Nicolas Claidière
Laboratoire de psychologie cognitive
Aix-Marseille University, CNRS
13331 Marseille, France

The role of attraction in cultural evolution.

Download PDFThe role of attraction in cultural evolution. Nicolas Claidière and Dan Sperber. Journal of Cognition and Culture (2007) 7: 89-111.

A critique of: On Modeling Cognition and Culture: Why cultural evolution does not require replication of representations. Joseph Henrich and Robert Boyd, Journal of Cognition and Culture, Volume 2, Number 2, 2002 , pp. 87-112

Henrich and Boyd (2002) were the first to propose a formal model of the role of attraction in cultural evolution. They came to the surprising conclusion that, when both attraction and selection are at work, final outcomes are determined by selection alone. This result is based on a determistic view of cultural attraction, different from the probabilistic view introduced in Sperber (1996). We defend this probabilistic view, show how to model it, and argue that, when both attraction and selection are at work, both affect final outcomes.

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