Introduction to Quantitative Political Science

If you use these materials, please include the following citation.
Robi Ragan, , 2011, "Introduction to Quantitative Political Science", http://opossem.org/content/introduction-quantitative-political-science
Creative Commons License: 
CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Level: 
undergrad

 

This module is designed to introduce students to quantitative political science. The goal is to introduce them to some of the tools used to conduct quantitative research. The most common modes of quantitative analysis in political science, both theoretical and empirical, are discussed. The ``paradox of voting" is used as the example throughout the module. The instructor could easily substitute another "big question" that all the different forms of quantitative work have been used to analyze. 
 
The class begins with an exercise that is designed to get students thinking intuitively about the paradox of voting. Each major form of quantitative work is then discussed in turn. The method is described, and its strengths and weaknesses are discussed. Then, for each method, examples from the literature are presented that analyze the question of why people vote.
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