A renormalization group theory of cultural evolution

G. Fáth, Miklos Sarvary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a theory of cultural evolution based upon a renormalization group scheme. We consider rational but cognitively limited agents who optimize their decision-making process by iteratively updating and refining the mental representation of their natural and social environment. These representations are built around the most important degrees of freedom of their world. Cultural coherence among agents is defined as the overlap of mental representations and is characterized using an adequate order parameter. As the importance of social interactions increases or agents become more intelligent, we observe and quantify a series of dynamic phase transitions by which cultural coherence advances in the society. A similar phase transition may explain the so-called "cultural explosion'' in human evolution some 50,000 years ago.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-629
Number of pages19
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume348
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2005

Fingerprint

Cultural Evolution
group theory
Group Theory
Renormalization Group
Phase Transition
Group Scheme
Social Interaction
refining
decision making
Explosion
Order Parameter
Updating
explosions
Overlap
Quantify
degrees of freedom
Decision Making
Degree of freedom
Optimise
Series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

Cite this

A renormalization group theory of cultural evolution. / Fáth, G.; Sarvary, Miklos.

In: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Vol. 348, 15.03.2005, p. 611-629.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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