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  1. Cultural trait transmission and missing data as sources of bias in cross-cultural survey research: explanations of polygyny re-examinedDow, Malcolm M. - Cross-Cultural Research, 2009 - 1 Hypotheses

    This study retests the work by Ember, Ember and Low (2007) on male mortality and pathogen stress as predictors of nonsororal polygyny. The authors argue that the work of Ember, Ember, and Low is biased because it does not include a variable for cultural trait transmission. Restesting the original Ember, Ember and Low data, including a variable for cultural trait transmission, authors find that male mortality and pathogen stress loose their significance and cultural trait transmission is the only significant predictor of nonsororal polygyny.

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Comparative study of reproductive skew and pair-bond stability using genealogies from 80 small-scale human societiesEllsworth, Ryan M. - American Journal of Human Biology, 2015 - 7 Hypotheses

    Authors use genealogical data to investigate pair bond stability and reproductive skew across a sample of 80 small-scale societies. Results suggest that male reproductive skew and pair-bond stability are independent sources of cross-cultural variation in human mating patterns.

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  5. Semes and genes in africaHewlett, Barry S. - Current Anthropology, 2002 - 4 Hypotheses

    Genetic, linguistic, and geographic data can be used to explain the distribution of cultural units ("semes") and to understand the evolutionary mechanisms of culture. Three broad models of cultural transmission attempt to explain why cultures share semes: (1) Cultural diffusion, emphasizing horizontal transmission. (2) Local adaptation, where trail-and-error learning leads to the independent adoption of semes by different peoples living in similar environments. (3) Demic diffusion, which emphasizes vertical and frequency-dependent transmission. Authors test the explanatory power of each model using cultural, genetic, linguistic and geographic data from 36 African cultures.

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  6. 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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  7. Correlational analysis of murdock's 1957 ethnographic sampleDriver, Harold E. - American Anthropologist, 1967 - 5 Hypotheses

    This paper "reduces Murdock's 210 categories to 30 variables, and intercorrelates and factor analyzes the variables for six world subdivisions as well as for the entire world." This article also discusses factor analysis as a method and examines the correlations more closely between the two regions that differed the most, North America and the Circum-Mediterranean.

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  8. 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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  9. The transmission of democracy: from the village to the nation-stateGiuliano, Paola - The American Economic Review, 2013 - 3 Hypotheses

    This paper adds to a body of research which analyzes the persistence of institutional features in societies over time by testing for association between local democracy (succession by consensus among preindustrial groups) and various measures of democracy in contemporary societies. The researchers conclude that beliefs and values which perceive democracy as a viable political structure may be an important mediating mechanism in producing and maintaining democratic instututions over time.

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  10. Folktale transmission in the arctic provides evidence for high bandwidth social learning among hunter–gatherer groupsRoss, Robert M. - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2016 - 4 Hypotheses

    The myths, legends, and folktales of nearby groups tend to more alike than those of more distant groups. Three competing models attempt to explain this distribution of cultural traits: (1) vertical transmission, (2) horizontal transmission, and (3) independent innovation. The authors examine 18 Arctic hunter-gatherer groups to quantify the extent to which geographic distance, cultural ancestry, and effective population size predict overlap in folktale inventories.

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