Cultural evolution articles from across Nature Portfolio

Cultural evolution is the change over time of non-biological aspects of human society. The process is loosely analogous to biological evolution, although does not necessarily involve Darwinian natural selection, and includes changes in language, art and social behaviour and norms.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Although we have been able to track how cultural innovations spread among farming populations in prehistoric Europe, we know relatively little about this among European hunter-gatherers. Dolbunova et al. use a range of techniques to shed light on how the making and use of pottery spread among early-to-mid-Holocene hunter-gatherers west of the Urals.

    • Stephen Shennan
  • News & Views |

    A study finds that social norms have become weaker in the United States over the past 200 years. The changing strength of norms is linked to fluctuations in societal levels of innovation and risky behaviour.

    • Michael E. W. Varnum
  • News & Views |

    A study finds association between the occurrence of intimate partner violence and marital fertility among Tsimané forager-horticulturalists, independent of proximate explanations, suggesting that intimate partner violence may persist as an evolutionary strategy to enhance male fitness.

    • Elizabeth G. Pillsworth