Talk:Outline of topics - ACCCR

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Outline of topics - ACCCS ACCCR

REU Funding from NSF

Kindle books

Online books

Coursework and teaching programming


Doug -I would be happy if we can get some of the top people to start using OLS with multiple imputation and network lag models. It would be a tremendous advance and lots of papers worth reading would come pouring forth.

There is already a function that one can use to average the imputed values. If the imputed dataset is m1, with society id=m1$.id, and all values are numeric:


from AE
DW: ok, so why not an article on the future of MCMC for XC research? I found MCMCregress to be very useful, succinct in its description and manual, and to solve the comparison of models problem very nicely as that is a main difference in approach:
"Very generally speaking, the Bayesian approach to statistical inference differs from traditional frequentist inference by assuming that the data are fixed and model parameters are random, which sets up problems in the form of; what is the probability of a hypothesis (or parameter), given the data at hand? These types of problems can be stated with symbols as: p (H|D). Traditional frequentist inference assumes that the model parameters are fixed (though unknown) and the data are essentially random; for instance, if the null hypothesis is true, what is the probability of this data? These types of problems can be stated in the general form; what is the probability of the data given a hypothesis? In symbols, this translates to: p (D|H)." Jon Starkweather 2011 - Bayesian Generalized Linear Models in R As published in Benchmarks RSS Matters

Take a look at

Doug: I’ve looked at the MCMC refs you sent. I think something on Bayesian stats would be worthwhile. It could even simply be added as a stats module with very little discussion. At first I thought that if we added MCMC then we’d need to have someone write a chapter explaining how to do it, and as far as I know there is no-one in the cross-cultural field who could both explain it well and possibly provide an empirical example using x-c data and our network autocorrelation approach with MCMC estimation. If you can think of someone that would be fine, even someone not particularly knowledgeable about x-c research. Seems to me that if the book is to be cutting edge, then the Bayesian approach is currently a bit ahead of cutting edge, since there are no discussions/examples that I know of in the XC literature. I think it will be quite a while before we start seeing Bayesian analyses there, but that is not to say we shouldn’t add it and indicate the possibilities it holds for future x-c work.
DW: Ok, lets do it as you say!

DW: Is there a Hausman test for MCMC? Doug: I don't believe there are any Hausman-like tests for Bayesian regression. All the model specification tests we use with the 2SLS approach use regression residuals, and these are usually quite different from Bayesian residuals (which are not centered on zero, etc.) I'm pretty sure that you can't simply input Baysian resids into any of the several model specification tests we use with 2sls. That, it seems to me, is one of the limitations of the Bayesian approach to regression. There are exploratory approaches to examining these residuals, though, that might give some info, and I think that a test for heteroscedasticity is available, but I don't know what it is. It might be possible to use the Bayes factors to assess whether a second W matrix (e.g. Language) should be added to the model after a geographic distance W matrix has already been included: we currently use an LM test for that general situation. Maybe the factors could also be used to test for missing curvilinear terms, etc., as in missing variables But, I don't think that there is any kind of omnibus test for model specification with the mcmc approach to estimation. I'll try to look into this a bit further. Malcolm

Idea of Scaffolded Learning for CCR

Chris Quintana, Brian J. Reiser, Elizabeth A. Davis, Joseph Krajcik, Eric Fretz, Ravit Golan Duncan, Eleni Kyza, Daniel Edelson & Elliot Soloway. 2009. A Scaffolding Design Framework for Software to Support Science Inquiry. - Journal of the Learning Sciences 13(3): 337-386.

Abstract: The notion of scaffolding learners to help them succeed in solving problems otherwise too difficult for them is an important idea that has extended into the design of scaffolded software tools for learners. However, although there is a growing body of work on scaffolded tools, scaffold design, and the impact of scaffolding, the field has not yet converged on a common theoretical framework that defines rationales and approaches to guide the design of scaffolded tools. In this article, we present a scaffolding design framework addressing scaffolded software tools for science inquiry. Developed through iterative cycles of inductive and theory-based analysis, the framework synthesizes the work of prior design efforts, theoretical arguments, and empirical work in a set of guidelines that are organized around science inquiry practices and the challenges learners face in those practices. The framework can provide a basis for developing a theory of pedagogical support and a mechanism to describe successful scaffolding approaches. It can also guide design, not in a prescriptive manner but by providing designers with heuristics and examples of possible ways to address the challenges learners face.

Examples within such a system

Jesse B. Fletcher, Jacob Apkarian, Robert A. Hanneman, Hiroko Inoue, Kirk Lawrence, Christopher Chase-Dunn. 2011. Demographic Regulators in Small-Scale World-Systems. pdf Issue 5#1 1-31
Graphic of the simulation: Demographic Regulators in Small-Scale World-Systems

Topic of CC Musicology: Dance and Human History

Alan Lomax Foundation

Topic of Romantic love

Comment re:

  • Romantic Love and Sexual Behavior: A Comparison of 13? studies (De Munck) [edited Book: 1998, by that title: 1- authors] [SCCS dataset]
William R. Jankowiak and Edward F. Fischer.1992. A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Romantic Love. Ethnology Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 149-155.
Victor C. de Munck and Andrey Korotayev. 1999. Sexual Equality and Romantic Love: A Reanalysis of Rosenblatt’s Study on the Function of Romantic Love. Cross-Cultural Research August 1999 vol. 33 no. 3 265-277.
Victor C. de Munck (editor). Romantic Love and Sexual Behavior: Perspectives from the Social Sciences.
Fisher, Helen. 2005. Romantic Love: An fMRI Study of a Neural Mechanism of Mate Choice

Reviews and models on these studies would undoubtedly be controversial but the greater problems are ethnographer-bias and romantic involvement, coder bias, and themes of the Freeman-Mead debates. Doug 07:07, 18 April 2012 (PDT). Usefully, Jankowiak's codes 166 societies of the SCCS and provides them in a book, compared to qualitative statements, and discusses normative vs ideosyncratic elements and the evolutionary biologists' views of universality versus culturally specific arguments such as Rosenblatt's. Maybe best to have de Munck author this article.

A proposal from Doug

A proposal: why dont we use our present push on datasets and code to do a Dow_Eff_et al R package with datasets and scripts. I.e., as authors include you, me, Malcolm, scott, any of your graduate students and mine (for me, Oztan, Gosti and Ren Feng) and do the following: continue with a script-based version of the R-code that is easier for students to work with (main data entry options specified in the "create model" scripts), that has an option for full-sample imputation (that allows networks of variables models from connected regressions), that has an option for train-sample and out-of-sample test (as with our current code), that has your optimal coefficients for the W matrices, relaimpo, Hausman tests (possibly updated to Halbert White's code that Scott is now porting from MatLab to R), and a new-data-set script to build the Vaux.Rdata and W...Rdata files, and whatever else is needed (e.g., export of input for lavaan, sem, latent variable analysis, export to online GIS formats and an auxiliary program for cross-tabs with autocorrelation controls??). If Templeton funds our current proposal I will have money for further programming, if not I have local research project funds. Scott could meanwhile continue to (first debug the current error and) do updates to his scripts from your simpler scripts created for the Binford data.

If you make your recommendation, and Malcolm joins us in this (particularly to review any new statistical procedures) we would join to write 1 or 2 new articles for the Companion volume where we include instructions on how to download our R package (vetted for example by the R folks at ETH Zurich) and databases (all this also in the R documentation), and use them in the classroom for undergraduates and graduate research seminars with Binford, SCCS, WNAI, and other datasets. This would solve the problem of highly accessible distribution of open source software and public domain databases and set survey data analysis ahead by a decade.

Earlier, from Anthon: BTW, I’ve put together a version of Western North American Indians (Jorgensen & Driver) with language codes, rectified coordinates, and missing values properly coded. I have the language matrix, distance matrix, and added some GIS data. I’ve long had a similar version of the Ethnographic Atlas—mentioned this to Pat last year and he was interested in publishing it in World Cultures. I still need to do the codebook for both of these, and I have another GIS data source I’d like to introduce, as well. At any rate, whether these go in World Cultures, or on the InterSci wiki, I hope to make them publicly available soon. That will make four ethnographic data sets ready for the Dow-Eff approach. Perhaps there are others that could be enhanced in this way?

Some thoughts from Anthon

April 16th re:next revision Doug: You better do it--I'm stretched pretty thin right now, and besides you know the people and literature much, much better than I. The two main thoughts I had were as follows:

  1. We should add something about XC psychology, and it would be easiest to do that in two places: a) the topics section; b) the data section (cross-national data). One name I can think of is Nigel Barber--his research questions are interesting (mostly about parental investment), and he works with cross-national data. His methods, however, are not that sophisticated, so he needs to be kept out of the methodology section.
  2. I really liked Harpending and Cochrane's book, The 10,000 Year Explosion, and I still think that one of both of these guys would be the ideal author for a discussion of genomic differences between populations and what that implies for behavioral/social differences.

Early thoughts Could there be papers summarizing the research on a particular topic (such as romantic love)? One advantage would be that it would give an opening to the many people who have worked in XC research, have a thorough knowledge of what has been done, but really couldn't write a cutting-edge methodology paper. And it would provide a nice starting point for anyone using up-to-date techniques to reexamine any of these topic areas.

If there are Summaries or Reviews of topics (such as romantic love) the would need to be evaluated for spurious correlations, etc., as against controls for autocorrelation, directionality of effects, etc. Doug 07:10, 15 March 2012 (PDT)

A second thought is that it would be nice to have a few papers about data, especially the ethnographic data sets, and the state of the art in how to code variables for these. OK. HOW ABOUT possible extensions of current XC data sets i.e. SCCS, increasing size and time depth (Panel data?). Also, isn't Allan Johnson (UCLA) putting together (has put together) a comparative data set of Lowland S.American Indians? (PDT)As to the second suggestion here: I'm not sure about a "state of the art" paper on coding data. Seems to me there is no really new "state of the art" papers possible in this area (altho' I may be wrong here.) Haven't the Embers, Candice Bradley, and others pretty much covered data coding from ethnographic sources? Malcolm Dow 12:50, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

Finally, it seems to me that the biggest long-term challenge facing XC research (and all of social science) is acknowledging the heritability of behavior and the fact that there are significant genomic differences between populations. So it would be nice to have a chapter or two about that. Good idea Malcolm Dow 08:39, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

I'm thinking of sections like:

Methodology e.g.:

  1. Causality
  2. Spatial Error - by itself without spatial effects? Plus Model Specification Tests? Malcolm Dow 08:33, 25 March 2012 (PDT)
  3. Discrete Choice

other suggestions -

  1. MRQAP Malcolm Dow 08:33, 25 March 2012 (PDT)
  2. Latent variables and scale construction ? Malcolm Dow 12:50, 25 March 2012 (PDT)
  3. Phylogenetic methods Malcolm Dow 12:50, 25 March 2012 (PDT)
  4. Something on Missing Data? Seems to me that multiple imputation is a potentially big topic in comparative research, giving the inevitable problem of missing data and reduction of sample sizes using any of the usual complete case analyses. Malcolm Dow 08:51, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

Data e.g.:

  1. Ethnographic data sets (HRAF, SCCS, etc.)/ Pat Gray?
  2. Problems and strategies of coding ethnographic data sets/ Carol Ember? Again, Is there really more to be said than what the Embers, Candice Bradley, etc have published? Malcolm Dow 08:33, 25 March 2012 (PDT)
plus Michael Fisher on new on-line retrieval at eHRAF?
  1. Cross-national data/ ??
  2. Any Comparative Panel Data Sets that you know of? A paper on that plus one on net autocorr with panel data would be nice Malcolm Dow 08:39, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

Topics e.g.:

  1. Warfare
  2. Sex roles
  3. Personality (could focus specifically on "big 5" psychometric work)
  4. Gene-Culture Evolution Malcolm Dow 08:39, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

Whither XC Research? e.g.:

  1. Genomic differences in populations/Harpending and/or Cochrane GOOD!Malcolm Dow 12:50, 25 March 2012 (PDT)
  2. Gene-culture co-evolution

--Anthon.Eff 13:29, 23 February 2012 (PST)

Thoughts from Doug

A topic like DIsputation and Warfare Doug 07:17, 15 March 2012 (PDT)

one article on Foragers -- e.g., Boehm
another on SCCS -- e.g., Routon & Eff
could contrast evidence on within-group conflict and resolution with evidence on between-group
then a paper on evolutionary biology, Alexander etc


Monique Borgerhoff-Mulder. Construction of regional data sets? Malcolm Dow 08:51, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

Amber L. Johnson - The Binford databases, findings and their successors

Borgerhoff Mulder/Charles Nunn - a paper using MRQAP and comparative, perhaps regional, data. - a paper on construction of cultural phylogenies - paper on why one would want to predict matrix of differences using other matrices of differences? What are the implications of studying differences?

Ruth Mace/Clare Holden - Use of phylogentic models in comparative research. Examples?

Joseph Henrich

Robert Boyd - Gene-Culture co-evolution

J Tehrani / Mark Collard - Cultural evolution thru phylogenetical analysis of material culture

M Tranner/Kunovitch - Multilevel network autcor modelling

Randy Thornhill/C. Fincher/D. Murray/ M. Shaller - Cultural evolution, behavior and parasitic disease

Odling-Smee - paper on cultural niche construction, implications for XC research. How relates to other types of W matrices(ecological?)?

Odling-Smee, F.John, K.N. Laland, M.W. Feldman. 2003. Niche Construction: the Neglected Process in Evolution. Monographs in Population Biology 37. Princeton, Princeton University

Press. John Odling-Smee, Bio Anthro, U Oxford UK.Malcolm Dow 08:39, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

Eff/Dow - Discrete Choice net autocorr model and estimation. Illustrative example.

Dow/Eff/White - detailed explication of error, lag, and mixed network autocorr reg, 2sls estimation issues, error specification tests. Inside the black box stuff.

White,Eff,Dow - Causality in XC research? Recent stuff on Mediation/Moderation analysis applied to XC data and problems.

White - Sampling? (Has this become a dead issue?)

I think its dead Doug 16:59, 16 February 2012 (PST)
Ssomething on the Binford 2001 sample and studies of foragers
Porter, C.C., Marlowe, F.W. 2007. How marginal are forager habitats? Journal of Archaeological Science 34(1): 59–68.

Frank Marlowe - X-C diffs in punishment of pro-social cooperators. Other cross-cult diffs.

Apicella, Coren L., Frank W. Marlowe, James H. Fowler, & Nicholas A. Christakis. 2012. Letter | Social networks and cooperation in hunter-gatherers. Nature 481: 497–501.

ALex Mesoudi/A. WHiten/ K.Laland - Unified Science of cultural evolution

Mesoudi, Alex, A. Whiten & K Laland 2006. Towards a unified science of cultural evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29(4):329-383.

(UCLA CulturalEvolutionPapersPdfs)

see: Laland, K. N., et al. 2011. Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited: Is Mayr’s Proximate-Ultimate Dichotomy still useful? Science 344(6062):1512-1517.
has good list of articles in the new genre


Malcolm Dow 08:57, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

Isn't Katie Faust working on comparative networks among/across animal species/subspecies? Perhaps a comparative paper using primate data, or outlining possibilities/prospects? Also Donald Sade and Sandy Maryanski (UC Riverside)on non-human comparative research Malcolm Dow 08:39, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

Social Transmission of information - types and suitability for incorporation in comparative statistical models. Stephen Shennan (Archaeology, Univ Coll London) 2006 From Cultural History to Cultural Evolution:An Archaeological Perspective on Social Information Transmission. In J Wells, S. Strickland, K. Laland eds. Social Inormation Transmission and Human Biology. Taylor Francis. Chap 10. Malcolm Dow 08:39, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

Effects of Misspecification of W matrices. Newer work on network topologies (Antonio Paez et al). eg: Ruminot NA, Páez A, Carrasco JA (2010) Network Topology, Autocorrelation, and Node Vulnerability, 89th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., January 10 – 14

Local Autocorrelation

Geographically weighted regression

Cross-national networks, Political Networks, Trade

Jottings on other possible contributors etc

Doug 05:54, 15 February 2012 (PST)These are good suggestions! (use ~~~~ for signature)

Douglas C. Wallace, Mitochondrial phylogeny and adaptive function keyed to SCCS

Marcus J. Hamilton Foragers

Henry Wright Chiefdoms and early states

Kim R. Hill

Michael Fischer on eHraf texts?

Trevor Denton  ? I generally don't think much of his work Malcolm Dow 08:39, 25 March 2012 (PDT)

William Dressler


First draft (erased from main page)

Content in [[double square brackets]] will be linked to existing content with that title, or a page to create that content. Links can contain an optional bar, "|". Content on the left of the bar is the target; to the right, the link shown. Once logged in you can edit. [http://singlesquarebrackets.html link to an external url]

  • Doug White
  • Malcolm Dow - Am recovering from an illnesss, will get back to you
  • Anthon Eff - Sorry I missed your message regarding the book proposal. I’m OK with your draft.

April 16th re:next revision note from Anthon Doug: You better do it--I'm stretched pretty thin right now, and besides you know the people and literature much, much better than I. The two main thoughts I had were as follows:

  1. We should add something about XC psychology, and it would be easiest to do that in two places: a) the topics section; b) the data section (cross-national data). One name I can think of is Nigel Barber--his research questions are interesting (mostly about parental investment), and he works with cross-national data. His methods, however, are not that sophisticated, so he needs to be kept out of the methodology section.
  2. I really liked Harpending and Cochrane's book, The 10,000 Year Explosion, and I still think that one of both of these guys would be the ideal author for a discussion of genomic differences between populations and what that implies for behavioral/social differences.

Topics or possible titles (possible authors if suggested)

Evolution in Comparative Perspective (Short intro by editors: Facts, data, filters, biases, instruments, adjustments, robustness, causality)

The Terrestrial Model for Comparative Research (Amber Johnson?)

The Evolution of Prosociality in Comparative Evolutionary Biology (Boehm? Marlowe?)

The Evolution of Ultrasociality in Comparative Historical Perspective (Turchin?)

The Network Evolution of Cooperativity in Comparative Perspective (White, Oztan?)

Biological and Heritable Behavior in Gene-Culture Evolution (Henrich?)

Unified Science of Cultural Evolution (Apicella? Whiten?, Laland?)

Methodology (Short intro by editors)

Spatial error, spatial effects, autocorrelation, missing data imputation and specification tests using the SCCS (Eff?)

Latent variables and scale construction (Dow?)

Phylogenetic methods (Mace, Fortunato?)

Studying "Galton's Opportunity" from autocorrelation networks using MRQAP (Dow and Nunn?)

Robustness and Causality (Flack, White?)

Data (Short intro by editors)

Network autocorrelation with panel data

Construction of Regional Datasets (Borgerhoff-Mulder?)

Successors to the Binford Dataset with incremental Mediawiki/Webcrawer Coding (Johnson, Turchin White?)

Comparative Field Projects (Henrich?)

(Sample) Topics (Short intro by editors)

Disputation, Warfare and Conflict Resolution

Gender, Sex Roles, Monogamy Polygyny and Division of Labor

Cultural Niche Construction (Odling-Smee?)

The New Directions and Possibilities for Comparative Research (Editors)

Reviews of the first draft

Sorry for a bit of delay, but I wanted to quickly get a couple of reactions to your first draft outline. I've attached them here (not lengthy, as befits a short-ish outline!). Clearly reviewers think we need an original new volume from you all. There is confusion about the scope of the book however—this is probably the natural result of not presenting them with a “vision” statement of sorts, for them to see what was intended. It may also be because the volume is cross-cultural in name, but for the reviewers, the range of topics do not seem to encompass all of those that would usefully be included in this general area of research. However, the prospect or promise of the chapters so far seems to be exciting to reviewers also.

Companion to Cross-Cultural Research

  • Editors: Doug White, Malcolm Dow, and Anthon Eff

REVIEWER #1 I like the book but I think it is too focused on evolution in part I. It also needs a couple of chapters on cross-cultural research methods. One on cross-cultural and cross-national survey research, and one on cross-cultural psychological research. The later is the biggest field in c-c research now. For example, the Society for Cross-Cultural Research is composed of primarily cross-cultural psychologists where in the past it was mostly anthropologists. The problem with psychological C-C research methods is that it is focused on small samples of 2 to 8 cultures. That's why this book would be good because it has a focus on C-C survey research. Blending the two together would make for a good book.

  • Reviewer #2

I took a quick look. First impression: WOW! Excellent, even outstanding set of chapters, with one exception -- I don't see value in the Sample Topic chapters, although you may need something like that to spur sales. Otherwise, I can't wait to see the book. Also: chapter titles should identify the big ideas, for novices.

  • Reviewer #3

I have a great respect for these editors, and it would be a great service to the discipline to publish it. Doug White is at the top of the game in this field, and a volume from him would be terrific; same is true of Malcolm Dow. This would be for upper level students, and graduates, students interested not just in methods but in modeling, willing to develop specific levels of skill to do this research. This may warrant a more general title—anthropological sciences? There is an emphasis on the evolutionary models. This is a particularly hot area, huge, and is definitely something you will see a lot more of in the future; it is a much bigger area of research, populated by anthropologists and psychologists, and has a circle of very productive and highly respected researchers. I’d like to see more of this available to undergraduates, but it would have to be written in an accessible way. Quantitative methods sometimes get a bad name, because writers talk about ethnographic data as a source of information to code; qualitative researchers often distrust this in cultural anthropology, because they believe that you cannot reduce people to numbers…even though it is perfectly sound methodologically. HRAF is useful; it is the largest of these data sets, with 400 cultures represented, over 3 million pages of information, mostly online now or will be in the next 3-5 years. It’s been a huge success, and lots of people who use it are not anthropologists; in fact it does not rely on anthropologists for its revenue. Students—even high school students—can learn to develop hypotheses and compare data from different cultures. The range of research should be represented Recommendation: yes, publish.

  • Reviewer #4

This proposal does not look at all like a) what the words “cross-cutural research” normally conjure up in my mind. Instead it looks to be more of b) a presentation of relevant research methodologies and theoretical issues toward which cross-cultural studies might be addressed. The editors are good—they are all at once creative and innovative in their approaches while solid and empirical in their work—but associated with (b) above rather than (a).

Alternative contents or combinations thereof:

  1. Book 1: The book they propose would be worthwhile, and, depending on their combination of contributors and orientation, might be useful to—and hence popular with—scholars doing cross-cultural work. The topics they list in their “Sample Topics” section begin to get there. These topic titles are very broadly phrased—meaning that each could be broken into several topics if one chose. A book (Book 2) could be based on an expanded version of these, maybe with background.
  2. Book 2: Background that might be useful to include: 1) An overall history of the field is always useful to the uninitiated, as well maybe as something focused on the work of major contributors such as Murdock, Driver, Whiting. 2) An overview of the traditional kinds of cross-cultural comparison “controlled comparison”, large scale HRAF-based statistical comparisons, dense regional treatments, etc. 3) Some background overview of a) basic concepts in the field—basic units (cultures, societies, communities, nations, culture areas) and how they are understood and recognized; b) issue of intra-cultural variation; c) ethnographer bias, d) role of theory (theory of the substantive area and theory of comparison), e) relationship to traditional ethnology. And 4) some sense of the kinds of conclusions that have traditionally characterized the field.

A section on such background overviews would set the stage for their modern and innovative approaches, and would enable students to understand the need for these new developments.

  1. Book 3. a Companion that focused on what is being done in cross-cultural research these days would also be a useful thing to have. Anthropologist in the Society for Cross Cultural Research (SCCR) (which includes X-cult anthr and X-cult psych) would seem useful people to explore. Such a book might be useful, but maybe less exciting and possibly a bit dated.
  • Reviewer #5
  1. . Why is the first section so heavily devoted to evolution and evolutionary models? I applaud evolutionary approaches but it’s a bit difficult to see how these proposed topics/chapters related to cross-cultural research. It may be just that the relationship is not obvious from the topic titles. That said, developing and describing evolutionary approaches to cross-cultural comparative research would be great and an advance over the synchronic models most often used. Perhaps some name changing would clarify that these topics/chapters do, in fact, address cross-cultural issues. Again, these are extremely important topics but, as described by the proposed chapter titles, I do not see the connection to cross-cultural research (and therefore the title of the book).
  2. . The second section is more squarely cross-cultural although the section title refers to evolutionary models methods, not cross-cultural models. The editors are experts in these topics.
  3. . The section on Data looks to be excellent, based on the chapter/topic titles. The information therein would be of great value to cross-cultural researchers as efforts are made to better use multivariate methods and deal with missing data in cross-cultural research. The editors are experts in these topics as well.
  4. . The final section is fine, if not particularly innovative topic-wise. 16 and 17, in particular, are traditional topics in cross-cultural research. This section might also include two or three more chapters in order to illustrate real-world examples of the methodological insights from sections 2 and 3.


I would buy and read such a book. It would be useful in university courses on cross-cultural comparative research. The topics relate well (except for the first section of the book) to anthropology but less well to psychology where most (alleged) cross-cultural comparative research actually takes place. I qualify this statement with “alleged” since most such research in psychology involves individuals, rather than cultures, as the unit of analysis and the topics described may be more appropriate when the unit of analysis is the culture. I may be wrong about this but it is difficult to tell for sure given the brevity of the topic descriptions.

My only real concern is the justification of the first section under the umbrella of cross-cultural research. A bit more explication or topic title changes may fix that.

  • NEW REVIEW: Given the nature of the Companions as overview or state-of-the-field: what do you think will be the most useful framing for graduates and researchers? We want it to be essential higher-level introductions to the research field—this outline already has that potential.

Does this whet your appetite for a bit of revision of the outline? I think it looks quite promising, as the reviewers say...I'd still like to present it to our editorial board as soon as possible, so if you have suggestions as a result of these initial comments--would very much like to hear!

  • Reviewer #6:

""I realize this is after your week deadline, but I did want to weigh in. I would highly recommend the volume. I think it would be an excellent introduction to the advances that have taken place in comparative research over the last decade. I think the volume might have a wider audience if there was at least one chapter using a cross-national data set. This might attract political scientists or economists. My strongest recommendation is that all material must be backed with downloadable data sets and computer packages."

  • Thanks! it was actually #1-5 in the word doc that I sent, so the one in this email is actually #6. Sorry about that. ..I can actually get my memo to the board soon but I wanted to get your initial reactions first.

A final table of contents is something that can be developed over the next few months, of course (or whatever our schedule turns out to be), but it is important for me to have a preliminary plan for editorial and marketing staff to review at this point, so that they can understand the scope of the project and how they can promote it. They may be rather baffled by the chapter titles so any conceptual/descriptive help you can provide will be useful (!). We all speak in code...

  • Well, I hope that Malcolm is feeling better quite soon! some of our staff in the main office are suffering from infections also. Yet another advantage that I work at home from Berkeley.

If you can provide a bit of revision on the TOC to me pronto, I'll do my part with the board.

Intermediary comment prior to 2nd draft

April 16th re:next revision note from Anthon Doug: You better do it--I'm stretched pretty thin right now, and besides you know the people and literature much, much better than I. The two main thoughts I had were as follows:

  1. We should add something about XC psychology, and it would be easiest to do that in two places: a) the topics section; b) the data section (cross-national data). One name I can think of is Nigel Barber--his research questions are interesting (mostly about parental investment), and he works with cross-national data. His methods, however, are not that sophisticated, so he needs to be kept out of the methodology section.
  2. I really liked Harpending and Cochrane's book, The 10,000 Year Explosion, and I still think that one of both of these guys would be the ideal author for a discussion of genomic differences between populations and what that implies for behavioral/social differences.

2nd draft

(see main page)

Subtitle of book?

  • Comparative Research after the Digital Revolution
  • Planetary Families
  • Human Families
  • Family of Man