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Research Methods in PSCI
Research Methods used for Data within the Political Science Field
40
Political Studies
12/12/2008

Term
 Aggregate Data
Definition
 Pertains to groups of Cases
Term
 Ecological Fallacy
Definition
 False conclusions made by assuming relationships found through research groups can be attributed to individuals
Term
Definition
 A measure combining different aspects of the same concept
Term
 Multiplicative Index
Definition
 A measure combining different but related concepts
Term
 In what situations would you construct a multiplicative index?
Definition
 Standardized Measures: Organizing Data, making it relevant, anything per certain number of people
Term
 Statistical Significance
Definition
 The amount of risk you're willing to take that you will reject your null hypothesis
Term
 Null Hypothesis
Definition
Term
 Type I Error
Definition
 When you reject your null hypothesis and it's really true
Term
 Type II Error
Definition
 When you accept a false null hypothesis
Term
 Significance v. Meaningfulness
Definition
 Whether or not the data is applicable.
Term
 Significance is...
Definition
 Data Based
Term
 Meaningfulness is ...
Definition
 Relevance
Term
 Observed Counts
Definition
 What actually happened
Term
 Expected Counts
Definition
 What was expected to happen
Term
 Chi-Squared Statistic
Definition
 Used to tell the significance between two nominal Variables, two ordinal Variables or a Nominal and an Ordinal Variable
Term
 Independent Samples T-Test
Definition
 Determines if a sample mean agrees with the expected or plain population mean [just tests how unlikely sample results are]
Term
 When is a T-Test used?
Definition
 It is used when you're running a comparison between Nominal/IR or Ordinal/IR
Term
 What are the Measures of Association?
Definition
 Lambda and Gamma
Term
 When is Lambda used?
Definition
 Nominal-Nominal and Nominal/Ordinal
Term
 When is Gamma used?
Definition
 Ordinal/Ordinal Only.
Term
 What is a PRE Statistic?
Definition
 It measures the reduction error.
Term
 Which Statistics have this PRE interpretation?
Definition
 Lambda and Gamma
Term
 When is the Correlation Coefficient used?
Definition
 IR/IR
Term
 Bivariate Regression: When is it used and what is the formula?
Definition
 It is a procedure for deriving the equation that relates a single metric dependent variable and a single metric independent variable.y=a+b(x)
Term
 Define the Formula
Definition
 A=Constant B=Regression Coefficient, R SquaredY= Independent VariableX = Will always be a percentage. Change to decimal.
Term
 What is R Squared?
Definition
 R Squared measures fitness to regression line.
Term
 What is the Multiple linear regression equation?
Definition
 y=a+b1(x1)+b2(x2)...Bn(Xn) -- B and X will change
Term
 What are the 5 sections of any statistical empirical political science article?
Definition
 Intro, Lit Review, Research Design, Analysis/Results, Conclusion
Term
 Why is the concept of Statistical Significance important in assessing empirical evidence concerning democratic peace?
Definition
 Because everything could've been by random chance. Just because it's never happened, doesn't mean it wont ever, therefore without Statistical Significance, the concept is meaningless.
Term
 What are the advantages of Using Statistical Methods?
Definition
 Allows political scientist to gather information for large number of cases, makes the terms of debate more explicit, entails the standards of evidence, permits the assessments to the claim of chance, casual inferences, testing two explanations against each other with precision
Term
 What are the Errors of Specification?
Definition
 1. Too much calculation without paying attention to theory2. Theory is often too weak and difficult to test3. Imposing Statistical models.
Term
 What are the Errors of Inference?
Definition
 1. Blind application of Statistical Significance to judge the importance of a variable2. Accepting or rejecting a theory by examining one data set to assess whether or not the effect of one variable on another can reliably be distinguished from zero3. Sin of Commission
Term
 What is the Rule of Thumb for R Squared?
Definition
 Values over .3 or meaningfulValues between .2 and .3 are MarginalValues below .2 are not very meaningful
Term
 less or equal to 0.05 [t-test, Levenes Test]
Definition
 variances of groups are significantly different
Term
 Greater than 0.05 [t-test, Levenes Test]
Definition
 not significantly different
Term
 If Levene Test IS Significant
Definition
 look at bottom row.
Term
 If Levene Test is NOT significant
Definition
 Look at top row
Term
 Nominal
Definition
 Persons Name, Sex, address, Phone Number, qualitative categories
Term
 Ordinal
Definition
 Rank; First, Second, Third
Term
 Interval Ratio
Definition
 Increments: Degrees, Years
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