According to G. BATESON: "Whatever the system, adaptive change depends upon feedback loops, be it provided by natural selection or those of individual reinforcement. In all cases, then, there must be a trial and error process and a mechanism of comparison. But trial and error must always involve error, and error is always biologically and/or psychically expensive. It follows therefore that adaptive change must always be hierarchic.
"There is needed not only that first-order change which suits the immediate environmental (or psychological) demand, but also second-order changes which will reduce the amount of trial and error needed to achieve the first-order change" (1973, p.245)
One wonders how this could be translated to cultural adaptive change. (A good case for research would be the shaping of the European Union)