Population size predicts technological complexity in oceania

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences Vol/Iss. 277(1693) The Royal Society Published In Pages: 2559-2564
By Kline, Michelle A., Boyd, Robert


The capacity for cumulative cultural evolution has often been invoked to explain the great diversity of habitats occupied by humans. This theory of cultural evolution emphasizes the gradual accumulation of technologies and cultural practices over many generations, and predicts that larger populations will generate more complex cultural adaptations than smaller, isolated ones. Here, the authors investigate the marine foraging tool repertoires of 10 Oceanic societies to determine whether population size and intergroup contact affect the cultural processes by which tool kits evolve.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
eHRAF World CulturesResearcher's OwnSample comprised 10 oceanic cultures
Other (Oswalt, 1976)MixedRevised data-set was examined to assess coding robustness. These changes did not significantly alter main results.

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