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SOC200H1 (51)
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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC200H1
Professor
Alexandra Marin
Semester
Fall

Description
Lec 4 1 Detailed causal models  How does X cause Y?  How does X affect Y, under different conditions?  Under what conditions does X affect Y? How does X cause Y? What is the mechanism?  People with more education are seen as more skilled by potential employers and get high status jobs that pay more money.  People with more education have more and better employment options and are able to negotiate better salaries. Causal relationship  Working fewer hours for pay causes better grades  Living in a city cause better health  Having kids causes getting less sleep Aproposed mechanism is a theory of how X leads to Y. Credentialism: people with more education have more credentials than people with less education. Credentials signal competence, or other desirable characteristics to employers, people who have credentials are able to get jobs that pay more money than people who don’t have credentials. 1. Education causes income 2. Education causes credentials 3. Credentials causes income 4. Where education doesn’t lead to credentials, it doesn’t lead to higher income. Testing a hypothesis about a mechanism 1. Education is correlated with credentials(people with more education have more credentials) How does X affect Y, under different conditions?  Not only are variables affect by things, but the relationships between variables can affected by things.  When the answer to “what is the effect of X on Y?” is “it depends” This is an interaction effect.  Testing for interaction: control for the variable you think might affect the relationship.  Mechanisms can sometimes suggest interaction effects Lec 4 2 Under what conditions does X affect Y?  No theory or hypothesis holds, even probabilistically, everywhere, at all times, for everyone.  The conditions under which we expect a theory or hypothesis to be true are called scope conditions.  Some scope conditions are implicit  Many theories are implicitly intended to apply to contemporary, western, mixed free- market economies in the developed world. Find scope conditions Method 1: look at mechanisms  Think of conditions under which  The independent variable doesn’t cause the intervening variable  The intervening variable doesn’t cause the dependent variable  People with more education have more credentials than people with less education. Credentials signal competence, or other desirable characteristics to employers. People who have credentials are able to get jobs that pay more money than people who don’t have credentials.  When people are self employed, they don’t need to send signals of competence to employers. Therefore, the theory should hold only for people who are employed by others.  Often interaction effects suggests scope conditions for a theory.  Other interaction effects can be framed as scope conditions, too:  Hypothesis: Unemployment has severe negative effects on health.  Scope condition: When health insurance is tied to employment.  Hypothesis: Unemployment has only moderate negative effects on health.  Scope condition: When health insurance is not tied to employment. Measurement  What concepts are we measuring  What units are we measuring  At what level are we measuring What concepts are we measuring  Concepts: abstract elements representing classes of phenomena  Building blocks of theories  Love, gender, health obedience, conflict, education, income. Lec 4 3  Conceptualization: the process of coming to an agreement about what concepts mean and represent  What do you mean when you say concept  What does it include  What does it exclude  Love, gender, health, obedience, conflict, education, income  Result is the nominal definition  Operationalization: deciding how we will measure concepts within a study.  Usually use indicators – signs of the presence or absence of a concept.  Variables are the result of applying measures.  Examples of operationalization  Measuring ethnic background based on mother tongue  Measuring sex based on genitalia  Measuring academic success based on GPA  These are operational definitions of our concept. What units are we measuring  Each row corresponds to a unit in the study.  The first column identifies which unit.  The remaining columns represent variables.  Each variable describes a property of the units.  So what’s the unit here? The rows!  In this case the unit is “individuals.” Each row corresponds to one individual.  If we measured the data at this level, this is the unit of measurement.  If we analyze the data at this level, this is the unit of analysis.  Unit of measurement used will depend on the unit of analysis you need, what you can get, and the costs/benefits of different units.  Unit of analysis will depend on your hypothesis:  H1: Cars driven by women will have more passengers th
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