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  1. Niche construction and the toolkits of hunter–gatherers and food producersCollard, Mark - Biological Theory, 2011 - 3 Hypotheses

    The researchers test the relationship between toolkit complexity and diversity as defined by Oswalt (1973) and environmental and demographic variables. Neither population size nor risk of resource failure predict toolkit characteristics among all groups in the sample. However, population size is significantly positively correlated with toolkit diversity and complexity among food-producers, whereas environmental factors indicating risk of resource failure are significantly positively correlated among hunter-gatherers. This leads the researchers to suggest that food-producers' effectiveness at niche construction is a result of their large population size, which thus has a larger effect on toolkit composition than does environmental risk relative to hunter-gatherers.

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  2. Risk, mobility or population size?: Drivers of technological richness among contact-period western North American hunter–gatherersCollard, 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 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  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. Population size predicts technological complexity in oceaniaKline, Michelle A. - Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 2010 - 3 Hypotheses

    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.

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