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SOCB05H3 (99)

Research Design and the Logic of Causation

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Katie Stuart- Lahman

SOCB05Lecture 2May 16 2013 Research Design and the Logic of CausationThe Logic of CausationCorrelation does not equal causationNot really interested in finding out if a specific thing will happen but the factors that will make it more likely for it to happenCausationScientific explanations rest on the idea that events and conditions have causes Leaves room for outliers or things that go against the general patternProbabilistic in natureo X is not always followed by Y but the presence of X makes Y more likelyo A change in the independent variable will lead to a change in the dependent variableVariablesIndependent o The cause o Impacts other variables o The variable that is depended ono XvalueDependent o The effect explained variable o Being impacted upon o Depends on another variable o Yvalue Variables vs AttributesAttributes Describe the intensity magnitude and nature of the variable o The values that a variable takes o How it is measuresA variable must have at least two attributesIf attributes do not vary we cannot talk about a variable but a constantExamples o People with lower levels of education are more likely to be more prejudicedWarning Do not confuse attributes with variablesLow level of education is not a variable More prejudice is not a variableo In the US Republicans are more likely to be in favour of the death penalty than DemocratsIVPolitical AffiliationDVOpinion towards death penaltyNOTE Variables are not inherently dependent or independent Conditions for CausationIdiographic Complete indepth understanding of a single case
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