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PS 235 Lecture Notes Spring 2010 Clayton Thyne Based on Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, Chapter 3.

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Presentation on theme: "PS 235 Lecture Notes Spring 2010 Clayton Thyne Based on Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, Chapter 3."— Presentation transcript:

1 PS 235 Lecture Notes Spring 2010 Clayton Thyne Based on Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, Chapter 3

2  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

3  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?

4 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.

5  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

6  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

7  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?

8  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

9  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

10  home.htm home.htm  …or ask Jason or me.


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