Research Design. 17.871 Spring 2006. General Comments. What is political science and what are different ways of doing it? Major components of research designs Designing research to ferret out causal relationships Social science vs. natural science/engineering.
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-American Heritage Dictionary of the American Language
“Science is a particular way of knowing about the world. In science, explanations are restricted to those that can be inferred from the confirmable data – the results obtained through observations and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists. Anything that can be observed or measured is amenable to scientific investigation. Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science.”
From National Academy of Sciences brief in Kitzmiller et al vs. Dover Area School District, et al
Therefore, political science is a profession that arose to improve human kind by (1) documenting the performance of states and (2) holding them accountable for their actions by careful measurement of the social world.
[Running examples: voting machine effects]
R O1T X O2T
R O1C O2C
[O2T – O1T] – [O2C – O1C]
R O X O
R O O
R X O
O X O
R X O