Designing a Study (Lecture 4)

# Designing a Study (Lecture 4) - PS 280 Testing Predictions...

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Unformatted text preview: PS 280: Testing Predictions, Data and Measurement (3) August 31, 2016 Announcements, Regroup I Next week, first homework assignment. I Divide into groups of four, counting off down the row. Testing Predictions I We’re (ok maybe I’m) obsessed with variation. I I We use theories to generate predictions. I I I “Sometimes A happens, other times, B happens.” “When C happens, A is more likely.” “When D happens, B is more likely.” Look at whether this prediction is consistent with the data. Women and Extremism (1) I While the group oppresses many women, many also flock to its ranks. Roughly 10 percent of its Western recruits are female, often lured by their peers through social media and instant messaging. The percentage is much higher in France: An estimated 63 of the 350 French nationals believed to be with the group are women, or just under 20 percent. This story is both a new one and an old one. Women have long been involved in terror of all stripes, from female neo-Nazis in Europe to Chechen “black widow” suicide bombers. I Variation? Women and Extremism (1) I While the group oppresses many women, many also flock to its ranks. Roughly 10 percent of its Western recruits are female, often lured by their peers through social media and instant messaging. The percentage is much higher in France: An estimated 63 of the 350 French nationals believed to be with the group are women, or just under 20 percent. This story is both a new one and an old one. Women have long been involved in terror of all stripes, from female neo-Nazis in Europe to Chechen “black widow” suicide bombers. I Variation? Women and Extremism (2) I While [ISIL] oppresses many women, many also flock to its ranks. Roughly 10 percent of its Western recruits are female. The percentage is much higher in France: An estimated 63 of the 350 French nationals with the group are women... I Variation? I I I Prediction? I I I The dependent variable. The thing you’re explaining. “Women in some countries are more likely to join ISIL than women in others.” The independent variable. The thing that does the explaining. Country monitoring? Social norms? ... (many possible answers). What data do we need to test prediction? Basic Parts I Identify the observations. I Who are you studying? What countries? Years? Cases? Situations? I Measure the dependent variable. I Measure the independent variable. Attacks Example (1) The most recent attacks also reveal that the Mourabitoun has begun selecting different kinds of targets and has adjusted its tactics accordingly. The In Amenas facility was highly secure, with perimeter fencing and a dedicated company of Algerian gendarmes (not to mention the Algerian military patrolling the surrounding desert). Breaching it required a hardened team of 30 terrorists laden with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, and explosives. The hotels in Bamako and Ouagadougou, by contrast, had only minimal security measures and could be successfully attacked with only a handful of lightly armed assailants. Why did the Mourabitoun undergo this dramatic shift from North Africa to the Sahel, from stable states to fragile ones, from hard targets to soft ones, and from complex to simple attacks? The answer lies in Belmokhtars leadership and now, the lack thereof. Attacks Example (2) I Identify the observations. I I Measure the dependent variable. I I Whether they attack “hard” or “soft” targets. Measure the independent variable. I I All terrorist groups in Africa. Whether their founders/leaders are still alive. Prediction: If alive, hard targets. If dead, soft targets. Measurement I What makes a good measurement? Measurement I What makes a good measurement? I I I Clear, replicable. Precise. Tightly tied to the prediction. Global Incomes Global Poverty I Identify interesting variation. I Make a prediction explaining that variation. I Identify the observations. I Measure the dependent variable. I Measure the independent variable. Cool PS Thing to Check Out I Voter registration. ...
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