Document Detail


Cultural transmission can inhibit the evolution of altruistic helping.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18500938     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The study of culturally inherited traits has led to the suggestion that the evolution of helping behaviors is more likely with cultural transmission than without. Here we evaluate this idea through a comparative analysis of selection on helping under both genetic and cultural inheritance. We develop two simple models for the evolution of helping through cultural group selection: one in which selection on the trait depends solely on Darwinian fitness effects and one in which selection is driven by nonreproductive factors, specifically imitation of strategies achieving higher payoffs. We show that when cultural variants affect Darwinian fitness, the selection pressure on helping can be markedly increased relative to that under genetic transmission. By contrast, when variants are driven by nonreproductive factors, the selection pressure on helping may be reduced relative to that under genetic inheritance. This occurs because, unlike biological offspring, the spread of cultural variants from one group to another through imitation does not reduce the number of these variants in the source group. As a consequence, there is increased within-group competition associated with traits increasing group productivity, which reduces the benefits of helping. In these cases, selection for harming behavior (decreasing the payoff to neighbors) may occur rather than selection for helping.
Authors:
Laurent Lehmann; Marcus W Feldman; Kevin R Foster
Related Documents :
22692238 - The potential biotechnological applications of the exopolysaccharide produced by the ha...
20495668 - The vocational significance of black identity: cultural formulation approach to career ...
12626058 - Designing trigger pictures in context: the challenge of balance.
15064088 - The evolution of vocabulary.
10448738 - In vitro regulation of expression of cartilage-derived morphogenetic proteins by growth...
16874108 - Chondrocytes embedded in the epiphyseal growth plates of long bones undergo autophagy p...
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American naturalist     Volume:  172     ISSN:  1537-5323     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. Nat.     Publication Date:  2008 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-06-16     Completed Date:  2008-10-27     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2984688R     Medline TA:  Am Nat     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  12-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA. lehmann@stanford.edu
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Altruism*
Culture*
Evolution*
Humans
Models, Theoretical
Reproduction
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
5P50 GM068763-01/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS; GM28016/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


Previous Document:  Sperm allocation strategies and female resistance: a unifying perspective.
Next Document:  Morning sickness: adaptive cause or nonadaptive consequence of embryo viability?