POLI 311 Johnson 26-48

POLI 311 Johnson 26-48 - POLI 311 Research Notes for...

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POLI 311 Research Notes for Johnson, Buttolph, Joslyn and Reynolds: Studying Politics Scientifically Introduction Asking questions is imperative to understanding research and conclusions. (ex. How did they arrive at their conclusions? Were methods used sound? What sort of evidence was used?) Empirical research deals with what the world is not what the world should be. Characteristics of Scientific Knowledge For knowledge to be considered scientific it must exhibit certain characteristics First, it must be subjected to empirical verification (i.e. must be proved true in objective observation) Empirical: Reliant on observation or experience. Explanation (or systematic) must be supported by observation and cannot be called true without evidence. People are selective or biased if they are only willing to accept knowledge consistent with their existing beliefs. Scientific knowledge is distinctive in regard to its scope and immediate purpose. “Normative” is used to describe knowledge that is evaluative, prescribing what ought to be. “Nonnormative” describes knowledge that is objective and fact determined. It is widely considered impossible in political science research to achieve “total objectivity.” Scientific knowledge must be made transmissible . That is, methods must be clear enough so that others can analyze and replicate the findings. If research methods are
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2010 for the course POLI POLI-311-0 taught by Professor Melaneethomas during the Fall '10 term at McGill.

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POLI 311 Johnson 26-48 - POLI 311 Research Notes for...

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