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Evolutionary Human Sciences
Number of Followers: 3  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2513-843X
Published by Cambridge University Press Homepage  [353 journals]
  • Editorial – annus horribilis

    • Authors: Mace; Ruth
      First page: 3
      PubDate: 2021-01-12
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2020.65
  • Habitat selection and human aesthetic responses to flowers

    • Authors: Hůla; Martin, Flegr, Jaroslav
      First page: 5
      Abstract: Although the aesthetic appreciation of flowers is a well-known aspect of human behaviour, theories explaining its origin are missing. The only exception is the evolutionary theory of Heerwagen and Orians. Surprisingly, it has not yet been empirically tested. The authors suggest that humans aesthetically respond to flowers because they signal food availability. The logic of the theory implies that fruits are more reliable and direct food availability signals than flowers. Therefore, fruits should elicit stronger aesthetic responses than flowers. To test this assumption, we performed two online studies in the Czech Republic. The participants (n = 2792 and 744, respectively) indicated on a six-point scale their aesthetic response to photographs of 14 edible Czech plant species (study A) and 20 edible plant species from the African savannas (study B), varying in growth stage (flowering, fruiting). We found no difference between the Czech fruiting and flowering plants and a stronger aesthetic response to African flowering plants. A third study (n = 817) confirmed that flowers were preferred to fruits, using a forced-choice paradigm. Our results suggest that the theory cannot fully explain human aesthetic responses to flowers. We discuss alternative explanations. This topic deserves renewed attention from researchers working in related fields.
      PubDate: 2021-01-11
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2020.66
  • God's mind on morality

    • Authors: McNamara; Rita Anne, Senanayake, Rebekah, Willard, Aiyana K., Henrich, Joseph
      First page: 6
      Abstract: Most research on cognition behind religious belief assumes that understanding of other minds is culturally uniform and follows the Western model of mind, which posits that (a) others’ thoughts can be known and (b) action is best explained by mental state inference. This is potentially problematic if, as a growing body of evidence suggests, other populations view minds differently. We recruit Indigenous iTaukei Fijians who hold (a) a model of mind that discourages mental state inference and (b) co-existing Christian (Western) and traditional supernatural agent beliefs. Study 1 (N = 108), uses free-listing to examine how Western and local models of mind relate to beliefs. The Christian God cares about internal states and traits (aligning with the Western model of mind). Study 2 tests whether evoking God triggers intent focus in moral reasoning. Instead, God appears to enforce cultural models of mind in iTaukei (N = 151) and North Americans (N = 561). Expected divine judgement mirrors human judgement; iTaukei (N = 90) expect God to emphasise outcome, while Indo-Fijians (N = 219) and North Americans (N = 412) expect God to emphasise intent. When reminded to think about thoughts, iTaukei (N = 72) expect God to judge outcomes less harshly. Results suggest cultural/cognitive co-evolution: introduced cultural forms can spread new cognitive approaches, while Indigenous beliefs can persist as a reflection of local institutions.
      PubDate: 2021-01-11
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.1
  • Generosity among the Ik of Uganda – Corrigendum

    • Authors: Townsend; Cathryn, Aktipis, Athena, Balliet, Daniel, Cronk, Lee
      First page: 7
      PubDate: 2021-01-14
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.3
  • Insights into human evolution from 60 years of research on chimpanzees at

    • Authors: Wilson; Michael Lawrence
      First page: 8
      Abstract: Sixty years of research on chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at Gombe National Park, Tanzania have revealed many similarities with human behaviour, including hunting, tool use and coalitionary killing. The close phylogenetic relationship between chimpanzees and humans suggests that these traits were present in the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo (LCAPH). However, findings emerging from studies of our other closest living relative, the bonobo (Pan paniscus), indicate that either bonobos are derived in these respects, or the many similarities between chimpanzees and humans evolved convergently. In either case, field studies provide opportunities to test hypotheses for how and why our lineage has followed its peculiar path through the adaptive landscape. Evidence from primate field studies suggests that the hominin path depends on our heritage as apes: inefficient quadrupeds with grasping hands, orthograde posture and digestive systems that require high-quality foods. Key steps along this path include: (a) changes in diet; (b) increased use of tools; (c) bipedal gait; (d) multilevel societies; (e) collective foraging, including a sexual division of labour and extensive food transfers; and (f) language. Here I consider some possible explanations for these transitions, with an emphasis on contributions from Gombe.
      PubDate: 2021-01-11
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.2
  • The Siberian Paleolithic site of Mal'ta: a unique source for the study of
           childhood archaeology

    • Authors: Lbova; Liudmila
      First page: 9
      Abstract: As a gendered perspective has emerged in wider society over the past 50 or so years, a greater interest in gender- and age-related research in science has similarly occurred, including for the study of the past (archaeology) and the present (ethnology). Here, I focus on the Mal'ta collection – a well-known Ice Age site located in Siberia. In particular, I focus on several mammoth ivory anthropomorphic sculptures which appear to reflect stages of human childhood, including infancy and the teenage years. These sculptures feature realistic elements, including proportions of each phase of childhood consistent with anthropometric data, details of clothing and accessories, and special benchmarks of puberty. Based on these figurines, I propose a developmental framework of the Paleolithic child from this society. Additionally, I discuss the burial of two children also found at Mal'ta, which provides additional insights into childhood within this Ice Age society. Particular attention is given to artefacts such as the ‘hanging birds’ and animal figurines with a flat base for standing. These artefacts could be interpreted as toys, as amulets for a child's cradle or as family heirlooms, with analogies to such objects preserved in the cultures of the aboriginal population of Siberia and the Far North.
      PubDate: 2021-01-28
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.5
  • How pride works

    • Authors: Sznycer; Daniel, Cohen, Adam Scott
      First page: 10
      Abstract: The emotion of pride appears to be a neurocognitive guidance system to capitalize on opportunities to become more highly valued and respected by others. Whereas the inputs and the outputs of pride are relatively well understood, little is known about how the pride system matches inputs to outputs. How does pride work? Here we evaluate the hypothesis that pride magnitude matches the various outputs it controls to the present activating conditions – the precise degree to which others would value the focal individual if the individual achieved a particular achievement. Operating in this manner would allow the pride system to balance the competing demands of effectiveness and economy, to avoid the dual costs of under-deploying and over-deploying its outputs. To test this hypothesis, we measured people's responses regarding each of 25 socially valued traits. We observed the predicted magnitude matchings. The intensities of the pride feeling and of various motivations of pride (communicating the achievement, demanding better treatment, investing in the valued trait and pursuing new challenges) vary in proportion: (a) to one another; and (b) to the degree to which audiences value each achievement. These patterns of magnitude matching were observed both within and between the USA and India. These findings suggest that pride works cost-effectively, promoting the pursuit of achievements and facilitating the gains from others’ valuations that make those achievements worth pursuing.
      PubDate: 2021-02-01
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.6
  • Children and innovation: play, play objects and object play in cultural

    • Authors: Riede; Felix, Walsh, Matthew J., Nowell, April, Langley, Michelle C., Johannsen, Niels N.
      First page: 11
      Abstract: Cultural evolutionary theory conceptualises culture as an information-transmission system whose dynamics take on evolutionary properties. Within this framework, however, innovation has been likened to random mutations, reducing its occurrence to chance or fortuitous transmission error. In introducing the special collection on children and innovation, we here place object play and play objects – especially functional miniatures – from carefully chosen archaeological contexts in a niche construction perspective. Given that play, including object play, is ubiquitous in human societies, we suggest that plaything construction, provisioning and use have, over evolutionary timescales, paid substantial selective dividends via ontogenetic niche modification. Combining findings from cognitive science, ethology and ethnography with insights into hominin early developmental life-history, we show how play objects and object play probably had decisive roles in the emergence of innovative capabilities. Importantly, we argue that closer attention to play objects can go some way towards addressing changes in innovation rates that occurred throughout human biocultural evolution and why innovations are observable within certain technological domains but not others.
      PubDate: 2021-02-05
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.7
  • Veiled agency' Children, innovation and the archaeological record

    • Authors: Sterelny; Kim
      First page: 12
      Abstract: Children and subadults were obviously part of ancient human communities, and almost certainly, in important ways their activities were distinctive; they did not routinely act like scaled down adults. Yet their presence was quite cryptic, but not entirely hidden. Their lives and acts did leave traces, although these tend to be be fragile, ambiguous and fast-fading. In addition to pursuing the methodological issues posed by the detection of subadult lives, this special issue raises important questions about the role of children, and their willingness to experiment and play, on innovation. It is true that ethnographically known forager children are almost certainly more autonomous, experimental and adventurous than WEIRD children, and this was probably true of the young foragers of the early Holocene and late Pleistocene too. Their greater willingness to experiment probably fuelled a supply of variation, and perhaps occasionally adaptation as well, especially finding new uses for existing materials. Much more certainly, innovations tend to be noted, taken up and spread by adolescents. They were vectors of change, even if perhaps only rarely initiators of change.
      PubDate: 2021-02-09
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.9
  • Cultural change beyond adoption dynamics: Evolutionary approaches to the
           discontinuation of contraception

    • Authors: Alvergne; Alexandra, Stevens, Rose
      First page: 13
      Abstract: Numerous evolutionary mechanisms have been proposed for the origins, spread and maintenance of low fertility. Such scholarship has focused on explaining the adoption of fertility-reducing behaviour, especially the use of contraceptive methods. However, this work has yet to engage fully with the dynamics of contraceptive behaviour at the individual level. Here we highlight the importance of considering not just adoption but also discontinuation for understanding contraceptive dynamics and their impact on fertility. We start by introducing contemporary evolutionary approaches to understanding fertility regulation behaviours, discussing the potential for integrating behavioural ecology and cultural evolution frameworks. Second, we draw on family planning studies to highlight the importance of contraceptive discontinuation owing to side-effects for understanding fertility rates and suggest evolutionary hypotheses for explaining patterns of variation in discontinuation rates. Third, we sketch a framework for considering how individual flexibility in contraceptive behaviour might impact the evolution of contraceptive strategies and the demographic transition. We argue that integrating public health and evolutionary approaches to reproductive behaviour might advance both fields by providing (a) a predictive framework for comparing the effectiveness of various public health strategies and (b) a more realistic picture of behaviour by considering contraceptive dynamics at the individual level more explicitly when modelling the cultural evolution of low fertility.
      PubDate: 2021-02-09
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.8
  • Machiavellian strategist or cultural learner' Mentalizing and learning
           over development in a resource-sharing game

    • Authors: Baimel; Adam, Juda, Myriam, Birch, Susan, Henrich, Joseph
      First page: 14
      Abstract: Theorists have sought to identify the key selection pressures that drove the evolution of our species’ cognitive abilities, life histories and cooperative inclinations. Focusing on two leading theories, each capable of accounting for many of the rapid changes in our lineage, we present a simple experiment designed to assess the explanatory power of both the Machiavellian Intelligence and the Cultural Brain/Intelligence Hypotheses. Children (aged 3–7 years) observed a novel social interaction that provided them with behavioural information that could either be used to outmanoeuvre a partner in subsequent interactions or for cultural learning. The results show that, even after four rounds of repeated interaction and sometimes lower pay-offs, children continued to rely on copying the observed behaviour instead of harnessing the available social information to strategically extract pay-offs (stickers) from their partners. Analyses further reveal that superior mentalizing abilities are associated with more targeted cultural learning – the selective copying of fewer irrelevant actions – while superior generalized cognitive abilities are associated with greater imitation of irrelevant actions. Neither mentalizing capacities nor more general measures of cognition explain children's ability to strategically use social information to maximize pay-offs. These results provide developmental evidence favouring the Cultural Brain/Intelligence Hypothesis over the Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis.
      PubDate: 2021-03-10
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.11
  • Acculturation and market integration are associated with greater trust
           among Tanzanian Maasai pastoralists

    • Authors: Lightner; Aaron D., Hagen, Edward H.
      First page: 15
      Abstract: Acting on socially learned information involves risk, especially when the consequences imply certain costs with uncertain benefits. Current evolutionary theories argue that decision-makers evaluate and respond to this information based on context cues, such as prestige (the prestige bias model) and/or incentives (the risk and incentives model). We tested the roles of each in explaining trust using a preregistered vignette-based study involving advice about livestock among Maasai pastoralists. In exploratory analyses, we also investigated how the relevance of each might be influenced by recent cultural and economic changes, such as market integration and shifting cultural values. Our confirmatory analysis failed to support the prestige bias model, and partially supported the risk and incentives model. Exploratory analyses suggested that regional acculturation varied strongly between northern vs. southern areas, divided by a small mountain. Consistent with the idea that trust varies with socially transmitted values and regional differences in market integration, people living near densely populated towns in the southern region were more likely to trust socially learned information about livestock. Higher trust among market-integrated participants might reflect a coordination solution in a region where traditional pastoralism is beset with novel conflicts of interest.
      PubDate: 2021-02-10
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.10
  • When do people prefer dominant over prestigious political leaders'

    • Authors: Jiménez; Ángel V., Flitton, Adam, Mesoudi, Alex
      First page: 16
      Abstract: Previous research has sought to explain the rise of right-wing populist leaders in terms of the evolutionary framework of dominance and prestige. In this framework, dominance is defined as high social rank acquired via coercion and fear, and prestige is defined as high social rank acquired via competence and admiration. Previous studies have shown that right-wing populist leaders are rated as more dominant than non-populist leaders, and right-wing populist/dominant leaders are favoured in times of economic uncertainty and intergroup conflict. In this paper, we explore and critique this application of dominance–prestige to politics. First, we argue that the dominance–prestige framework, originally developed to explain inter-personal relationships within small-scale societies characterised by face-to-face interaction, does not straightforwardly extend to large-scale democratic societies which have frequent anonymous interaction and complex ingroup–outgroup dynamics. Second, we show that economic uncertainty and intergroup conflict predict a preference not only for dominant leaders, but also for prestigious leaders. Third, we show that perceptions of leaders as dominant or prestigious are not fixed, and depend on the political ideology of the perceiver: people view leaders who share their ideology as prestigious, and those who oppose their ideology as dominant, whether that ideology is liberal or conservative. Fourth, we show that political ideology is a stronger predictor than economic uncertainty of preference for Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US Presidential Election, contradicting previous findings that link Trump's success to economic uncertainty. We conclude by suggesting that, if economic uncertainty does not directly affect preferences for right-wing populist leaders, other features of their discourse such as higher emotionality might explain their success.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.12
  • Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Descent of Man

    • Authors: Gavrilets; Sergey, Richerson, Peter J, de Waal, Frans B. M.
      First page: 17
      PubDate: 2021-03-01
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.15
  • Revisiting the fourth dimension of tool use: how objects become tools for
           capuchin monkeys

    • Authors: Resende; Briseida, Ballesteros-Ardilla, Andrès, Fragaszy, Dorothy, Visalberghi, Elisabetta, Izar, Patrícia
      First page: 18
      Abstract: Culture allows humans to adapt to a diversity of contexts. Participatory experience in technical activities and activity with artefacts provide the basis for learning traditional technical skills. Some populations of non-human animals use tools. The ways in which artefacts influence the development of a traditional skill in non-human species can provide insight into essential supports for technical traditions in humans and shared learning processes across species. In wild bearded capuchins, nut cracking leaves edible pieces of nuts, nut shells and stones used as hammers at anvil sites. We addressed how mastery of cracking nuts by young monkeys is associated with interactions with these objects. We studied monkeys’ reuse of nuts, hammers and anvils and the outcome of attempts to crack nuts, and from these data derived their behavioural variability and proficiency in nut cracking. Behavioural variability was the most robust predictor of whether a monkey collects pieces of nuts cracked by others or reuses stones and nuts, and was a stronger predictor of proficiency than age. Young monkeys were increasingly likely to reuse the stone used by another after the other monkey had left the anvil as they increasingly focused their behaviour on actions relevant to cracking nuts.
      PubDate: 2021-03-05
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.16
  • When marital institutions break down: Impact and adaptation among the Enga
           of Papua New Guinea

    • Authors: Wiessner; Polly, Pupu, Nitze
      First page: 19
      Abstract: Institutions to regulate marriage and sexual mores are nearly universal across human societies to assure production and reproduction and weave the fabric of society. The stakeholders are many. What happens when marital traditions break down in times of rapid change? Taking a long-term perspective, we will first look at developments in marital institutions that occurred after the arrival of the sweet potato (ca. 400 BP) among the Enga of Papua New Guinea. Next, we will document changes in recent marital practices of 402 Enga women collected in 2007. With data from 270 public forums in customary courts applying restorative justice between 2008 and 2019, we will consider (a) the impact of the breakdown of marital institutions and (b) responses to adapt norms to new practices. In the absence of regulation by ‘traditional’ institutions, individuals pursue their own interests and passions with negative outcomes for families and communities. Communities, non-governmental organisations, churches and government throughout Papua New Guinea are seeking to adapt norms to new conditions. We consider both norm change resulting from community action via customary courts and what communities strive to preserve. Cultural institutions and accompanying norms are important factors in assuring production and reproduction; however, they can instill attitudes that inhibit adaptation.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.13
  • Evaluating social contract theory in the light of evolutionary social

    • Authors: Seabright; Paul, Stieglitz, Jonathan, Van der Straeten, Karine
      First page: 20
      Abstract: Political philosophers have long drawn explicitly or implicitly on claims about the ways in which human behaviour is shaped by interactions within society. These claims have usually been based on introspection, anecdotes or casual empiricism, but recent empirical research has informed a number of early views about human nature. We focus here on five components of such views: (1) what motivates human beings; (2) what constraints our natural and social environments impose upon us; (3) what kind of society emerges as a result; (4) what constitutes a fulfilling life; and (5) what collective solutions can improve the outcome. We examine social contract theory as developed by some early influential political philosophers (Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau), who viewed the social contract as a device to compare the ‘natural’ state of humans with their behaviour in society. We examine their views in the light of recent cross-cultural empirical research in the evolutionary social sciences. We conclude that social contract theorists severely underestimated human behavioural complexity in societies lacking formal institutions. Had these theorists been more informed about the structure and function of social arrangements in small-scale societies, they might have significantly altered their views about the design and enforcement of social contracts.
      PubDate: 2021-01-20
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.4
  • When do people prefer dominant over prestigious political leaders'
           – ERRATUM

    • Authors: Jiménez; Ángel V., Flitton, Adam, Mesoudi, Alex
      First page: 21
      PubDate: 2021-03-29
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.24
  • Energetics as a driver of human morphological thermal adaptation; evidence
           from female ultra-endurance athletes

    • Authors: Longman; Daniel P., Murray, Alison, Roberts, Rebecca, Oakley, Saskia, Wells, Jonathan C. K., Stock, Jay T.
      First page: 22
      Abstract: Functional benefits of the morphologies described by Bergmann's and Allen's rules in human males have recently been reported. However, the functional implications of ecogeographical patterning in females remain poorly understood. Here, we report the findings of preliminary work analysing the association between body shape and performance in female ultramarathon runners (n = 36) competing in hot and cold environments. The body shapes differed between finishers of hot and cold races, and also between hot race finishers and non-finishers. Variability in race performance across different settings supports the notion that human phenotype is adapted to different thermal environments as ecogeographical patterns have reported previously. This report provides support for the recent hypothesis that the heightened thermal strain associated with prolonged physical activity in hot/cold environments may have driven the emergence of thermally adaptive phenotypes in our evolutionary past. These results also tentatively suggest that the relationship between morphology and performance may be stronger in female vs. male athletes. This potential sex difference is discussed with reference to the evolved unique energetic context of human female reproduction. Further work, with a larger sample size, is required to investigate the observed potential sex differences in the strength of the relationship between phenotype and performance.
      PubDate: 2021-03-29
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.17
  • Entropy trade-offs in artistic design: A case study of Tamil kolam

    • Authors: Tran; N.-Han, Waring, Timothy, Atmaca, Silke, Beheim, Bret A.
      First page: 23
      Abstract: From an evolutionary perspective, art presents many puzzles. Humans invest substantial effort in generating apparently useless displays that include artworks. These vary greatly from ordinary to intricate. From the perspective of signalling theory, these investments in highly complex artistic designs can reflect information about individuals and their social standing. Using a large corpus of kolam art from South India (N = 3139 kolam from 192 women), we test a number of hypotheses about the ways in which social stratification and individual differences affect the complexity of artistic designs. Consistent with evolutionary signalling theories of constrained optimisation, we find that kolam art tends to occupy a ‘sweet spot’ at which artistic complexity, as measured by Shannon information entropy, remains relatively constant from small to large drawings. This stability is maintained through an observable, apparently unconscious trade-off between two standard information-theoretic measures: richness and evenness. Although these drawings arise in a highly stratified, caste-based society, we do not find strong evidence that artistic complexity is influenced by the caste boundaries of Indian society. Rather, the trade-off is likely due to individual-level aesthetic preferences and differences in skill, dedication and time, as well as the fundamental constraints of human cognition and memory.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.14
  • Adult playful individuals have more long- and short-term relationships

    • Authors: de Moraes; Yago Luksevicius, Varella, Marco Antonio Correa, Santos Alves da Silva, Caio, Valentova, Jaroslava Varella
      First page: 24
      Abstract: Number of romantic/sexual relationships is suggested as a proxy of potential reproductive success. Cross-culturally, both sexes desire playful long-term mates and playfulness predicts relationship quality. It is yet to be tested, however, if playfulness is associated with number of long- and short-term relationships. We hypothesised that specific playfulness dimensions would correlate with the number of lifetime short- and long-term relationships. We expected that lighthearted playfulness would be associated with more short-term relationships, while other-directed playfulness would be associated with the number of long-term relationships. In total, 1191 Brazilian adults (mean age = 28.7 years, standard deviation = 10.2) responded to online sociodemographic questions and a playfulness inventory. Other-directed playfulness positively predicted the number of short-term and long-term partners in men and whimsical playfulness predicted the number of short-term relationships in women. This suggests that playfulness is used by both sexes to compete for access to more and better mates, but in slightly different ways. For the first time, we show that playful adults have more partners and that playfulness can be used as a part of mating strategies.
      PubDate: 2021-03-10
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.19
  • Mate value, intrasexual competition and sociosexual desire drive Brazilian
           women's well-being

    • Authors: Mafra; Anthonieta Looman, Defelipe, Renata Pereira, Varella, Marco Antonio Correa, Townsend, John M., Valentova, Jaroslava Varella
      First page: 25
      Abstract: Well-being (vs. ill-being) might function as an internal guide for approaching (vs. avoiding) situations, strategies, and achievements that ancestrally led to higher (vs. lower) reproductive success. Indeed, coupled individuals report higher well-being than singles, while depressive individuals report lower mate value and higher sociosexuality. Here we investigate associations between well-being, depression and evolutionary reproduction-related aspects (mate value, intrasexual competition, age, and sociosexuality). Overall, 1,173 predominantly heterosexual Brazilian women (mean = 31.89; standard deviation = 11.10) responded to online instruments measuring self-perceived happiness, life-satisfaction, depression, mate value, intrasexual competition, age, and sociosexuality. Multiple regression models indicated that higher well-being was positively predicted by mate value and negatively by intrasexual competition and sociosexual desire, while the opposite was true for depression. Although intrasexual competition and unrestricted sociosexuality can, under some circumstances, increase individual reproductive success, they are risky and suboptimally effective strategies, thus leading to feelings of ill-being. Contrarily, affective long-term bonds, higher mate-value, and lower intrasexual competition might increase feelings of well-being, because this would lead to a safer route towards ancestral reproductive advantages.
      PubDate: 2021-03-10
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.18
  • Targeted conspiratorial killing, human self-domestication and the
           evolution of groupishness

    • Authors: Wrangham; Richard W.
      First page: 26
      Abstract: Groupishness is a set of tendencies to respond to group members with prosociality and cooperation in ways that transcend apparent self-interest. Its evolution is puzzling because it gives the impression of breaking the ordinary rules of natural selection. Boehm's solution is that moral elements of groupishness originated and evolved as a result of group members becoming efficient executioners of antisocial individuals, and he noted that self-domestication would have proceeded from the same dynamic. Self-domestication is indicated first at ~300,000 years ago and has probably gathered pace ever since, suggesting selection for self-domestication and groupishness for at least 12,000 generations. Here I propose that a specifically human style of violence, targeted conspiratorial killing, contributed importantly to both self-domestication and to promoting groupishness. Targeted conspiratorial killing is unknown in chimpanzees or any other vertebrate, and is significant because it permits coalitions to kill antisocial individuals cheaply. The hypothesis that major elements of groupishness are due to targeted conspiratorial killing helps explain why they are much more elaborated in humans than in other species.
      PubDate: 2021-04-06
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.20
  • He for she' Variation and exaggeration in men's support for women's
           empowerment in northern Tanzania

    • Authors: Lawson; David W., Schaffnit, Susan B., Kilgallen, Joseph A., Kumogola, Yusufu, Galura, Anthony, Urassa, Mark
      First page: 27
      Abstract: Achieving gender equality fundamentally requires a transfer of power from men to women. Yet data on men's support for women's empowerment (WE) remains scant and limited by reliance on self-report methodologies. Here, we examine men's support for WE as a sexual conflict trait, both via direct surveys (n = 590) and indirectly by asking men's wives (n = 317) to speculate on their husband's views. Data come from a semi-urban community in Mwanza, Tanzania. Consistent with reduced resource competition and increased exposure to relatively egalitarian gender norms, higher socioeconomic status predicted greater support for WE. However, potential demographic indicators of sexual conflict (high fertility, polygyny, large spousal age gap) were largely unrelated to men's support for WE. Contrasting self- and wife-reported measures suggests that men frequently exaggerate their support for women in self-reported attitudes. Discrepancies were especially pronounced among men claiming the highest support for WE, but smallest among men who held a professional occupation and whose wife participated in wage labour, indicating that these factors predict genuine support for WE. We discuss the implications of these results for our understanding of both individual variation and patriarchal gender norms, emphasising the benefits of greater exchange between the evolutionary human sciences and global health research on these themes.
      PubDate: 2021-03-18
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.23
  • Coupled dynamics of behaviour and disease contagion among antagonistic

    • Authors: Smaldino; Paul E., Jones, James Holland
      First page: 28
      Abstract: Disease transmission and behaviour change are both fundamentally social phenomena. Behaviour change can have profound consequences for disease transmission, and epidemic conditions can favour the more rapid adoption of behavioural innovations. We analyse a simple model of coupled behaviour change and infection in a structured population characterised by homophily and outgroup aversion. Outgroup aversion slows the rate of adoption and can lead to lower rates of adoption in the later-adopting group or even behavioural divergence between groups when outgroup aversion exceeds positive ingroup influence. When disease dynamics are coupled to the behaviour-adoption model, a wide variety of outcomes are possible. Homophily can either increase or decrease the final size of the epidemic depending on its relative strength in the two groups and on R0 for the infection. For example, if the first group is homophilous and the second is not, the second group will have a larger epidemic. Homophily and outgroup aversion can also produce dynamics suggestive of a ‘second wave’ in the first group that follows the peak of the epidemic in the second group. Our simple model reveals dynamics that are suggestive of the processes currently observed under pandemic conditions in culturally and/or politically polarised populations such as the USA.
      PubDate: 2021-03-18
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.22
  • Childhood environmental adversity is not linked to lower levels of
           cooperative behaviour in economic games

    • Authors: Lettinga; N., Mell, H., Algan, Y., Jacquet, P. O., Chevallier, C.
      First page: 29
      Abstract: Cooperation is a universal phenomenon, it is present in all human cultures from hunter–gatherers to industrialised societies, and it constitutes a fundamental aspect of social relationships. There is, however, variability in the amount of resources people invest in cooperative activities. Recent findings indicate that this variability may be partly explained as a contextually appropriate response to environmental conditions. Specifically, adverse environments seem to be associated with less cooperation and recent findings suggest that this effect is partly mediated by differences in individuals’ life-history strategy. In this paper, we set out to replicate and extend these findings by measuring actual cooperative behaviour in three economic games – a Dictator game, a Trust game and a Public Goods game – on a nationally representative sample of 612 people. Although we found that the cooperation and life-history strategy latent variables were adequately captured by the models, the hypothesised relationship between childhood environmental adversity and adult cooperation and the mediation effect by life-history strategy were not found.
      PubDate: 2021-03-17
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.21
  • Cultural extinction in evolutionary perspective

    • Authors: Zhang; Hanzhi, Mace, Ruth
      First page: 30
      Abstract: Cultural diversity is disappearing quickly. Whilst a phylogenetic approach makes explicit the continuous extinction of cultures, and the generation of new ones, cultural evolutionary changes such as the rise of agriculture or more recently colonisation can cause periods of mass cultural extinction. At the current rate, 90% of languages will become extinct or moribund by the end of this century. Unlike biological extinction, cultural extinction does not necessarily involve genetic extinction or even deaths, but results from the disintegration of a social entity and discontinuation of culture-specific behaviours. Here we propose an analytical framework to examine the phenomenon of cultural extinction. When examined over millennia, extinctions of cultural traits or institutions can be studied in a phylogenetic comparative framework that incorporates archaeological data on ancestral states. Over decades or centuries, cultural extinction can be studied in a behavioural ecology framework to investigate how the fitness consequences of cultural behaviours and population dynamics shift individual behaviours away from the traditional norms. Frequency-dependent costs and benefits are key to understanding both the origin and the loss of cultural diversity. We review recent evolutionary studies that have informed cultural extinction processes and discuss avenues of future studies.
      PubDate: 2021-04-23
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.25
  • Coalitions and conflict: A longitudinal analysis of men's politics

    • Authors: Redhead; Daniel, von Rueden, Christopher R.
      First page: 31
      Abstract: To negotiate conflict and navigate status hierarchy, individuals in many species form coalitions. We describe inter-personal conflicts and assess theories of coalition formation in a small-scale human society. Based on longitudinal and cross-sectional social network analysis of men in two communities of Tsimane forager–horticulturalists, we find evidence of reciprocity in coalitional support, as well as evidence of transitivity: an ally of my ally is likely to become my ally. We find mixed support for coalition formation between individuals who share a common adversary. Coalition formation was also predicted by food- and labour-sharing and especially by kinship. Physically formidable men and men higher in informal status were more likely to provide coalitional support over time; evidence was mixed that they receive more coalitional support. The highest status men are hubs of a dense coalitional support network that indirectly link all men in the community. These findings suggest that male coalition formation is multiply motivated, and in general reveals the political dynamics that structure men's lives in small, relatively egalitarian communities.
      PubDate: 2021-05-05
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.26
  • Permutation test applied to lexical reconstructions partially supports the
           Altaic linguistic macrofamily

    • Authors: Kassian; Alexei S., Starostin, George, Egorov, Ilya M., Logunova, Ekaterina S., Dybo, Anna V.
      First page: 32
      Abstract: In this paper, we present the results of our analysis of the 110-item basic wordlists for four reconstructed and one ancient languages, the linguistic ancestors of five language families which are hypothesized to constitute the Altaic (a.k.a. Transeurasian) macrofamily: Proto-Turkic, Proto-Mongolic, Proto-Tungusic, Middle Korean and Proto-Japonic wordlists. Protolanguage wordlists were reconstructed according to strict criteria of semantic reconstruction, based on accurate semantic glossing of forms in daughter languages. Each involved form was encoded into a bi-consonantal CC-shaped sequence using the consonant class method, after which a recently developed weighted permutation test was applied. In a typical situation, our algorithm makes a small number of type 1 errors (false positive), but the number of type 2 errors (false negative) can be substantial. Our main finding is that pairs between the Nuclear Altaic taxa – Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic – as well as the Turkic-Japonic and Tungusic-Japonic pairs demonstrate significant p-values. In some cases, this can be attributed to either ancient contacts or genealogical relationships, but at least for the Turkic–Japonic pair, a contact scenario is unlikely owing to geographical remoteness.
      PubDate: 2021-06-01
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.28
  • Fertility intentions and outcomes in Indonesia: Evolutionary perspectives
           on sexual conflict

    • Authors: Snopkowski; Kristin, Nelson, James Joseph
      First page: 33
      Abstract: Differential fertility preferences for men and women may provide insights into human sexual conflict. We explore whether pairbonded couples have different preferences for future offspring, which socioecological factors are associated with these preferences, and who achieves their desired fertility over time. We utilise the Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS), a longitudinal survey which collected data from 1993 to 2015, to compare desired future fertility for 9655 couples and follow couples who had divergent preferences. The majority of couples (64.8%) want the same number of future offspring. In 20.7% of couples, husbands want more future offspring than their wives, while the reverse occurs in 14.5% of couples. Living in villages with the husband's or the wife's parent(s) is associated with having divergent preferences for future offspring, where there is a higher likelihood that women prefer more offspring than their husbands. When examining fertility outcomes, women, particularly those who marry at older ages, are more likely to achieve their desired preference. Contrary to previous research, we do not find that living near one's natal kin or having increased autonomy increases an individual's likelihood of achieving desired fertility outcomes.
      PubDate: 2021-05-06
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.27
  • Male descendant kin promote conservative views on gender issues and
           conformity to traditional norms

    • Authors: Kerry; Nicholas, Blake, Khandis R., Murray, Damian R., Brooks, Robert C.
      First page: 34
      Abstract: Political and social attitudes have been shown to differ by sex in a way that tracks individual self-interest. We propose that these attitudes also change strategically to serve the best interests of either male or female kin. To test this hypothesis, we developed a measure of gendered fitness interests (GFI) – an index which reflects the sex, relatedness and residual reproductive value of close kin. We predicted that people with male-biased GFI (i.e. people with more male kin of a reproductive age) would have more conservative attitudes towards gender-related issues (e.g. gender roles, women's rights, abortion rights). An online study using an American sample (N = 560) found support for this hypothesis. Further analyses revealed that this relationship was driven not only by people's own sex and reproductive value but also by those of their descendant kin. Exploratory analyses also found a positive association between male-biased GFI and a measure of conformity, as well as a smaller association between male-biased GFI and having voted Republican in the last election. Both of these associations were statistically mediated by gender-related conservatism. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that GFI influences sociopolitical attitudes.
      PubDate: 2021-05-28
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.29
  • Pathways to social inequality

    • Authors: Haynie; Hannah J., Kavanagh, Patrick H., Jordan, Fiona M., Ember, Carol R, Gray, Russell D., Greenhill, Simon J., Kirby, Kathryn R., Kushnick, Geoff, Low, Bobbi S., Tuff, Ty, Vilela, Bruno, Botero, Carlos A., Gavin, Michael C.
      First page: 35
      Abstract: Social inequality is ubiquitous in contemporary human societies, and has deleterious social and ecological impacts. However, the factors that shape the emergence and maintenance of inequality remain widely debated. Here we conduct a global analysis of pathways to inequality by comparing 408 non-industrial societies in the anthropological record (described largely between 1860 and 1960) that vary in degree of inequality. We apply structural equation modelling to open-access environmental and ethnographic data and explore two alternative models varying in the links among factors proposed by prior literature, including environmental conditions, resource intensification, wealth transmission, population size and a well-documented form of inequality: social class hierarchies. We found support for a model in which the probability of social class hierarchies is associated directly with increases in population size, the propensity to use intensive agriculture and domesticated large mammals, unigeniture inheritance of real property and hereditary political succession. We suggest that influence of environmental variables on inequality is mediated by measures of resource intensification, which, in turn, may influence inequality directly or indirectly via effects on wealth transmission variables. Overall, we conclude that in our analysis a complex network of effects are associated with social class hierarchies.
      PubDate: 2021-07-08
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.32
  • False beliefs can bootstrap cooperative communities through social norms

    • Authors: Morsky; Bryce, Akçay, Erol
      First page: 36
      Abstract: Building cooperative communities is a crucial problem for human societies. Much research suggests that cooperation is facilitated by knowing who the cooperators and defectors are, and being able to respond accordingly. As such, anonymous games are thought to hinder cooperation. Here, we show that this conclusion is altered dramatically in the presence of conditional cooperation norms and heterogeneous beliefs about others’ behaviours. Specifically, we show that inaccurate beliefs about other players’ behaviours can foster and stabilise cooperation via social norms. To show this, we combine a community's population dynamics with the behavioural dynamics of their members. In our model, individuals can join a community based on beliefs generated by public signals regarding the level of cooperation within, and decide to cooperate or not depending on these beliefs. These signals may overstate how much cooperation there really is. We show that even if individuals eventually learn the true level of cooperation, the initially false beliefs can trigger a dynamic that sustains high levels of cooperation. We also characterise how the rates of joining, leaving and learning in the community affect the cooperation level and community size simultaneously. Our results illustrate how false beliefs and social norms can help build cooperative communities.
      PubDate: 2021-06-14
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.30
  • Ethnoscientific expertise and knowledge specialisation in 55 traditional

    • Authors: Lightner; Aaron D., Heckelsmiller, Cynthiann, Hagen, Edward H.
      First page: 37
      Abstract: People everywhere acquire high levels of conceptual knowledge about their social and natural worlds, which we refer to as ethnoscientific expertise. Evolutionary explanations for expertise are still widely debated. We analysed ethnographic text records (N = 547) describing ethnoscientific expertise among 55 cultures in the Human Relations Area Files to investigate the mutually compatible roles of collaboration, proprietary knowledge, cultural transmission, honest signalling, and mate provisioning. We found relatively high levels of evidence for collaboration, proprietary knowledge, and cultural transmission, and lower levels of evidence for honest signalling and mate provisioning. In our exploratory analyses, we found that whether expertise involved proprietary vs. transmitted knowledge depended on the domain of expertise. Specifically, medicinal knowledge was positively associated with secretive and specialised knowledge for resolving uncommon and serious problems, i.e. proprietary knowledge. Motor skill-related expertise, such as subsistence and technological skills, was positively associated with broadly competent and generous teachers, i.e. cultural transmission. We also found that collaborative expertise was central to both of these models, and was generally important across different knowledge and skill domains.
      PubDate: 2021-06-14
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.31
  • Facial attractiveness and preference of sexual dimorphism: A comparison
           across five populations

    • Authors: Fiala; Vojtěch, Třebický, Vít, Pazhoohi, Farid, Leongómez, Juan David, Tureček, Petr, Saribay, S. Adil, Akoko, Robert Mbe, Kleisner, Karel
      First page: 38
      Abstract: Despite intensive research, evolutionary psychology has not yet reached a consensus regarding the association between sexual dimorphism and attractiveness. This study examines associations between perceived and morphological facial sexual dimorphism and perceived attractiveness in samples from five distant countries (Cameroon, Colombia, Czechia, Iran and Turkey). We also examined possible moderating effects of skin lightness, averageness, age, body mass and facial width. Our results suggest that in all samples, women's perceived femininity was positively related to their perceived attractiveness. Women found perceived masculinity in men attractive only in Czechia and Colombia, two distant populations. The association between perceived sexual dimorphism and attractiveness is thus potentially universal only for women. Across populations, morphological sexual dimorphism and averageness are not universally associated with either perceived facial sexual dimorphism or attractiveness. With our exploratory approach, results highlight the need for control of which measure of sexual dimorphism is used (perceived or measured) because they affect perceived attractiveness differently. Morphological averageness and sexual dimorphism are not good predictors of perceived attractiveness. It is noted that future studies should use samples from multiple populations to allow for identification of specific effects of local environmental and socioeconomic conditions on preferred traits in unmanipulated local facial stimuli.
      PubDate: 2021-07-02
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.33
  • The ontogeny of exploratory object manipulation behaviour in wild

    • Authors: Schuppli; Caroline, Van Cauwenberghe, Anaïs, Mitra Setia, Tatang, Haun, Daniel
      First page: 39
      Abstract: In human infants, exploratory object manipulation is a major vehicle for cognitive stimulation as well as an important way to learn about objects and basic physical concepts in general. The development of human infants’ exploratory object manipulation follows distinct developmental patterns. So far, the degree of evolutionary continuity of this developmental process remains unclear. We investigated the development of exploratory object manipulations in wild orangutans. Our data included 3200 exploration events collected on 13 immatures between the ages of 0.5 and 13 years, at the Suaq Balimbing monitoring station in Indonesia. Our results identify several parallels between the development of exploratory behaviour in humans and orangutans: on top of a highly similar overall age trajectory, we found an increase in variability of the actions used, an increase in the number of body parts involved in each event, and an overall decrease of mouthing of the objects. All in all, our results show that orangutans progress through a developmental sequence of different aspects of exploration behaviour. In combination with previous findings from captivity, our results also provide evidence that exploratory object manipulations reflect cognitive development and might function as a means of cognitive stimulation not just in humans but across the great apes.
      PubDate: 2021-07-02
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.34
  • No good deed goes unpunished: the social costs of prosocial behaviour

    • Authors: Raihani; Nichola J., Power, Eleanor A.
      First page: 40
      Abstract: Performing costly helpful behaviours can allow individuals to improve their reputation. Those who gain a good reputation are often preferred as interaction partners and are consequently better able to access support through cooperative relationships with others. However, investing in prosocial displays can sometimes yield social costs: excessively generous individuals risk losing their good reputation, and even being vilified, ostracised or antisocially punished. As a consequence, people frequently try to downplay their prosocial actions or hide them from others. In this review, we explore when and why investments in prosocial behaviour are likely to yield social costs. We propose two key features of interactions that make it more likely that generous individuals will incur social costs when: (a) observers infer that helpful behaviour is motivated by strategic or selfish motives; and (b) observers infer that helpful behaviour is detrimental to them. We describe how the cognition required to consider ulterior motives emerges over development and how these tendencies vary across cultures – and discuss how the potential for helpful actions to result in social costs might place boundaries on prosocial behaviour as well as limiting the contexts in which it might occur. We end by outlining the key avenues and priorities for future research.
      PubDate: 2021-07-21
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.35
  • The evolution of morality and the role of commitment

    • Authors: Akdeniz; Aslihan, van Veelen, Matthijs
      First page: 41
      Abstract: A considerable share of the literature on the evolution of human cooperation considers the question why we have not evolved to play the Nash equilibrium in prisoners’ dilemmas or public goods games. In order to understand human morality and pro-social behaviour, we suggest that it would actually be more informative to investigate why we have not evolved to play the subgame perfect Nash equilibrium in sequential games, such as the ultimatum game and the trust game. The ‘rationally irrational’ behaviour that can evolve in such games gives a much better match with actual human behaviour, including elements of morality such as honesty, responsibility and sincerity, as well as the more hostile aspects of human nature, such as anger and vengefulness. The mechanism at work here is commitment, which does not need population structure, nor does it need interactions to be repeated. We argue that this shift in focus can not only help explain why humans have evolved to know wrong from right, but also why other animals, with similar population structures and similar rates of repetition, have not evolved similar moral sentiments. The suggestion that the evolutionary function of morality is to help us commit to otherwise irrational behaviour stems from the work of Robert Frank (American Economic Review, 77(4), 593–604, 1987; Passions within reason: The strategic role of the emotions, WW Norton, 1988), which has played a surprisingly modest role in the scientific debate to date.
      PubDate: 2021-07-22
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.36
  • Prestige and content biases together shape the cultural transmission of

    • Authors: Berl; Richard E.W., Samarasinghe, Alarna N., Roberts, Seán G., Jordan, Fiona M., Gavin, Michael C.
      First page: 42
      Abstract: Cultural transmission biases such as prestige are thought to have been a primary driver in shaping the dynamics of human cultural evolution. However, few empirical studies have measured the importance of prestige relative to other effects, such as content biases present within the information being transmitted. Here, we report the findings of an experimental transmission study designed to compare the simultaneous effects of a model using a high- or low-prestige regional accent with the presence of narrative content containing social, survival, emotional, moral, rational, or counterintuitive information in the form of a creation story. Results from multimodel inference reveal that prestige is a significant factor in determining the salience and recall of information, but that several content biases, specifically social, survival, negative emotional, and biological counterintuitive information, are significantly more influential. Further, we find evidence that reliance on prestige cues may serve as a conditional learning strategy when no content cues are available. Our results demonstrate that content biases serve a vital and underappreciated role in cultural transmission and cultural evolution.Social media summary: Storyteller and tale are both key to memorability, but some content is more important than the storyteller's prestige.
      PubDate: 2021-07-29
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.37
  • Pama–Nyungan grandparent systems change with grandchildren, but not
           cross-cousin terms or social norms

    • Authors: Sheard; Catherine, Bowern, Claire, Dockum, Rikker, Jordan, Fiona M.
      First page: 43
      PubDate: 2021-09-08
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.43
  • Coevolution of actions, personal norms and beliefs about others in social

    • Authors: Gavrilets; Sergey
      First page: 44
      Abstract: Human decision-making is affected by a diversity of factors including material cost–benefit considerations, normative and cultural influences, learning and conformity with peers and external authorities (e.g. cultural, religious, political, organisational). Also important are dynamically changing personal perceptions of the situation and beliefs about actions and expectations of others as well as psychological phenomena such as cognitive dissonance and social projection. To better understand these processes, I develop a unifying modelling framework describing the joint dynamics of actions and attitudes of individuals and their beliefs about the actions and attitudes of their groupmates. I consider which norms get internalised and which factors control beliefs about others. I predict that the long-term average characteristics of groups are largely determined by a balance between material payoffs and the values promoted by the external authority. Variation around these averages largely reflects variation in individual costs and benefits mediated by individual psychological characteristics. The efforts of an external authority to change the group behaviour in a certain direction can, counter-intuitively, have an opposite effect on individual behaviour. I consider how various factors can affect differences between groups and societies in the tightness/looseness of their social norms. I show that the most important factors are social heterogeneity, societal threat, effects of authority, cultural variation in the degree of collectivism/individualism, the population size and the subsistence style. My results can be useful for achieving a better understanding of human social behaviour and historical and current social processes, and in developing more efficient policies aiming to modify social behaviour.
      PubDate: 2021-08-19
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.40
  • Correlates of conflict resolution across cultures

    • Authors: Garfield; Zachary H.
      First page: 45
      Abstract: Conflicts are ubiquitous between individuals as well as between groups. Effective conflict resolution is essential for individual well-being and group functioning and often involves leadership dynamics. The evolutionary human sciences have suggested that conflict resolution is shaped by psychological heuristics, norms and ecology. There are limited empirical data, however, on conflict resolution across cultures. Using a cross-cultural database of 109 leadership dimensions coded from over 1200 text records from the eHRAF ethnographic database, exploratory analyses investigated correlates of conflict resolution. The results revealed greater evidence of conflict resolution among kin groups than political groups and greater evidence of within-group conflict resolution than between-group, which did not vary across subsistence strategies or group contexts, with two exceptions – military group conflicts were biased towards between-group contexts and religious groups biased towards within-group contexts. The strongest predictors of conflict-resolution services were other prosocial functions and included group representation and providing counsel, protection and punishment, as well as qualities of interpersonal skills and fairness. Followers received social service benefits and reduced risk of harm. For leaders who resolve conflicts, status and social benefits were potential negative predictors. These results provide a comparative view of the correlates of conflict resolution suggesting diversity across social contexts.
      PubDate: 2021-08-31
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.41
  • Linking voice pitch to fighting success in male amateur mixed martial arts
           athletes and boxers

    • Authors: Schild; Christoph, Zettler, Ingo
      First page: 46
      Abstract: Whereas voice pitch is strongly linked to people's perceptions in contexts of sexual selection, such as attractiveness and dominance, evidence that links voice pitch to actual behaviour or the formidability of a speaker is sparse and mixed. In this registered report, we investigated how male speakers’ voice pitch is linked to fighting success in a dataset comprising 135 (amateur) mixed martial arts and 189 (amateur) boxing fights. Based on the assumption that voice pitch is an honest signal of formidability, we expected lower voice pitch to be linked to higher fighting success. The results indicated no significant relation between a fighter's voice pitch, as directly measured before a fight, and successive fighting success in both mixed martial arts fighters and boxers.
      PubDate: 2021-09-10
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.45
  • Women feel more attractive before ovulation: evidence from a large-scale
           online diary study

    • Authors: Schleifenbaum; Lara, Driebe, Julie C., Gerlach, Tanja M., Penke, Lars, Arslan, Ruben C.
      First page: 47
      Abstract: How attractive we find ourselves decides who we target as potential partners and influences our reproductive fitness. Self-perceptions on women's fertile days could be particularly important. However, results on how self-perceived attractiveness changes across women's ovulatory cycles are inconsistent and research has seldomly assessed multiple attractiveness-related constructs simultaneously. Here, we give an overview of ovulatory cycle shifts in self-perceived attractiveness, sexual desirability, grooming, self-esteem and positive mood. We addressed previous methodological shortcomings by conducting a large, preregistered online diary study of 872 women (580 naturally cycling) across 70 consecutive days, applying several robustness analyses and comparing naturally cycling women with women using hormonal contraceptives. As expected, we found robust evidence for ovulatory increases in self-perceived attractiveness and sexual desirability in naturally cycling women. Unexpectedly, we found moderately robust evidence for smaller ovulatory increases in self-esteem and positive mood. Although grooming showed an ovulatory increase descriptively, the effect was small, failed to reach our strict significance level of .01 and was not robust to model variations. We discuss how these results could follow an ovulatory increase in sexual motivation while calling for more theoretical and causally informative research to uncover the nature of ovulatory cycle shifts in the future.
      PubDate: 2021-09-01
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.44
  • Differential effects of resource scarcity and pathogen prevalence on
           heterosexual women's facial masculinity preferences

    • Authors: Saribay; S. Adil, Tureček, Petr, Paluch, Rüzgar, Kleisner, Karel
      First page: 48
      Abstract: The present research focused on how environmental harshness may affect heterosexual women's preferences of potential male mates’ facial characteristics, namely masculinity–femininity. The evidence on this issue is mixed and mostly from Western samples. We aimed to provide causal evidence using a sample of Turkish women and Turkish male faces. A video-based manipulation was developed to heighten environmental harshness perceptions. In the main experiment, participants were primed with resource scarcity, pathogen prevalence or neither (control). They then saw masculinised vs. feminised versions of the same faces and indicated the face that they would prefer for a long-term relationship and separately rated the faces on various dimensions. In general, masculinised faces were perceived as slightly more attractive, slightly healthier and much more formidable. A multilevel Bayesian model showed that pathogen prevalence lowered the preference for masculinised faces while resource scarcity weakly elevated it. The overall drop in attractiveness ratings in cases of high perceived pathogen prevalence, one of the strongest effects we observed, suggests that during epidemics, the formation of new relationships is not a favourable strategy. Implications for evolutionary theories of mate preference are discussed.
      PubDate: 2021-09-16
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.42
  • Relatedness within and between Agta residential groups

    • Authors: Dyble; Mark, Migliano, Andrea Bamberg, Page, Abigail E., Smith, Daniel
      First page: 49
      Abstract: Theoretical models relating to the evolution of human behaviour usually make assumptions about the kinship structure of social groups. Since humans were hunter–gatherers for most of our evolutionary history, data on the composition of contemporary hunter–gatherer groups has long been used to inform these models. Although several papers have taken a broad view of hunter–gatherer social organisation, it is also useful to explore data from single populations in more depth. Here, we describe patterns of relatedness among the Palanan Agta, hunter–gatherers from the northern Philippines. Across 271 adults, mean relatedness to adults across the population is r = 0.01 and to adult campmates is r = 0.074, estimates that are similar to those seen in other hunter–gatherers. We also report the distribution of kin across camps, relatedness and age differences between spouses, and the degree of shared reproductive interest between camp mates, a measure that incorporates affinal kinship. For both this this measure (s) and standard relatedness (r), we see no major age or sex differences in the relatedness of adults to their campmates, conditions that may reduce the potential for conflicts of interest within social groups.
      PubDate: 2021-09-22
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.46
  • Culture without copying or selection

    • Authors: Acerbi; Alberto, Charbonneau, Mathieu, Miton, Helena, Scott-Phillips, Thom
      First page: 50
      Abstract: Typical examples of cultural phenomena all exhibit a degree of similarity across time and space at the level of the population. As such, a fundamental question for any science of culture is, what ensures this stability in the first place? Here we focus on the evolutionary and stabilising role of ‘convergent transformation’, in which one item causes the production of another item whose form tends to deviate from the original in a directed, non-random way. We present a series of stochastic models of cultural evolution investigating its effects. The results show that cultural stability can emerge and be maintained by virtue of convergent transformation alone, in the absence of any form of copying or selection process. We show how high-fidelity copying and convergent transformation need not be opposing forces, and can jointly contribute to cultural stability. We finally analyse how non-random transformation and high-fidelity copying can have different evolutionary signatures at population level, and hence how their distinct effects can be distinguished in empirical records. Collectively, these results supplement existing approaches to cultural evolution based on the Darwinian analogy, while also providing formal support for other frameworks – such as Cultural Attraction Theory – that entail its further loosening.Social media summary:Culture can be produced and maintained by convergent transformation, without copying or selection involved.
      PubDate: 2021-11-04
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.47
  • The shortlist effect: nestedness contributions as a tool to explain
           cultural success

    • Authors: Morin; Olivier, Sobchuk, Oleg
      First page: 51
      Abstract: Detecting the forces behind the success or failure of cultural products, such as books or films, remains a challenge. Three such forces are drift, context-biased selection and selection based on content – when things succeed because of their intrinsic appeal. We propose a tool to study content-biased selection in sets of cultural collections – e.g. libraries or movie collections – based on the ‘shortlist effect’: the fact that smaller collections are more selective and more likely to favour highly appealing items over others. We use a model to show that, when the shortlist effect is at work, content-biased cultural selection is associated with greater nestedness in sets of collections. Having established empirically the existence of the shortlist effect, and of content-biased selection, in 28 sets of movie collections, we show that nestedness contributions can be used to estimate to what extent specific movies owe their success to their intrinsic properties. This method can be used in a wide range of datasets to detect the items that owe their success to their intrinsic appeal, as opposed to ‘hidden gems’ or ‘accidental hits’.
      PubDate: 2021-11-08
      DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2021.48
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