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RESEARCH METHODS FINAL EXAM REVIEW .docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLS 3180
Professor
Edward Koning
Semester
Fall

Description
1. 2 sets of questions, one in each set – 5 questions 2. Do you think the values of researchers affect the goals of their research studies ontologically and epistemologically a. Ontology – what is there? Is there a truth independent of us? What exists in the world? b. Epistemology – what can we know about the world? Is it possible to acquire knowledge about the world? Can we know it entirely or partly? c. Methodology – how do we obtain knowledge? d. Researchers values influence their research – most basic level: choice of research e. Influences the WAY we study a subject i. i.e. measuring the economy of a country: 1. Liberal question – “what is the inequality?” 2. Conservative – “what is the economic growth over a certain span?” f. Values colour our interpretation of evidence – we accept something that favours our normative beliefs instead of challenges it 3. Explain how a positivist and interpretivist values would affect experimental, explorative, and descriptive goals of a. Logical Positivism – science can study social reality relatively unproblematically and arrive at objective conclusions b. Classical positivism – there is a world independent of our interaction with it i. Naturalism – the social world is like the natural world. It is governed by patterns or “laws” that reflect causal relationships ii. There is a fundamental distinction between facts and values iii. Empiricism – observation (sight, taste, hearing, smell, touch) is the source of all knowledge iv. Induction – individual observations  general rule – if we consistently see that B followsA, we can conclude there is a causal relationship between Aand
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