Friday, 17 May 2013

Population memetics

Just as population genetics is the study of how gene frequencies change in populations, so population memetics is the study of meme frequencies change in populations.

The basis for both fields is frequency analysis - a subject historically associated with cryptanalysis, but more generally a branch of statistics. frequency analysis can be applied to genes, memes, and practically anything else which can be divided into discrete categories for analysis. Much of population memetics consists of data gathering followed by meme frequency analysis.

Population memetics is one of the most studied areas of memetics. It's relatively trivial to measure cultural traits and see how they change and spread through populations over time. Most of the approaches to cultural evolution in academia have been based on ideas derived from population genetics.

Population memetics is involved in harvesting the raw data needed to test most theories in cultural evolution and memetics. Harvesting techniques include questionnaires, and direct observation of behaviour and artifacts - both in the field and in laboratories.

The results of population memetics studies are often visualised using phylomemetic trees.


No comments:

Post a Comment