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Are people really conformist-biased?: An empirical test and a new mathematical model
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7164-0924
University of Sussex.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, ISSN 0737-4828, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 5-21Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

According to an influential theory in cultural evolution, within-group similarity of culture is explained by a human conformist-bias, which is a hypothesized evolved predisposition to preferentially follow a member of the majority when acquiring ideas and behaviours. However, this notion has little support from social psychological research. In fact, a major theory in social psychology (Latan and Wolf (1981) argues for what is in effect a nonconformist-bias: by analogy to standard psychophysics they predict minority sources of influence to have relatively greater impact than majority sources. Here we present a new mathematical model and an experiment on social influence, both specifically designed to test these competing predictions. The results are in line with nonconformism. Finally, we discuss within-group similarity and suggest that it is not a general phenomenon but must be studied trait by trait.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 7, no 1, p. 5-21
National Category
Mathematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4942DOI: 10.1556/JEP.7.2009.1.3Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-62349140398OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-4942DiVA, id: diva2:159700
Note
MEROAvailable from: 2009-02-09 Created: 2009-02-09 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Kimmo

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