The use of Statistics in Sociocultural Anthropology

Michael S. Chibnik, University of Iowa


The article examines the use of statistics by sociocultural anthropologists. Sociocultural anthropologists never used statistics as much as their colleagues in other social sciences, however, the use of mathematics in sociocultural anthropology increased dramatically during the 1950s and 1960s. The increased use of multivariate statistical methods is the most striking development in mathematical and quantitative anthropology in the past several years. The author discusses how well the assumptions behind statistical tests and measures apply to data analyzed by anthropologists.