The spontaneous emergence of conventions: An experimental study of cultural evolution

  title={The spontaneous emergence of conventions: An experimental study of cultural evolution},
  author={Damon Centola and Andrea Baronchelli},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  pages={1989 - 1994}
Significance Social conventions shape every aspect of our lives, from how we greet each other to the languages we speak. Yet their origins have been a topic of theoretical speculation since the time of Aristotle. Most approaches assume that institutions are necessary to organize large populations, but the simplest explanation is that universally accepted conventions are the unintended consequence of individuals’ efforts to coordinate locally with one another. Although this hypothesis is… 

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