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Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
Norms and Development
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Norms and Development

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  • 1. Norms and Development Wali Memon1 Wali Memon
  • 2. Meme: A Culturally Transmitted Trait Used by Richard Dawkins in his first book, The Selfish Gene (1976). Culture is not the specialty of social scientists anymore. It is an important research topic among biological scientists, too…2 Wali Memon
  • 3. Yeah, But Is There Anything New?Socialization and social learning are quite bigissues in both social and psychological science, andhave been investigated for a long time.The term such as meme is just the different wordmeaning the same thing social scientists havediscussed so far.Is there anything new we can learn from biologicalscientists about culture? 3 Wali Memon
  • 4. Whats the Problem We Faced?Step 1. Norm-compliance vs. violationStep 2. Punishment vs. free-ridingExcept for some cases (i.e., communal sharing, smallclosed groups), evolutionary-perspective cannotexplain the punishment of norm-violations.As long as we consider the problem of social normsunder the evolutionary framework, there may be noway to solve the problem…4 Wali Memon
  • 5. Should We Retreat to Where We Escaped? We discussed the importance of non-selfish psychological mechanisms such as shame, guilt, and (a propensity of) internalization of norms. In evolutionary-perspective, these mechanisms may be defined as "norm-compliance where no punishment exists." However, norm-compliance per se cannot survive without punishment… If we permit the existence of non-selfish psychological mechanisms a priori, we will close the way escaping from the disorder we found in the 5 Wali Memon readings…
  • 6. Cultural-Evolutionary Perspective Lets change our focus from social norms to psychological mechanisms that enables us to acquire social norms in general; shame, guilt and a propensity to internalize norms are now separately defined from norms. Instead of just assuming their existence a priori, we ask where these psychological mechanisms come from they are assumed to be the product6 of genetic evolution. Wali Memon
  • 7. Evolutionary-Perspective: First-Order Approximation Evolutionary Evolutionary processes processesTi Ti+1 Ti+2 Trait at the time i (Ti) is selected by evolutionary processes. Adaptive traits spread in a population7 over generations. Wali Memon
  • 8. Cultural-Evolutionary Perspective: Second-Order ApproximationPi Pi+1 Pi+2 Ti Ti+1 Culturaltransmission Evolutionary processes Ti+2 Psychological mechanisms (Pi) determines which trait is culturally acquired by individuals. Evolutionary processes works on psychological 8 mechanisms but not on traits. Wali Memon
  • 9. First-order approximation is often very useful as it is simple and parsimonious principle. However, we have to shift to more precise second- order approximation if necessary. For the researchers with life-span perspective, furthermore, cultural-evolutionary perspective provides much more intriguing ideas. Wait for the next week…9 Wali Memon
  • 10. The Logic of Cultural-Evolutionary Perspective on Social Norms Psychological mechanisms that make people acquire even fitness-reducing behaviors have evolved as they are adaptive. Such mechanisms may help social norms spread in a society. At the moment, it is open questions why such mechanisms have evolved and how they help cultural transmission of social norms. For investigating the above logic, let’s move to the report on Gintis (2003).10 Wali Memon
  • 11. Henrich & Boyd (2001; JTB): Another Cul-Evo Model of Social Norms Boyd & Richerson (1985) and Henrich & Boyd (1996) showed conformity transmission bias is an evolutionarily adaptive trait. They implemented this bias in the game of social norms. They assumed that individuals culturally acquire either norm-compliance or violation. With the probability of α(<0.5), individuals acquire majority’s behavior (conformity-bias). With the probability of (1- α), individuals acquire11beneficial behavior (payoff-bias). Wali Memon
  • 12. Henrich & Boyd (2001, cont’d) If no punishment exists, norm-violation is more individually beneficial and spreads by payoff- biased social learning even though majority comply with the social norm (as α < 0.5)… If no punishment exists, both payoff-bias and conformity-bias in social learning suppress punishers being spread in a society. Thus, social norms cannot be sustained…12 What will happen if punishment is common? Wali Memon
  • 13. Henrich & Boyd (2001, cont’d)1. If majority of people have punitive sentiment driving them to punishment of norm-violators, it is individually rational to comply with social norms.2. Individuals with punitive sentiment don’t need to pay actual cost of punishment just because almost everyone comply with social norms!3. As the actual cost of punishment gets smaller, the force of payoff-bias in social learning also gets weaker. This helps conformity-bias maintain majority’s behavior (i.e., punishment) in a 13 population. Wali Memon
  • 14. Henrich & Boyd (2001, cont’d)4. Remember that, so far, we discussed only the influence of social learning. Once social norms are common in a society, Henrich & Boyd further found that genetic evolution may cause genes (!) for a particular social norm (i.e., norm of cooperation) proliferate.Even though the force of conformity-bias is weakerthan payoff-bias in social learning, it can sustain(individually costly) social norms.14 Wali Memon
  • 15. Why Socially Harmful Norms are Rare?The principle of multi-level selection: As within-group variance gets smaller relative to between-group variance, selection pressure starts to work between groups (Sober & Wilson, 1998). Conformity bias creates such a situation. 15 Wali Memon
  • 16. H H B H B B B H B H B B H B B H H H B H H Before the conformity bias works.16 Wali Memon
  • 17. H H B B B H B H H B H B H B H H H H H H HAfter the conformity bias worked:B (internalizing beneficial norm) enjoys higher17benefit than H (internalizing harmful norm). Wali Memon
  • 18. Group Selection Eliminates Harmful Norms If the above situation emerges, members in groups with socially harmful norms may escape from their groups, or they may be disadvantageous in reproduction. Once conformity bias in social learning reduced within-group variance, evolutionary pressure reduces the meme (or, phenotype in terms of Gintis, 2003) of socially harmful norms. 18 Wali Memon
  • 19. Finally, we arrived at the first destination of the three-week journey.The hidden goal of this journey was to convey the idea of gene-culturecoevolution taking social norms as an example.19 Wali Memon
  • 20. What G-C Coevolution Teaches Us Some cultural psychologists (and some mainstream social scientists) argue that culture separates us from other animals as it is autonomous transmission process that emancipates us from genetic influence… If we focus only on a few generations, this argument is perfectly true. If we take much longer time horizon, however, this argument should be modified.20 Wali Memon
  • 21. An idea that capacity of (social) learning isevolutionarily adaptive may not be new. It is obviousthat ontogenetic plasticity is adaptive. Especially,social learning is effective as it can avoid the cost oftrial and error..Remember that we have already discussed on the firstweek that social norms are culturally transmittedfrom family members, peers, etc.When we discussed about social learning, however,didn’t we implicitly assume that individuals are kindof the blank slate?21 Wali Memon
  • 22. As we reviewed the last week, social learning iscatch-all word.What we have learned today is the importance ofasking how, when, from whom, and what we(culturally) acquire individuals are not passiveblank slates but active imitators.This seems to be minor question at an individuallevel. However, it changes societal-levelconsequences and, subsequently, determines thefitness value of psychological mechanismsthemselves.22 Wali Memon
  • 23. An idea of gene-culture coevolution requires us, psychological scientists, toinvestigate the core psychological mechanisms underlying cultural transmission.Just repeating “we have the capacity of social learning/imitation” is not sufficient.23 Wali Memon
  • 24. Summary of G-C CoevolutionGenetic selection is strong but very slow.Cultural selection is weak but very fast. Cultural transmission is like a fast runner. He runs and runs and evolutionary process cannot catch him. Though evolutionary process is quite slow, her force is very strong. She influences cultural transmission by changing the road where he will run in future. Mutual influences between genetic and cultural transmission is the key for understanding human24 beings as social animals. Wali Memon
  • 25. Further Readings I25 Wali Memon
  • 26. Further Readings II26 Wali Memon
  • 27. Further Readings III Li, S.-C., (2003). Biocultural orchestration of developmental plasticity across level: The interplay of biology and culture in shaping the mind and behavior across the life span. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 171-194.27 Wali Memon

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