Cultural complexity and demography: The case of folktakes

Evolution and Human Behavior Vol/Iss. 38(2017) Elsevier Published In Pages: 474-480
By Acerbi, Alberto, Kendal, Jeremy, Tehrani, Jamshid J.


Population size will have an influence on cultural complexity as measured by the number of animal and magic folk tales


Strong positive support was found for a positive relationship between population size and the overall number of folktales in different societies. 5.5% and 94.5% quantiles of the posterior probability for animal tales and tales of magic are (0.35, 0.41) and (0.19, 0.24), respectively. (model using nineteenth century estimates of population size showed similar results)


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Bayesian multilevel model with Poisson likelihoodSupportedn.a.Beta=.39 (animal tales), .21 (tales of magic)UNKNOWN