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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Michael Stein

POL242 Notes First Test: Password: crosstab or crosstabs September 19, 2013 Kings of research: Idiographic Nomothetic Both of these words have their origins in Greek Idio- comes from the word for secret or private Nomo- is based on the word for law. Not just a formal gov’t but everyday patterns that people follow. It is possible to take either approach to social science research, but we usually use the …. We look for concepts, which are defined terms that able us to organize, classify, and compare (which is the heart of all social science research). Gender and ideology are concepts we use that allow us to classify people into different categories. We use gender to describe the difference between men and women. We use ideology to describe the difference between such things as liberal and conservative. A gender or ideology can have more than one response (men, woman…. Liberal, conservative). Variables: Two or more numeric values, or two or more qualities. In order to be a variable it must have variation in it. It cannot be a constant singular. Unless there is variation, there is a constant. Without variables we cannot use it to make comparisons. The values that a variable has is referred to as its “value” or its “attributes”. The way in which one measures a concept is by using the variables. Ie. Variable: gender. Attributes: male or female. Age is another variable or concept. It’s indicator is how old are you? Hypothesis: is a proposed explanation, for a co-variation between two variables. They are usually in the form of “if” “then” statements. “If” __, “then”___. The word hypothesis is a technical term to describe the relationship between two variables. But it can be more than two. Researchers identify Independent Variables and Dependent Variables. Most likely something like gender is an Independent variable. What is a dependent and independent? Independent variable is seen to be responsible for the variation. Causal explanation is the dependent variable. Independent Variable: a variable whose variation does not depend on that of another. Dependent Variable: a variable whose value depends on that of another. The subject is often the independent variable, and the object is often the dependent variable. Hypothesis: “Higher income increases conservativism” Independent: income Dependent: level of conservativism While it is essential to have a dependent and independent variable, it is suggested to focus on a dependent variable. This makes your analysis become more related to comparison of those variables. It is easier to look at how x1, x2, and x3 affect Y It is more difficult to look at how x affects y, y1, y2,etc… this will cause you to have to look at too many different factors of analysis. Looking at the dependent variables simplifies things. By framing a hypothesis the researcher chooses a dependent variable that affects Summary: Steps in the Scientific Method: 1. Identify the problem (identify an interesting indicator in which there is variation) 2. Hypothesize the cause of the problem 3. Provide clear definitions of the concept 4. Operationalize the concepts 5. Gather empirical data 6. Test the hypothesis or hypotheses 7. Reflect back on the theory 8. Publicize the results. 9. S Traditional Image of Science: Theoretical Understanding--- X causes Y Hypothesis--- Y=f(X) Observation (hypothesis testing)---Y ?=? f(X) Wheel of Science: Theory-> Hypothesis-> Observation-> Generalizations-> (back to) Theory-> Hypothesis-> etc. You can start at any point and work your way around the circle any way you wish, but you will always come full circle. Deduction is when you are deducing you way to conclusion. Inductive is when you are using the outside sources to reach conclusion. Inductive theorizing is about making generalizations about observations. ….both metho
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