My name is Pontus Strimling.

I am the deputy director at the Centre for Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University as well as a research director at the Institute For Futures studies. My research deals with how cultural traits change over time. In particular, with how norms are created, sustained and transformed. My goal is to further the understanding of cultural change to the point where it can be used to predict and even transform the outcome of real-world cultural change.  I’m interested in understanding both individual, and population level changes. To grasp cultural transmissions on an individual level, I use experiments and surveys. I then use formal models to aggregate these into predictions concerning exactly how culture changes in populations. Large-scale databases such as the World Values Survey and the General Social Survey, are subsequently used in testing these predictions.

My work ranges from fundamental research on how to model cultural change in general, to more specific questions surrounding changes in norms within gender equality, hygiene and violence. I am currently dividing my time between trying to understand the upcoming societal impact of AI technology, understanding how values change (with a special focus on immigrants), and connecting what we know about norm change to what we know about how the brain works.

As an introduction to my work here is a talk I gave on the rise of modern values.

And here is a talk on some coming effects of Artifical Intelligence


Recent publications include:

  1. Strimling, P., & Frey, S. (2018). Emergent Cultural Differences in Online Communities’ Norms of Fairness. Games and Culture, 1555412018800650.
  2. Strimling, P., de Barra, M., & Eriksson, K. (2018). Asymmetries in punishment propensity may drive the civilizing process. Nature Human Behaviour, 1.
  3. Eriksson, K., Vartanova, I., Strimling, P., & Simpson, B. (2018). Generosity pays: Selfish people have fewer children and earn less money. Journal of personality and social psychology.
  4. Eriksson, K., Cownden, D., & Strimling, P. (2017). Social learning may lead to population level conformity without individual level frequency bias. Scientific reports7(1), 17341.
  5. Eriksson, K., Strimling, P., Andersson, P. A., Aveyard, M., Brauer, M., Gritskov, V., … & Molho10, C. (2017). Cultural Universals and Cultural Differences in Meta-Norms about Peer Punishment.Management and Organization Review in press
  6. Eriksson, K., Strimling, P., Andersson, P. A., & Lindholm, T. (2017). Costly punishment in the ultimatum game evokes moral concern, in particular when framed as payoff reduction.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 69, 59-64.
  7. Cownden, D., Eriksson, K., & Strimling, P. (2017). A popular misapplication of evolutionary modeling to the study of human cooperation. Evolution and human behavior38(3), 421-427.
  8. Eriksson, K., Andersson, P. A., & Strimling, P. (2017). When is it appropriate to reprimand a norm violation? The roles of anger, behavioral consequences, violation severity, and social distance. Judgment and decision making12(4), 396.