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

    A central issue in anthropology is the process through which political organization (sometimes referred to as cultural complexity) evolves: competing models typically argue for either incremental increases in complexity or larger, non-sequential increases in complexity. Here, the authors evaluate six different models of political evolution, utilizing a phylogenetic approach to analyze the evolution of 84 Austronesian-speaking societies.

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  2. Broad supernatural punishment but not moralizing high gods precede the evolution of political complexity in AustronesiaWatts, Joseph - Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2015 - 4 Hypotheses

    The authors investigate whether moralizing high gods and, more generally, supernatural punishment precede, sustain, or follow political complexity. The cultural traits at hand are mapped onto phylogenetic trees representing the descent and relatedness of 96 Austronesian cultures.

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  3. The ecology of religious beliefsBotero, Carlos A. - PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), 2014 - 1 Hypotheses

    Belief in moralizing high gods (MHGs) has been theorized as a response to unfavorable environments, as a way to normalize behavior. In this study, researchers test the theory by creating a model for predicting the distribution of MHGs. They run many alternative models, testing the effects of resource abundance, climate stability, and pertinent social factors on the occurrence of belief in MHGs. Based on the ten most supported models, they create an average model that predicts MHGs within cultures with “excellent” accuracy.

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  4. Altered states of consciousness within a general evolutionary perspective: a holocultural analysisBourguignon, Erika - Cross-Cultural Research, 1977 - 1 Hypotheses

    This article investigates a cultural patterning of altered states of consciousness. The authors use an ordinal variable for a society's trance type; its four levels are 1) trance, 2) trance and possession trance, 3) possession trance, and 4) neither type. Results suggest that trance type is associated with measures of societal complexity and subsistence economy. Regional differences and the effects of diffusion are also examined.

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  5. Coevolution of landesque capital intensive agriculture and sociopolitical hierarchySheehan, Oliver - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2018 - 3 Hypotheses

    Using phylogenetic methods, this research examines the relationship between landesque capital intensive agriculture ("permanent changes to landscape, such as construction of terraces and irrigation canals"(3631)) , political complexity, and social stratification amongst 155 Austronesian-speaking societies. Researchers attempted to find an underlying causality between the above mentioned variables, which have already been shown to be cross-culturally related. Results of statistical testing are most consistent with their being no clear causal link between the tested variables. The researchers claim this demonstrates social complexity and the multifaceted nature of cultural evolution.

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  6. Pre‐colonial ethnic institutions and contemporary African developmentMichalopoulos, Stelios - Econometrica, 2013 - 1 Hypotheses

    The researchers test the relationship between political complexity among African pre-colonial ethnic institutions and contemporary economic performance (using light-density data as a proxy). Their tests yield a robust positive association even after controlling for multiple alternative geographic, cultural, and economic variables, which they interpret as underscoring the ongoing importance of ethnic-specific institutions in shaping economic activity in contemporary Africa.

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  7. The ecological-evolutionary typology of human societies and the evolution of social inequalityNielsen, Francois - Sociological Theory, 2004 - 1 Hypotheses

    This article examines the evolution of social inequality through tests of the influence of political, economic and social factors. “Analysis of comparative data shows that while some dimensions of the stratification system (such as measures of social complexity) exhibit a monotonic trend of increasing inequality with level of technology from the hunting-and-gathering to the agrarian type, others (such as measures of freedom and sexual inequality among males) exhibit a pattern of “agrarian reversal” in which inequality increases from the hunting-and-gathering to the advanced horticultural type but then declines with the agrarian type” (292).

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  8. 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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  9. Political complexity and village community: test of an hypothesisBefu, Harumi - Anthropological Quarterly, 1966 - 3 Hypotheses

    This article examines how an increase in overall societal complexity affects local political offices. Findings suggest that a more complex society has a slight tendency to develop more political offices within the community, but there is greater support for an increased number of jurisdictional levels within the community.

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  10. Deliberate instruction and household structure: a cross-cultural studyHerzog, John D. - Harvard Educational Review, 1962 - 12 Hypotheses

    This study examines relationships among the instruction of children, household type and size, and political integration. Particular attention is paid to type of instruction--whether the instructor is kin or non-kin, and whether the instruction requires a change in the child's residence. Different types of instruction are theorized to solve problems for children in different household types (e.g. children in mother-child households experience gender identity conflict, and so leave their houses for instruction from non-kin). The causality between instruction and societal complexity is also discussed.

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