Skip to main content

Cultural adaptation to environmental change versus stability

  • Lei Chang (a1), Bin-Bin Chen (a2) and Hui Jing Lu (a3)

The target article provides an intermediate account of culture and freedom that is conceived to be curvilinear by treating economic development not as an adaptive outcome in response to climate but as a cause of culture parallel to climate. We argue that the extent of environmental variability, including climatic variability, affects cultural adaptation.

Hide All
Ash, J. & Gallup, G. G. Jr. (2007) Paleoclimatic variation and brain expansion during human evolution. Human Nature 18:109–24.
Boyd, R. & Richerson, P. J. (2005) The origin and evolution of culture. Oxford University Press.
Cashdan, E. (2001) Ethnic diversity and its environmental determinants: Effects of climate, pathogens, and habitat diversity. American Anthropologist 103:968–91.
Chang, L., Mak, M. C. K., Li, T., Wu, B. P., Lu, H. J. & Chen, B. B. (2011) Cultural adaptations to environmental variability: An evolutionary account of East–West differences. Educational Psychology Review 23:99–29.
Fincher, C. L. & Thornhill, R. (2012) Parasite-stress promotes in-group assortative sociality: The cases of strong family ties and heightened religiosity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35:6179.
Jerison, H. J. (1973) Evolution of the brain and intelligence. Academic Press.
Klein, R. (2002) The dawn of human culture. John Wiley.
Loutre, M., Paillard, D., Vimeux, F. & Cortijo, E. (2004) Does mean annual insolation have the potential to change the climate? Earth and Planetary Science Letters 221:114.
Masters, W. A. & McMillan, M. S. (2001) Climate and scale in economic growth. Journal of Economic Growth 6:167–86.
Mercuri, A. M., Sadori, L. & Ollero, P. U. (2011) Mediterranean and north-African cultural adaptations to mid-Holocene environmental and climatic changes. Holocene 21:189206.
Nordhaus, W. D. (2006) Geography and macroeconomics: New data and new findings. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences 103:3510–17.
Potts, R. (1998) Variability selection in hominid evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology 7:8196.
Stevens, G. C. (1989) The latitudinal gradient in how geographical range: So many species coexist in the tropics. American Naturalist 133:240–56.
Strulik, H. (2008) Geography, health, and the pace of demo-economic development. Journal of Development Economics 86:6175.
Wu, B. P. & Chang, L. (2012) The social impact of pathogen threat: How disease salience influences conformity. Personality and Individual Differences 53:5054.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 14
Total number of PDF views: 51 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 254 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd March 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.