Transmission coupling mechanisms: Cultural group selection

Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

The application of phylogenetic methods to cultural variation raises questions about how cultural adaption works and how it is coupled to cultural transmission. Cultural group selection is of particular interest in this context because it depends on the same kinds of mechanisms that lead to tree-like patterns of cultural variation. Here, we review ideas about cultural group selection relevant to cultural phylogenetics. We discuss why group selection among multiple equilibria is not subject to the usual criticisms directed at group selection, why multiple equilibria are a common phenomena, and why selection among multiple equilibria is not likely to be an important force in genetic evolution. We also discuss three forms of group competition and the processes that cause populations to shift from one equilibrium to another and create a mutation-like process at the group level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3787-3795
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume365
Issue number1559
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 2010

Keywords

  • Cultural adaptation
  • Cultural transmission
  • Multi-level selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Transmission coupling mechanisms: Cultural group selection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this