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  1. Risk of resource failure and toolkit variation in small-scale farmers and herdersCollard, Mark - PloS one, 2012 - 1 Hypotheses

    Prior research by Oswalt (1973, 1976) and Torrence (1983, 2001) has suggested that risk of resource failure is a significant predictor of toolkit complexity and diversity among hunter-gatherers. In this paper, the same relationship is tested among small-scale herding and farming groups. However, no significant correlation is discovered between any measure of resource risk and any measure of toolkit complexity. The researchers suggest that this absence may be the result of greater reliance on non-technological diversification methods among farmers (i.e. spatial diversification, mixed farming, intercropping), or of other unaccounted-for sources of risk (i.e. intergroup raiding and warfare).

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  2. Risk, mobility or population size?: Drivers of technological richness among contact-period western North American huntergatherersCollard, Mark - Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B., 2013 - 3 Hypotheses

    This paper builds off previous research into the effect of population size and resource risk on complexity of subsistence technology by investigating the relationship between these independent variables and total number of material items and techniques used by various western North American hunter-gatherer groups. This tally of total technological complexity is found to be insignificantly related to population size or residential mobility; however, there is a significant correlation in the expected direction between technological complexity and one measure of resource risk (mean annual temperature during driest month). Tying this finding to previous analyses of subsistence technologies, the authors theorize that environmental risk is a pervasive driver of technological ingenuity and cultural evolution.

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  3. Population size and cultural evolution in nonindustrial food-producing societiesCollard, Mark - PLOS ONE, 2013 - 1 Hypotheses

    Seeking to resolve contradictions between previous studies, these authors conduct empirical analysis on the relationship between population size and cultural evolution. Results indicate that population size influences toolkit richness and complexity, even when proxies for risk of resource failure are introduced in the regression model. Authors speculate that the association is weaker for hunter-gatherers because those societies are more affected by risk of resource failure and have institutions that facilitate cultural evolution despite smaller population size. There also may be a threshold effect in the influence of population size on toolkit structure.

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  4. Population size as an explanation for patterns in the paleolithic archaeological record: more caution is neededCollard, Mark - Current Anthropology, 2013 - 1 Hypotheses

    Previous studies have yielded contradictory results on the relationship between population size and cultural evolution. Focusing on tool complexity these authors introduce the risk of resource failure as a possible confounding variable. They conclude that population does not predict tool kit complexity when controlling on other factors. There were significant correlations between tool kit complexity and some of the resource measures.

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  5. Causes of toolkit variation among hunter-gatherers: a test of four competing hypothesesCollard, Mark - Canadian Journal of Archaeology, 2005 - 4 Hypotheses

    This study tests four hypotheses that propose potential environmental and social predictors of toolkit size and complexity among hunter-gatherers. Hypotheses predicting relationships between population size, residential mobility, type of food resources and toolkit structure are not supported. Risk of resource failure is the only variable that is significantly associated with toolkit structure.

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  6. Technological organization and settlement mobility: an ethnographic examinationShott, Michael - Journal of Anthropological Research, 1986 - 2 Hypotheses

    This study tests the relationship between mobility and technology among foragers, with the intent of applying findings to the archaeological record. In data analysis, mobility frequency is differentiated from mobility magnitude, and technological diversity is differentiated from technological complexity. Results suggest that mobility frequency is negatively associated with technological diversity while mobility magnitude is negatively associated with technological complexity.

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  7. Cassava production and processing in a cross-cultural sample of african societiesRomanoff, Steven - Behavior Science Research, 1992 - 12 Hypotheses

    This exploratory study seeks to explain cassava production and processing in Africa by considering cultural, agronomic, and environmental data. After examining the descriptive results of the agricultural and social contexts of cassava use, the authors build upon Boserup's population density model (1965) to analyze their own hypothesized model of cassava's importance among the sampled societies.

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  8. Cultural adaptations after progressionismMcCall, Lauren W. - Cross-Cultural Research, 2009 - 2 Hypotheses

    This article challenges ideas of cultural progressionism through an analysis of counting systems. Cultural adaptation in both biotic and abiotic environments is examined, and results suggest that culture adapts to both the human-made environment and the physical environment. The author asserts that “interpreting divergent and convergent behaviors as due to differences and similarities of local environments” is superior to a progressionist approach to cultural change (62).

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  9. The frequency of warfare: an evolutionary perspectiveLeavitt, Gregory C. - Sociological Inquiry, 1977 - 3 Hypotheses

    Thi study tests a hypothesis on the relationship between frequency of warfare and sociocultural development.

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  10. An Interaction Model for Resource Implement Complexity Based on Risk and Number of Annual MovesRead, Dwight - American Antiquity, 2008 - 11 Hypotheses

    In this paper, the authors analyzed data on 20 hunter-gatherer groups in order to understand the factors that influence the diversity and elaborateness of their tool assemblages. They used data collected by a variety of ethnographers to draw inferences about the complexity of implement assemblages and how it is affected by ecological constraints, modes of resource procurement, group movement, and population size. Regression analysis showed that the two strongest predictors of implement complexity were growth season (GS) (as a proxy for risk) and the number of annual residential moves (NMV). With the understanding that NMV and GS are likely not independent, the authors created addition and interaction models to understand how these variables may work in tandem to influence implement diversity and elaborateness. The results show that a shorter growing season (higher risk) and a lower number of moves are correlated with greater implement complexity. This analysis also divided the hunter-gatherers into two subgroups: a subgroup characterized by higher diversity of complex implements and more elaborate individual implements than predicted by the model, and a subgroup characterized by lower diversity and less elaborateness than predicted. These subgroups were found to correspond with the distinction between foragers (groups that move more-or-less as a unit while gathering) and collectors (groups that gather (logistically from a more-or-less fixed settlement), with the higher diversity subgroup being made up mostly of collectors and the lower diversity subgroup being made up mostly of foragers. Finally, the authors suggest that under conditions where population growth leads to increased density, foraging strategies will tend to shift to collector strategies in conjunction with increased elaborateness of implements to exploit resources with greater intensity.

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