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By Todd Donovan

A concise advent to the elemental recommendations of social clinical considering and examine, this vintage textual content makes medical considering, examine equipment and information obtainable to undergraduates at a typical experience point. this article is meant to be used in a vast array of the social sciences, together with Political technological know-how, Sociology and Psychology.

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Extra resources for The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking

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The rate of voter participation is an important indicator of democracy. It is reasonable to expect that different types of election rules will affect how many people think it is worth their time and effort to vote. We will show how theory influences the way we look at questions of political participation under contrasting sets of election rules. The patterns observed in the data, the links established between studies, the substantive significance of the findings, and their larger meaning are all shaped by the theories the researcher uses.

3, (2001), pp. 902–915. 12. Douglas Amy, Real Choices, New Voices (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 140–153; Arend Lijphart, “Unequal Participation: Democracy’s Unresolved Dilemma,” American Political Science Review 91, no. 1 (1997), pp. 1–14. 13. : Yale University Press, 1994). Cf. : Princeton University Press, 1996). 14. This should not be confused with statistical significance (see Chapter Five), which tells whether the difference between winner-take-all and PR elections may have occurred by chance.

Operationalizing Concepts To operationalize a concept means to put it in a form that permits some kind of measurement of variation. In Chapter Two we discussed turning concepts into usable variables; this process is called operationalization. Translating a concept into something that allows the observation of variation is a tricky process. If it is done properly, two conditions will be met: (1) the operational version will fit the meaning of the original concept as closely as possible (validity); and (2) the measurement(s) of variation can be replicated by others (reliability).

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