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by: Jefferey Miller


Jefferey Miller
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This 79 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jefferey Miller on Saturday September 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POS 6736 at University of Florida taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see /class/207058/pos-6736-university-of-florida in Political Science at University of Florida.

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Date Created: 09/19/15
Measurement Recall the four basic stages of research Problem formulation Developing research design and measuring instrument Data collection Analysis and interpretation of data Step one Identify important concepts abstractions eXisting only in the mind and develop hypotheses about the relationships that you eXpect to nd among them Step two Determine What realworld phenomena you re going to observe that correspond to those abstractions an operational de nition for each concept in your study Operationalization Specifying the actual tasks or operations that will be performed in order to measure the relevant concepts MRW ch 4 going from the abstract to the concrete and doing so With suf cient precision that your research can be replicated So the operational definition of pecan pie would be Political Efficacy Conceptual de nition the feeling that individual political action does have or can have an impact on the political process in other words that it is worthwhile to perform one s civic duties Operational de nition survey questions measuring Whether respondents are or are not internally ef cacious Operational De nitions Intelligence as an attribute of individuals Democracy as an attribute of countriesquotlt Social disintegration countries Party identi cation individuals Level of partisanship countries Liberalismconservatism individuals Liberalismconservatism legislators Ideology state electorates Quanti cation Setting up a standard amount of a thing and putting a label on it HD ch 2 HotCold temperature F or C Social Class income or wealth in dollars Party identi cation 7point scale Gender discrete quanti cation However Empirical analysis can be either Quantitative based on statistical comparisons of the characteristics of the various objects or cases being studied or Qualitative based on the researcher s informed understanding of those same objects or cases MRW p 2 eg depth interviews focus groups historical analysis Back to measurement The goal to ensure that as much as possible your measures are good enough representations of the underlying concepts that any observed relationship between measures will mirror the actual relationship between concepts the latter something that can seldom be observed directly The two main considerations here are Validity the extent to which the indicator you re using actually measures the concept it is intended to measure Example Driver s test better suited as a measure of 1 how well someone can drive an automobile or 2 a person s potential for doing well in college Less obvious example The concept social class measured with an index that included such indicators as 1 region of birth 2 gender 3 marital status and 4 race All of these may be related to social class with southemers women single parents and blacks tending to have lower incomes than other groups but that doesn t make them valid measures of the main concept Policy example using of cial crime statistics compared for example to citizen reports based on victimization surveys to measure the volume of crime in a city The problem is that there are sometimes political reasons for these gures being either higher to attract more funding or lower to show What a good job the police are doing than they should be Also many crimes are never reported Tests of Validity Face validity does the measureindicator make sense does it look right is it valid on its face Construct validity is it related to other previously validated measures of the same concept Discriminant validity is it unrelated to indicators concepts that are theoretically distinct from the concept being measured Convergent validity are different indicators of the same concept related in a similar way to measures of other concepts See MRW pp 6973 Reliability the extent to which an indicator produces the same result again and again on repeated trials even if those observations are made by different people Example Measuring the length of a given object using 1 a wooden yardstick vs 2 an instrument made of elastic material or material that eXpands and contracts with changes in the temperature Note Different results are not necessarily due to reliability problems they also can occur When there are actual changes in Whatever is being measured eg length of objects that expand or contract when the temperature changes blood pressure public opinion polls The trick of course is in being able to tell one from the other Tests of Reliability Testretest repeat the measurement a second time allowing for a suitable interval of time between the two readings Splithalf divide a set of multiple indicators into two groups and see if they produce similar results in terms of classifying cases relationships with other variables etc Low reliability is a function of random chance error eg l a scale that sometimes overweighs and other times underweighs objects placed on it 2 a well anchored ri e that scatters shots Widely around the target Low validity is a function of nonrandom systematic error eg l a scale that consistently overweighs objects by ve pounds 2 a wellanchored ri e that concentrates its shots three inches above the bulls eye MRW p 74 A measure can be reliable Without being valid IQ test as indicator of intelligence GRE as indicator of ability to do well in graduate school but cannot be valid Without also being reliable A measure is valid then to the extent that it is free of both random and nonrandom error It is reliable to the extent that it is free of random error alone Measurement Error refers to inaccuracies in the the observation of reality differences between reality and recorded observations of it MRW p 426 It is a function of low validity systematic error and low reliability random error and can never be completely eliminated Measurement error is a particular concern in the social sciences Where our measuring instruments especially compared with the physical sciences often are fairly crude See MRW pp 6467 for discussion of the sources of error survey research content analysis aggregate data Multiple Indicators Any single indicator captures only a portion of the underlying concept that it is intended to measure ie it is imperfect But different indicators are imperfect in different ways which means that several of them will almost always represent the concept better than any one of them alone See MRW ch 8 for an illustration of various approaches to building scales and indices Developing Indicators Units of Analysis These are the cases or observations for which you will be gathering data and the smallest component or element about which generalizations can therefore be made Individual surveys experiments Aggregate nations states cities counties Other word sentence paragraph in content analysis event in direct observation eg compromise at a negotiating session offer of prayer by members of religious group or substance abuse recovery group Ecological Fallacy the improper use of aggregate data to draw conclusions about the characteristics of individual cases or group MRW p 423 e g racial composition of counties and the Wallace vote in 1968 More generally drawing conclusions about any unit other than the one for which you have data MRW p 182 eg moving from state level relationship between poverty and crime either up to national or down to county Levels of Measurement Ratio most information Interval Ordinal Nominal least information Nominal measurement merely sorts your casesobservations into mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive categories cases cannot be rankordered nor can the precise distance between the categories be determined Gender 0 Religious af liation Party identi cation Ordinal measurement assigns cases to categories that can be arranged along a continuum ie rankordered according to Whether they have more or less of the measured quality than other cases but it is impossible to say anything about how far apart these categories are from one another Social class EducationIncome collapsed Party identi cation Interval measurement allows you to assign values to each case re ecting how much of the measured property each contains based upon some standard unit it is possible to tell how far apart cases are because each unit is equidistant from the next IncomeGDP per capita dollars Education years formal schooling Voter turnout percent eligibleregistered Ratio measurement is the same as interval measurement except that there is a true zero point allows you not only to establish precise intervals between your cases but also to calculate ratios such as proportions and percentages True zero age income No true zero temperature I Political TrustEf cacy Craig 1980 1990 Internal efficacy beliefs about one s own competence to understand and to participate effectively in politics External ef cacy beliefs about the responsiveness of governmental authorities and institutions to citizen demands Regimebased external efficacy expectations about Whether conventional rules and procedures for policy formationimplementation facilitate or impede citizen inputs Incumbentbased external efficacy beliefs about the motivation and ability of incurnbents to respond to citizen dernands Political incumbentbased trust beliefs about the efficiency honesty and fairness that citizens can expect from governmental leaders and institutions Regimebased trust diffuse support feelings of attachment or loyalty to the political system and constitutional order Elitedirected behavior Elitechallenging behavior Regimechallenging behavior Political Intolerance Stouffer communists socialists atheists Sullivan Piereson Marcus leastliked MondakHurwitz discriminatory actor vs generic behavior intolerance From MondakHurwitz 1998i Volunteered neutral response option on agreedisagree questions of Craig et a1 1990 Splitballot procedure survey respondents randomly assigned to one of two different treatment conditions Party Identi cation traditional ANES branching question party supportcloseness partisanship vs independence independence VS none of the above Support for Divided Government Do you think it is better when one party controls both the presidency and Congress better when control is split between the Democrats and Republicans or doesn39t it matter conditionalnonseparable preferences Satisfaction With Democracy On the whole are you very satis ed fairly satis ed not very satis ed or not at all satis ed With the way democracy works in country support for incumbent authorities support for the political system support for political regime community and incumbent authorities or Answers may vary across individuals across nations across time e g With variations in media priming with the context of the survey itself eg the questions preceding Canache Mondak and Seligson 2001 Construct validity test correlating SWD with indicators of 1 support for incumbent authorities 2 system support and 3 general support for democracy as a form of government Results including open ended question asked in Romania suggest that SWD means different things to different people UF survey MayJune 2001 On the whole how satis ed are you with they way democracy works in the United States satis ed fairly satis ed not very satis ed or not at all satis ed Satis ed or fairly satis ed 807 879 784 77 8 Satis ed only 434 507 429 389 Overall Republicans Independents Democrats Political Knowledge Delli Carpini and Keeter 1992 selection of items based on mail survey of political scientists testing of 42 items With various formats multiple choice truefalse free response relating to national institutions and processes issues and policies history and current political alignments see list of items on pp 119293 respondents discouraged from guessing many people don t know to protect against lower higher reliabilityvalidity inclusion of some easy items to maintain respondent morale item analysis based in part on itemtotal correlation to select best questions Conclusion Knowledge about national politics is unidimensional though statelocal knowledge represents a separate dimension and it can be measured in a survey using a relatively small number of questions Five recommended questions concern Which party controls U S House percent vote needed for Congress to override presidential veto Which party more conservative Whose responsibility to determine constitutionality of laws identify What job is held by current vice president M Kent Jennings POQ 1996 on the dimensionality of knowledge in overtime study to two generations 19657382 textbook length of senatorial term number of Supreme Court judges current events varied by year historical party of FDR which country had concentration camps for Jews in WWII Jeffery Mondak AJPS 2001 discouraging guessing actually reduces reliability because some people are more likely to guess than others and those that do receive higher scores even though they are not more knowledgeable UF survey MayJune 2001 Here are a few questions about the government in Washington Many people don t know the answers to these questions but even if you re not sure I d like you to tell me your best guess Four items re determining constitutionality party in control of House party more conservative at national level whether Bush or Gore won more popular votes nationwide in 2000 Nonvoting Ragsdale and Rusk 1993 a campaign attention model of nonvoting with individual differences in attention resulting from political ignorance indifference dissatisfaction inactivity Among nonvoters Ignorance awareness of campaign issue candidate name recognition recollection of incumbents accomplishments for state Indifference agreement w incumbent roll call votes perceived distance between candidates ideological positions distance between candidates on feeling thermometer Dissatisfaction ranking of one or both candidates on feeling thermometer Inactivity whether R voted in previous election Political Participation Burns Schlozman and Verba 1997 Whether domestic inequalities affect the political activity of marriage partners resources control over resources respect beliefs about gender equality Among both husbands and wives Resources proportion of family income brought in by wife wife s share of hours devoted by both to necessary household work Control over money and time estimates of which spouse has greater control over decisions relating to family nances and free time Respect whose judgment is trusted and with whom one would discuss important matters Beliefs about gender equality should woman quit job if it interferes with her work at home should household chores be shared equally should men make family decisions Elite Ideology Hill 2001 three alternative ways of measuring legislator ideology independently of behavior rollcall votes Surveys of House Senate candidates Content analysis of news stories during candidates initial campaigns for that of ce Infer ideology from surveys of the mean ideological preferences of state delegations to the national party conventions These measures evaluated in terms of face validity especially factor analysis of elite surveys fairly strong intercorrelations among them reliability strong relationship between new measures and rollcall liberalism construct validity Judicial Behavior Hall 1992 electoral accountability vs judicial independence the degree to which decisions are in uenced by the manner in which state judges are chosen Prior research shows that rulings often re ect the policy goals of judges The question is Whether these goals may sometimes be set aside on self interest grounds ie Whether judges may act in a manner inconsistent with their policy Views When faced With possible electoral sanctions Some studies suggest the answer is no but these have relied solely on aggregate patterns Without examining the decisional behavior of individual judges Cf studies of legislative representation which lend strong support to the proposition that the electoral process induces strategic behavior Hypotheses Responsiveness to constituents among ideological minority judges serving on elected state supreme courts Will be promoted by 1 district elections 2 narrow vote margins 3 being in the latter years of a term 4 experience in representational roles and 5 experience in seeking reelection Data are from four state courts of last resort Texas North Carolina Louisiana Kentucky varying by partisannonpartisan statewide district Analysis based on all death penalty cases decided conservatively in these four states from 198388 198386 in Texas Unit of analysis the vote The dependent variable is a dichotomy Where a dissenting vote from a conservative decision is scored 0 and a vote with the conservative majority is scored 1 All hypotheses are supported by the data Abortion Clinic Bombings Nice 1988 clinic bombings as acts of political Violence Unit of analysis Generalization to Dependent variable dichotomous yesno Explanations independent variables Weakening of social controls rapid population growth urbanization crime rate see table 1 Instrumental behavior belief that action will help achieve policy goals assumption here that bombings Will occur more often Where abortions are relatively frequent ie With extreme measures more acceptable in extreme conditions frequency of abortions call for constitutional amendment see table 2 Masselite cultural norms female homicide rape state support for programs to control domestic violence see table 3 Strengthweakness of group prominence of antiabortion religions ideological climate of public opinion see table 4 Frustration with conventional avenues of participation interparty competition voter turnout see table 5 Economic dislocationinstability income unemployment see table 6 Smith 1997 most studies measure competition using indicators that would be appropriate only if state party systems followed the responsibleparty model eg which party holds a majority of seats in the legislature andor governorship Since legislators don t always vote with their party a better approach would be to use a continuous rather than discrete indicator of partisan strength re ecting the proportion of Dems and Reps in each chamber States as units of analysis separate analysis for each 197792 Results show that partisan composition of the legislature as measured here has a strong effect on welfare expenditures per capita regardless of Whether parties are evenly balanced or one party dominates No apparent effect for party of governor or unified party control of legislature Interparty Competition 2 Holbrook Van Dunk 1993 Competition Liberal policies Competition Voter turnout States again as units of analysis Ranney Index proportion Dem legislative seats Dem percentage of gubernatorial vote percentage of time governorship and state legislature controlled by Dems all averaged together over a period of time HVD Index based on districtlevel state legislative elections over a 5year period percentage of popular vote won by Winning candidate Winning candidate s margin of victory not redundant when more than two candidates are running safeness of the seat Whether margin is more than 5 points F ace validity HVD focused on elections rather than party strength in government able to take into account minor parties 0 External criterion validity HVD more strongly correlated With a variety of theoretically relevant dependent variables including policy liberalism and turnout Reliability both indices relatively stable over time but HVD more so IdeologyRepresentation Berry Ringquist Fording and Hanson 1998 degree of correspondence between voter ideology and the ideology of elected leaders States still as units of analysis Prior measures of voter ideology based on aspects of state political culture Elazar simulation of public opinion using state demographics vote share by liberalconservative candidate in recent election respondents ideological selfid in polls State government ideology typically measured in terms of partisan control composition of legislature governorship Voter ideology Uses interest group scores of incumbent members of Congress House and Senate and hypothetical challengers the latter estimated as the average score of all incumbents in the state from that party District scores are then calculated according to the distribution of the vote in the last election and averaged along with Senate scores to assign a value for the state as a Whole Making certain aSSumptions see text scores are adjusted in the offyear to provide an annual measure State government ideology Mean ideology scores are computed separately for Dem and Rep congressional delegations in a state then a weighted average is calculated re ecting the strength power of each party in both chambers of the state legislature assumed to be no less than 60 percent for a majority party and total when a party s proportion reaches 60 percent of the seats The nal measure calculated annually also includes governor s ideology estimated as equal to the average of state legislators from the same party Validity assessing accuracy of underlying assumptions high convergent validity voter ideology highly correlated with WrightErikson McIver of ideology for the same time period construct validity both measures highly correlated with other variables linked to ideology in theories of state politics including policy liberalism and distribution of presidential vote Reliability treating scores from different interest group organizations as alternative measures of legislators ideology the two indicators of voter and government ideology are highly correlated with one another Democracy Dichotomous eitheror vs Continuous more or less as measured by Gurr Construct validity l The effect on the probability of a nation s initiating force is evident for democracies and nondemocracies alike 2 Distinctions are evident with both measures in their relationships With regime persistence Brockett 1992 with land being the most important resource in rural societies it is often thought that the maldistribution of and is the key determinant of unrest including rebellion and revolution in those societies speci cally in Central America Alternative hypothesis that unrest is more a function of national income inequality than of landlessness Measuring mass political protestViolence using World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators annual events data for 194877 mostly from sources outside Latin America serious validity problems the number of deaths from political Violence are grossly underestimated more in some countries than others altering both rankings and estimates of intervals between country scores Measuring land inequality using Gini indeX which produces scores for Central American countries that are nearly identical remember variables vary Preferred Index combining division of land holdings between smallholders and largeholders share of total agricultural land dominated by the largest farms landlessness lack of ownership or ownershiplike rights among those who cultivate the land and relative size of rural population larger re ecting greater potential for disruption Finally it is hypothesized that the relationship between land inequality and political Violence will be moderated by macroeconomic processes e g inequality is more likely to lead to mass mobilization when it is blamable such as when pro t motivated commercial farmers use superior resources to dispossess tenants of lands to which they have long enjoyed ownership use incl tenancy Conduct of Inquiry 0 What kind of inquiry A type of inquiry that involves doing empirical political social research The goal of empirical research is to make accurate statements about political phenomena politically relevant people or things based on information that is in some sense observable To achieve the latter an empirical statement must be testable that is veri ablefalsi able Which of the following are empirical statements All political scientists are incredibly smart Most political scientists are incredibly smart Most political scientists are murderers Empirical versus Normative Statements Empirical statements seek to describe the way things are Normative statements contain value judgments about the way things quotoughtquot to be MRW p 2 Empirical analysis is concerned with developing and using a common objective language to describe and explain political reality Normative analysis is concerned with developing and examining subjective goals values and moral rules to guide us in applying what we have learned of that reality Normative Statements cannot be veri edfalsi ed With empirical data The United States should take military action against any country that harbors terrorists The taX system in this country is unfair Capital punishment is wrong


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