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Publication Detail
What Makes Inventions Become Traditions?
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
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  • Authors:
    Perry SE, Carter A, Foster JG, Nobel S, Smolla M
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  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    419, 436
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  • Issue:
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  • Keywords:
    Anthropology, BEHAVIOR, cultural change, cultural diffusion, CUMULATIVE CULTURE, DEMOGRAPHY, DIFFUSION, DYNAMICS, EVOLUTION, innovation, INNOVATION, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, MODELS, OLDER, Science & Technology, SELECTION, social learning
Although anthropology was the first academic discipline to investigate cultural change, many other disciplines have made noteworthy contributions to understanding what influences the adoption of new behaviors. Drawing on a broad, interdisciplinary literature covering both humans and nonhumans, we examine ( a) which features of behavioral traits make them more transmissible, ( b) which individual characteristics of inventors promote copying of their inventions, ( c) which characteristics of individuals make them more prone to adopting new behaviors, ( d) which characteristics of dyadic relationships promote cultural transmission, ( e) which properties of groups (e.g., network structures) promote transmission of traits, and ( f) which characteristics of groups promote retention, rather than extinction, of cultural traits. One of anthropology's strengths is its readiness to adopt and improve theories and methods from other disciplines, integrating them into a more holistic approach; hence, we identify approaches that might be particularly useful to biological and cultural anthropologists, and knowledge gaps that should be filled.
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