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Tulane - POLS 2010 - Exam II Study Guide - Study Guide

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Tulane - POLS 2010 - Exam II Study Guide - Study Guide

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background image  of  1 7 1. What is case study research in political science? 
- refers to evaluating a particular phenomenon in one or few instances in considerable detail 
2. How do we select cases in the most appropriate manner?  - quantitative: random selection is imperative!  - qualitative: intentional design with research objectives and strategy   3. Why do we select cases on the independent variable?  - select cases according to the values of the independent variable that they take on  - know a little bit about all of your potential cases - compare cases based on similarities/
variations of key independent variable 
- cannot act as if you know the values that the dependent variable takes on (must see what the 
outcome was…) 
4. Why do we select cases on the dependent variable?  - controversial (selection biases), allows you to look at extreme values or divergent cases  - must select without a consideration of the values of the independent variable   5. Why is the most similar cases approach the best?  - cases that take on similar values of confounding variables , but different values of a key 
independent variable 
- holds constant the confounding variables which makes it the best design for hypothesis testing  - relevance matters - choose related variables  6. When would we use the most different cases approach - cases that take on very different values for multiple independent variables  - select cases that have different independent variables, but the same dependent variable AND a 
key independent variable 
- less useful since it can only disprove a hypothesis  7. What is archival research in political science?  - archives hold collections of records (paper and electronic) that are generated by and reflect the 
efforts of an individual, organization or institution (in our case, usually with political 
- investigation of historical documents and textual materials  - most archival research uses primary data: data recorded and used by the actual researcher 
making the observation (firsthand data) 
8. When and how should we engage with archival method in our research?  - when? depends on the research design, one example would be historical comparisons  - can be used with other research methods (comparative case studies, text analysis, quantitative 
methods, etc.) 
background image  of  2 7 - how? look through archives, collections of data and online catalogues AND use resources/
knowledge to evaluate the related archives 
9. What are the advantages and disadvantages of archival research?  - Advantages: direct engagement with the data, will improve research, new research (new 
archives each year) 
- Disadvantages: availability, credibility (manipulations by political actors?), time-consuming, 
might not reflect verbal transactions, interpretation, internal/external validity  
11. What is comparative historical analysis?  - allows to understand timing and path-decedent processes  —> 2 theories: Timing and Path-
- compares cases  (comparative case studies) and uses process process tracing  - Timing: timing matters for causal outcome, sequencing of events (ex: Moore = timing of 
agriculture —> democratization) 
- Path Dependence: structures and institutions endure despite the absence of the processes or 
events that initially led to their establishment (ex: party systems) 
12. When do we use a comparative historical analysis approach?  - focuses on historical causes of big macro-outcomes (state building, democratization, social 
- there are only a small number of important cases  - extreme cases (ex: rare social revolutions)  - deviant case (case that has a surprising value according to our theory - helps probe new 
solutions (theory generation) 
13. What is “process tracing”?  - close reconstruction of causal processes within one or several cases  - causal chains = sequence of events leading to outcome, not direct causality  - good example: Gasiorowski reading (Iranian 1953 coup d’etat)  - Fettweis’s reading: yes comparison, but not perfect process tracing (need to go in closer)  14. When do you use interviews, surveys, and focus groups in qualitative research?  - explanatory research for question development  - hypothesis testing  - interval validity  15/16. When would we use interviews? What are some interview techniques? What are some 
ways that we can engage with these methods? 
- face-to-face   - phone  - online  - structure/semi-structures/free flowing 
background image  of  3 7 - question provided in advance or not  - confidential/anonymous/named  - public/private  - field notes, noted during, audio/video tape or combination of the above  17. When would we use surveys? What are some survey techniques?  - qualitative (open ended) or quantitative (not open ended, statistics)  - mail, self-administered, telephone (live or interactive voice recording), web based surveys 
(connivence survey or panel) 
18. When would we use focus groups? What are some focus group techniques?  - qualitative research technique  - group discussion or group interview, trained moderator guides discussion in order to generate 
meaning information 
- group (usually 6-8) who come from similar backgrounds, comfortable setting, real-life 
- mutual insight and elicit impressions, novel idea and solutions to issues  - full groups (6-8 people), mini groups (2-5 people) and telephone groups (rare)  19. What are the challenges of using these methods?  - sampling  - cost  - reactivity (psychology of survey response, “don’t know” response, social desirability, 
response time) 
- question wording and placement  - meaning of survey responses  - social desirability   20. What is statistical inference?  - the practice of using data from a sample and the rules of probability to make careful 
statements about the population form which the sample was drawn, and quantifying our 
uncertainty about the statements 
**21. Why do we want to describe data?  - want to know if something about the sample is also a valid assumption about the population  - probability requires that we know a lot of numerical properties about our data  22. What ways can we describe data? 
1. Frequency Distribution —> listing of intervals of possible values for a variable, together with 
a tabulation of the number of observations in each interval (should be…equal width, including 
all possible values of the variable and mutual exclusive) 
- relative frequency for an interval is the proportion of the sample observations that fall in 
that interval 

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School: Tulane University
Department: Political Science
Course: Introduction to Scope and Methods of Political Science
Professor: Holman
Term: Fall 2016
Name: Exam II Study Guide
Description: These notes cover the entire study guide for Professor Holman's Scopes and Methods Exam II. Hope it helps!
Uploaded: 11/04/2016
7 Pages 69 Views 55 Unlocks
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