Show simple item record

Files in this item


Item metadata

dc.contributor.authorTennie, Claudio
dc.contributor.authorWalter, Victoria
dc.contributor.authorGampe, Anja
dc.contributor.authorCarpenter, Malinda
dc.contributor.authorTomasello, Michael
dc.identifier.citationTennie , C , Walter , V , Gampe , A , Carpenter , M & Tomasello , M 2014 , ' Limitations to the cultural ratchet effect in young children ' , Journal of Experimental Child Psychology , vol. 126 , pp. 152-160 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 118366576
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 3df74487-99b8-4c9b-bd26-7aa5d893ae43
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84902500319
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000340219300012
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-3983-2034/work/64698011
dc.description.abstractAlthough many animal species show at least some evidence of cultural transmission, broadly defined, only humans show clear evidence of cumulative culture. In the current study, we investigated whether young children show the “ratchet effect,” an important component of cumulative culture—the ability to accumulate efficient modifications across generations. We tested 16 diffusion chains—altogether consisting of 80 children—to see how they solved an instrumental task (i.e., carrying something from one location to another). We found that when the chain was seeded with an inefficient way of solving the task, 4-year-olds were able to innovate and transmit these innovations so as to reach a more efficient solution. However, when it started out with relatively efficient solutions already (i.e., the ones that children in a control condition discovered for themselves), there were no further techniques invented and/or transmitted beyond that. Thus, young children showed the ratchet effect to a limited extent, accumulating efficient modifications but not going beyond the inventive level of the individual.
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Experimental Child Psychologyen
dc.rightsCopyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at
dc.subjectRatchet effecten
dc.subjectCultural evolutionen
dc.subjectSocial learningen
dc.subjectDiffusion chainen
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.titleLimitations to the cultural ratchet effect in young childrenen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record