Cultural Evolution: A Phylogenetic Perspective:

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

Despite the outstanding breadth of human cultural variation, relatively little progress has been made in understanding the coordinated evolution of suites of cultural traits. Controlling for phylogenetic associations, we examine pairwise-correlations between nine cultural traits in thirty Indo-European societies. Despite our limited sample size, we find marginally significant correlations between three pairs of cultural traits, suggesting a functional relationship between some cultural traits. Due to the multiple comparisons performed, we suggest that these results should be viewed as hypotheses for independent tests in other data sets. We also provide suggestions for improved methodologies in future research concerning the co-evolution of suites of discrete traits.