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  1. How Do Hunter-Gatherer Children Learn Subsistence Skills?Lew-Levy, Sheina - Human Nature, 2017 - 4 Hypotheses

    To understand transmission of knowledge and its impact on human evolution history, this study explores the research question: "How do hunter-gatherer children learn subsistence skills?". The authors use meta-ethnography methods on 34 cultures from five continents discussing these topics. The results show that the learning process starts early in infancy when their parents take them to the excursions. In middle childhood, they already acquired gathering skills. Only in the start of adolescence, adults begin teaching how to hunt and to produce complex tools. The learning process continues into adulthood.

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  2. Pathogens and politics: further evidence that parasite prevalence predicts authoritarianismMurray, Damian R. - PLoS ONE, 2013 - 3 Hypotheses

    This article employs cross-national and cross-cultural methods to investigate whether pathogen stress is a direct determinant of authoritarianism. The study controls on other factors such as famine, warfare, and malnutrition and evaluates alternative causal models.

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  3. A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Hunter-Gatherer Social LearningGarfield, Zachary H. - Social Learning and Innovation in Contemporary Hunter-Gatherers, 2016 - 10 Hypotheses

    Social scientists are equivocal as to the importance of teaching (as contrasted with other forms of learning) in traditional societies. While many cultural anthropologists have downplayed the importance of teaching, cognitive psychologists often argue that teaching is a salient human universal. Here the authors investigate cultural transmission among 23 hunter-gatherer populations to explore the relative importance of teaching among foragers.

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  4. Material security, life history, and moralistic religions: A cross cultural examinationPurzycki, Benjamin Grant - PLos ONE, 2018 - 5 Hypotheses

    This article is a quantitative analysis of 592 participants from 8 societies. The study examines a number of theories about what predicts moralistic religions, including life history theory. Findings suggest that there is no evident relationship between these life history predictions and the religious beliefs regarding moralism.

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  5. The evolution of productive organizationsBrahm, Francisco - Nature Human Behaviour, 2021 - 1 Hypotheses

    Drawing from cultural evolution theory, the authors develop a model to explain the origin and evolution of productive organizations (organizations specialized in producing goods and services to satisfy human needs). They propose that productive organizations have two characteristics: exclusive membership and enhanced social learning within the organization. They find their predictions supported in a global sample of premodern societies.

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  6. The evolution of daily food sharing: A Bayesian phylogenetic analysisRingen, Erik J. - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2019 - 8 Hypotheses

    The research examines daily food sharing norms of 73 preindustrial societies from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. Multilevel regression models reveal that hunting and less predictable environments are not indicative of everyday food sharing, but offer support for many other predictions. Animal husbandry, external trade, daily labor sharing, and the presence of food storage are all predictive of daily food sharing practices whereas sharing is less common amongst large and stratified societies. These results align with evolutionary theories for food sharing practices.

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  7. Behavioural variation in 172 small-scale societies indicates that social learning is the main mode of human adaptationMathew, Sarah - Proc. R. Soc. B, 2015 - 8 Hypotheses

    Inter-group variation is greater in humans than in any other animal, and scholars continue to debate the cause of this diversity. Two competing explanatory models of human variation emphasize either (1) ecological differences and "evoked" culture or (2) population-level effects of cultural transmission. The former emphasizes mechanisms that operate within a single generation, while the latter emphasizes cumulative cultural history operating over many generations. To test these competing models, the authors measured the relative power of ecological variables as compared to culture history to predict behavioral variation in 172 western North American tribes. Culture history is subdivided into culture phylogeny (based on language phylogeny) and spatial distance.

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  8. Cultural Learning Among Pastoralist ChildrenBira, Temechegn G. - Cross-Cultural Research, 2023 - 11 Hypotheses

    This paper examines patterns of cultural learning in pastoralist societies and compares them to those found in hunter-gatherer societies. The study analyzed 198 texts from 13 pastoralist cultures in the eHRAF World Cultures database and found that most cultural skills and knowledge were acquired in early childhood, with parents and non-parental adults as the primary sources of transmission. Teaching was the most common form of learning across all age groups, with minimal variation in transmission between different age groups. While similarities were found between the cultural learning patterns of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers, pastoralists were less likely to mention learning from peers and more likely to mention learning via local enhancement and stimulus enhancement. The importance of teaching did not increase with age in pastoralist societies, unlike in hunter-gatherer societies.

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  9. Resource scarcity drives lethal aggression among prehistoric hunter-gatherers in central CaliforniaAllen, Mark W. - PNAS, 2016 - 2 Hypotheses

    Previous research into the origins of human violence and warfare has oftentimes been inconclusive and controversial. This paper examines two alternative theories as to the evolution of human violence using archaeological records on sharp force trauma (SFT) and blunt force trauma (BFT). The study is limited to 13 different California ethnolinguistic groups. Researchers find that violence is not predicted by sociopolitical complexity, but rather by environmental productivity. This supports the idea that in contexts of resource scarcity, the perceived benefits to engage in lethal aggression may outweigh perceived costs.

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  10. Predictions derived from the theories of kin selectionEssock-Vitale, Susan M. - Ethnology and Sociobiology, 1980 - 5 Hypotheses

    This paper presents a series of predictions that are derived from the assumption that kin selection an altruism are evolved components of human social behavior. Several examples from the anthropological literature that pertain to these predictions are discussed. Data presented are mostly consistent with the predictions.

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