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Existing mathematical models suggest that gene-culture coevolution favours a conformist bias in social learning, that is, a psychological mechanism to preferentially acquire the most common cultural variants. Here we show that this conclusion relies on specific assumptions that seem unrealistic, such as that all cultural variants are known to every individual. We present two models that remove these assumptions, showing that: 1) the rate of cultural evolution and the adaptive value of culture are higher in a population in which individuals pick cultural variants at random (Random strategy) rather than picking the most common one (Conform strategy); 2) in genetic evolution the Random strategy out-competes the Conform strategy, unless cultural evolution is very slow, in which case Conform and Random usually coexist; 3) the individuals’ ability to evaluate cultural variants is a more important determinant of the adaptive value of culture than frequency-based choice strategies. We also review existing empirical literature and game-theoretic arguments for conformity, finding neither strong empirical evidence nor a strong theoretical expectation for a general conformist bias. Our own vignette study of social learning shows that people may indeed use different social learning strategies depending on context.

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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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The thermal stability of heat-stabilised polyamide 66 in an oxidative environment is evaluated by DSC. The oxidative stability of the polyamide decreases as a result of repeated injection moulding. The results also indicate that the presence of glass fibres in the polyamide has a negative influence on the oxidative stability. Both isothermal and dynamic DSC measurements seem to be useful tools for assessing the stability of polyamides and there is a relationship between data determined using both procedures.

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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Christian Bäcklund
Pia Elbe
Hanna M. Gavelin
Daniel Eriksson Sörman
, and
Jessica K. Ljungberg


Background and aims

The present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to synthesize the available literature on the relationship between gaming motivations and gaming disorder symptoms. Specifically, to (1) explore what gaming motivation questionnaires and classifications are used in studies on gaming disorder symptoms and (2) investigate the relationship between motivational factors and symptoms of gaming disorder.


An electronic database search was conducted via EBSCO (MEDLINE and PsycINFO) and the Web of Science Core Collection. All studies using validated measurements on gaming disorder symptoms and gaming motivations and available correlation coefficients of the relationship between gaming disorder and gaming motivations were included. The meta-analyses were conducted using a random-effects model.


In total, 49 studies (k = 58 independent sub-samples), including 51,440 participants, out of which 46 studies (k = 55 sub-samples, n = 49,192 participants) provided data for the meta-analysis. The synthesis identified fourteen different gaming motivation instruments, seven unique motivation models, and 26 motivational factors. The meta-analysis showed statistically significant associations between gaming disorder symptoms and 23 out of 26 motivational factors, with the majority of the pooled mean effect sizes ranging from small to moderate. Moreover, large heterogeneity was observed, and the calculated prediction intervals indicated substantial variation in effects across populations and settings. Motivations related to emotional escape were robustly associated with gaming disorder symptoms.

Discussion and conclusions

The present meta-analysis reinforces the importance of motivational factors in understanding problematic gaming behavior. The analysis showed significant heterogeneity in most outcomes, warranting further investigation.

Registration detail

PROSPERO (CRD42020220050).

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