Collecting evidence/facts- assumes empirical approach vs normative, nothing is self evident, knowledge acquired through experience. This process of knowledge building is based on faith that it is the best approach. No means to prove it is correct or the absolute best. Churchill: it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. Confirming, challenging exercise: not about proving but failing to disconfirm, thus assumes rational interference- no claims about universal truths. Explain and predict: nature is orderly, events have causes (determinism) Paradigm shifts advance theories: example- voting behavior, partisanship big idea on how you vote. Short and long term approach of understanding voting. They also recongnised that campaings and issues that matter. The short term factors can explain shifts in election outcomes. Important aspect is that values change over time, eg partisanship is now dead as now one participates in traditional politics.