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Journal Article

Are both necessity and opportunity the mothers of innovations?


Colleran,  Heidi
Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Greenbaum, G., Fogarty, L., Colleran, H., Berger-Tal, O., Kolodny, O., & Creanza, N. (2019). Are both necessity and opportunity the mothers of innovations? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 42: e199. doi:10.1017/S0140525X19000207.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-47E7-7
Baumard's perspective asserts that "opportunity is the mother of innovation," in contrast to the adage ascribing this role to necessity. Drawing on behavioral ecology and cognition, we propose that both extremes - affluence and scarcity - can drive innovation. We suggest that the types of innovations at these two extremes differ and that both rely on mechanisms operating on different time scales.