Preprint Open Access
Preprint manuscript of the publication The content and structure of reputation domains across human societies: a view from the evolutionary social sciences by Zachary H. Garfield1ª, Ryan Schacht2, Emily R. Post3, Dominique Ingram3, Andrea Uehling3, and Shane J. Macfarlan3ª.
1 Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, Université de Toulouse 1 Capitole, Toulouse, France
2 Department of Anthropology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA
3 Department of Anthropology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Reputations are an essential feature of human sociality and are critical for both the evolution of cooperation and the maintenance of group living. Appropriately, much scholarship has focused on reputations and their impact on social outcomes. This scholarship, however, has generally targeted a very narrow range of domains (e.g., prosociality, competency, aggressiveness), and usually treated each in isolation. Yet humans can develop reputations whenever collective information exists, suggesting a potentially unlimited number of domains. What might these reputation domains be, how common are they across human societies, and do they demonstrate an underlying structure cross-culturally? Here we present an exploratory analysis on the content, distribution, and structure of reputation domain diversity using the Human Relations Area Files, an ethnographic database containing information from over 300 cultures. After extracting ethnographic records, related to individual-level reputations stemming from 153 cultures, we used hierarchical modelling, cluster analysis, and text analysis to provide a rare empirical view of reputation domains across societies. Our findings suggest that 1) reputational domains vary cross-culturally, yet reputations for cultural conformity, prosociality, social status, and neural capital are widespread; 2) reputation domains are generally male-biased and are more variable for males than females; and 3) particular reputation domains are strongly interrelated, demonstrating a latent structure that maps on to unique features of the human niche. We label these reputational features: Cultural group unity, Dominance, Sexuality, Social and material success, and Supernatural healing. Ultimately, through this work, we highlight the need for future research on the evolution of cooperation and human sociality to consider a wider range of reputation domains, as well as their patterning by social, ecological, and gender-specific pressures.