Towards Collectivismand Conservatism: The Impactof Pathogenson Cultural Evolution
CHEN Wei-yang1XIE Tian2
(1.Research Institute of Social Development, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu 611130, China; 2.Department of Psychology, School of Philosophy, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China)
Abstract：Pathogens referto microorganisms (including bacteria, viruses, etc.), parasites or other agents that can cause disease in humans, animals, and plants. How pathogens influence cultural evolution is an interesting and important perspective in the field of cultural evolution. Explaining cultural evolution from the perspective of pathogens is counterintuitive, showing the influence of tiny factors on macroscopic outcomes, and therefore interesting. Also, the perspective is important because it helps us predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect cultural values. In specific studies, pathogens can be measured by both objective and subjective indicators. The former is measured by the prevalence of pathogens (or infectious diseases) and the latter is measured by perceived vulnerability to disease (PVD). The two main theories in the cultural evolution of pathogen perspectives are the parasite-stress theory of values and the behavioral immune system theory. Pathogens influence the evolution of culture by causing it to evolve in the direction of collectivism and conservatism, as evidenced by their influence on and shaping collectivist values, conformity, outgroup exclusion, traditionality, preventive health behavior, conservativepolitical attitudes, etc. Future research can construct pathway models of how pathogenic stress explains cultural evolution, which requires exploring the mediating mechanisms and boundary conditions by which pathogens influence cultural evolution. Future research can also construct new concepts for empirical evidence, and combine Chinese cultural traditions and contemporary practices to highlight the Chinese characteristics of the research.