8. Action and Culture

13 ourclosedrelativesthechimpanzeesrelyon

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Unformatted text preview: Only humans seem to have it. E.g.: complex artifacts are not invented by a individuals at a given time; they evolve over many generations. 12 Imitation. It leads to cumulative evolution of behavior that no single individual could invent by herself. Children, unlike apes, imitate faithfully. The latter don’t pay close attention to details. Cumulative cultural evolution is rare and possibly absent in non­humans species. 13 Our closed relatives, the chimpanzees, rely on different modes of social learning than humans. Copying vs. learning Copiers don’t pay the cost of learning. As such copying doesn’t have any benefit on survival or reproduction. Copiers may acquire the wrong behavior for their environment. 14 Information scroungers vs. information producers Information producers bear a cost to learn. When scroungers are rare and producers common, almost all scroungers will imitate a producer. Most scroungers will obtain the same benefits of good information as producers but will not bear the cost of production. However, when scroungers are common they likely imitate one another. 15 If the environment changes any scroungers that imitate scroungers will get caught out with bad information, while producers will adapt. The system equilibrates when the cost of production by producers just equals the cost of being wrong to scroungers when environments change. 16 Culture is adaptive when it makes individual learning more effective. Social/cultural learning improves the average fitness of a population only if it increases the fitness of individ...
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This document was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course PHIL 3501 at Carleton CA.

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