Macro-evolutionary studies of cultural diversity: a review of empirical studies of cultural transmission and cultural adaptation

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London Vol/Iss. 366(1563) The Royal Society Published In Pages: 402-411
By Mace, Ruth, Jordan, Fiona M.


Using a sample of 80 Austronesian societies from the Ethnographic Atlas, the study applies phylogenetic comparative methods to explore the transmission of cultural traits. The authors follow the research question: "for each possible cultural trait in each society, does the geographical (GNN) or phylogenetic nearest neighbor (PNN) best predict the state of the cultural trait?". Cultural traits in the realms of social organization, kinship, marriage, and subsistence were examined. The results show that PNN predicted slightly more traits in comparison to GNN, but there was not much variation between the different economic and social traits. In addition, 43-48% of traits were not predicted by GNN or PNN.

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:stefania.becerralavado