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A Sequential Canonical Cascade Model of Social and Cognitive Biogeography

A.J. Figueredo and Michael Anthony Woodley, University of Arizona, Free University of Brussels

A sequential canonical cascade model, detailing the hypothesized biogeography of human life history (LH) and intelligence (IQ), derives elevated levels of IQ through a series of causal steps, starting with the evolution of slower LH strategies based on both the physical ecology (climatological factors) and community ecology (population density and parasite burden). This model then examines the social ecology of slow LH strategy through the establishment of cooperative and mutualistic social systems with enhanced levels of social equality, within-group and between-group peace, and sexual equality. These social sequelae, in turn, lead to the strategic differentiation of resource allocation profiles among slower LH strategists (the SD-IE effect) that foster socioecological niche-splitting through intraspecific character displacement and produce mutual competitive release among individuals in saturated, resource-limited environments. By producing cooperative systems of specialists that each efficiently exploit different social micro-niches, the mutual exchange of resources so derived inevitably triggers the action of Ricardo’s Law of Comparative Advantage, producing greater aggregate wealth through these emergent social properties than would otherwise be attainable to equal numbers of generalists. We track this hypothesized mediating mechanism through the relations among three major macroeconomic indicators at the national level of aggregation: higher Economic Complexity Indices, lower Gross Domestic Product Dissimilarity Indices, and lower Krugman Dissimilarity Indices. Finally, we explain how this combination of powerful macroeconomic forces inevitably produces massive increases in aggregate wealth that elevate the collective human capital of the entire society, enhances physical brain volume, and contributes to higher overall levels of human cognitive abilities.

Monday, June 1, 2015
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Los Angeles, CA, Haines Hall 352, UCLA



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