Yo Nakawake, PhD

Research Associate, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management

Research Affiliate, University of Oxford, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography


cultural evolution,  folktale,  cognitive science of religion,    majority group decision,


Under construction

I am currently working on cultural evolution of material cultures such as projectiles or folktales.

Currently I am working on a project examining the coevolution of religion and morality. I am interested in the cultural evolution of social norms, folktales and prosocial religion and is addressing these using a combination of approaches. Specifically, I seeks to combine fieldwork studies, statistical analysis of cultural materials, and developmental research focusing on child-parent interaction.

 I am affiliated with Oxford AthroLab (at Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology) and Kyushu Baby Lab (at Division of Psychology). [ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4911-0740]
      • Current Interest: 
        • cultural evolution 
          • folktale, morality, religion
        • social dominance
          • strong leadership vs wisdom of crowds
          • religion and social stratification


        • Research Method/Experience
          • interactive network group experiment
          • economic/cognitive lab experiment
            • (economic game / decision making / priming / joint action / etc)
          • computational modeling
            • (group decision making / cultural evolution / etc)
          • model fitting analysis on experimental data / GLMM
          • text-mining, NLP, NLU
          • quasi-experiment on the field
          • cross-cultural study
          • biological markers 
          • developmental studies 

        • Programming: 
          • main use: c++ / z-tree / R / Visual Basic 
          • developing: python
            •  (especially intersted to develop, NLP and neural-network)
          • wishing to develop: Julia 
          • experienced a little but not much in use: java / html / mathematica / Matlab



      • Nakawake, Y., & Takezawa, M. (preprint). The robust beauty of the majority rule by a small number of selected members.  https://osf.io/3axpj/


      • Nakawake, Y., & Sato, K. (2019). Systematic quantitative analyses reveal the folk-zoological knowledge embedded in folktales. Palgrave Communications5(1), 1-10.  [PDF]
      • Meng, X., Nakawake, Y., Nitta, H., Hashiya, K., & Moriguchi, Y. (2019). Space and rank: infants expect agents in higher position to be socially dominant. Proceedings of the Royal Society B286(1912), 20191674.  [PDF]
      • Willard, A. K., Nakawake, Y., & Jong, J. (2018). The evolution of the shaman's cultural toolkit. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41, e89 [Link]
      • Krockow, E. M., Takezawa, M., Pulford, B. D., Colman, A. M., Smithers, S., Kita, T., & Nakawake, Y. (2018). Commitment-enhancing tools in centipede games: Evidencing European-Japanese differences in trust and cooperation. Judgment and Decision Making,13(1), 61–72. [PDF]
      • Kavanagh, C., & Nakawake, Y. (2016). Developing the field site concept for the study of cultural evolution: the promise and the perils. Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution, 7(2), 273-280 [PDF
      • Horita, Y., Takezawa, M., Kinjo, T., Nakawake, Y., & Masuda, N. (2016). Transient nature of cooperation by pay-it-forward reciprocity. Scientific reports6.  [PDF]
      • Watanabe, T., Takezawa, M., Nakawake, Y., Kunimatsu, A., Yamasue, H., Nakamura, M., Miyashita, Y., & Masuda, N. (2014). Two distinct neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences111(11), 3990-3995.  [PDF

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