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When is Similarity-biased Social Learning Adaptively Advantageous?

Saunders, Daniel (2022) When is Similarity-biased Social Learning Adaptively Advantageous? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Cultural evolution theorists have suggested that humans employ similarity-biased social learning - we tend to imitate people who are like us. Informal evolutionary explanations have been offered for the bias. Similarity-biased learning might enable the smooth acquisition of social roles which sustain conventions and norms. This paper describes a formal model designed to uncover when similarity-biased learning is, and is not, adaptively advantageous. Whether we should expect similarity-biased social learning to evolve
strongly depends on assumptions about the adaptive function of social roles, the
initial conditions, a variety of parameter settings, and the population structure.
Making small changes to these assumptions can collapse the explanation. The
results suggest we should be very cautious about claims suggesting there is a
universal, evolved tendency towards similarity-biased learning.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Saunders, Danieldsaunders406@gmail.com
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Game Theory
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Daniel Saunders
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 04:13
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2022 04:13
Item ID: 20493
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Game Theory
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Social Psychology
Date: 20 April 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20493

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