The Fundamentals of Political Science Research

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The Fundamentals of Political Science Research




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Presentations text content in The Fundamentals of Political Science Research

Slide1

The Fundamentals of Political Science Research, 2nd Edition

Chapter

1: The

Scientific Study

of

Politics

Slide2

Chapter 1 Outline

Political

Science

?

Approaching

Politics Scientifically: The Search for

Causal Explanations

Thinking

about the World in Terms of Variables and

Causal Explanations

Models

of

Politics

Rules

of the Road to Scientific Knowledge about Politics

Slide3

Political Science?

Political

science is about the scientific study of political phenomena

The

Fundamentals of Political Science Research was written with three goals in mind:

To

help you consume academic political science research in your other courses.

To

help you become a better consumer of information.

To

start you on the road to becoming a producer of scientific research on politics

.

Slide4

Approaching Politics Scientifically: The Search

for

Causal Explanations

Causal Theory



Hypotheses

Paradigm

Paradigm Shift

Slide5

The road to scientific knowledge

Slide6

Thinking about the World in Terms of Variables and Causal Explanations

From

concepts to variables

variable

label and variable

values

independent

variable

dependent variable

Try

to come up with your

own causal

statement in terms of an independent and dependent

variable; try

filling in the following blanks with some political variables

:

____________

causes

____________

Slide7

Thinking about the World in Terms of Variables and Causal Explanations

Sometimes

it's easier to phrase causal propositions

more specifically

in terms of the values of the variables that you

have in mind.

For

instance

,

higher _________ causes lower ______

or

higher _______

causes

higher ________

Slide8

From theory to hypothesis

Slide9

What would you expect to see based on

the theory of economic voting?

Slide10

What would you expect to see based on the theory of economic

voting? Two hypothetical cases

Slide11

What would you expect to see based on the theory of economic voting?

Slide12

What would you expect to see based on the theory of economic

voting? Two hypothetical cases

Slide13

Models of Politics

When

we think about the phenomena that we want to better

understand as

dependent variables and develop theories about the

independent variables

that causally influence them, we are

constructing theoretical

models.

How

do we know whether a model is useful?

The

answer depends on what we are trying to do with the model.

Maps

analogy

Slide14

Rules of the Road to Scientific Knowledge about Politics

Make

Your Theories

Causal

Don't

Let Data Alone Drive Your

Theories

Consider

Only Empirical

Evidence

Avoid

Normative Statements

Pursue

Both Generality and

Parsimony


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