Dr. John J. Quinn
Political Science Methodology
Political Science 300
Office: McClain 206D x4578
In this course, students learn the fundamentals concerning the science of political science – or how “to do” empirical political science research. We explore the differences between inductive and deductive inquiry, how the "normal" research process unfolds, how to construct theories, how to test theories, and how to operationalize variables in order to engage in a conversation about testing. We also examine some of the basics vis-à-vis the formation of hypotheses, testing hypotheses, the collection of data, the preparations of a literature review, and how to prepare a research paper– in fact, the writing of a research paper is among the most important assignments in the course. This class will also present the basic ideas and concepts of statistics and how they can illustrated the relationships among and between variables (e.g., measurements of central tendency, measures of association, measures of statistical significance). Students will have practical "hands-on" experience with such statistical techniques using the program SPSS.
Brians, Craig Leonard, Lars Willnat, Jarol B, Manheim, and Richard C. Rich. Empirical Political
Analysis: Quantitative and Qalitative Research Methods 8th Edition. Boston: Longman
Publishers USA, 2011.
Scott, Gregory M., and Stephen M. Garrison, The Political Science Student Writer’s Manual.
7th Edition. Boston: Longman, 2012.
George, Darren and Paul Mallery, IBM SPSS Statistics 19 Step by Step: A Simple Guide and
Reference. 12th Edition.Boston: Pearson, 2012.
Berry, William D. and Mitchell S, Sanders, Understanding Multivariate Research: A Primer for
Beginning Social Scientists. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000.