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Identifying cases of social contagion using memetic isolation:comparison of the dynamics of a multisociety simulation with an ethnographic data set

Gatherer, Derek (2002) Identifying cases of social contagion using memetic isolation:comparison of the dynamics of a multisociety simulation with an ethnographic data set. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 5 (4). ISSN 1460-7425

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Abstract

A simulation is presented of a grid of connected societies of reproducing agents. These agents are capable of horizontal and vertical transmission of non-genetic cultural traits (memes). This simulation exhibits the theoretically predicted effect that horizontally transmitted memes are less likely, overall, to be encountered in geographical isolation than strictly vertically transmitted ones. Furthermore, when horizontal memes are under cultural selection, and thus behave 'contagiously', their likelihood of geographical isolation is virtually eliminated. By contrast, natural selection has far weaker effects than cultural selection in reducing geographical isolation. Thus it should be possible to identify contagious memes by an examination of their geographical distribution. The degree of geographical isolation of 17 categories of postulated cultural traits in an ethnographic data set of 863 societies is then examined, and compared with the simulations, using z-tests. Using this method, the empirical data can be sorted into four broad categories, each with a different spectrum of probabilities of mode of transmission and contagion.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
Subjects: ?? ALLOMEMEAXELROD'S CULTURAL MODELCONTAGIONCULTURAL EVOLUTIONCULTURAL SELECTIONCULTURAL TRAITEVOLUTIONARY EPIDEMIOLOGY OF CULTUREMEMEMURDOCKIS ETHNOGRAPHIC ATLASSIMSOCIAL INTERACTION MODELCULTUREEVOLUTIONSELECTIONEUROPEMODEL ??
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Biomedical & Life Sciences
ID Code: 66869
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 30 Sep 2013 13:39
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2019 00:47
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/66869

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