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  • 51.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    The nonsense math effect2012In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 7, no 6, p. 746-749Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mathematics is a fundamental tool of research. Although potentially applicable in every discipline, the amount of training in mathematics that students typically receive varies greatly between different disciplines. In those disciplines where most researchers do not master mathematics, the use of mathematics may be held in too much awe. To demonstrate this I conducted an online experiment with 200 participants, all of which had experience of reading research reports and a postgraduate degree (in any subject). Participants were presented with the abstracts from two published papers (one in evolutionary anthropology and one in sociology). Based on these abstracts, participants were asked to judge the quality of the research. Either one or the other of the two abstracts was manipulated through the inclusion of an extra sentence taken from a completely unrelated paper and presenting an equation that made no sense in the context. The abstract that included the meaningless mathematics tended to be judged of higher quality. However, this nonsense math effect was not found among participants with degrees in mathematics, science, technology or medicine.

  • 52.
    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.

  • 53.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Coultas, Julie
    University of Sussex.
    Are people really conformist-biased?: An empirical test and a new mathematical model2009In: Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, ISSN 0737-4828, Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, ISSN 1789-2082, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 5-21Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 54.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Coultas, Julie C.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. University of Sussex, UK .
    Corpses, maggots, poodles and rats: A content bias for disgust in three phases of cultural transmission2014In: Journal of Cognition and Culture, ISSN 1567-7095, E-ISSN 1568-5373, Vol. 14, no 1-2, p. 1-26Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    AbstractIn one conception of cultural evolution, the evolutionary success of cultural units that are transmitted from individual to individual is determined by forces of cultural selection. Here we argue that it is helpful to distinguish between several distinct phases of the transmission process in which cultural selection can operate, such as a choose-to-receive phase, an encode-and-retrieve phase, and a choose-to-transmit phase. Here we focus on emotional selection in cultural transmission of urban legends, which has previously been shown to operate in the choose-to-transmit phase. In a series of experiments we studied serial transmission of stories based on urban legends manipulated to be either high or low on disgusting content. Results supported emotional selection operating in all three phases of cultural transmission. Thus, the prevalence of disgusting urban legends in North America may be explained by emotional selection through a multitude of pathways.

  • 55.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Coultas, Julie C.
    The advantage of multiple cultural parents in the cultural transmission of stories2012In: Evolution and human behavior, ISSN 1090-5138, E-ISSN 1879-0607, Vol. 33, no 4, p. 251-259Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent mathematical modeling of repeated cultural transmission has shown that the rate at which culture is lost (due to imperfect transmission) will crucially depend on whether individuals receive transmissions from many cultural parents or only from one. However, the modeling assumptions leading up to this conclusion have so far not been empirically assessed. Here we do this for the special case of transmission chains where each individual either receives the same story twice from one cultural parent (and retransmits twice to a cultural child) or receives possibly different versions of the story from two cultural parents (and then retransmits to two cultural children). For this case, we first developed a more general mathematical model of cultural retention that takes into account the possibility of dependence of error rates between transmissions. In this model, under quite plausible assumptions, chains with two cultural parents will have superior retention of culture. This prediction was then tested in two experiments using both written and oral modes of transmission. In both cases, superior retention of culture was found in chains with two cultural parents. Estimation of model parameters indicated that error rates were not identical and independent between transmissions; instead, a primacy effect was suggested, such that the first transmission tends to have higher fidelity than the second transmission.

  • 56.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Coultas, Julie C.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    de Barra, Mícheál
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Cross-Cultural Differences in Emotional Selection on Transmission of Information2016In: Journal of Cognition and Culture, ISSN 1567-7095, E-ISSN 1568-5373, Vol. 16, no 1-2, p. 122-143Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research on cultural transmission among Americans has established a bias for transmitting stories that have disgusting elements (such as exposure to rats and maggots). Conceived of as a cultural evolutionary force, this phenomenon is one type of emotional selection. In a series of online studies with Americans and Indians we investigate whether there are cultural differences in emotional selection, such that the transmission process favours different kinds of content in different countries. The first study found a bias for disgusting content (rats and maggots) among Americans but not among Indians. Four subsequent studies focused on how country interacts with kind of emotional content (disgusting vs. happy surprises and good news) in reactions to transmission of stories or information. Whereas Indian participants, compared to Americans, tended to be less interested in, and excited by, transmission of stories and news involving common disgust-elicitors (like rats), the opposite pattern held for transmission of happy surprises and good news (e.g., the opening of a new public facility). We discuss various possible explanations and implications.

  • 57.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Enquist, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Etologi.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Critical points in current theory of conformist social learning2007In: Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, Vol. 5, p. 67-87Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 58.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Funcke, Alexander
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden; Harvard University, USA.
    A below-average effect with respect to American political stereotypes on warmth and competence2015In: Political Psychology, ISSN 0162-895X, E-ISSN 1467-9221, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 341-350Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The above-average effect is the phenomenon that people tend to judge themselves above average on desirable traits. Based on social identity theory, we propose that a below-average effect may arise when individuals rate themselves and the average ingroup member on traits stereotypically associated with the ingroup. In two studies, Republican and Democrat participants rated themselves and the average political ingroup member on possession of desirable traits related to warmth and competence. Current political stereotypes in America associate the former dimension with Democrats and the latter with Republicans. Consistent with our hypothesis, the above-average effect was moderated by political group and dimension in interaction. In particular, Democrats rated themselves below the average Democrat on warmth and Republicans rated themselves below the average Republican on competence.

  • 59.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Malardalen University, Sweden.
    Funcke, Alexander
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Malardalen University, Sweden.
    Humble Self-Enhancement: Religiosity and the Better-Than-Average Effect2014In: Social Psychology and Personality Science, ISSN 1948-5506, E-ISSN 1948-5514, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 76-83Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Prior research has linked religiosity to certain forms of self-enhancement. We extend this literature by three studies linking religiosity to the well-established better-than-average effect (BAE). First, a reanalysis of self-judgments of desirable characteristics in 15 nations showed that the BAE was stronger in more religious countries, even taking into account gross domestic product, interdependence, and economic inequality. Second, in two online surveys totaling 1,000 Americans, the BAE was stronger among more religious individuals. Several observations indicated that this relation was due to individuals self-stereotyping with respect to their religious in-groups. In particular, the relation was restricted to characteristics on the warmth dimension, consistent with the religious stereotype, and the average religious in-group member tended to be judged even more favorably than self. The latter phenomenon, which we term humble self-enhancement, is consistent with other studies linking stronger religiosity to greater favoritism of the religious in-group and greater derogation of religious out-groups.

  • 60.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Häggström, Olle
    Chalmers.
    Instability of matchings in decentralized markets with various preference structures2008In: International Journal of Game Theory, ISSN 0020-7276, E-ISSN 1432-1270, Vol. 35, p. 409-420Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In any two-sided matching market, a stable matching can be found by a central agency using the deferred acceptance procedure of Gale and Shapley. But if the market is decentralized and information is incomplete then stability of the ensuing matching is not to be expected. Despite the prevalence of such matching situations, and the importance of stability, little theory exists concerning instability. We discuss various measures of instability and analyze how they interact with the structure of the underlying preferences. Our main result is that even the outcome of decentralized matching with incomplete information can be expected to be “almost stable” under reasonable assumptions.

  • 61.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Jansson, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Sjöstrand, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Bentley’s conjecture on popularity toplist turnover under random copying2010In: The Ramanujan journal, ISSN 1382-4090, E-ISSN 1572-9303, Vol. 23, p. 371-396Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Bentley et al studied the turnover rate in popularity toplists in a ’random copying’ model of cultural evolution. Based on simulations of a model with population size N, list length ℓ and invention rate μ, they conjectured a remarkably simple formula for the turnover rate: ℓ√μ. Here we study an overlapping generations version of the random copying model, which can be interpreted as a random walk on the integer partitions of the population size. In this model we show that the conjectured formula, after a slight correction, holds asymptotically.

  • 62.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Kazemi, Ali
    Törnblom, Kjell
    A New Look at Individual Differences in Perceptions of Unfairness: The Theory of Maximally Unfair Allocations in Multiparty Situations2015In: Social Justice Research, ISSN 0885-7466, E-ISSN 1573-6725, Vol. 28, no 4, p. 401-414Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has demonstrated that unfairness judgments of resource allocations become more complex when there are more than two recipients. In order to explain some of this complexity, we propose a set of psychological mechanisms that may underlie four different choices of maximally unfair resource allocations (MUA): Self-Single-Loser, Self-One-Loser-of-Many, Self-Single-Winner, and Self-One-Winner-of-Many. From this psychological theory, several predictions are derived and tested in vignette studies involving a total of 708 participants recruited online using MTurk. As predicted by our theory, (1) choices of MUA where there is a single loser were much more common when the allocated resource was of negative rather than positive valence, and (2) the amount of egoistic bias individuals exhibited when judging the unfairness in receiving a small rather than a large share in a non-extreme multi-party allocation was predicted by their choices of MUA. These findings suggest that an individual's choice of MUA reveals some generally relevant principles of how unfairness is perceived in multi-party allocations. This opens up new lines of inquiry, especially regarding research on social dilemmas and social value orientation.

  • 63.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University .
    Martin, Chris C.
    Emory University.
    Who Accurately Predicted the End of the Government Shutdown?2015In: Social Science Research Network, ISSN 1556-5068Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In October 2013, the US government was shut down because of a stalled budget bill, and uncertainty prevailed regarding the end of the shutdown. Four days before the shutdown ended, we conducted a study on Mechanical Turk (N = 225) to investigate which individual differences were associated with accurate predictions of the shutdown’s end. The most accurate forecasts were made by people who were politically knowledgeable and politically engaged. Selfconfidence (in one’s forecast) and generalized trust were also positively associated with accuracy, but optimism was not. Conservatives were expected to predict later end dates, yet conservatism neither predicted inaccuracy nor moderated the other effects. These findings suggest that in at least some political forecasts, ideology may play a trivial role.

  • 64.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Simpson, Brent
    Editorial Decisions May Perpetuate Belief in Invalid Research Findings2013In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 9, article id e73364Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social psychology and related disciplines are seeing a resurgence of interest in replication, as well as actual replication efforts. But prior work suggests that even a clear demonstration that a finding is invalid often fails to shake acceptance of the finding. This threatens the full impact of these replication efforts. Here we show that the actions of two key players journal editors and the authors of original (invalidated) research findings - are critical to the broader public's continued belief in an invalidated research conclusion. Across three experiments, we show that belief in an invalidated finding falls sharply when a critical failed replication is published in the same - versus different - journal as the original finding, and when the authors of the original finding acknowledge that the new findings invalidate their conclusions. We conclude by discussing policy implications of our key findings.

  • 65.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Simpson, Brent
    Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina.
    Emotional reactions to losing explain gender differences in entering a risky lottery2010In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 159-163Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A gender difference in risk preferences, with women being more averse to risky choices, is a robust experimental finding. Speculating on the sources of this difference, Croson and Gneezy recently pointed to the tendency for women to experience emotions more strongly and suggested that feeling more strongly about negative outcomes would lead to greater risk-aversion. Here we test this hypothesis in an international survey with 424 respondents from India and 416 from US where we ask questions about a hypothetical lottery. In both countries we find that emotions about outcomes are stronger among women, and that this effect partially mediates gender difference in willingness to enter the lottery.

  • 66.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Simpson, Brent
    Perceptions of unfairness in allocations between multiple recipients2011In: Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0010-0285, E-ISSN 1095-5623, Vol. 62, no 3, p. 225-244Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper introduces a new model to explain perceptions of unfairness in resource allocations between multiple recipients. The model yields several novel predictions, all confirmed in a series of new empirical tests. For instance, while much prior research focuses on the differences between the judge’s share and others’ shares, we argue that people also care about differences between others’ shares. In particular, the presence of a single loser increases perceptions of unfairness. We also study individual variation in sensitivity to the single-loser dimension. Most centrally, we offer empirical support for the existence – indeed the prevalence – of ostraphobics, individuals with an acute sensitivity to being “ostracized” as a sole loser. We show that ostraphobics perceive unfairness more strongly than other types, are higher in need to belong and fear of negative evaluation, and are more prone to a heretofore unrecognized type of preference reversal with respect to fairness.

  • 67.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Malardalen University, Sweden.
    Simpson, Brent
    Poverty Prefers Company2014In: Social Psychology and Personality Science, ISSN 1948-5506, E-ISSN 1948-5514, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 319-325Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In three web-based experiments, we show that both actual poverty and experimentally induced (imagined) poverty create a preference for greater inequality. Study 1, a cross-national comparison between Americans and Swedes, showed that respondents who were actually poor and those who were experimentally induced to imagine that they were poor tended to express a heightened preference for greater inequality, and for a higher proportion of poor citizens. Study 2 replicated the effects using different procedures. Study 3 showed that imagining oneself being poor increases preferences for a greater proportion of poor people, but imagining oneself being rich does not increase preferences for a greater proportion of rich people. This poverty prefers company effect might affect support for policies aiming at reducing the number of poor people.

  • 68.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Simpson, Brent
    The available evidence suggests the percent measure should not be used to study inequality: Reply to Norton and Ariely2013In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 395-396Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this reply, we reiterate the main point of our 2012 paper, which was that the measure of inequality used by Norton and Ariely (2011) was too difficult for it to yield meaningful results. We describe additional evidence for this conclusion, and we also challenge the conclusion that political differences in perceived and desired inequality are small.

  • 69.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution.
    Simpson, Brent
    What do Americans know about inequality? It depends on how you ask them2012In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 7, no 6, p. 741-745Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A recent survey of inequality (Norton and Ariely, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 9-12) asked respondents to indicate what percent of the nation's total wealth is-and should be-controlled by richer and poorer quintiles of the U.S. population. We show that such measures lead to powerful anchoring effects that account for the otherwise remarkable findings that respondents reported perceiving, and desiring, extremely low inequality in wealth. We show that the same anchoring effects occur in other domains, namely web page popularity and school teacher salaries. We introduce logically equivalent questions about average levels of inequality that lead to more accurate responses. Finally, when we made respondents aware of the logical connection between the two measures, the majority said that typical responses to the average measures, indicating higher levels of inequality, better reflected their actual perceptions and preferences than did typical responses to percent measures.

  • 70.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Simpson, Brett
    Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina.
    Deception and price in a market with asymmetric information2007In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 23-28Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    In markets with asymmetric information, only sellers have knowledge about the quality of goods. Sellers may of course make a declaration of the quality, but unless there are sanctions imposed on false declarations or reputations are at stake, such declarations are tantamount to cheap talk. Nonetheless, in an experimental study we find that most people make honest declarations, which is in line with recent findings that lies damaging another party are costly in terms of the liar’s utility. Moreover, we find in this experimental market that deceptive sellers offer lower prices than honest sellers, which could possibly be explained by the same wish to limit the damage to the other party. However, when the recipient of the offer is a social tie we find no evidence for lower prices of deceptive offers, which seems to indicate that the rationale for the lower price in deceptive offers to strangers is in fact profit-seeking (by making the deal more attractive) rather than moral.

  • 71.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Sjöstrand, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    On two theorems of Quinzii and rent controlled housing allocation in Sweden2007In: International Journal of Game Theory, ISSN 0020-7276, E-ISSN 1432-1270, Vol. 9, no 3, p. 515-526Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 72.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Sjöstrand, Jonas
    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.
    Asymmetric equilibria in dynamic two-sided matching markets with independent preferences2008In: International Journal of Game Theory, ISSN 0020-7276, E-ISSN 1432-1270, Vol. 36, p. 421-440Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A fundamental fact in two-sided matching is that if amarket allows several stable outcomes, then one is optimal for all men in the sense that no man would prefer another stable outcome.We study a related phenomenon of asymmetric equilibria in a dynamic market where agents enter and search for a mate for at most n rounds before exiting again. Assuming independent preferences, we find that this game has multiple equilibria, some of which are highly asymmetric between sexes. We also investigate how the set of equilibria depends on a sex difference in the outside option of not being mated at all.

  • 73.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Sjöstrand, Jonas
    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.
    Optimal Expected Rank in a Two-Sided Secretary Problem2007In: Operations Research, ISSN 0030-364X, Vol. 55, no 5, p. 921-931Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a two-sided version of the famous secretary problem, employers search for a secretary at the same time as secretaries search for an employer. Nobody accepts being put on hold, and nobody is willing to take part in more than N interviews. Preferences are independent, and agents seek to optimize the expected rank of the partner they obtain among the N potential partners. We find that in any subgame perfect equilibrium, the expected rank grows as the square root of N (whereas it tends to a constant in the original secretary problem). We also compute how much agents can gain by cooperation.

  • 74.
    Eriksson, Kimmo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Sjöstrand, Jonas
    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.
    Three-dimensional stable matching with cyclic preferences2006In: Mathematical Social Sciences, ISSN 0165-4896, E-ISSN 1879-3118, Vol. 52, p. 77-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We consider stable three-dimensional matchings of three genders (3GSM). Alkan [Alkan, A., 1988. Nonexistence of stable threesome matchings. Mathematical Social Sciences 16, 207 instances of 3GSM allow stable matchings. Boros et al. [Boros, E., Gurvich, V., Jaslar, S., Krasner, D., 2004. Stable matchings in three-sided systems with cyclic preferences. Discrete Mathematics 286, 1 that if preferences are cyclic, and the number of agents is limited to three of each gender, then a stable matching always exists. Here we extend this result to four agents of each gender.We also show that a number of well-known sufficient conditions for stability do not apply to cyclic 3GSM. Based on computer search, we formulate a conjecture on stability of –209] showed that not all–10] showed“strongest link” 3GSM, which would imply stability of cyclic 3GSM.

  • 75.
    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.
    Biases for acquiring information individually rather than socially2009In: Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, ISSN 0737-4828, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 309-329Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We discuss theoretical and empirical arguments for a human bias to acquire information individually rather than socially. In particular, we argue that when other people can be observed, information collection is a public good and hence some of the individual variation in the choice between individual and social learning can be explained by variation in social value orientation. We conducted two experimental studies, based on the game Explore & Collect, to test the predictions that (1) socially and individually acquired information of equal objective value are treated differently, and (2) prosocial subjects tend to spend more effort than selfish subjects on individual acquiring of information. Both predictions were supported.

  • 76.
    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.

  • 77.
    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)
  • 78.
    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.
    Partner Search Heuristics in the Lab:: Stability of Matchings Under Various Preference Structures2009In: Adaptive Behavior, ISSN 1059-7123, E-ISSN 1741-2633, Vol. 17, no 6, p. 524-536Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When agents search for partners, the outcome is a matching. K. Eriksson and O. Häggström (2008) defined a measure of instability of matchings and proved that under a certain partner search heuristic, outcomes are likely to have low instability. They also showed that with regards to stability, the preference structure known as common preferences lie somewhere in between the extreme cases of homotypic and antithetical preferences. Following up on this theoretical work, we let human subjects search for a good partner in a computer game where preferences were set to be either common, homotypic, or antithetical. We find that total search effort and instability of the outcome vary in the predicted ways with the preference structure and the number of agents. A set of simulations show that these results are consistent with a model where agents use a simple search heuristic with a slight possibility of error.

  • 79.
    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.

  • 80.
    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.

  • 81.
    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.
    Using Models to Predict Cultural Evolution From Emotional Selection Mechanisms2019In: Emotion Review, ISSN 1754-0739, E-ISSN 1754-0747Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cultural variants may spread by being more appealing, more memorable, or less offensive than other cultural variants. Empirical studies suggest that such emotional selection is a force to be reckoned with in cultural evolution. We present a research paradigm that is suitable for the study of emotional selection. It guides empirical research by directing attention to the circumstances under which emotions influence the likelihood that an individual will influence another individual to acquire a cultural variant. We present a modeling framework to translate such knowledge into specific and testable predictions of population-level change. A set of already analyzed basic cases can serve as a toolbox.

  • 82.
    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.

  • 83.
    Fogarty, Laurel
    et al.
    University of St Andrews, Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution, School of Biology.
    Strimling, Pontus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Laland, Kevin Neville
    University of St Andrews, Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution, School of Biology.
    THE EVOLUTION OF TEACHING2011In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 65, no 10, p. 2760-2770Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teaching, alongside imitation, is widely thought to underlie the success of humanity by allowing high-fidelity transmission of information, skills, and technology between individuals, facilitating both cumulative knowledge gain and normative culture. Yet, it remains a mystery why teaching should be widespread in human societies but extremely rare in other animals. We explore the evolution of teaching using simple genetic models in which a single tutor transmits adaptive information to a related pupil at a cost. Teaching is expected to evolve where its costs are outweighed by the inclusive fitness benefits that result from the tutor's relatives being more likely to acquire the valuable information. We find that teaching is not favored where the pupil can easily acquire the information on its own, or through copying others, or for difficult to learn traits, where teachers typically do not possess the information to pass on to relatives. This leads to a narrow range of traits for which teaching would be efficacious, which helps to explain the rarity of teaching in nature, its unusual distribution, and its highly specific nature. Further models that allow for cumulative cultural knowledge gain suggest that teaching evolved in humans because cumulative culture renders otherwise difficult-to-acquire valuable information available to teach.

  • 84.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. CUNY, USA.
    On elemental and configural models of associative learning2015In: Journal of mathematical psychology (Print), ISSN 0022-2496, E-ISSN 1096-0880, Vol. 64-65, p. 8-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The elemental and configural approaches to associative learning are considered fundamentally distinct, with much theoretical and empirical work devoted to determining which one can better account for empirical data. Elemental models assume that each perceptual element is capable of acquiring associative strength independently of other elements. Configural models, on the other hand, assume that associative strength accrues to percepts as wholes. Here I derive a necessary and sufficient condition for an elemental and a configural model to be equivalent, i.e., to always make the same predictions. I then ask when the condition can be fulfilled. I show that it is always possible to construct a configural model equivalent to a given elemental model, provided we broaden somewhat the customary definition of a configural model. Constructing an elemental model equivalent to a given elemental one is possible provided the generalization function of the configural model is positive definite. The latter condition is satisfied by existing configural models. The arguments leading to these conclusions clarify the relationship between elemental and configural models, and show that both approaches have heuristic value for associative learning theory.

  • 85.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    On the relationship between elemental and configural models of associative learningIn: Journal of mathematical psychology (Print), ISSN 0022-2496, E-ISSN 1096-0880Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 86.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Acerbi, Alberto
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Enquist, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Nakamaru, Mayuko
    Department of Value and Decision Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology.
    The Sometimes Evitable Route to Conservatism and Persuasiveness: A Reply to Xue and Costopoulos2010In: Current Anthropology, ISSN 0011-3204, E-ISSN 1537-5382, Vol. 51, no 2, p. 271-272Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 87.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. City University of New York (CUNY), USA.
    Acerbi, Alberto
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. University of Bristol, England.
    Herzog, Harold
    Dog Movie Stars and Dog Breed Popularity: A Case Study in Media Influence on Choice2014In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 9, p. e106565-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Fashions and fads are important phenomena that influence many individual choices. They are ubiquitous in human societies, and have recently been used as a source of data to test models of cultural dynamics. Although a few statistical regularities have been observed in fashion cycles, their empirical characterization is still incomplete. Here we consider the impact of mass media on popular culture, showing that the release of movies featuring dogs is often associated with an increase in the popularity of featured breeds, for up to 10 years after movie release. We also find that a movie's impact on breed popularity correlates with the estimated number of viewers during the movie's opening weekend-a proxy of the movie's reach among the general public. Movies' influence on breed popularity was strongest in the early 20th century, and has declined since. We reach these conclusions through a new, widely applicable method to measure the cultural impact of events, capable of disentangling the event's effect from ongoing cultural trends.

  • 88.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Brooklyn College, NY, USA.
    Acerbi, Alberto
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. University of Bristol, England.
    Herzog, Harold
    Serpell, James A.
    Fashion vs. Function in Cultural Evolution: The Case of Dog Breed Popularity2013In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 9, p. e74770-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigate the relationship between characteristics of dog breeds and their popularity between years 1926 and 2005. We consider breed health, longevity, and behavioral qualities such as aggressiveness, trainability, and fearfulness. We show that a breed's overall popularity, fluctuations in popularity, and rates of increase and decrease around popularity peaks show typically no correlation with these breed characteristics. One exception is the finding that more popular breeds tend to suffer from more inherited disorders. Our results support the hypothesis that dog breed popularity has been primarily determined by fashion rather than function.

  • 89.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Contucci, Pierluigi
    Gallo, Ignacio
    Equilibria of Culture Contact Derived from In-Group and Out-Group Attitudes2010In: Applications of Mathematics in Models, Artificial Neural Networks and Arts / [ed] Capecchi, V., Buscema, M., Contucci, P., D'Amore, B., Springer Netherlands, 2010, p. 81-88Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 90.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    de Sanctis, Luca
    Shared culture needs large social networks. 2010In: Applications of Mathematics in Models, Artificial Neural Networks and Arts / [ed] Vittorio Capecchi, Massimo Buscema, Pierluigi Contucci, Bruno D'Amore, Springer Netherlands, 2010, p. 113-122Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 91.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Enquist, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Etologi.
    Cumulative culture and explosive demographic transitions2007In: Quality & Quantity, Vol. 41, no 4, p. 591-600Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 92.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Centre for Cultural Evolution.
    Enquist, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    How training and testing histories affect generalisation: a test of simple neural networks2010In: Modelling Perception with Artificial Neural Networks / [ed] Colin R. Tosh, Graeme D. Ruxton, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, p. 295-307Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 93.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Enquist, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Etologi.
    How training and testing histories affect generalization: a test of simple neural networks2007In: Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, Vol. 362, p. 449-454Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 94.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Brooklyn College, USA.
    Enquist, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Lind, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Coevolution of intelligence, behavioral repertoire, and lifespan2014In: Theoretical Population Biology, ISSN 0040-5809, E-ISSN 1096-0325, Vol. 91, p. 44-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Across many taxa, intriguing positive correlations exist between intelligence (measured by proxy as encephalization), behavioral repertoire size, and lifespan. Here we argue, through a simple theoretical model, that such correlations arise from selection pressures for efficient learning of behavior sequences. We define intelligence operationally as the ability to disregard unrewarding behavior sequences, without trying them out, in the search for rewarding sequences. We show that increasing a species' behavioral repertoire increases the number of rewarding behavior sequences that can be performed, but also the time required to learn such sequences. This trade-off results in an optimal repertoire size that decreases rapidly with increasing sequence length. Behavioral repertoire size can be increased by increasing intelligence or lengthening the lifespan, giving rise to the observed correlations between these traits.

  • 95.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Brooklyn College, USA.
    Enquist, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Lind, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Corrigendum to "Coevolution of intelligence, behavioral repertoire, and lifespan" [Theoret. Popul. Biol. 91 (2014) 44–49]2014In: Theoretical Population Biology, ISSN 0040-5809, E-ISSN 1096-0325, Vol. 97, p. 57-57Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 96.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Enquist, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Perc, Matjaz
    Physics Department, University of Maribor, Slovenia.
    Sustainability of culture-driven population dynamics2010In: Theoretical Population Biology, ISSN 0040-5809, E-ISSN 1096-0325, Vol. 77, no 3, p. 181-188Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We consider models of the interactions between human population dynamics and cultural evolution, asking whether they predict sustainable or unsustainable patterns of growth. Phenomenological models predict either unsustainable population growth or stabilization in the near future. The latter prediction, however, is based on extrapolation of current demographic trends and does not take into account causal processes of demographic and cultural dynamics. Most existing causal models assume (or derive from simplified models of the economy) a positive feedback between cultural evolution and demographic growth, and predict unlimited growth in both culture and population. We augment these models taking into account that: (1) cultural transmission is not perfect, i.e., culture can be lost; (2) culture does not always promote population growth. We show that taking these factors into account can cause radically different model behavior, such as population extinction rather than stability, and extinction rather than growth. We conclude that all models agree that a population capable of maintaining a large amount of culture, including a powerful technology, runs a high risk of being unsustainable. We suggest that future work must address more explicitly both the dynamics of resource consumption and the cultural evolution of beliefs implicated in reproductive behavior (e.g., ideas about the preferred family size) and in resource use (e.g., environmentalist stances).

  • 97.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Frasnelli, Elisa
    Vallortigara, Giorgio
    Intraspecific competition and coordination in the evolution of lateralization2009In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8436, E-ISSN 1471-2970, Vol. 364, no 1519, p. 861-866Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies have revealed a variety of left-right asymmetries among vertebrates and invertebrates. In many species, left-and right-lateralized individuals coexist, but in unequal numbers ('populationlevel' lateralization). It has been argued that brain lateralization increases individual efficiency (e. g. avoiding unnecessary duplication of neural circuitry and reducing interference between functions), thus counteracting the ecological disadvantages of lateral biases in behaviour (making individual behaviour more predictable to other organisms). However, individual efficiency does not require a definite proportion of left-and right-lateralized individuals. Thus, such arguments do not explain population-level lateralization. We have previously shown that, in the context of prey-predator interactions, population-level lateralization can arise as an evolutionarily stable strategy when individually asymmetrical organisms must coordinate their behaviour with that of other asymmetrical organisms. Here, we extend our model showing that populations consisting of left-and right-lateralized individuals in unequal numbers can be evolutionarily stable, based solely on strategic factors arising from the balance between antagonistic (competitive) and synergistic (cooperative) interactions.

  • 98.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY.
    Ibadullaiev, Ismet
    Solution of the comparator theory of associative learningIn: Psychological review, ISSN 0033-295X, E-ISSN 1939-1471Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 99.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. City University of New York.
    Ibadullayev, Ismet
    Solution of the comparator theory of associative learning2015In: Psychological review, ISSN 0033-295X, E-ISSN 1939-1471, Vol. 122, no 2, p. 242-259Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We derive an analytical solution of the comparator theory of associative learning, as formalized by Stout and Miller (2007). The solution enables us to calculate exactly the predicted responding to stimuli in any experimental design and for any choice of model parameters. We illustrate its utility by calculating the predictions of comparator theory in some paradigmatic designs: acquisition of conditioned responses, compound conditioning, blocking, unovershadowing, and backward blocking. We consider several versions of the theory: first-order comparator theory (close to the original ideas of Miller & Matzel, 1988), second-order comparator theory (Denniston, Savastano, & Miller, 2001), and sometimescompeting retrieval (Stout & Miller, 2007). We show that all versions of comparator theory make a number of surprising predictions, some of which appear hard to reconcile with empirical data. Our solution paves the way for a fuller understanding of the theory and for its empirical evaluation

  • 100.
    Ghirlanda, Stefano
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Brooklyn College, USA; CUNY Graduate Center, USA.
    Lind, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    ‘Aesop's fable’ experiments demonstrate trial-and-error learning in birds, but no causal understanding2017In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 123, p. 239-247Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Experiments inspired by Aesop's fable The crow and the pitcher have been suggested to show that some birds (rooks, Corvus frugilegus, New Caledonian crows, Corvus moneduloides, and Eurasian jays, Garrulus glandarius) understand cause–effect relationships pertaining to water displacement. For example, the birds may prefer to drop stones in water rather than in sand in order to retrieve a floating food morsel, suggesting that they understand that only the level of water can be so raised. Here we re-evaluate the evidence for causal understanding in all published experiments (23 928 choices by 36 individuals). We first show that commonly employed statistical methods cannot disentangle the birds' initial performance on a task (which is taken as an indicator of causal understanding) from trial-and-error learning that may occur during the course of the experiment. We overcome this shortcoming with a new statistical analysis that quantifies initial performance and learning effects separately. We present robust evidence of trial-and-error learning in many tasks, and of an initial preference in a few. We also show that both seeming demonstrations of causal understanding and of lack of it can be understood based on established properties of instrumental learning. We conclude that Aesop's fable experiments have not yet produced evidence of causal understanding, and we suggest how the experimental designs can be modified to yield better tests of causal cognition.

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