to investigate how this difference in broadness of values may drive a change on the population level towards positions in line with the more narrow set of values. The model is motivated by the empirical finding that conservative morality rests equally on moral foundations that are individualizing (harm and fairness) and binding (purity, authority, and ingroup), whereas liberal morality relies mainly on the individualizing moral foundations. The model then predicts that, under certain conditions, the whole population will tend to move towards positions on moral issues (e.g., same-sex marriage) that are supported by individualizing moral foundations.

  • 12.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Linköping University, Sweden.
    Injunctive Versus Functional Inferences From Descriptive Norms: Comment on Gelfand and Harrington2015In: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, ISSN 0022-0221, E-ISSN 1552-5422, Vol. 46, no 10, p. 1330-1332Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    The devil is in the details: Incorrect intuitions in optimal search2010In: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, ISSN 0167-2681, E-ISSN 1879-1751, Vol. 75, no 2, p. 338-347Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the classic Secretary Problem it has been established that people tend to search somewhat less than is optimal, and a number of explanations have been suggested. Here we propose a new explanation, the Similar-But-Incorrect Intuitions Hypothesis, which says that suboptimal search behavior is to be expected because optimal strategies vary disproportionately with subtle details of the search problem setup, whereas people seem to entertain general intuitions about optimal search. We find support for this hypothesis in experiments on a new search problem, the Explore-and-Collect Problem, where the player collects utility from an option every time it is tried and options can be recalled. Although the optimal search effort in this problem is much smaller than for the Secretary Problem, people tend to search only marginally less. This is not predicted by previous explanations for suboptimal search.

  • 14.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution.
    The hard problem of cooperation2012In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 7, no 7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on individual variation in cooperative inclinations, we define the ‘‘hard problem of cooperation’’ as that of achievinghigh levels of cooperation in a group of non-cooperative types. Can the hard problem be solved by institutions withmonitoring and sanctions? In a laboratory experiment we find that the answer is affirmative if the institution is imposed onthe group but negative if development of the institution is left to the group to vote on. In the experiment, participants weredivided into groups of either cooperative types or non-cooperative types depending on their behavior in a public goodsgame. In these homogeneous groups they repeatedly played a public goods game regulated by an institution thatincorporated several of the key properties identified by Ostrom: operational rules, monitoring, rewards, punishments, and(in one condition) change of rules. When change of rules was not possible and punishments were set to be high, groups ofboth types generally abided by operational rules demanding high contributions to the common good, and therebyachieved high levels of payoffs. Under less severe rules, both types of groups did worse but non-cooperative types didworst. Thus, non-cooperative groups profited the most from being governed by an institution demanding highcontributions and employing high punishments. Nevertheless, in a condition where change of rules through voting wasmade possible, development of the institution in this direction was more often voted down in groups of non-cooperativetypes. We discuss the relevance of the hard problem and fit our results into a bigger picture of institutional and individualdeterminants of cooperative behavior.

  • 15.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Institute for Futures Studies, Sweden.
    Andersson, Per A.
    Aveyard, Mark
    Brauer, Markus
    Gritskov, Vladimir
    Kiyonari, Toko
    Kuhlman, David M.
    Maitner, Angela T.
    Manesi, Zoi
    Molho, Catherine
    Peperkoorn, Leonard S.
    Rizwan, Muhammad
    Stivers, Adam W.
    Tian, Qirui
    Van Lange, Paul A. M.
    Vartanova, Irina
    Wu, Junhui
    Yamagishi, Toshio
    Cultural Universals and Cultural Differences in Meta-Norms about Peer Punishment2017In: Management and Organization Review, ISSN 1740-8776, E-ISSN 1740-8784, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 851-870Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Violators of cooperation norms may be informally punished by their peers. How such norm enforcement is judged by others can be regarded as a meta-norm (i.e., a second-order norm). We examined whether meta-norms about peer punishment vary across cultures by having students in eight countries judge animations in which an agent who over-harvested a common resource was punished either by a single peer or by the entire peer group. Whether the punishment was retributive or restorative varied between two studies, and findings were largely consistent across these two types of punishment. Across all countries, punishment was judged as more appropriate when implemented by the entire peer group than by an individual. Differences between countries were revealed in judgments of punishers vs. non-punishers. Specifically, appraisals of punishers were relatively negative in three Western countries and Japan, and more neutral in Pakistan, UAE, Russia, and China, consistent with the influence of individualism, power distance, and/or indulgence. Our studies constitute a first step in mapping how meta-norms vary around the globe, demonstrating both cultural universals and cultural differences.

  • 16.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Linköping University, Sweden; Institute for Futures Studies, Sweden.
    Andersson, Per A.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Linköping University, Sweden.
    Lindholm, Torun
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Costly punishment in the ultimatum game evokes moral concern, in particular when framed as payoff reduction2017In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, ISSN 0022-1031, E-ISSN 1096-0465, Vol. 69, p. 59-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ultimatum game is a common economic experiment in which some participants reject another's unfair offer of how to split some money, even though it leaves them both worse off. This costly behavior can be seen as enforcement of a fairness norm and has been labeled “altruistic punishment”, suggesting that it is a moral thing to do. But is this behavior viewed as moral by participants? Is it viewed as punishment? And are the payoff consequences of the behavior sufficient to determine the answers to these questions? To investigate this we framed costly punishment in two different ways: either as rejection of an offer (the standard ultimatum game framing) or as reduction of payoff. In a series of paid and hypothetical experiments we found that moral concerns about costly punishment depended on the framing. Specifically, the reduction frame elicited more moral concern about, and less use of, costly punishment than did the rejection frame. Several implications are discussed.

  • 17.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Linköping University, Sweden.
    Coultas, Julie C.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. University of Sussex, England.
    Bidirectional associations between descriptive and injunctive norms2015In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, ISSN 0749-5978, E-ISSN 1095-9920, Vol. 129, p. 59-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modern research on social norms makes an important distinction between descriptive norms (how people commonly behave) and injunctive norms (what one is morally obligated to do). Here we propose that this distinction is far from clear in the cognition of social norms. In a first study, using the implicit association test, the concepts of common and moral were found to be strongly associated. Some implications of this automatic common-moral association were investigated in a subsequent series of experiments: Our participants tended to make explicit inferences from descriptive norms to injunctive norms and vice versa; they tended to mix up descriptive and injunctive concepts in recall tasks; and frequency information influenced participants' own moral judgments. We conclude by discussing how the common-moral association could play a role in the dynamics of social norms.

  • 18.
    Jansson, Fredrik
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Linköping University, Sweden.
    Parkvall, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Linköping University, Sweden.
    Modeling the Evolution of Creoles2015In: Language Dynamics and Change, ISSN 2210-5824, E-ISSN 2210-5832, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 1-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Various theories have been proposed regarding the origin of creole languages. Describing a process where only the end result is documented involves several methodological difficulties. In this paper we try to address some of the issues by using a novel mathematical model together with detailed empirical data on the origin and structure of Mauritian Creole. Our main focus is on whether Mauritian Creole may have originated only from a mutual desire to communicate, without a target language or prestige bias. Our conclusions are affirmative. With a confirmation bias towards learning from successful communication, the model predicts Mauritian Creole better than any of the input languages, including the lexifier French, thus providing a compelling and specific hypothetical model of how creoles emerge. The results also show that it may be possible for a creole to develop quickly after first contact, and that it was created mostly from material found in the input languages, but without inheriting their morphology.

  • 19. Jansson, Fredrik
    et al.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Parkvall, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Modelling the evolution of creoles2012In: The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference (EVOLANG9) / [ed] Thomas C. Scott-Phillips et al., Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company , 2012, p. 464-465Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 20. Jylha, Kirsti M.
    et al.
    Rydgren, Jens
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Institute for Futures Studies, Sweden.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for Cultural Evolution. Institute for Futures Studies, Sweden.
    Radical right-wing voters from right and left: Comparing Sweden Democrat voters who previously voted for the Conservative Party or the Social Democratic Party2019In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As in many other European countries, the political system has undergone rapid changes in Sweden while a radical right-wing party - The Sweden Democrats (SD) - has grown from a negligible position into one of the country's largest parties. SD has been winning voters from both the right and the left sides of the political spectrum, and particularly from Sweden's two largest parties, the Conservative Party (Moderaterna, M) and the Social Democratic Party (S). The present study investigated the extent to which SD voters who previously voted for one of these two parties differ from each other, and compared these SD voters with current Conservative Party and Social Democratic voters. The results showed that 1) economic deprivation offers a better explanation for the past mobility from S, than from M, to the SD; 2) no group differences were found between previous M and S voters in attitudes connected to the appeal of an anti-establishment party; and 3) views on the profile issues espoused by the radical right, most importantly opposition to immigration, did not differ between SD voters who come from M and S. However, SD voters - particularly SD voters who had formerly voted for the Social Democratic party - differed from the voters of their previous parties in several aspects. It is thus possible that many SD voters will not return to the parties they previously voted for, at least as long as the immigration issue continues to be of high salience in the society.

  • 21.
    McElreath, Richard
    et al.
    University of California, Department of Anthropology.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    When natural selection favors imitation of parents2008In: Current Anthropology, ISSN 0011-3204, E-ISSN 1537-5382, Vol. 49, no 3, p. 307-316Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is commonly assumed that parents are important sources of socially learned behavior and beliefs. However, the empirical evidence that parents are cultural models is ambiguous, and debates continue over their importance. A formal theory that examines the evolution of psychological tendencies to imitate parents (vertical transmission) and to imitate nonparent adults (oblique transmission) in stochastic fluctuating environments points to forces that sometimes make vertical transmission adaptive, but oblique transmission recovers more quickly from rapid environmental change. These results suggest that neither mode of transmission should be expected to dominate the other across all domains. Vertical transmission may be preferred when (1) learned behavior affects fertility rather than survival to adulthood, (2) the relevant environmentis stable, or (3) selection is strong. For thoseinterested in the evolution of social learning in diverse taxa, these models provide predictions for use in comparative studies.

  • 22.
    Parkvall, Mikael
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Jansson, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution.
    Simulating the genesis of Mauritian2013In: Acta Linguistica Hafniensia. International Journal of Structural Linguistics, ISSN 0374-0463, E-ISSN 1949-0763, Vol. 45, no 2, p. 265-273Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a computer simulation of the genesis of Mauritian Creole. The input consists of detailed demographic data and typological information on Mauritian as well as the languages which contributed to its birth. The simulation is deliberately a simplistic one – the idea is to have as few potentially controversial assumptions as possible built into the model, and add additional parameters only to the extent that its output differs from the real-world result. As it turns out, the model generates a language which is highly similar to Mauritian as it is spoken today, and thus, very little “tweaking” seems necessary. Most notably, the model produces the desired result without the postulation of targeted language acquisition, and while one cannot conclude that this was not a part of the creolisation process, our simulation suggests that it is not a necessary assumption.

  • 23. Ross, Cody T.
    et al.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Ericksen, Karen Paige
    Lindenfors, Patrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Borgerhoff Mulder, Monique
    The Origins and Maintenance of Female Genital Modification across Africa2016In: Human Nature, ISSN 1045-6767, E-ISSN 1936-4776, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 173-200Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present formal evolutionary models for the origins and persistence of the practice of Female Genital Modification (FGMo). We then test the implications of these models using normative cross-cultural data on FGMo in Africa and Bayesian phylogenetic methods that explicitly model adaptive evolution. Empirical evidence provides some support for the findings of our evolutionary models that the de novo origins of the FGMo practice should be associated with social stratification, and that social stratification should place selective pressures on the adoption of FGMo; these results, however, are tempered by the finding that FGMo has arisen in many cultures that have no social stratification, and that forces operating orthogonally to stratification appear to play a more important role in the cross-cultural distribution of FGMo. To explain these cases, one must consider cultural evolutionary explanations in conjunction with behavioral ecological ones. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our study for policies designed to end the practice of FGMo.

  • 24.
    Strimling, Pontus
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Institute for Future Studies, Sweden.
    de Barra, Mícheál
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. University of Aberdeen, UK.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Asymmetries in punishment propensity may drive the civilizing process2018In: Nature human behaviour, ISSN 2397-3374, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 148-155Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Norms about hygiene and violence have both shown a tendency to become increasingly strict, in the sense that the handling of bodily fluids and the use of violence have become increasingly restricted. The generality of this directional change across a large number of societies has not been captured by previous explanations. We propose an explanation of the directional change that is based on the aggregation of everyday interactions. This theory posits that directional norm change can come about if there is an asymmetry in punishment propensity between the people who prefer stricter norms and those who prefer looser norms. Asymmetry in punishment can arise from underlying asymmetry in the threat perceived, where a stricter-than-preferred behaviour is perceived as inherently less threatening than a looser one. We demonstrate the logic of the theory using a formal model and test some of its assumptions through survey experiments.

  • 25.
    Strimling, Pontus
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution.
    Sjöstrand, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution.
    Enquist, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution.
    Accumulation of independent cultural traits2009In: Theoretical Population Biology, ISSN 0040-5809, E-ISSN 1096-0325, Vol. 76, no 2, p. 77-83Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a species capable of (imperfect) social learning, how much culture can a population of a given size carry? And what is the relationship between the individual and the population? In the first study of these novel questions, here we develop a mathematical model of the accumulation of independent cultural traits in a finite population with overlapping generations.

  • 26.
    Strimling, Pontus
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for Cultural Evolution. Institute for Futures Studies, Sweden.
    Vartanova, Irina
    Jansson, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    The connection between moral positions and moral arguments drives opinion change2019In: Nature Human Behaviour, ISSN 2397-3374, Vol. 3, no 9, p. 922-930Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

1 - 26 of 26
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