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  • 1 Center for the Study of Cultural Evolution, Stockholm University and Mälardalen University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • | 2 University of Sussex, Falmer, UK
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Abstract

According to an influential theory in cultural evolution, within-group similarity of culture is explained by a human ‘conformist-bias’, which is a hypothesized evolved predisposition to preferentially follow a member of the majority when acquiring ideas and behaviours. However, this notion has little support from social psychological research. In fact, a major theory in social psychology (Latané and Wolf (1981) argues for what is in effect a ‘nonconformist-bias’: by analogy to standard psychophysics they predict minority sources of influence to have relatively greater impact than majority sources. Here we present a new mathematical model and an experiment on social influence, both specifically designed to test these competing predictions. The results are in line with nonconformism. Finally, we discuss within-group similarity and suggest that it is not a general phenomenon but must be studied trait by trait.

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Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 
Language English
Size  
Year of
Foundation
2007 (2003)
Publication
Programme
changed title
Volumes
per Year
 
Issues
per Year
 
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
Founder's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1789-2082 (Print)
ISSN 2060-5587 (Online)

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