Cultural evolutionary processes

At the root of every cultural evolutionary process is a population of individuals using heterogeneous strategies to learn from each other.  The challenge is that the nature of heterogeneity among social learners can have dramatic effects on how a cultural evolutionary process unfolds.  Using a mix of experimental work and modeling, we have been working on these kinds of problems for several years, with fieldwork and laboratory experiments in Bolivia, India, Sudan, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.  This research tends to be basic research, but it underpins any attempt to understand how policy makers can recruit cultural evolutionary processes to promote behavior change.  With colleagues at the University of Lausanne, University of Bern, the University of Zurich, Royal Holloway, and UC Davis.

Contact: Charles Efferson (, Sönke Ehret (, Robin Schimmelpfennig (, Lukas von Flüe (, Sonja Vogt (

Funding Source: UNICEF, Switzerland, the Universities of Bern and Lausanne, and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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