Results from over
100 years of Cross-Cultural Research

A Database produced by the Human Relations Area Files

The vast anthropological record of human societies and cultures allows us to ask cross-cultural questions about human universals and differences. What cultural and societal features are universal? What features vary? And how can we explain these patterns? These are the fundamental questions asked by cross-cultural researchers. In this database, Explaining Human Culture, we provide a way for researchers to uncover the tentative answers from over 1200 cross-cultural studies by searching for topics of interest. We also include topical summaries of what we have learned from cross-cultural research, or more precisely, what we think we know, and to point out some of the things we do not yet know. These summaries are only a starting point, and we will be adding new ones in the future.

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We have compiled reports on the results of over 850 cross-cultural studies. Document search finds reports by keywords across many different indexed fields.


Theories are tested with derived expectations (hypotheses). Search thousands of hypotheses across various indexed fields to see what hypotheses have been tested and supported.


Most hypotheses contain multiple variables. Search thousands of variables to discover hypotheses and documents with those variables.