The problem of informant accuracy: the validity of retrospective data.

Harvey Bernard, P. Killworth, D. Kronenfeld, L. Sailer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

578 Scopus citations


The evidence of informant inaccuracy ought not to lead to complaints or despair among researchers. It ought instead to lead to a rich, relatively unexplored arena of inquiry. Informants are not to blame for being wrong. People everywhere get along quite well without being able to dredge up accurately the sort of information that social scientists ask of them. If the latter have a great deal of inaccurate data, then they have only themselves to blame. The instruments of their craft have been used too uncritically. - J.Sheail

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual review of anthropology. Vol. 13
EditorsB.J. Siegel
PublisherAnnual Reviews Inc. , Palo Alto
Number of pages23
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'The problem of informant accuracy: the validity of retrospective data.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this