robert.t.boyd@gmail.com

 

310 909 3156

Unlike other organisms, humans acquire a rich body of information from others by teaching, imitation, and other forms of social learning, and this culturally transmitted information strongly influences human behavior. Culture is an essential part of the human adaptation, and as much a part of human biology as bipedal locomotion or thick enamel on our molars. My research is focused on the evolutionary psychology of the mechanisms that give rise to and shape human culture, and how these mechanisms interact with population dynamic processes to shape human cultural variation. I have done much of this work in collaboration with Peter J. Richerson.

Our 2005 book entitled Not by Genes Alone: How culture transformed human evolution gives a nonmathematical treatment of this work.  It is available from the University of Chicago Press. Read Chapter 1. 

A brief, up-to-date account of our ideas in a book entitled A Different Kind of Animal: How culture transformed our species  is now available from Princeton University Press. Order it here.

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