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Lecture 3

POLS 110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Thomas Kuhn, Space Race, American Indian Movement

Political Studies
Course Code
POLS 110
Eleanor Mac Donald

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POLS 110 Lecture #3 Notes
** THE CLASSES NEXT WEEK** No Tuesday classes this week**
For Writing Assignment
- Make sure you have read and understand everything well
- Argument – essay style of writing for response
- You can continue to modify the assignment until the due date
- BEFORE Friday at 5pm
- MAX 300 words
- Normative = how should we live together, should we have a federal state
oWe argue with each other
- Empirical = questions about facts, what’s factual and what we can know
- Semantic = what do we mean when we use words
oMix between Normative and Empirical
- Positivism = related specifically to empirical approaches
oThe belief that you should study the social sciences like politics just
like you do the hard sciences
oHypothesis, variables, controlling for different factors  all things you
should be able to use
- Different types of empirical theory – deductive
-Deductive Vs. Inductive Reasoning
oIn deductive reasoning the theory precedes the observation
oPeople will use rational thinking to make their decisions and primarily
self interested
oTheory can be limited because people can make very irrational decisions
based on many factors.
oIt can be hard to observe complex human theory at work because there
are so many other factors to decisions being made that aren’t reasonable.
oIn inductive reasoning the theory follows the empirical observation
oThe data can be overwhelming and hard to draw conclusions from it.
oYou wont be able to find all of the different patterns from the data
because there will be so much data
o“Correlation is not causations”  juts because two things happen does not
mean that they are actually related.
oIce cream and drowning  they both happen mostly in the summer so
there is a correlation but ice-cream sales don’t cause drowning and
drowning’s don’t cause ice-cream sales to go up.
Rational choice theory
- We are all rational self maximizers
Examples of Deductive (rational choice)
- Most frequently used in economics – that individuals will make the best
choices as consumers – they will buy the best good at the lowest price
find more resources at
find more resources at
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