Cultural evolution and personalization [article]

Ning Xi, Zi-Ke Zhang, Yi-Cheng Zhang
2012 arXiv   pre-print
In social sciences, there is currently no consensus on the mechanism for cultural evolution. The evolution of first names of newborn babies offers a remarkable example for the researches in the field. Here we perform statistical analyses on over 100 years of data in the United States. We focus in particular on how the frequency-rank distribution and inequality of baby names change over time. We propose a stochastic model where name choice is determined by personalized preference and social
more » ... ence. Remarkably, variations on the strength of personalized preference can account satisfactorily for the observed empirical features. Therefore, we claim that personalization drives cultural evolution, at least in the example of baby names.
arXiv:1212.0217v1 fatcat:fjuzfnnl3fdw3oojtvsmzyzpfq