Category Archives: Human sociality

The Long Evolutionary History of Play

Play has long been considered an enigmatic behavior that is hard to define, but having many putative functions difficult to confirm. This situation is changing quite rapidly in recent years. This introduction to a special issue on play provides some … Continue reading

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Sociality Influences Cultural Complexity

Archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence suggests a link between a population’s size and structure, and the diversity or sophistication of its toolkits or technologies. Addressing these patterns, several evolutionary models predict that both the size and social interconnectedness of populations can … Continue reading

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Communication and Collective Action: Language and the Evolution of Human Cooperation

All social species face various “collective action problems” or “social dilemmas,” meaning problems in achieving cooperating when the best move from a selfish point of view yields an inferior collective outcome. Compared to most other species, humans are very good … Continue reading

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Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence

What motives underlie the ways humans interact socially? Are these the same for all societies? Are these part of our nature, or influenced by our environments? Over the last decade, research in experimental economics has emphatically disproved the textbook representation … Continue reading

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Play Makes Us Human

We humans have inherited the basic youthful play characteristics of our animal ancestors, but in the course of our biological and cultural evolution we have elaborated upon them and created new functions. Playfulness in humans does not end when adulthood … Continue reading

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