Seminar Talk on Evolution of Cultural Differences

I’m giving a seminar talk at University of Binghampton’s Evolutionary Studies Program. The talk will be on evolutionary game theoretic and multi-agent system models of the emergence of cross-cultural differences.

The slides can be downloaded here: evolution of cultural differences (pdf)

Here’s the abstract and link to the announcement:

Our complex human social world has led to the emergence of a vast array of behavior phenomena and cultural differences. Cultural psychologists have classified populations across the world on various cultural scales, including scales of tightness vs. looseness and collectivist vs. individualist. These dichotomies have various behavioral implications. In this talk, I present evolutionary game theoretic and multi-agent system models of social systems that illuminate the emergence of various cross-cultural behavioral differences relating to these scales. Some of the phenomena I will explore include differences in punishment norms, third-party punishment, and group-based vs. individualistic thinking. I show individual interactions and adaptation processes under different contextual factors can lead to the emergence of population-level differences in these phenomena. By providing explicit, bottom-up, and explanatory models of the emergence of these differences, the presented models help establish support for causal relationships that are often difficult or impossible to test empirically. These models also help promote cross-cultural understanding by showing how cultural differences, which may appear puzzling, can be adaptive to societies’ ecological and historical context.