HRAF announces new tutorial videos on Explaining Human Culture

HRAF is pleased to announce that our new tutorial videos on Explaining Human Culture (EHC) are making their debut on YouTube this month. The videos are ideal for scholars interested in using EHC for cross-cultural research. For classroom instructors, the topical summaries in EHC also include links to teaching exercises in Teaching eHRAF which use the eHRAF World Cultures database. Ten topical summaries have been produced thus far, with new summaries added every year.

This is a two-part series of tutorial videos on EHC, our open access database featuring results from over 100 years of cross-cultural research. In this database, we provide a way for researchers to explore the results from over 1,000 cross-cultural studies by searching for topics of interest.

The first video covers the following topics:

  • What is cross-cultural research?
  • What is Explaining Human Culture?
  • Browsing Documents in EHC
  • Filtering and Sorting Documents in EHC
  • Topical Summaries in EHC

 The second video covers advanced searches in EHC using Search Syntax:

For instructors, showing these videos in class is a great way to introduce your students to EHC.

What is Explaining Human Culture?

Each summary in EHC includes a brief abstract of the study, as well as information about the hypotheses tested, the variables examined, the samples used, the tests conducted, and the results of these tests. This makes EHC a great resource for conducting literature reviews and developing original research studies that refine, revise, contest, or otherwise build upon this literature. New studies are added regularly. We have limited ourselves to cross-cultural research involving 10 or more societies, cultures, or traditions.

The database is organized into four main sections:

  • Documents – contains a collection of reports on the results of over 1,000 individual cross-cultural studies
  • Hypotheses – contains a list of the hypotheses that were investigated in these studies
  • Variables – contains a list of the variables that these studies used to investigate the hypotheses
  • Topical summaries – broadly reviews cross-cultural findings on specific topics, such as hunter-gatherers, sexuality, gender, childhood, and religion

HRAF on YouTube

Be sure to subscribe to the HRAF YouTube channel so that you be notified when additional videos are added. Also, please let us know if there is a specific topic for a video you would like to see us produce next.

Teaching eHRAF

Teaching eHRAF  is our open access collection of ready-to-use teaching exercises which have been produced at HRAF or submitted by instructors. We offer syllabi and classroom activities that can be adapted and customized to suit your needs.  If you are an instructor using eHRAF in the classroom who would like to share your resources, we would like to hear from you. Please contact Matthew Longcore at

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