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Guided VariationEdit

Defined as one of the five micro-evolutionary variations by which cultural evolution takes places within a species. In guided variation, cultural traits are learned and maintained in a population through individual learning. Once a learned trait can be considered beneficial, it may be transferred to a different individual within the population by means of an adaptive standard.

In this variation, one individual acquires information from a second individual, who then modifies that information according to their own learning processes. This modified information can then be transmitted to another individual within that population.  This Lamarckian inheritance of characteristics causes populations to move forward and evolve through behaviors that are generally favored by individual learning and embodies nonrandom introduction of behaviors into a population.

books.google.com/books?isbn=0226520455

www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/Richerson/BooksOnline/He12-95.pdf‎

Orca-56m1434-16

More experienced orcas pass down unique hunting techniques to their pod members.Some of these behaviors are found in no other orca population. In this image, an orca hunts a seal on the shore.



Product of SelectionEdit

Guided variation is considered to be a product of selection in that each individual uses cognitive processes to modify their culture from acquired knowledge.  Those ideas or concepts that are most beneficial will be selected for, while ideas that negatively or neutrally impact a population will be less likely to be selected for.

link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF00144038.pdf‎

Crows using traffic to crack walnut-002:03

Crows using traffic to crack walnut-0

A demonstration of how crows in one area have learned to take advantage of their human populated environment in order to feed on a formerly inaccessible food source.

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