Positive Feedback Loops of Metacontingencies: A New Conceptualization of Cultural-Level Selection

Jonathan V Krispin

Abstract


Couto and Sandaker (2016) proposed two complementary processes, selection of cultures and cultural-selection, as successors to the metacontingency in the process of cultural-level selection.  They argued that the selective processes in the metacontingency were limited to within-groups selection, and might be included in the discussion pertaining to the selection of cultural practices.  Further, they argued that the selection processes outlined in the metacontingency model failed to address the selection of cultural-social environments, which they suggested might result in the selection of between cultures, or between groups, features and would be more in line with the third level of selection processes which Skinner (1981; 1988) described as resulting in the evolution of cultures. This present article incorporates an understanding of feedback from systems theory that is broader than the common application of the concept in the field of behavior analysis, and considers several examples that illustrate how positive-feedback loops between multiple metacontingencies may result in the between-groups, cultural-level selective processes described by Couto and Sandaker, and how such systems may emerge via processes of self-organization.

Keywords: Cultural-level selection; metacontingency; selection of cultures; cultural-selection; self-organization; emergence

Keywords


Cultural-level selection; metacontingency; selection of cultures; cultural-selection; self-organization; emergence

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/bsi.v26i0.7397



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