Toal word count: 500

Compare quantitative and qualitative approaches to social science research. Use information from lectures, discussion section.

Answer the following questions:

  • What is (at least) one major difference between quantitative and qualitative approaches?
  • What types of research questions are better studied using quantitative approaches and what types are better studied with qualitative approaches?
  • Good research convinces us that something is true. Discuss why researchers often build their arguments using BOTH correlational evidence (showing an IV and DV co-vary across cases) and process-tracing evidence (showing the logical sequence of events by which changes in an IV cause changes in a DV).

Make sure to cite at least 2 of the following readings. Links to readings are available HERE

  • Gonick, L. and W. Smith. 1993. The Cartoon Guide to Statistics. 7-26. New York: HarperMacmillan.
  • Brians, C. 2016. From Abstract to Concrete: Operationalization and Measurement. Empirical Political Analysis (8th edition), edited by C. Brians: 88-105. New York: Routledge.
  • Ragin, C. C. and L. M. Amoroso. 2011. Using Quantitative Methods to Study Covariation. Constructing Social Research (2nd ed.), edited by C. C. Ragin and L. M. Amoroso: 163-188. Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Best, J. 2001. Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians and Activists. 9-29 and 30-61. Berkeley: UC Press.
  • Yin, R. K. 2014. Getting Started: How to Know Whether and When to Use the Case Study as a Research Method. Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed), edited by R. K. Yin: 3-15. Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Mill, J. S. 1970 (1888). Two Methods of Comparison. Comparative Perspectives: Theory and Methods, edited by A. Etzioni and F. Dubow: 205-213. Boston: Little, Brown.
  • Mitchell, R. B. and T. Bernauer. 1998. Empirical research on international environmental policy: designing qualitative case studies. Journal of Environment and Development 7(1): 4-31.
  • Fearon, J. D. 1991. Counterfactuals and hypothesis testing in political science. World Politics 43(2): 169-195.
  • Kramer, P. D. 2014. Why doctors need stories. New York Times. 18 October 2014 (accessed: 23 March 2019).

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