Charles Efferson

  Tuesday, 4th July 2017

  16:10 - 17:10

   Large Lecture Rooms - Nuffield College

   The Seduction of Applied Conformity


This talk considers if and how policy makers can recruit cultural evolutionary processes to promote socially beneficial changes in behavior. Results from a field study on female genital cutting in Sudan show that individual heterogeneity may be shaping the cultural evolution of harmful practices like cutting far more than development agencies assume. If so, policy makers must examine how individual heterogeneity interacts with social learning in a population of individuals who vary in terms of their preferences and how they learn from others.