POLS 2010: Scope and Methods of Political Science
Research Question Exploration Assignment
1) Please submit three research questions that you would like to consider for your final project.
Demonstrate that you understand the elements of a good
Where do I start?
A research question Workshop
The Art of Science
No method to eureka moments
Most important step
Everything comes back to your question
Take your time
Ideas must become questions
What isnt a Research Question?
Case Studies & the Comparative
Observational research designs
Lack manipulation of IV
Lack random assignment
Carefully compare our units of analysis
Keep in mind that sample must be representative and large
The Literature Review
Imagine I handed you 1,000 articles related to your RQ
How would you write 5-7 pages about those 1,000 articles?
The Lit Review: What it is Not
NOT a review of any source(s) in detail
Goes beyond gathering & summariz
The Logic of means comparison
Statistical analysis in Political Science
Mainstay since 1990s
More data & increased computer-processing power
High external validity
Able to test multiple hypothe
Final Exam Review
One Essay (2 choices)
Case study & comparative method
Logic of large-N statistical analysis
Introduction to Political Science Research
Humans Ask Why
Why did you study politics?
How do you know what you know about
Why do you think it is important to study the scientific method for political
Why Study Politics
Understand who get
Sampling & Sample Types
Begin with general research questions, theories, and hypotheses
Recall: unit of analysis
We cannot test everyone (thing) we are interested in
Engage in sampling
Goal: Infer population parameters from sample st
Theory & Explanation
Partner activity for class participation
Explain one RQ to your partner.
Describe a possible answer to your RQ.
Explain why you think that is the answer.
Record what YOUR PARTNER SAYS.
A general explan
Introduction to the Science of
Working at the edge of ignorance
Humans Ask Why
Why did you decide to study politics?
How do you know what you know about (_)?
Why do you think it is important to study the scientific method?
Scope and Methods of Political Science
Instructor: Michael Tyburski
Office: Norman Mayer 321
Phone: (504) 862 8316 (best to email)
Office Hours: Thursday 1-4pm
(And by appointment)
From RQ to Hypotheses
The Class So Far
What do you expect to observe?
Reviewing the RQs Key Features
1) Clearly stated IV
2) Clearly stated DV
3) Stated relationship between IV & DV
Or an intervening variable
4) An i
Operationalization & Measurement
Bridge between conceptual & physical world
Make empirical (scientific) research possible
Set of procedures used to establish a concepts presence
Process of assigning some symbol to a con
Pluralism and Political Science
Political science as a broad church?
A brief history of the discipline
Divisions within political science
Sub-disciplines & methodological perspectives
Unified goal & framework?
Politics vs. Political Science
Concepts & Definitions
Introduction to Conceptualization
What is power?
Can you see it?
Symbols created using words
Research is built on concepts
Word that conveys meaning
Attributes of the observation we want to come to mind
The classic randomized experiment
that shows how you intend to study
(answer) your empirical question
Make appropriate inferences supported by
Research Design Goals
1) Establish a causal relation
Scopes and Methods
Final Study Guide
What is a research design?
Research Design: a plan that shows how you intend to answer your empirical
What are its goals?
The goal is to supply appropriate causal inferences that are supported by evidence. T
Science, Goals, and Challenges
1. Modes of learning politics
a. Scientific method
i. Rejects other modes
ii. Based on observation and experimentation
iii. Science is a tool (blunt and long process)
b. Mystic mode/authoritarian
i. Ability to speak to the s