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The Logic of Scientific Causal Inference. An Introduction to Designing Social Inquiry. Logic of Scientific Inquiry. Inter-subjective Standards Mathematics Logic Subjective Standards Religion Normative philosophy . What is the job of a social scientist?.

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slide1

The Logic of Scientific Causal Inference

An Introduction to Designing Social Inquiry

logic of scientific inquiry
Logic of Scientific Inquiry
  • Inter-subjective Standards
      • Mathematics
      • Logic
  • Subjective Standards
      • Religion
      • Normative philosophy
what is the job of a social scientist
What is the job of a social scientist?
  • To try to use whatever tools we have at our disposal to prove ourselves wrong.
    • Tools:
      • Logic
      • Empirical observation
    • Try to disprove our theory as much as possible
    • Unfortunately, we cannot prove anything
  • Always estimate the level of uncertainty in any claim
approaches to political science
Approaches to Political Science
  • Interpretavism – if we describe the phenomenon, what does it mean
  • Behavioralism – the underlying roots of our attitudes and behaviors
  • Neo-institutionalism – the relationships among attitudes and behaviors depend on rules
  • Rational Choice
    • Assume preferences
    • Deduce outcomes
slide5

The Research Question:Why does ‘y’ vary?

  • Why do some people vote for Democrats and others for Republicans?
  • Why do some ethnic conflicts get resolved and other end in holocausts?
  • Why do some democracies remain stable and others fall apart?
  • Why are some economies successful and others are not?
  • Why do some civil conflicts result in revolution and others do not?
  • What causes some people to support the civil liberties of political enemies?
  • What causes some people to trust one another and others not to trust?
  • What causes some people to participate in their government?
  • What causes some people to bring litigation against their government?
slide7

Measurement

  • Inter-subjective Measures
    • Inches
    • Degrees Fahrenheit
    • Dollars
  • Continuous v. Discrete
slide9

Face Validity: Political Tolerance

If your worst political enemy (i.e. Nazi’s, KKK) came to your town, would you support their right to march downtown?

Not support at all

Not really support

Somewhat support

Strongly support

4

1

2

3

slide12

Variance: Political Tolerance

40

35

30

Lowest

25

Low

Number of People

20

Medium

15

High

10

Highest

5

0

Political Tolerance

correlation is not causality
Correlation is not causality
  • Fire trucks  fire damage
  • Storks  babies
what causes people to be politically tolerant
What causes people to be politically tolerant?

40

35

30

Lowest

25

Low

20

Medium

15

High

10

Highest

5

0

Political Tolerance

slide15

Statistical Relationships

40

3

3

3

2

35

2

3

3

1

3

2

30

1

3

Education

3

1

25

1

3

3

3

1

Lowest

Low

Medium

High

Highest

3

3

20

2

2

2

3

2

4

2

3

2

3

2

4

3

2

1

15

4

3

4

2

1

2

3

4

3

4

3

2

2

3

2

4

5

10

1

1

2

3

4

3

4

5

5

4

4

1

1

2

2

3

3

5

5

5

5

1

2

2

2

3

3

4

4

5

5

5

2

1

3

2

3

4

3

5

5

4

5

1

1

2

3

3

3

5

4

5

5

0

1 2 3 4 5

Political Tolerance

slide16

Statistical Relationships

6

Slope

5

4

Political Tolerance

Mean

3

2

1

0

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

Education

probability best guess
Probability: Best Guess
  • What is the probable value of tolerance, given condition of education?
  • This is what the slope tells us.

6

Slope

5

4

Political Tolerance

Mean

3

2

1

0

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

Education

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