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MSU - PLS 201 - Study Guide - Midterm

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MSU - PLS 201 - Study Guide - Midterm

School: Michigan State University
Department: Political Science
Course: Intro to Methods of Political Analysis
Term: Spring 2018
Tags: Reliability, Internal Validity, measurements, and nominal
Name: PLS 201 midterm study guide
Description: This study guide covers material from the lectures, but does not include poll everywhere questions.
Uploaded: 02/24/2018
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background image PLS 201 Midterm 
Reading notes: Kida’s introduction  
Kida’s 6-pack of mistakes:  We prefer stories to stats.   We seek to confirm.   We rarely appreciate the role of chance and coincidence in life.   We can misperceive the world.  We oversimplify.  We have faulty memories that are biased.  What we believe affects what we decide.  To make better decisions, we should strive to be better thinkers.  Relying on anecdotal evidence to form our beliefs and decisions is risky 
because it means we ignore other relevant evidence like stats which often 
provides us with the most reliable info.  
Memory is constructive  current beliefs, expectations, environment can influence our memory of 
past events.  
Factors that influence our beliefs & decisions:  Gut reaction  Society and culture  Family   Scientific news or research  Confirmation bias​ : our tendency to seek out, interpret or favor info that confirms  our current beliefs and views about the world 
background image Theory​ : a well-substantiated but tentative explanation about the causes of some  phenomenon of interest  Data​ : meaningful observations that help us support or refute our theory    
Pseudoscience vs. science  
Pseudoscience​ : claims that are presented as science but lack sufficient  supporting evidence or plausibility   What makes something pseudoscience:  Preconceived notion of what to believe  Search for evidence to support it  Ignore evidence that would falsify it  Disregard alternative explanations the phenomenon   Lack of tightly controlled experiments  Employ little skepticism  We often believe in pseudoscience because we find it intriguing and 
comforting, it resembles real science, and we see it everywhere. 
Science seeks to falsify, not to verify.    
Inductive vs. deductive reasoning 
Deductive​ : thinking that starts out with a general statement or hypothesis and  examines the possibilities to reach a specific, logical conclusion.  Based on theory  Helps us to explicitly rule out what is not the cause  Ex: “All men are mortal. Harry is a man. Therefore Harry is mortal.”  Inductive​ : makes broad generalizations from specific observations 
background image Can tell us what might be the cause  Based on observations  Ex: “The coin I pulled from my bag is a penny. A third coin from the 
bag is a penny. Therefore, all coins in the bag are pennies.” 
  Philosophy of science  Hume: a major problem w science is that:  It is performed by imperfect people  Scientists are not often open to criticism of their work.  Scientists dismiss evidence that does not support their theory.  It presupposes a uniformity of nature.  Karl Popper: believed that falsifying a theory is a deductive process. That 
we need deductive standards. 
Once you falsify a theory, you should throw it out and start over. Only 
keep the ones that are not falsified by evidence. 
Feyerabend: thought Popper was wrong- that deductive rules and rigor limit 
science, and that science doesn’t always behave that way. 
Getting rid of ideas that have been falsified or those that cannot be falsified 
robs us of innovative ideas. 
Kuhn: believed we need standards but that we didn’t need to start over when 
we made a mistake, just to update and test again. 
middle ground bw Feyerabend and Popper.   Believed that science “requires a decision process which permits 
rational ppl to disagree” 
Kuhn’s 5 scientific standards: 

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School: Michigan State University
Department: Political Science
Course: Intro to Methods of Political Analysis
Term: Spring 2018
Tags: Reliability, Internal Validity, measurements, and nominal
Name: PLS 201 midterm study guide
Description: This study guide covers material from the lectures, but does not include poll everywhere questions.
Uploaded: 02/24/2018
8 Pages 38 Views 30 Unlocks
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  • 24/7 Homework help
  • Notes, Study Guides, Flashcards + More!
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