Equilibria of Culture Contact Derived from In-Group and Out-Group Attitudes

  • Pierluigi Contucci
  • Ignacio Gallo
  • Stefano Ghirlanda


Modern societies feature an increasing contact between cultures, yet we have a poor understanding of what the outcomes might be. Here we consider a mathematical model of contact between social groups, grounded in social psychology and analyzed using tools from statistical physics. We use the model to study how a culture might be affected by immigration. We find that in some cases, residents’ culture is relatively unchanged, but in other cases, residents may adopt the opinions and beliefs of immigrants. The decisive factors are each group’s cultural legacy and its attitudes toward in- and out-groups. The model can also predict how social policies may influence the outcome of culture contact.


Statistical Mechanic Hyperbolic Tangent Similar Culture Cultural Legacy Immigration Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Francesco Guerra, Giannino Melotti, and Magnus Enquist for discussion. Research supported by the CULTAPTATION project of the European Commission (FP6-2004-NEST-PATH-043434).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierluigi Contucci
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ignacio Gallo
    • 1
  • Stefano Ghirlanda
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Centre for the Study of Cultural EvolutionStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  4. 4.Centre for the Study of Cultural EvolutionStockholmSweden

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