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Lec 4 jan 30th.docx

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Political Science
Renan Levine

th Lec 4 jan 30 Inference and causal relationship 2 types of inference: • Descriptive inference-eg indepth studies looking at neighbourhood change and how some ethnic goups disapperared as neighbor hoods changed • Collect information abt just boston but really talking abt everywhere else; so its abt filling in gaps; looking at few things and appling it wholly • Causally inference-mechanism as to why things are happening • Key problem:Shively reading-storks and babies-storks-universal symbol of fertility-storks are enormous birds and are not in cities but rural areas; rural areas have higher birth rates; storks in Poland and not Canada ; catholics in maj in Poland; so does storks cause higher birth rate? NO. but we have have phenomenas coinciding • 3 reasons when phenomena coincide • 1) causal relationship • 2)logical necessity or tautoligcal determination- one comes after the other- winter comes after summer • 3) spurious cause- when it appears that 2 variables/ phenomensas are correlated but in rd reality there is 3 phenomena/variables that actually cause both of them so there isn’t actually a causal relationships; eg blonds are more likely to be republicans in US. • Is there a causal relationship b/w hair color and poltical preference? No • Blonde test • How can we eliminate alt causal interpretations? Two ideas that coincide that blondes are more likely to vote for republicans • Relation b/w hair color and partisanship is spurious • To test for supriousness; we need to identify another variable and test it against the 2 ; eg maybe is it someones background-control variable; so take 2 ppl frm same background, one blonde and one not then see wht their preference is;so if they have same partisanship, we can say that hair color doesn’t matter; introduce a variable and hold it constant-holding it at same level • Controlling blondes • Frm reading-Another possible variable- WASPs • if there was a causal relationship, why would it be diff for WASPs?- • DOES INCOME INFLUENCE THE US VOTE? • Race is antecedent to both income and vote • Not strongly income doesn’t influence us vote; what if we control with race • Spuriousness and Causality • Ability to rule out alt cause may not always be possible • Categorizing Phenomena • We can never be 100% sure abt relationshops • Indeterminate • Some relationships may prove to be indeterminate. • WHY? • Data or measurement issues- sampling didn’t work; asked a question in a poorly worded manner • Variation in multiple ind variables renders them too similar to separate- we have diff ind variables and using to test them and we cant tell which one it is • Causal order is unclear or unstable- dnt knw what comes first changes over time • Too many explanations, not enuff observations • Causal order is uncler or unstable • Due to reciprocal causation • Error term-part of an analysis that we cant explain eg random noise, person didn’t understand the question • Policy preference- eg civil war fought over natural resources or are natural resources presence driving the civil war • Overdetermination=more e
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