POL242Y5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Dependent And Independent Variables, Falsifiability
We try to analyze evidence that answers three questions: What is the theory that drives us to look at the evidence? . Is there a relationship between two factors/variables? . Alternatively, what is the hypothesis? : for example, if you say gdp is associated with voter turnout, you are not talking about a direction. Instead, you should state a relationship like: increased gdp increases voter turnout. Your theory is designed as a set of measurable/testable propositions intending to explain an outcome of interest. It explains the relationships between concepts and how such distinct concepts are related. If your propositions are not testable, then they are instead, merely assumptions. When we want to formulate our hypothesis, we use variables. A variable is something that has empirical and measurable properties within it. We are very much interested in understanding two types of variables: Dependent variables (y): what you are trying to understand and explain.