We wish to express our appreciation to the Centro Nacional de Cálculo, Institute Politécnico Nacional, México, D. F., for allowing us full use of their computing facilities. And also to Herbert Barry III, University of Pittsburgh, for generously providing the punch cards. The programs were written by Ruiz Revilla, computer consultant at the Centro Nacional de Cálculo. The paper was conceived and written by Chaney as an additional project while on a field-trip (1966–1968) in San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. At that time he was a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Indiana University. Harold E. Driver, Joseph G. Jorgensen, LeRoy Johnson, and Miss Dale Hahn generously read the manuscript and provided valuable comments.
Sampling Methods and Interpretation of Correlation: A Comparative Analysis of Seven Cross-Cultural Samples1
Article first published online: 28 OCT 2009
1969 American Anthropological Association
Volume 71, Issue 4, pages 597–633, August 1969
How to Cite
CHANEY, R. P. and REVILLA, R. R. (1969), Sampling Methods and Interpretation of Correlation: A Comparative Analysis of Seven Cross-Cultural Samples. American Anthropologist, 71: 597–633. doi: 10.1525/aa.1969.71.4.02a00020
- Issue published online: 28 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 28 OCT 2009
- Accepted for publication 6 November 1968.
The degree of agreement between the results of a comparative analysis of seven cross-cultural samples is dependent upon both the nature of the samples and the nature of the variables. All three of the smaller samples examined are demonstrated to be subject to a fatal amount of sampling error. The study incorporates the Tylor-Galton problem and makes an epistemic correlation between the concepts by postulation, historical-diffusional and functional or causal aspects, and the empirical findings of statistical correlation. It speaks in terms of realms of order in sociocultural phenomena and of different degrees of invariant relationship and contingency. Many philosophical puzzles and many problems in theoretical anthropology have, at least in part, empirical solutions. Any theoretical inquiry into questions such as “the nature of culture” should be closely allied with an examination of empirical data. The present approach is an attempt to integrate rational analysis with empirical data.