Methods for studying cultural attraction

Christophe Heintz, Stefaan Blancke, Thom Scott-Phillips

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    171 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Cultural attraction theory (CAT) describes a general evolutionary process, cultural attraction, by which the spread and stability of cultural items (beliefs, practices, artifacts, etc.) result not just from differential reproduction, but also from transformations that systematically favor the reconstruction of cultural items of specific types. In this way, CAT aims to provide a general framework for the study of cultural evolution. In a thoughtful critical analysis, Buskell questions the ability of CAT to provide methodological guidance for research in cultural evolution. Can CAT be used to develop the sort of mid‐range theories and models that often drive empirical work? Here we argue that CAT can indeed be used in this way, and we outline the methodological practices that students of cultural attraction have used and are currently developing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-20
    Number of pages3
    JournalEvolutionary Anthropology
    Volume28
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Keywords

    • CAT
    • attraction
    • cultural evolution
    • method

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