EPR Week 3

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


- 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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