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Analyses do not support the parasite-stress theory of human sociality

  • Thomas E. Currie (a1) and Ruth Mace (a1)

Re-analysis of the data provided in the target article reveals a lack of evidence for a strong, universal relationship between parasite stress and the variables relating to sociality. Furthermore, even if associations between these variables do exist, the analyses presented here do not provide evidence for Fincher & Thornhill's (F&T's) proposed causal mechanism.

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T. E. Currie , S. J. Greenhill & R. Mace (2010) Is horizontal transmission really a problem for phylogenetic comparative methods? A simulation study using continuous cultural traits. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 365:3903–12.

T. E. Currie & R. Mace (2009) Political complexity predicts the spread of ethnolinguistic groups. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106(18):7339–44.

R. Mace & F. M. Jordan (2011) Macro-evolutionary studies of cultural diversity: A review of empirical studies of cultural transmission and cultural adaptation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366(1563):402–11.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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