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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Causal Models

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Political Science
Stephanie Mullen

Sept. 25, 2013 CAUSAL MODELS Quantitative Objectives  Know how to model simple and complex cause & effect relationships Step in the Scientific Method 1. Identify the problem. (Literature Review & Causal Models) 2. Hypothesize the cause of the problem 3. Provide clear definitions of the concepts 4. Operationalize the concepts 5. Gather empirical data 6. Test the hypothesis or hypotheses 7. Reflect back on theory 8. Publicize the results 9. Replicate the results Theories in Causal Models  Underlying the hypothesized causal connection between attitudes toward party leaders and voting is a theory about the causes of voting.  A theory can be defined as “a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles or causes of something known or observed.  Theories are statements about the relationships between concepts  Statistical techniques largely are able to assess the strength of association, not the direction of causation.  The direction of causation is determined by research design, in which the researcher hypothesizes a direction of causality and underpins this hypothesis with a more general theory of the causal relationship. Causality  Relationships between… Causal Models  Basic Causal Models  Simple Extended Causal Models  Complex Extended Causal Models Basic Causal Model  X  Y  Age  Income  IV  DV  There is one hypothesized causal factor (IV) and one outcome (DV)  Ex: Attitudes toward party leaders (IV) cause Canadians to vote (DV) for one party over
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