Evolutionary Decomposition and the Mechanisms of Cultural Change
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.21237/C7clio3212123
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.