notesontest1 - Notes for Test 1 I. 1 II. Empirical Research...

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Notes for Test 1 1 I. Empirical Research A. Purpose 1. To achieve scientific knowledge about political phenomena. 2. Not about what is real or true, but about what we can observe—touch, feel, see, experience—for ourselves. 3. Essence of Empiricism = Observation B. Why use Empirical Research? 1. To assess the conclusions or facts of others about the political world 2. TO conduct your own inquiry about political questions. C. Common Ground to Begin Empirical Research 1. Rely on a common framework, principles for conduction research (beginning with the assertion that nothing is self-evident) 2. We assume there is an order to the world. 3. Assume that the world is potentially knowable. 4. Assume that the phenomena we want to understand have “natural” causes that can be explained (no magical, supernatural, or religious cause) D. Types of Empirical Research 1. Applied a) Accumulate knowledge about a problem in society 2. Pure/Theoretical a) Learn more about something regardless of whether the answers will improve anything 3. Good research has elements of both applied and pure/theoretical. E. Goal of Empirical Research = Scientific Knowledge 1. Accumulate a body of knowledge that allows us to explain, predict, and understand empirical phenomena of interest to us. II. Aspects of Scientific Knowledge A. Empirical 1. Can verify 2. Can rely on observation/experience B. Non-Normative 1. Free from prescriptive values 2. Look at the world as it is, not as it should be. C. Transmissible/Replicable 1. It is transmitted and shared. 2. Communicable to others 3. Others can pick up where you left off. D. General 1. Leads to empirical generalizations 2. Concerned with the big picture 3. What causes war? (ex) E. Explanatory 1. Systematic, reasoned anticipation of future events. F. Theory Creation 1. Everything prior leads here
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Notes for Test 1 2 2. Theory a) Series of statements that help organize, explain, and predict knowledge. III. Where Science Goes Awry A. Inaccurate Observation 1. Must be incredibly specific and systematic B. Overgeneralization 1. See a pattern in a small way and apply it in a big way C. Selective Observation 1. When you interpret all future events based on one experience. D. Ex-Post Facto Hypothesizing 1. Ignoring the results of data outcome to stay with your original hypothesis or idea. 2. Reference Group Theory E. Mystification 1. People say it’s totally random. God wants it to happen! 2. Conspiracy theory groups IV. Research Design A. Definition 1. A plan that shows how the researcher is going to approach a question or problem 2. Theory being evaluated 3. Hypotheses to be tested 4. Measurements needed 5. How much information will be collected 6. Analytical and statistical procedures B. Establishing a Causal Relationship 1. Covariation a) A change in x is associated with a change in y b) Δx Δy 2. Time Order a) A change in x precedes a change in y 3. Elimination of possible alternative causes a) The covariation between x and y is not spurious nor a coincidence
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course POSC 295 taught by Professor Chenoweth during the Spring '08 term at James Madison University.

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notesontest1 - Notes for Test 1 I. 1 II. Empirical Research...

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