Cultural evolution of genetic heritability

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45:e152 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Behavioral genetics and cultural evolution have both revolutionized our understanding of human behavior – largely independent of each other. Here, we reconcile these two fields under a dual inheritance framework, offering a more nuanced understanding of the interaction between genes and culture. Going beyond typical analyses of gene–environment interactions, we describe the cultural dynamics that shape these interactions by shaping the environment and population structure. A cultural evolutionary approach can explain, for example, how factors such as rates of innovation and diffusion, density of cultural subgroups, and tolerance for behavioral diversity impact heritability estimates, thus yielding predictions for different social contexts. Moreover, when cumulative culture functionally overlaps with genes, genetic effects become masked, unmasked, or even reversed, and the causal effects of an identified gene become confounded with features of the cultural environment. The manner of confounding is specific to a particular society at a particular time, but a WEIRD (western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic) sampling problem obscures this boundedness. Cultural evolutionary dynamics are typically missing from models of gene-to-phenotype causality, hindering generalizability of genetic effects across societies and across time. We lay out a reconciled framework and use it to predict the ways in which heritability should differ between societies, between socioeconomic levels, and other groupings within some societies but not others, and over the life course. An integrated cultural evolutionary behavioral genetic approach cuts through the nature–nurture debate and helps resolve controversies in topics such as IQ.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,197

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Précis of Genes, Mind, and Culture.Charles J. Lumsden & Edward O. Wilson - 1982 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 5 (1):1-7.
Genes and culture, protest and communication.Charles J. Lumsden & Edward O. Wilson - 1982 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 5 (1):31-37.
Heritability.Stephen M. Downes & Lucas J. Matthews - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
An Evolutionary Explanation Model on the Transformation of Culture by Cultural Gene.HanGoo Lee - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 38:49-55.
Phenogenotypes break up under countervailing evolutionary pressures.Robert Aunger - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):147-147.
Genes, Culture, and Preferences.Nikolaus Robalino & Arthur J. Robson - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (2):151-157.
Towards a unified science of cultural evolution.Alex Mesoudi, Andrew Whiten & Kevin N. Laland - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):329-347.
Interpreting Heritability Causally.Kate E. Lynch & Pierrick Bourrat - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):14-34.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-05-22

Downloads
30 (#535,608)

6 months
20 (#132,313)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

The weirdest people in the world?Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):61-83.
The analysis of variance and the analysis of causes.Richard C. Lewontin - 1974 - American Journal of Human Genetics 26 (3):400-11.
Language as shaped by the brain.Morten H. Christiansen & Nick Chater - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):489-509.

View all 23 references / Add more references