Craft of Political Research

ISBN-10: 0130922323
ISBN-13: 9780130922328
Edition: 5th 2002
List price: $36.33
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Book details

List price: $36.33
Edition: 5th
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Publication date: 5/30/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 162
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.704
Language: English

W. Phillips Shively is Morse-Alumni Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, where he moved in 1971 after teaching at the University of Oregon and Yale University. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the University of Oslo in Norway. His research, which has appeared in numerous articles, deals with the comparative study of elections, and he has written The Craft of Political Research, an introduction to research techniques. He has also had practical political experience as a lobbyist in Minnesota. His true love is bird-watching.

Preface
Doing Research
Social Research
Types of political research
The research mix
Evaluating different types of research
Ethics of Political Research
Political Theories and Research Topics
Causality and Political Theory
What Does Good Theory Look Like?
Example of elegant research: Robert Putnam
To quantify or not?
Choosing a Topic
Engineering research
Theory-oriented research
Setting Out a Research Design
Observations, puzzles, and the construction of theories
Machiavellian Guide to Developing Research Topics
Further Discussion
The Importance of Dimensional Thinking
English as a Language for Research
Ordinary language
The Proper Use of Multidimensional Words
Example of dimensional analysis
Further Discussion
Problems of Measurement: Accuracy
Reliability
Reliability as a characteristic of concepts
Testing the reliability of a measure
Validity
Some examples
Checking for validity
The Impact of Random and Nonrandom Errors
The Importance of Accuracy
Further Discussion
Problems of Measurement: Precision
Precision in Measures
Precision in Measurement
The innate nature of levels of measurement
The sin of wasting information
Enriching the level of precision in measurement
Examples of enrichment
Quantifiers and nonquantifiers again
Further Discussion
Causal Thinking and the Design of Research
The Subjective Nature of Causation
Eliminating Alternative Causal Interpretations
Summary
A Few Basics of Research Design
Designs without a control group
Use of a control group
The true experiment
Designs for Political Research
Special design problem for policy analysis: regression to the mean
The Use of Varied Designs and Measures
Example of Varied Designs and Measures
Conclusion
Holding a Variable Constant
Further Discussion
Introduction to Statistics: Measuring Relationships for Interval Data
Statistics
The Importance of Levels of Measurement
Working with Interval Data
Regression analysis
Correlation analysis
Correlation and regression compared
The problem of measurement error
Further Discussion
Introduction to Statistics: Further Topics on Measurement of Relationships
Measures of Relationship for Ordinal Data
Measures of Relationship for Nominal Data
Dichotomies and regression analysis
Logit and Probit Analysis
Multivariate Analysis
Conclusion
Introduction to Statistics: Inference, or How to Gamble on Your Research
The Logic of Measuring Significance
Example of Statistical Inference
Hypothesis Testing
The null hypothesis
Example: x[superscript 2]
Sampling distributions
The importance of N
The problem of independent observations
Is a Significance Test Always Necessary?
Polling and Significance Tests
Uses and Limitations of Statistical Tests
Conclusion
Further Discussion
Where Do Theories Come From?
Selected Bibliography
Index

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