Studies done by Mesoudi (39) in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology he has established that, many societies have only registered insignificant changes during their entire time of existence. However, in this period, there are occasions when some significant changes were noted. These societal changes are brought by social and cultural change which leads to societal growth and development.
For social and cultural change to take place, innovation which comprises of adding new elements onto the existing system and sometimes, extinction, which involves elimination of the older elements, must take place. Through innovation, the society can borrow some lessons from other societies by means of diffusion, though this only brings in few independently produced innovations. But innovation through discoveries has been investigated and proven as the most useful for societal evolution since many societies have evolved through it. It enables the society to acquire new information which has adaptive value (Raoul et al 100) in the American Ethnologist Journal.
On the other hand, following acquisition of the new knowledge, societies are usually faced up with the choices to make from the competing alternatives. And with the discovery of the new information, the society has to stop some of the inferior social and cultural practices. Therefore the society must go through a selection process during the evolution (Segal 790).
For a society to grow, it must advance on its subsistence technology, those stored information that members refers to in order to understand societal growth. In deed, the subsistence technology plays a role in defining the possible limits a society can progress towards. Also, for the societal evolution to continue, the ideological role is very important. In this case, the beliefs and values the society has acquired plays a key role in propelling it forward.
Mesoudi, A. Using The Methods Of Experimental Social Psychology To Study Cultural Evolution. Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology, Vol. 1(2), 2007. pp. 35–58.
Raoul, N. and William T. D. Natural Selection in Cultural Evolution: Warfare versus Peaceful Diffusion. American Ethnologist. 1976. 3: 97–128.
Segal, D. Western Civ" and the Staging of History in American Higher Education The American Historical Review, Vol. 105, No. 3 (Jun., 2000), pp. 770–805