Cultural consensus theory: Applications and frequently asked questions

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287 Scopus citations


In the ethnographic context, where answers to questions are unknown, consensus theory estimates the culturally appropriate or correct answers to the questions and individual differences in cultural knowledge. The cultural consensus model is a formal model of the process for asking and answering questions and is limited to categorical response data. An informal version of the model is available as a set of analytic procedures and obtains similar information with fewer assumptions. This article describes the assumptions, appropriate interview materials, and analytic procedures for carrying out a consensus analysis. Finally, issues that sometimes arise during the application of a consensus analysis are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-368
Number of pages30
JournalField Methods
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Analytical methods
  • Cultural consensus model
  • Measurement of beliefs
  • Q analysis
  • Reliability of informants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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