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 narrative motifs in folk tales of magic


A negative, but non-significant relationship was found: "tales told in larger populations have a lower average number of motifs than those in smaller groups (p.477)." 5.5% and 94.5% quantiles of the posterior probability were found to be -0.07 and -0.03. (model using nineteenth century estimates of population size showed similar results)


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Bayesian multilevel model with Poisson likelihoodNot Supportedn.a.Beta= -0.05UNKNOWN