from month 04/2010

Endorsing evolution: A matter of authority?

As I discussed earlier in this blog, there appears to be substantial cross-cultural variation in the degree to which people endorse evolutionary theory. According to a study by Miller et al., some countries are characterized by an almost universal acceptance of evolutionary theory (e.g., Iceland, ...

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Are variations in economic games really caused by culture?

Last month, Science published an research article by Joe Henrich et al. showing that market integration and participation in world religion covary with fairness ('Markets, Religion, Community Size, and the Evolution of Fairness and Punishment'). The team had people from various societies ...

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What explains the stability of animal culture?

Recently, Dan Sperber and I published a paper entitled "Imitation explains the propagation, not the stability of animal culture" in which we argued that contrary to what is generally assumed, imitation and other forms of social learning are generally not faithful enough to explain the ...

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Implied motion in Hokusai Manga

In NeuroReport, 21(4), pp 264-267, an interesting article by N. Osaka, D. Matsuyoshi, T. Ikeda, and M. Osaka of Kyoto and Osaka Universities, entitled "Implied motion because of instability in Hokusai Manga activates the human motion-sensitive extrastriate visual cortex: an fMRI study of the ...

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Workshop: Language as an Evolutionary System

These two days of talks and discussion will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines to discuss the value of applying evolutionary thinking to the cultural evolution of language as well as the commonalities and differences between various existing applications. Linguistics has ...

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Postdoctoral Research Position in Behavioral Economics

Central European University announces an opening for a postdoctoral fellow for two years, starting from September 2010 or later, to work on a project in behavioral economics regarding how people take into account their reputation --what others might think of them-- when making decisions. Specific ...

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On the Use of Natural Experiments in Anthropology

Controlled and replicated laboratory experiment, in which an experimenter directly manipulates variables, is often considered the hallmark of the scientific method. It is virtually the only method employed in laboratory physical sciences and in molecular biology. Without question, this approach is ...

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