Presentation on theme: "PS 235 Lecture Notes Spring 2010 Clayton Thyne Based on Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, Chapter 3."— Presentation transcript:
PS 235 Lecture Notes Spring 2010 Clayton Thyne Based on Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, Chapter 3
We recall from Ch.1 that social science is validated by (1) reason and (2) experience…or (1) the conceptual/theoretical and (2) the observational/empirical Chapter 2 focused on #1: reason/theory This chapter focuses on how you can go about testing your theory
We recall that scientific research must be empirically verifiable This requires that we are specific about our hypothesized relationships Scientific? How can we best promote democracy? How does state wealth impact the likelihood of coups? Would McCain have reduced troops in Iraq? Should I support the health care bill?
Group AGroup B Mean = 51Mean = % got 9580% got 4051% got 4549% got 55 Mode = 51 Mode = 40 Def – the most elementary part of what is to be studied 1 st step in testing your theory Helps avoid.. Ecological fallacy – generalizing from groups to individuals Individualist fallacy –generalizing from individuals to groups We love democracy! Nope.
Your theory should culminate in a hypothesis, which is a tentative answer to your research question. A hypothesis should… Be clear Be specific Be testable Be value-free
How we operationalize concepts Can be clearly identified and measured Concepts State wealth Democracy Education Regime stability Variables GDP/capita Polity scores % literate Years since coup
Dependent (DV) = the concept to be explained Independent/explanatory (IV) = induces/explains DV Y = f(X) Plant growth = water + sun + soil Civil war onset = Education + GDP/capita + pop Control variables (‘other’ IVs) Avoid omitted variable bias Endogeneity issues …or does…education = civil war + GDP/capita + pop?
Continuous = no minimum-sized unit (e.g., GDP/capita) Discrete = have a minimum size unit (e.g., rich/poor) H: Higher levels of democracy will lead to more state wealth. Wealth (DV) = democracy (IV) Continuous = income/capita Discrete = Richer/poorer than median GDP/capita Continuous = polity score Discrete = democracy/non- democracy
H: Higher levels of democracy will lead to more state wealth. Wealth (DV) = democracy (IV) Continuous = income/capita Discrete = Richer/poorer than median GDP/capita Continuous = polity score Discrete = democracy/non-democracy | dem rich | 0 1 | Total | 3,775 1,201 | 4,976 1 | | 1, Total | 4,218 2,163 | 6,381