# EPR Week 3

Flashcards by Alexandru Sandor, updated about 2 months ago
 Created by Alexandru Sandor about 2 months ago
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### Description

- Lernzettel Woche 3 - HWS 2019 Carey

## Resource summary

 Question Answer What are concepts in social science ? - express common elements in the world => we give them names - Specify what we mean when we use particular terms in research (What do we mean, when talking about XY?) What is the issue with concepts ? Most concepts are not directly observable (e.g power, poverty, prejudice) What is a conceptual definition ? Tells you what the concept means ! What is the operational definition of a concept ? Choice of what empirical observation methods should measure the concept of interest ! What is Measurement ? According to Maxim (1999) it is a process of mapping empirical phenomena with using system of numbers => assignment of numerical values to empirical properties according to predefined rules (e.g translating the results of a survey in numerical data) Why is measurement important ? 1. translate theory into reality 2. make causal generalisable statements 3. experiments without would be problematic 3. systematic comparison 4. comparison across time & space What is the definition of a variable ? "Measurement of a characteristic of a subject that varies across subject in a population" (e.g. Hair colour, income) What is a dependent variable why do we call it "dependent variable" ? - a variable, that changes in response to changes of other variables - called dependent, because it is dependent from the change of the independent variable ! What is a independent variable ? A variable that influences the value of another variable ! What is a intervening variable ? - hypothetical variable, used to explain causal links => provides a link between dependent & independent variable ! How/ Why do we use intervening variables ? 1. allows us to answer more RQ in one experiment 2. allows us the answer of the question whether one IV depends from another IV (=>interaction between variables) Give some examples of different variables ! 1. Simple descriptive concepts => e.g Age, gender, income 2. Latent variables => Ideology, social class, party identification What is a latent variable & what does it represent ? 1. represent concepts 2. is a variable that is inferred using models from observed data/ variables What are the different levels of measurement ? 1. Nominal/ Categorical 2. Ordinal 3. Interval/ Ratio What is a Nominal/ Categorical variable ? + examples ! - variable with mutually exckulsive set of discrete categories e.g. war, religion, party support - no meaningful ranking => no ranking possible, that would make sense (one religion is not better than the other) - not ordered/ ranked What are Ordinal variable ? + examples ! - variable with ordered/ ranked categories - religiosity, social class What are Intervall/ Ratio variables ? - variable with meaningful intervals between units of measurement - e.g temperature, years (Interval) => abitrary neutral point age, income (Rational) => neutral point chosen from specific reasons What are the different levels of measurement ? 1. Individual 2. State level 3. System level 4. Aggregate level What is the individual level of analysis ? It focuses on the choices, perceptions and personalities of individuals What is the state level of analysis ? It includes factors such as political institutions, interest groups What is the system level of analysis ? It includes attributes of the international system e.g states in Europe What is the aggregate level of analysis ? It consists different data combine from different measurements What are the Problems we encounter with measurement ? 1. All measurement lead to error => conceptional clarity: income as a indicator of wealth (not everywhere!) 2. Accuracy => Systematic measurement error (sensible questions; probably biased then!) 3. How precise can political measurement be ?! 4. Availability What is the major difference between a hypothesis & theory ? 1. Hypothesis: Potential explanation or guess 2.Theory: Tool to explain something that has been verified over and over as true

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