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Four misunderstandings about cultural attraction

(2018) Evolutionary Anthropology. 27. p.162-173
Author
Organization
Abstract
Cultural attraction theory (CAT) is a research agenda the purpose of which is to develop causalexplanations of cultural phenomena. CAT is also an evolutionary approach to culture, in thesense that it treats culture as a population of items of different types, with the frequency oftokens of those types changing over time. Now more than 20 years old, CAT has made manypositive contributions, theoretical and empirical, to the naturalization of the social sciences. Inconsequence of this growing impact, CAT has, in recent years, been the subject of critical dis-cussion. Here, we review and respond to these critiques. In so doing, we also provide a clearand concise introduction to CAT. We give clear characterizations of CAT's key theoreticalnotions, and we outline how these notions are derived from consideration of the natural charac-ter of cultural phenomena (Box 1). This naturalistic quality distinguishes CAT from other evolu-tionary approaches to culture.
Keywords
cognition, culture, cultural attraction, cultural evolution, evolution

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Scott-Phillips, Thom, Stefaan Blancke, and Christophe Heintz. 2018. “Four Misunderstandings About Cultural Attraction.” Evolutionary Anthropology 27: 162–173.
APA
Scott-Phillips, T., Blancke, S., & Heintz, C. (2018). Four misunderstandings about cultural attraction. Evolutionary Anthropology, 27, 162–173.
Vancouver
1.
Scott-Phillips T, Blancke S, Heintz C. Four misunderstandings about cultural attraction. Evolutionary Anthropology. Wiley; 2018;27:162–73.
MLA
Scott-Phillips, Thom, Stefaan Blancke, and Christophe Heintz. “Four Misunderstandings About Cultural Attraction.” Evolutionary Anthropology 27 (2018): 162–173. Print.
@article{8570717,
  abstract     = {Cultural attraction theory (CAT) is a research agenda the purpose of which is to develop causalexplanations of cultural phenomena. CAT is also an evolutionary approach to culture, in thesense that it treats culture as a population of items of different types, with the frequency oftokens of those types changing over time. Now more than 20 years old, CAT has made manypositive contributions, theoretical and empirical, to the naturalization of the social sciences. Inconsequence of this growing impact, CAT has, in recent years, been the subject of critical dis-cussion. Here, we review and respond to these critiques. In so doing, we also provide a clearand concise introduction to CAT. We give clear characterizations of CAT's key theoreticalnotions, and we outline how these notions are derived from consideration of the natural charac-ter of cultural phenomena (Box 1). This naturalistic quality distinguishes CAT from other evolu-tionary approaches to culture.},
  author       = {Scott-Phillips, Thom and Blancke, Stefaan and Heintz, Christophe},
  issn         = {1060-1538},
  journal      = {Evolutionary Anthropology},
  keyword      = {cognition,culture,cultural attraction,cultural evolution,evolution},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {162--173},
  publisher    = {Wiley},
  title        = {Four misunderstandings about cultural attraction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/evan.21716},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2018},
}

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