UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Random drift and culture change

Bentley, R.A.; Hahn, M.W.; Shennan, S.J.; (2004) Random drift and culture change. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B , 271 (1547) pp. 1443-1450. 10.1098/rspb.2004.2746.

Full text not available from this repository.


We show that the frequency distributions of cultural variants, in three different real–world examples—first names, archaeological pottery and applications for technology patents—follow power laws that can be explained by a simple model of random drift. We conclude that cultural and economic choices often reflect a decision process that is value–neutral; this result has far–reaching testable implications for social–science research.

Type: Article
Title: Random drift and culture change
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2004.2746
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2004.2746
Language: English
Keywords: Cultural evolution, random genetic drift, patents, first names, pottery, power laws
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/15343
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item