Agner Fog

Agner Fog
Technical University of Denmark | DTU

Ph.D.

About

27
Publications
41,124
Reads
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661
Citations
Citations since 2017
10 Research Items
249 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
Introduction
Agner Fog currently works at Technical University of Denmark. Agner does research in Evolutionary Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Social systems and Computer Science. His current project is 'Theory of cultural change based on evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, and cultural evolution.'
Additional affiliations
September 1995 - present
Technical University of Denmark
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (27)
Preprint
Full-text available
85 cultural variables from 32 published cross-cultural studies including 125 countries are analyzed with an advanced factor analysis method. The study confirms previous findings that two factors can account for a large part of the variation in all major published cultural variables. The theoretical interpretation of these factors is facilitated by...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individual danger and collective danger have very different effects according to the predictions of a theory named regality theory, based on evolutionary psychology. This study explores the effects of different kinds of danger on 37 different indicators of psychological and cultural responses to danger based on data from two waves of the World Valu...
Article
Cultural variables from many different cross-cultural studies can be divided into two clusters of variables that are strongly correlated within each cluster. This is reflected in two factors that are found to be reproduced by independent sets of cultural variables and also reflected in several different cross-cultural studies. The first factor, cal...
Preprint
Full-text available
Four causal theories of authoritarianism are compared: (1) intrapsychic problems according to psychodynamic theory, (2) a dangerous world view according to a motivational theory of right wing authoritarianism, (3) suppression of free-riding as a response to collective danger according to regality theory, and (4) limiting the spread of infectious di...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract Twenty six published studies of cultural variables and dimensions were compared. A total of 80 variables from these studies reflecting country differences were compared by means of correlation analysis, cluster analysis, and factor analysis. Many of the studied publications relied on factor analysis or similar methods of analyzing survey d...
Article
A collective action problem exists not only in offensive warfare, but also in defensive situations. The collective action problem is dealt with in the same way in offensive and defensive warfare: by strong leadership, discipline, rewards and punishments, strong group identification, strict religiosity, and intolerance of deviants. This behavior is...
Article
Full-text available
Commentary to Carel Van Schaik's review of my book 'Warlike and Peaceful Societies: The Interaction of Genes and Culture' (2017) in Adaptive Behavior vol 26 no 4, pp. 177-178, 2018.
Book
Are humans violent or peaceful by nature? We are both. In this ambitious and wide-ranging book, Agner Fog presents a ground-breaking new argument that explains the existence of differently organised societies using evolutionary theory. It combines natural sciences and social sciences in a way that is rarely seen. According to a concept called reg...
Book
Full-text available
Regality theory is a theory saying that people show a preference for strong leadership in times of war or collective danger, but a preference for an egalitarian political system in times of peace and safety. These psychological preferences in individuals are reflected in the political structure and culture of the society. A society in danger will d...
Article
Full-text available
There is a lack of good pseudo-random number generators capable of utilizing the vector processing capabilities and multiprocessing capabilities of modern computers. A suitable generator must have a feedback path long enough to fit the vector length or permit multiple instances with different parameter sets. The risk that multiple random streams fr...
Article
Full-text available
The social sciences have traditionally been quite week in terms of formulating scientific cause-and-effect theories that would be useful for making predictions. In recent years, however, a number of theories with predictive potential have come up. The article applies a number of such theories from diverse areas including economics, history, systems...
Article
Full-text available
Regality theory is a theory saying that people show a preference for strong leadership in times of war or collective danger, but a preference for an egalitarian political system in times of peace and safety. These psychological preferences in individuals are reflected in the political structure and culture of the society. A society in danger will d...
Article
Full-text available
Competition takes place in many different spheres of life. This paper compares observations from economics, evolutionary biology, memetics and other fields of study in order to find similarities and differences between competition phenomena and their effects in different fields. A tentative framework is constructed for describing different competit...
Article
Full-text available
A range of different scientific disciplines are explored for what they might contribute to an understanding of the economic and other factors that influence mass media, and how the media in turn influence the political climate and the democratic process in modern democracies. The contributions from the different disciplines are combined into an int...
Article
Full-text available
Several methods for generating variates with univariate and multivariate Walleniu' and Fisher's noncentral hypergeometric distributions are developed. Methods for the univariate distributions include: simulation of urn experiments, inversion by binary search, inversion by chop-down search from the mode, ratio-of-uniforms rejection method, and rejec...
Article
Two different probability distributions are both known in the literature as “the” noncentral hypergeometric distribution. Wallenius' noncentral hypergeometric distribution can be described by an urn model without replacement with bias. Fisher's noncentral hypergeometric distribution is the conditional distribution of independent binomial variates g...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper introduces the cultural r/k theory – an evolutionary theory that explains why different cultures evolve in different directions. The cultural r/k theory links differences in artistic style with war and peace, geography, political system and religion. This theory is useful for explaining cultural differences, for classifying artefacts and...
Working Paper
Full-text available
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cultural selection theorists and sociologists are so far from each other in terms of concepts and methods that they can hardly communicate and understand each other's theories, even though they are studying the same phenomena. The strengths and weaknesses of each of these two paradigms are discussed. As both paradigms have something valuable to off...
Book
Full-text available
This book describes a new interdisciplinary theory for explaining cultural change. In contrast to traditional evolutionist theories, the present theory stresses the fact that a culture can evolve in different directions depending on its life conditions.
Article
Full-text available
A new model of cultural r/k-selection is introduced. This model, which provides a classification of cultural processes based on the factors that influence memetic fitness rather than on selection mechanisms, predicts that cultural evolution will go in different ways depending on the balance between internal and external conflicts of a society. A so...
Article
Limitations on the response of electronically-conducting oxides as pH sensors are demonstrated. PtO2, IrO2, RuO2, OsO2, Ta2O5 and TiO2 showed near-Nernstian behavior in the pH range 2–12 in air-saturated solutions. Interferences from selected reducing and oxidizing agents and from some complexing anions were measured and catalogued. No interference...
Article
Full-text available
A known cycle length has hitherto been considered an indispensable requirement for pseudo- random number generators. This requirement has restricted random number generators to suboptimal designs with known deficiencies. The present article shows that the requirement for a known cycle length can be avoided by including a self-test facility. The dis...
Article
Cultural selection theory has been rejected by many social scientists. The objections against this theory are listed and commented. Some of the objections can be dismissed as expressions of preference for one perspective over another. Different perspectives lead scientists to make different kinds of discoveries, but all perspectives are valid, and...

Questions

Questions (7)
Question
I have tried different methods for making a factor analysis with missing values, and I get very different results.
Here is a comparison of a 2 factor analysis for a 73x40 data set with 43% missing values, using four different methods:
Method, Cumulative variance for two factors:
A: 0.285 0.408
B: 0.425 0.591
C: 0.193 0.258
D: 0.414 0.636
Method A: Missing values are replaced by the mean.
Method B: Based on covariance matrix computed by CRAN package 'norm'.
Method C: Based on covariance matrix computed by CRAN package 'norm2'.
Method D: Function umxEFA in CRAN package umx.
The software packages in B, C, and D are all designed to analyze data with missing values by means of structured equation modeling.
(The functions in B and D needed minor modifications to overcome limitations to the size of the data set, but nothing that changed the algorithm)
Other methods:
E: Random imputation: This gives non-reproducible results with excessive weight on variables with few missing values.
F: Multiple imputation with an auxiliary variable (Hot deck method). Missing values are replaced by values from another observation with the same value of the auxiliary variable. This method is useful, but I suspect that subsequent correlation tests will be invalid because the auxiliary variable must be something that is assumed a priori to correlate with everything.
I would appreciate an explanation of why the results are so different, and how to get useful and valid results.
FYI: My data set consists of data from different cross-cultural surveys. Each survey reports various cultural variables for a number of different countries. Each survey covers a different subset of countries, and no survey covers all the countries. This is the reason for the missing values.
Question
I think you want to be on the forefront of the literature so I take the liberty to send you this link that might be useful:
This contains a meta-analysis of quantitative cross-cultural studies, finding order in the wilderness of cultural variables and dimensions. It identifies various pitfalls to avoid and concludes with some recommendations for quantitative cross-cultural research.
Feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions.
Question
I saw your preprint "Niche Diversity Can Explain Cross-Cultural Differences in Personality Structure". It is not clear from your paper what data your statistics is based on. It appears that it is occupational niches within a society.
You may be interested in my research which finds strong effects of competition for an ecological niche for whole social groups. I find that competition for a common niche generates authoritarianism while specialization for a unique niche leads to peacefulness and tolerance. See:
Question
When people hear about a new and unfamiliar issue that appears sufficiently interesting, they may spend extra energy on understanding this issue and forming an opinion. This is likely to affect their interpretation of later stories about the same issue.
The literature on media effects theory often states that it is difficult to change people's preformed opinions. However, these resistant opinions must have been formed at some previous occasion - most likely the first time the person has heard about the particular issue. We can assume that the person forms a cognitive schema of the issue based on the frame-setting of the first story they hear about this issue. If this theory is right, then there should be a very strong framing effect for new issues and a weak framing effect for issues that the person is already familiar with.
However, I can hardly find anything about this in the voluminous literature on media effects. I can't even find a name for this long-term effect of first-time framing. The term priming is explicitly defined as a short-term effect. So my question is: Is there a name for the first-time effect of framing and cognitive schema building? And is there any literature about it?
Question
In this article, I am trying to combine more scientific theories in predictions than is usually seen in futures studies. It is my experience that the traditional peer review system works poorly for publications that are outside of established research traditions, and especially for works that combine natural and social sciences. Instead I am here inviting commentary in the spirit of "Science 2.0". When I ask for comments, I mean scientific comments to my methods, not political comments to the present or future world situation.
Question
A lot of literature has emerged in recent years criticizing the money system in the Western world. Only a few percent of the money in circulation is created by central banks. The rest is credit money created by private banks ex nihilo. This credit money has to be paid back with interest, which is only possible by creating more debt. The consequence of this is that there is always more debt than there is money in circulation. This spiral of debt can obly keep going as long as the rate of economic growth exceeds the interest rate. When growth stagnates, there will always be defaults, bankruptsies and crises.
This literature about money systems is missing one obvious aspect. If there exists countries with an interst-free way of creating money then it would be very intersting to make a comparison. Now my question is: How are money created in Islamic countries? Is all money created by central banks or are private banks creating credit money? It would be very helpful if you can point me to literature that reviews the money system in different Islamic countries.
If any country has a money system that is not based on credit or interests, then it would be interesting to see how stable this money system is. These questions would be interesting:
* do Islamic banks have full reserve banking or fractional reserve banking?
* how much inflation is there?
* are there business cycles?
* are there asset bubbles?
* are people circumventing the system by using non-islamic banks or foreign currencies?
* how much is it influenced by financial crises in the rest of the World?
I am not interested in the theological aspect, only in the technical aspect of economic stability. Is there any recent literature on this?

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