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Evolutionary Decomposition and the Mechanisms of Cultural Change

  • Author(s): Beheim, Bret A
  • Baldini, Ryan
  • et al.

Beginning with the Price equation, recent work has developed the method of evolutionary decomposition, an exact partitioning of mean phenotypic change into underlying demographic processes.  We present a method of evolutionary decomposition for human cultural change, and a demonstration of this method on three centuries of half-decadal census records collected from a simulated island population.  By decomposing phenotypic trajectories, we can develop and evaluate suitable hypotheses of the driving mechanisms of cultural evolution.

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