Thomas J H Morgan

Thomas J H Morgan
Arizona State University | ASU · School of Human Evolution and Social Change

BA, PhD

About

19
Publications
12,086
Reads
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1,494
Citations
Introduction
For more about my research, including pdfs of all papers, please visit www.eccolab.org
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
September 2009 - December 2013
University of St Andrews
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 2009 - December 2013
University of St Andrews
Field of study
  • Biology
September 2006 - June 2009
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (19)
Article
Full-text available
Hominin reliance on Oldowan stone tools—which appear from 2.5 mya and are believed to have been socially transmitted—has been hypothesized to have led to the evolution of teaching and language. Here we present an experiment investigating the efficacy of transmission of Oldowan tool-making skills along chains of adult human participants (N = 184) us...
Article
Full-text available
The “cognitive niche” and “cultural niche” are two competing theories of human evolution. One point over which they disagree is the importance of gene-culture interactions. Here, I use three models to evaluate this disagreement: (i) an asocial baseline model, (ii) a model of the cognitive niche, which includes a form of social learning that prevent...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are characterized by an extreme dependence on culturally transmitted information. Such dependence requires the complex integration of social and asocial information to generate effective learning and decision making. Recent formal theory predicts that natural selection should favour adaptive learning strategies, but relevant empirical work i...
Article
Full-text available
Human culture relies on extensive use of social transmission, which must be integrated with independently acquired (i.e. asocial) information for effective decision-making. Formal evolutionary theory predicts that natural selection should favor adaptive learning strategies, including a bias to copy when uncertain, and a bias to disproportionately c...
Article
Full-text available
At the end of the nineteenth century, James Mark Baldwin was amongst America's foremost psychologists and his ideas concerning the interactions between development and evolution were widely discussed. Richards’ [Richards (1987). Darwin and the emergence of evolutionary theories of mind and behavior. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press] elo...
Article
Full-text available
Women appear to copy other women's preferences for men's faces. This 'mate-choice copying' is often taken as evidence of psychological adaptations for processing social information related to mate choice, for which facial information is assumed to be particularly salient. No experiment, however, has directly investigated whether women preferentiall...
Article
Full-text available
Lack of confidence in one's own ability can increase the likelihood of relying on social information. Sex differences in confidence have been extensively investigated in cognitive tasks, but implications for conformity have not been directly tested. Here, we tested the hypothesis that, in a task that shows sex differences in confidence, an indirect...
Article
Formal evolutionary models predict when individuals’ rely on social learning over individual learning and the relative strength of their conformist social learning biases. Here we use both treatment effects and individual variation to test predictions about the impact of (1) the number of traits in an environment, (2) the adaptive or payoff relevan...
Chapter
Full-text available
Over the past few decades, evolutionary approaches to understanding human behavior have become more widespread. Here we describe one such approach: cultural evolution. Cultural evolution can be distinguished from other related fields in that it treats culture as a shared body of knowledge that evolves at least partially independently of genes. This...
Article
Full-text available
What role does non-genetic inheritance play in evolution? In recent work we have independently and collectively argued that the existence and scope of non-genetic inheritance systems, including epigenetic inheritance, niche construction/ecological inheritance, and cultural inheritance—alongside certain other theory revi-sions—necessitates an extens...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are characterized by an extreme dependence on culturally transmitted information and recent formal theory predicts that natural selection should favor adaptive learning strategies that facilitate effective copying and decision making. One strategy that has attracted particular attention is conformist transmission, defined as the disproportio...
Article
Research into social learning (learning from others) has expanded significantly in recent years, not least because of productive interactions between theoretical and empirical approaches. This has been coupled with a new emphasis on learning strategies, which places social learning within a cognitive decision-making framework. Understanding when, h...

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