Explorations: Conducting Empirical Research in Canadian Political Science

Paperback | January 8, 2015

byLoleen Berdahl, Keith Archer

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Explorations is designed specifically to develop the skills that Canadian students need to pursue research in political science and a clear appreciation of both the power and limitations of such research. This detailed yet accessible guide ensures that students have the skills they need tothink clearly about research issues and to design and conduct their own studies.

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Explorations is designed specifically to develop the skills that Canadian students need to pursue research in political science and a clear appreciation of both the power and limitations of such research. This detailed yet accessible guide ensures that students have the skills they need tothink clearly about research issues and to desi...

Loleen Berdahl is an associate professor of Political Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research interests include Canadian federalism and regionalism, public policy, and public opinion. She is the co-author of four books, including Explorations: Conducting Empirical Research in Canadian Political Science. She is the Proj...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.64 inPublished:January 8, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199008981

ISBN - 13:9780199008988

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Table of Contents

Part One: Conducting Political Science Research1. The Scientific Approach to PoliticsDestinationNormative and Empirical AnalysisWhat Is Science?Postulates of ScienceThe Methodology of ScienceCriticisms and Limitations of the Scientific Approach to PoliticsWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes2. Jared Wesley: Observing the Political World: Quantitative and Qualitative ApproachesDestinationQuantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Empirical ResearchEpistemological DifferencesMethodological DifferencesSummaryTrustworthy ResearchConclusionWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes3. Theory-Oriented Research and the Issue of CausalityDestinationBasic and Applied ResearchTheory: Relationships between ConceptsDeveloping and Testing TheoriesHypothesis-TestingCausaltiyConclusionWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes4. Defining the Political World: ConceptsDestinationConceptual DefinitionsSources of Conceptual DefinitionsWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes5. Defining the Political World: MeasuresDestinationConcepts, Variables, and IndicatorsPrecision in MeasurementAccuracy in MeasurementThinking Through Indicators: Designing Survey QuestionsCreating IndexesWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes6. Research Ethics: People behind the NumbersDestinationRisk Assessment and the Medical ModelSelecting the Research TopicProtecting Research Subjects and RespondentsCommunity Consent Versus Individual ConsentEthical Considerations in Research DesignEthical Considerations in Data AnalysisEthics and CollegialityEthical Considerations in the Publication of Research FindingsConclusionWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyPart Two: Research Design7. Martin Gaal: "Small-n" Research: Case Study and Comparative ApproachesDestinationCase Study ResearchComparative ResearchConclusionWorking as a TeamSelf-Study8. Sampling the Political WorldDestinationPopulations and SamplesProbability SamplingSample SizeConducting Probability SamplesNon-Probability SamplingWorking as a TeamSelf-studyNotes9. Interview, Focus Group, and Observation ResearchDestinationInterviewsFocus GroupsObservation ResearchEthics and Qualitative ResearchWorking as a TeamSelf-Study10. Survey Research and Official StatisticsDestinationSurvey Data Collection OptionsMeasures: Survey QuestionsUsing Secondary DatasetsBeyond Survey Research: Official StatisticsEthical Considerations When Using Secondary Data and Official StatisticsWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes11. Alexandre Morin Chasse and Erick Lachapelle: Experimental ResearchDestinationExperiments and the Search for CausalityInternal and External ValidityDesigning an Experimental StudyLaboratory ExperimentsSurvey ExperimentsField ExperimentsNaturally Occurring and Quasi-ExperimentsEthical Issues and Other Limits of Experimentation in Political ScienceConclusionWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes12. Linda Trimble and Natasja Treiberg: Textual AnalysisDestinationWhy Use Textual Analysis?How to Conduct Textual AnalysisStrengths and Weaknesses of Textual AnalysisEthical ConsiderationsWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyPart Three: Data Analysis13. Jared Wesley: Analyzing Qualitative DataDestinationCoding Qualitative DataHypothetical Example of Qualitative Coding: Political Culture and IdentityReal-World Example of Qualitative Coding: Provincial Political Party PlatformsComputer-Assisted Qualitative Data AnalysisReporting Qualitative DataConclusionWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNote14. Describing the Political World: Univariate StatisticsDestinationMeasure of Central TendencyMeasures of VariationNormal CurveStandardized ScoresComparing Univariate Statistics between Two SubgroupsWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes15. Assessing the Political World: Inferential StatisticsDestinationSelecting Confidence LevelsSelecting Inferential StatisticsChi-squaret-Tests for Differences between MeansMann-Whitney U-TestWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes16. Explaining the Political World: Nominal and Ordinal DataDestinationIs there a Relationship? If so, What Is the Direction of the Relationship?How Strong is the Relationship?Measures for Nominal-Level DataMeasures for Ordinal-Level DataMeasures for Interval-Level DataSummary: Bivariate RelationshipsAdding a Third Variable to the Bivariate RelationshipContingency Tables with Control VariablesWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes17. Multivariate Analysis: An Introduction to the Deep End of the PoolDestinationMeasures for Interval-level DataThe Standard Error of the Estimatet-Tests and F-Ratios for Interval-Level RelationshipsCalculating the t-Statistic and Conducting a Significance Test with our Five-Case ExampleMultiple Regression AnalysisPredicting Attitudes toward Party Leaders: Assessments of Stephen HarperBlock Recursive Models of Voting BehaviourWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyNotes18. Writing the ReportDestinationThe AudienceConstructing an ArgumentComponents of the Research ReportThe Final PolishWorking as a TeamSelf-StudyGlossaryReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This book provides a solid grounding in methods as well as basic analysis suitable for almost all political science majors." --Elizabeth Bloodgood, Concordia University