Controlled comparison, as when domains of contrast are shown to exist between societies that otherwise are culturally and historically similar, is one of the more effective means available for isolating cause and effect relationships from anthropological data. Thus, if it were regularly found that societies which are closer to the scarcity pole of the resource continuum exhibit more population-limiting behavior than comparable societies that enjoy greater abundance, this would be a persuasive demonstration that there is a functional relationship between perceived scarcity and behavior that relieves population pressure against resources.