Cultural complexity and demography: The case of folktakes

Evolution and Human Behavior Vol/Iss. 38(2017) Elsevier Published In Pages: 474-480
By Acerbi, Alberto, Kendal, Jeremy, Tehrani, Jamshid J.


Acerbi, Kendal, and Tehrani examine the relationship between population size and cultural complexity as measured by a non-technological cultural domain: folktales. Three measures of complexity for folktales are analyzed, 1) number of tale types, 2) number of narrative motifs, and 3) number of traits in variants of two international folktales. Findings suggest that the relationship between cultural complexity and population may depend on the domain, as different domains vary in cultural maintenance and transmission.

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