Lecture 7 - Scientific Method - Poly Sci Lecture 7 The...

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9/21/07 Poly Sci Lecture 7 The Scientific Method - Science and the Scientific Method - Basis of Explanation: Theory - Key Characteristics of theories - Research design: Variables - Types of Variables - Correlation between variables Two Cornerstones of Comparative Politics - Comparison: learning and understanding by comparing two or more cases - Scientific Scienc and the Scientific Method - Science: o System of Logic o Set of rules and methods for investigating reality logically and systematically - Key elements of the “scientific method”? o Definition : all about precision and consistency o Description : We need to know as much as possible about our subject before we can usefully analyze it o Explanation : Answering the “why” “how” “who” “when” etc. Basis of Explanation: Theory - Theory: an explanation of how we think the world works - A theory makes a generalization (or a set of generizations) that seeks to explain a real world phenomenon - We can evaluate the applicability of theories by examining if they can account for what we observe in the real world -
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