In a series of projects, I have tried to quantify the evolution of several psychological traits or preferences: romantic love, interpersonal trust, parental investment, self-control. Inspired by the work of the late Ronald Inglehart and the World Values Survey, I have named it The Ancient World Values Survey.
Sometimes, quantification is difficult. In theses cases. I have turned to more qualitative methods, through systematic surveys of existing comparisons between periods and countries in the academic literature.
The sample was decided a priori based on the amount of data in literary history and economic history. 19 areas were included:
– 2000 BCE – 500 BCE: Egypt (from Ancient Egyptian) and Mesopotamia (from Sumerian and Akkadian).
– 500 BCE – 500 CE: Eastern Mediterranean (from Ancient Greek), Western Mediterranean (from Latin), India (from Sanskrit and Tamil), Central Asia (from Persian), China (from Chinese)
– 500 CE – 1800 CE: England (from English), France (from French), Germany (from German), Italy (from Italian), Spain (from Castilian), Low Countries (from Dutch), Ireland (from Irish), Wales (from Welsh), Iceland and Norway (from Old Norse), Russian (from East Slavic), Japan (from Japanese), Arabic world (from Arabic), India (from Sanskrit, Tamil and Urdu), Central Asia (from Persian), China (from Chinese)
Baumard, N. (2021) Ancient World Values Survey: Attitudes toward children
Baumard, N. (2021) Ancient World Values Survey: Romantic Love
Baumard, N. (forthcoming) Ancient World Values Survey: Self-Discipline
Baumard, N. (forthcoming) Ancient World Values Survey: Puritan morality
Because romantic love is a central topic in literary fictions, I created a specific survey on the evolution of love, using exclusively the academic literature in literary history. This survey The Ancient Literary Fictions Values Survey eventually lead to a co-authored article combining qualitative and quantitative methods: The Cultural Evolution of Love In Literary History.
Baumard, N. (2021) The Ancient Literary Fictions Values Survey