Navigation Links
Social networks make us smarter
Date:11/13/2013

The secret to why some cultures thrive and others disappear may lie in our social networks and our ability to imitate, rather than our individual smarts, according to a new University of British Columbia study.

The study, published today by the Proceedings of the Royal Academy: Biological Sciences, shows that when people can observe and learn from a wider range of teachers, groups can better maintain technical skills and even increase the group's average skill level over successive generations.

The findings show that a larger population size and social connectedness are crucial for the development of more sophisticated technologies and cultural knowledge, says lead author Michael Muthukrishna, a PhD student in UBC's Dept. of Psychology.

"This is the first study to demonstrate in a laboratory setting what archeologists and evolutionary theorists have long suggested: that there is an important link between a society's sociality and the sophistication of its technology," says Muthukrishna, who co-authored the research with UBC Prof. Joseph Henrich.

For the study, participants were asked to learn new skills digital photo editing and knot-tying and then pass on what they learned to the next "generation" of participants. The groups with greater access to experts accumulated significantly more skill than those with less access to teachers. Within ten "generations," each member of the group with multiple mentors had stronger skills than the group limited to a single mentor.

Groups with greater access to experts also retained their skills much longer than groups who began with less access to mentors, sustaining higher levels of "cultural knowledge" over multiple generations.

According to the researchers, the study has important implications for several areas, from skills development and education to protecting endangered languages and cultural practices.


'/>"/>

Contact: Basil Waugh
basil.waugh@ubc.ca
604-822-2048
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Hormones impact stress, memories, and understanding social cues
2. Another scientific proof of the difference in social perception between men and women
3. Social stress and the inflamed brain
4. Do I know you? Memory patterns help us recall the social webs we weave, finds new Cornell study
5. Social bees mark dangerous flowers with chemical signals
6. Socially isolated rats are more vulnerable to addiction, report researchers
7. The benefits of social grooming
8. They hunt, they kill, they cheat: Single-celled algae shed light on social lives of microbes
9. Social synchronicity
10. German Research Foundation to fund globally unique twin study on social inequality
11. Learning whos the top dog: Study reveals how the brain stores information about social rank
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health ... and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving ... Adoption Model sm . In addition, CHS previously ... U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... its high level of EMR usage in an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 23, 2017 Research ... Anti-Theft System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. ... DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese ... CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the two government ... and iris recognition as well as DERMALOGĀ“s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... internist, who will review how testing for 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D can enhance clinical practice. ... 25-OH-vitamin D and 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D. , Dr. Gregory Plotnikoff, senior consultant with ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... , April 27, 2017  Pendant Biosciences, Inc. ... innovative surface modification and drug delivery technologies, today announced ... Innovation, JLABS @ Toronto . ... Officer of Pendant Biosciences, noted, "We are excited to ... community, and are honored to be the ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... Centennial, CO (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... test offerings were added to its extensive test menu: Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) ... that time, LABS was only able to offer NAT screening for blood donors under ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... ... As part of the Stago EdVantage Virtual University Virtual Event, ... order to illuminate this clinical problem for people unfamiliar with the topic. , DIC ... high degree of morbidity and mortality. DIC is a confusing disorder from both diagnostic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: