The evolution of cultural evolution

@article{Henrich2003TheEO,
  title={The evolution of cultural evolution},
  author={Joseph Henrich and Richard Mcelreath},
  journal={Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues},
  year={2003},
  volume={12}
}
Humans are unique in their range of environments and in the nature and diversity of their behavioral adaptations. While a variety of local genetic adaptations exist within our species, it seems certain that the same basic genetic endowment produces arctic foraging, tropical horticulture, and desert pastoralism, a constellation that represents a greater range of subsistence behavior than the rest of the Primate Order combined. The behavioral adaptations that explain the immense success of our… 
Cultural macroevolution and the transmission of traits
TLDR
There is still much uncertainty about how traits are transmitted at this macroevolutionary level, as well as about the implications of these transmission patterns for testing hypotheses regarding the adaptive function of particular cultural traits across human populations.
The Pace of Cultural Evolution
TLDR
It is shown that cultural evolution is faster than biological evolution; this effect holds true even when the generation time of species is controlled for; and culture allows us to evolve over short time scales, which are normally accessible only to short-lived species, while at the same time allowing for us to enjoy the benefits of having a long life history.
The promises of a naturalistic approach: how cultural evolution theory can inform (evolutionary) economics
TLDR
This article presents the outcomes of human phylogeny and discusses this naturalistic perspective’s implications for (evolutionary) economics and some fruitful applications of cultural evolution theory to the explanation of economic phenomena.
Evolutionary accounts of human behavioural diversity
TLDR
It is argued that greater integration between the subfields is critical to developing a satisfactory understanding of diversity, and reaffirm that evolutionary theory provides an essential framework for understanding behavioural diversity within and between human populations.
The evolution of social learning
TLDR
It is argued for a new perspective on social learning and for a different framework that allows for more realistic learning models and for new forms of social learning that could solve the paradox of human adaptedness, albeit only under very narrow circumstances.
Agency and Adaptation: New Directions in Evolutionary Anthropology
TLDR
This review explores this contested terrain, arguing that although many critiques of evolutionary analyses of behavior are faulty, some valid concerns must be addressed and several additions to the standard framework currently employed by evolutionary anthropologists and others address these concerns and provide a more comprehensive understanding of human behavioral evolution and adaptation.
Human behavioral ecology and its evil twin
TLDR
The task now is to test explicit evolutionary models against real-world data, preferably on different scales, used within the framework of behavioral ecology.
An Evolutionary Anthropological Perspective on Modern Human Origins
TLDR
This synthetic overview identifies the three pillars of human uniqueness: an evolved advanced cognition, hyperprosociality, and psychology for social learning, which are foundational for cumulative culture, the dominant adaptation of the authors' species.
Gene-culture coevolution in the age of genomics
TLDR
The hypothesis that the process of cultural evolution has played an active, leading role in the evolution of genes is investigated, promising to have a major impact on the understanding of gene-culture coevolution over the span of hominin evolutionary history.
Chapter 13 Human Survival and Life History in Evolutionary Perspective
TLDR
This chapter focuses on human survival and life history: theoretical approaches and key features of human adaptability across time and space and characterizes human subsistence and sociality as important aspects of evolved life history.
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 92 REFERENCES
Why Culture is Common, but Cultural Evolution is Rare
TLDR
Two models of the evolution of psychological capacities that allow cumulative cultural evolution are analyzed, suggesting why such capacities may be rare in nature.
Coevolution: Genes, Culture, and Human Diversity
TLDR
The author suggests that a process of cultural selection, or preservation by preference, driven chiefly by choice or imposition depending on the circumstances, has been the main but not exclusive force of cultural change, and shows that this process gives rise to five major patterns or modes in which cultural change is at odds with genetic change.
Chimpanzee and Human Cultures
TLDR
It is argued here that culture is not monolithic but a set of processes that show much diversity both in the social norms and models that determine which individuals will be exposed to particular cultural variants and what cultural variants will be present in the population and in thesocial learning mechanisms that determine the fidelity of transmission of the variants over time.
Complex societies
TLDR
A series of work-arounds are described and data on the relative effectiveness of WWII armies is used to test the work-around hypothesis, hypothesizing that two sets of social "instincts" underpin and constrain the evolution of complex societies.
Cultural transmission and evolution: a quantitative approach.
TLDR
A mathematical theory of the non-genetic transmission of cultural traits is developed that provides a framework for future investigations in quantitative social and anthropological science and concludes that cultural transmission is an essential factor in the study of cultural change.
Variability selection in hominid evolution
TLDR
If some complex traits indeed require disparities in adaptive setting (and relative fitness) in order to evolve, the VS idea counters the prevailing view that adaptive change necessitates long‐term, directional consistency in selection.
Cultures in chimpanzees
TLDR
It is found that 39 different behaviour patterns, including tool usage, grooming and courtship behaviours, are customary or habitual in some communities but are absent in others where ecological explanations have been discounted.
Does Biology Constrain Culture
TLDR
A “thought experiment” is employed to demonstrate that neither side of the sociobiology debate is justified in dismissing the arguments of the other.
The genetical evolution of social behaviour. I.
...
...