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Anthropology is known as a holistic science, incorporating the knowledge and skills of fields as diverse as language arts, biology, chemistry, history, economics, visual and performing arts, statistics, psychology, epidemiology, and more. As the "most scientific of the humanities and the most humanistic of the sciences," anthropology offers an eclectic toolbox of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Anthropologists are trained to combine insightful powers of observation, compelling forms of expression, and scientific verification of their theories to illuminate complex relationships between culture and nature. 

We properly challenge one another's explanations for why Hindus don't eat their cattle and why, in some cultures, mothers are more likely than fathers are to abuse their children. That's how knowledge grows. Whatever our theories, though, all of us need data on which to test those theories. The methods for collecting and analyzing data belong to all of us.
- H. Russell Bernard, Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

In support of the many and varied methods employed by anthropologists of all stripes, AAA provides links to articles or videos of research methods commonly used by anthropologists. We welcome further suggestions of content or links to include in these pages. Send all comments and recommended content to Daniel Ginsberg.

Please be advised the AAA is not responsible for either these websites or the information they provide but merely supplies the information as a service to the anthropological community.


This link from the Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) offers a useful breakdown of the fields in which anthropologists are often employed, as well as the skill sets required for each career. 


Research Design

Designing a Research Question 


Research Quality: Reliability, Validity, Generalization  Research Quality: The Quality of Qualitative Research 
Research Quality: The Process of Research  The Practicalities and Ethics of Social Research 

Data Collection Methods 

Cultural and linguistic anthropology

Archaeological anthropology

Gabriela Pérez Báez, Curator of Linguistics  Aspects of Archaeology: Thermoluminescence Dating 
Dene-Yenesieian Workshop 2012 using NeighborNet and Bayesian analysis Aspects of Archaeology: Pottery 


Aspects of Archaeology: The Three (and a bit) Age System 
Ethnography and Participant Observation Part 1: Ethnography    Aspects of Archaeology: Cognitive Archaeology   
Ethnography and Participant Observation Part 2: Participant Observation  Aspects of Archaeology: Amino Acid Racemization  
What is ethnography?  Aspects of Archaeology: Conservation 
Representing Identities Part 1: Method Aspects of Archaeology: Palimpsest 


Aspects of Archaeology: G.I.S. 
My Best Advice for Conducting User Interviews  Aspects of Archaeology: Archaeological Illustration 
How to Conduct Yourself While Conducting Interviews  Introduction to Dendochronology 
What is Sensitive Interviewing?  An Introduction to Carbon Dating in Archaeology 


Archaeomagnetic dating with Mark Noel and Trent & Peak Archaeology 
How to do a research interview

Biological anthropology

Research Interviewing Part 1: Interviews and the Interview Society  The Science and Art of the Facial Reconstruction Process 


Forensic Anthropology: Determination of Biological Sex 
Surveys and Sampling Part 1: Social Surveys  Forensic Anthropology: Concept of "Race" 
Surveys and Sampling part 2: Sampling  Forensic Anthropology: 3D ID Hands-On 
  Visit the National Forensic Science and Technology Center for an exhaustive collection of hundreds of forensics methodology videos.
Data Analysis Resources    

Content analysis

Mixed method analysis

Considering Content Analysis Mixed Methods Research Design
Grounded Theory: Open Coding 

Social network analysis

Coding: Alan Bryman's 4 Stages of Qualitative Analysis  An Intro to Social Network Analysis 
Coding Qualitative Data  What is Social Network Analysis?
Blog Analysis  Social Network Analysis Using Qualitative Methods

 Statistical analysis

Peer Network Presentation
Types of Data: Nominal, Ordinal, Interval/Ratio  They Rule (a fun tool for exploring network analysis)
Choosing Which Statistical Test to Use Qualitative Comparative Analysis 
Hypothesis Testing  
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System - the primary source for data on colleges, universities, and technical and vocational postsecondary institutions in the United States 
Data Analysis Tools  
MAXQDA *site is temporarily unavailable UCINET
Working with MAXQDA-1: Getting Started  UCINET Starter Demo
Working with MAXQDA-2: Importing and Organizing Text  NVivo
Working with MAXQDA-3: Attributes NVivo 9 Tutorial: Work with interviews, articles and other documents
Working with MAXQDA-4: Coding ATLAS.ti
Dedoose Video Tutorial 1: Qualitative & Mixed Methods Research using Dedoose ATLAS.ti Training Center




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