Amazon rain forest, Amazonas, Brazil

Mechanisms of cultural change and the transition to sustainability

Humans learn and share information on a massive scale through the use of culture. In this paper, we will outline the mechanisms of evolutionary cultural change, evaluate their role in ecologically destructive feedback loops, and conclude by describing how we might harness the mechanisms of cultural evolution to favor ecologically and socially beneficial change. A virtue of the science of cultural evolution is that it is developed on the same basic framework of ecology and evolution that applies to the natural world, giving it a synthetic role in linking the human behavioral sciences to the natural sciences.

Read the paper online or download the preprint here.


  title={Mechanisms of cultural change and the transition to sustainability},
  author={Ross, Cody T and Richerson, Peter J and Rogers, Deborah S},
  booktitle={Global Environmental Change},

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