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  1. The sequential evolution of land tenure normsKushnick, Geoff - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2014 - 9 Hypotheses

    In this paper, the authors utilize phylogenetic methods to reconstruct the evolution of land tenure norms among 97 Austronesian societies. They coded these norms for each society as none (N), group (G), group-kin (K), and individual (I). After formulating various models of evolution through these various stages, they used Bayesian analysis to determine support for each. They conclude with remarks about this type of evolutionary phylogenetic research as a form of "virtual archeology."

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  2. Drivers of global variation in land ownershipKavanaugh, Patrick - Ecography, 2021 - 10 Hypotheses

    Using multiple logistic regression, the researchers compare the relative strength of predictors of land ownership across 102 societies. The analysis finds significant predictive power in factors such as neighbors' property system, population density, and geography.

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  3. Pathways to social inequalityHaynie, Hannah J. - Evolutionary Human Sciences, 2021 - 4 Hypotheses

    In this study, the authors examine pathways to social inequality, specifically social class hierarchy, in 408 non-industrial societies. In a path model, they find social class hierarchy to be directly associated with increased population size, intensive agriculture and large animal husbandry, real property inheritance (unigeniture) and hereditary political succession, with an overall R-squared of 0.45. They conclude that a complex web of effects consisting of environmental variables, mediated by resource intensification, wealth transmission variables, and population size all shape social inequality.

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  4. Comparative Study of Territoriality across Forager SocietiesMoritz, Mark - Human Ecology, 2020 - 4 Hypotheses

    Researchers investigated the variation of land tenure systems across forager societies using the economic defensibility model. The study attempted to explain the variation in tenure systems across 30 hunter-gatherer societies. Using data on defense and sharing of resources among groups, and indicators of resource density, resource predictability, and competition for resources, the researchers were unable to explain the variation. This study highlights the vast range of diversity and complexity of foragers subsistence strategies, and proposes that it may be more telling to conceptualize tenure systems among hunter-gatherer societies as assemblages of multiple property regimes. While there was no overall evidence that environmental variables of resource density and predictability explain variation in tenure systems, researchers did find that increasing population density, and greater competition for resources leads to greater territoriality.

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  5. Comparative phylogenetic analyses uncover the ancient roots of Indo-European folktalesDa Silva, Sara Graça - Royal Society open science, 2016 - 2 Hypotheses

    The authors compare language phylogenies and spatial distributions with folktale frequencies of Indo-European peoples in order to reconstruct their cultural transmission. A stronger association is found between folktale frequency and language phylogeny than has been proposed in earlier literature studies, indicating that vertical transmission is more influential on folktale distribution than horizontal transmission through spatial proximity. Finally, the frequencies of certain folktales appear to trace the ancestral divergences of Indo-European languages to a much deeper level than previously though, suggesting that folktales are representative of broader features of culture, rather than recent literary inventions.

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  6. Rise and fall of political complexity in island South-East Asia and the PacificCurrie, Thomas E. - Nature, 2010 - 6 Hypotheses

    Using phylogenetic modeling, the researchers test hypotheses for different sequences of political complexity among South-East Asian and Pacific Austronesian-speaking cultures. The research adds to an existing debate between sequential, incremental political evolution models and non-sequential models with larger increases in complexity. The results suggest support for a more sequential unilinear model.

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  7. Cultural macroevolution on neighbor graphs: vertical and horizontal transmission among Western North American Indian societiesTowner, Mary C. - Human Nature, 2012 - 0 Hypotheses

    This study analyzes cultural trait transmission among a sample of 172 Western North American Indian societies. The authors use autologistic models built upon spatial and linguistic neighbor graphs to examine the importance of vertical versus horizontal trait transmission. Findings suggest that cultural trait distributions cannot be explained by the transmission of traits from parent to daughter populations and are better analyzed using phylogenies. Authors also show that vertical and horizontal transmission can be incorporated in a single model and may both act upon a single trait. Analysis of only one type of cultural transmission would result in a loss of information.

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  8. Gains to cooperation drive the evolution of egalitarianismHooper, Paul L. - Nature Human Behavior, 2021 - 2 Hypotheses

    This article is mainly concerned with understanding the motivators toward egalitarianism through modeling via a game that combined elements from both hawk-dove and prisoners dilemma. While most of the article is focused on this model, the researchers also tested their hypotheses cross-culturally on a sample of forager societies. In both cases, they found evidence that the benefits of cooperation drove egalitarianism.

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  9. General evolution and Durkheim's hypothesis of crime frequency: A cross-cultural testLeavitt, Gregory C. - The Sociological Quarterly, 1992 - 3 Hypotheses

    This paper is an investigation into the relationship between social differentiation as a proxy for societal 'development' and various categories of crime. A positive relationship is interpreted by the author as empirical cross-cultural support for Durkheim's theory that these two factors will increase together as parallel processes of 'sociocultural evolution'.

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  10. 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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