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  1. Resource stress and subsistence diversification across societiesEmber, Carol R. - Nature Sustainability, 2020 - 4 Hypotheses

    Using a cross-cultural sample of 91 societies, this paper draws on ecological theory to test if unpredictable environments will favor subsistence diversification. The general hypothesis is that societies with high climate unpredictability and resource stress would exhibit more subsistence diversity than societies in more stable climates. The authors examined four environmental and resource stress variables while controlling for temperature variance, subsistence activity, and phylogeny. Support was found for 2 of the 4 variables--chronic scarcity and environmental instability. In the discussion they suggest that more commonly observed events (e.g. annual hunger and climate unpredictability) may give people more motivation to change subsistence than rarer events (e.g. natural hazards and famine).

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  2. Reducing post-disaster conflict: a cross cultural test of four hypotheses using archaeological dataPeregrine, Peter N. - Environmental Hazards, 2018 - 4 Hypotheses

    This article uses pre-defined criteria to sample 22 archaeological climate-related disasters from 9 distinct regions from eHRAF Archaeology. It quantitatively tests four hypotheses regarding change in conflict following climate-related disasters using multiple regression analyses and backwards stepwise regression. Findings demonstrate association between political strategy/authority decision making and degree of post climate disaster conflict.

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  3. Political Participation and Long-Term Resilience in Pre-Colombian SocietiesPeregrine, Peter N. - Disaster Prevention and Management, 2017 - 7 Hypotheses

    The present study investigates whether there is resilience variability following climate-related disasters in societies that are corporate-oriented, which promote participatory and inclusive structures, and exclusionary-oriented, which limit political authority and power. The findings offer modest support for social resilience theory that more flexible (i.e. more participatory) societies would be more resilient after a disaster than less flexible societies. Although only 5 of 14 correlations are significant, the direction is significant by a binomial sign test.

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  4. Social resilience to climate-related disasters in ancient societies: a test of two hypothesesPeregrine, Peter N. - , 2017 - 2 Hypotheses

    In the present study, Peregrine tests two perspectives regarding social resilience to climate-related disasters: 1) that societies with more inclusive and participatory political structures (corporate political strategies) are more resilient to climate-related disasters, and 2) that societies with tighter adherence to social norms are more resilient to climate-related disasters. Results support the notion that societies with greater political participation are more socially resilient to catastrophic climate-related disasters. Because these results are justifiably generalizable across multiple historical and cultural contexts, Peregrine's findings are a useful contribution to aid in disaster response policy decision making.

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  5. Universal and variable leadership dimensions across human societiesGarfield, Zachary H. - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2020 - 6 Hypotheses

    This study seeks to better understand different forms of leadership across non-WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) societies, and tests evolutionary theories regarding the qualities of leaders, their functions, and the costs and benefits they incur and provide as a part of their leadership. The authors assess the various aspects of leaders and leadership by coding 109 dimensions of leadership as represented in eHRAF World Cultures, using the Probability Sample Files, comprised on 60 cultures. By assessing the prevalence of each of these dimensions in the various cultures under consideration, the authors were able to ascertain some largely universal characteristics of leaders: that they 1) were judged intelligent and knowledgeable; 2) resolved conflicts; and 3) received material and social benefits. They also found that other dimensions varied by considerably group context (e.g., kin group leaders tended to be older), subsistence strategy (e.g., hunter-gatherer leaders tend to lack coercive authority), and gender (e.g., female leaders are more associated with family contexts). Further analyses showed that followers and leaders both benefited from leadership, and that shamans constitute a new brand of leader that both utilizes prestige and dominance in order to effectively rule.

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  6. Local knowledge and practice in disaster relief: A worldwide cross-cultural comparison of coping mechanismsPierro, Rachele - International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 2022 - 13 Hypotheses

    The article discusses the importance of incorporating local knowledge and strategies into sustainable climate change adaptation. The authors examined 90 societies from the ethnographic record to document the coping mechanisms and contingency plans used by societies around the world in response to natural hazards. They classified coping mechanisms into four types: technological, subsistence, economic, and religious. The study finds that most societies employ multiple types of coping mechanisms and that technological coping mechanisms are most common in response to fast-onset hazards, while religious coping mechanisms are most common in response to slow-onset hazards. The study also finds that religious and nonreligious coping strategies are not mutually exclusive and are often used in conjunction with each other.

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  7. Does land quality increase the power of traditional leaders in contemporary Africa?Baldwin, Kate - The Journal of Politics, 2022 - 4 Hypotheses

    This paper examines the influence of traditional leaders, or "chiefs," in sub-Saharan Africa, and how their power varies within and among 19 African countries. The authors argue that the power of traditional chiefs is influenced not only by state policies of indirect rule, as previous research has suggested, but also by local factors such as land quality. They find that traditional chiefs have more power in areas with higher agricultural potential and land quality, likely because citizens in these areas rely on traditional chiefs to define and defend their land rights beyond the protections provided by state institutions. The authors suggest that while land quality may not have been an important factor in state formation in the pre-colonial period, it has become increasingly important in the past half century as population densities have increased and agriculture has become more intensive. Controls are also introduced.

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  8. Uniformity in Dress: A Worldwide Cross-Cultural ComparisonEmber, Carol R. - Human Nature, 2023 - 3 Hypotheses

    This study follows the theoretical construct of general cultural tightness and looseness (TL). Tightness is thought to be adaptive when facing socioecological threat, such as resource stress, since it involves a greater amount of cooperation. The study asks: "Why do some societies have relatively standardized or uniform clothing and adornment, whereas others have considerable variability across individuals?", which is connected to the broader question of why some societies show more within-group variation. The authors use a sample of 80 non-industrial societies from SCSS, to explore the relationship between general cultural tightness and standardization or synchrony in dress. The results support that tighter societies have more uniformity in dress and that resource stress is a predictor of synchrony. However, it is not supported that egalitarian societies have more synchrony, and that tightness is positively predicted by resource stress.

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  9. Pathogens and politics: further evidence that parasite prevalence predicts authoritarianismMurray, Damian R. - PLoS ONE, 2013 - 3 Hypotheses

    This article employs cross-national and cross-cultural methods to investigate whether pathogen stress is a direct determinant of authoritarianism. The study controls on other factors such as famine, warfare, and malnutrition and evaluates alternative causal models.

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  10. A global analysis of cultural tightness in non-industrial societiesJackson, Joshua Conrad - Proceedings of the Royal Society, 2020 - 12 Hypotheses

    This article builds on previous cross-country and cross-state research into Tightness-Looseness (TL) theory, which proposes relationships between the incidence of ecological threat and cultural tightness, as well as tightness’ downstream effects on belief in a moralizing high god, inter-group contact and authoritarian leadership. To evaluate the generalizability of TL theory beyond complex cultures, the authors test these relationships among 86 nonindustrial societies from the ethnographic record. A structural equation model is presented of the results for nonindustrial societies; it is generally in accord with previous findings from more complex societies. Because the nonindustrial sample is more variable, they also look at relationships between societal complexity and kinship heterogeneity, aspects that vary in nonindustrial societies.

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