Lecture Notes on Variables and Hypotheses
Lecture Notes on Variables and Hypotheses PSC 2101
Popular in Scope and Methods of Political Science
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Estefania Notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 2101 at George Washington University taught by Steven Balla in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see Scope and Methods of Political Science in Political Science at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 02/06/15
Scopes and Methods in Political Science Lecture Notes on Variables and Hypotheses Opening question How would you describe your political ideology 0 Where do we begin Identi cation of puzzle questions With an observation with a questions with a puzzle about something in the world of politics and public policy 0 Then we seek explanation Start with the speci cation of variables and then hypotheses regarding how variables are related to one another Ex Student Political Ideology Describe what is the breakdown of the political ideology 0 Not satis ed with description also want to think about explanation Explanation Speci c variables 0 Family Income 0 Geographic Location UrbanRural CoastalMidcountry o Socialization Friendships and family politics 0 Religion The religion and dedication to it 0 Faculty Ideology Research questions are limited by our own imagination 0 Variables Observabe characteristics of phenomena that takes on more than one value 0 Explain variation Why this instead of that 0 Creating constructs that have different observable characteristics 0 Types of Variables Dependent variables are observable characteristics of phenomena we would like to describe and explain 0 Only one to be examined at a time Independent variables are observable characteristics hypothesized to explain in uence or cause changes in dependent variables 0 More than one used to explain the dependent variable 0 Some complications Chains of causalitv o Acknowledge that those exist chains of causality but for our purposes assume that each independent variable will have is own causality Spurious associations 0 Casual agents that explain dependent and independent variables 0 State Governor Marijuana Laws 0 Spurious association because other factor say quotpopulations ideologyquot will have causation for both Population ideology lState Governor Population ideology lMarijuana laws 0 Hypotheses Af rmative statements that an independent variable and a dependent variable are associated with one another Null hypothesis statement that there is m relationship an independent variable and a dependent variable 0 We will be accepting or rejecting null hypotheses 0 You can disapprove but not prove a Learning a set of concepts and tools to test n ulhypoth eses 0 Units of analysis Any attribute attitude behavior or event that varies in the empirical world to a particular unit of analysis 0 Ex Marijuana Laws the unit of analysis is State 50 of them Units of analysis are individuals or aggregations of individuals states countries and universities to whom our variables and hypotheses apply 0 Ecological fallacy Apply ndings about an aggregation of individuals to speci c individuals within that aggregation 0 Why is important to know the unit of analysis To not make the ecological fallacy mistake 0 Example literacy and place of birth 0 Literacy rates of immigration UOA Region Found a positive correlation Because immigration go to places like cities where people are literate It is not the case that immigrants are more literate 0 Maintain consistency in units of analvsis All variables should apply to the same unit of analysis All hypotheses should be states for the same units of analysis All result should be interpreted in the same units of analysis 0 Example Country Music and Suicide Why association 0 Country Music Suicide 0 Sad themes 0 Listeners already at risk White southerners Unit of Analysis UOA Metro Areas 0 Study metropolitan areas Need to measure Suicide rates and country music Account for poverty region marital dif culty gun ownership There is association 0 Problem How to tell correlation from causality
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