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POSC114 Theory And Methodology Of Political Science

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Two candidates are running against each other for a seat on the city commission. You would like to obtain a valid measurement of which candidate has more pre-election support among the residents of your neighborhood. Your operational measure: Obtain a precise count of the yard signs supporting each candidate. The candidate with a greater number of yard signs will be measured as having greater prelection support than the candidate having fewer yard signs.

i. This measurement strategy has low face validity. Describe two reasons why the measurement strategy will not produce a valid measurements of residents’ pre-election support for the candidate.
ii. Putting your yard-sign counting days behind you, you resolve to develop a more valid measurement of pre-election support for the candidates.
1) Describe a measurement strategy that would produce a valid measure of pre-election support for candidates running for election.
2) Describe how you would establish the construct validity of your measure.
2. Explain how you would design an observational study to test the following hypothesis:

a. If countries are democratic, then they will provide more public services to poor residents than if they were not democratic, ceteris paribus.
i. What is the treatment? How is it defined/measured?
ii. What are your outcome variable(s)? How defined/measured?
iii. What is the research design you’ll use to test this hypothesis? That is, what units are you comparing to what other units?

iv. What are possible objections to the internal validity of your research design? To put it another way, what else might critics argue is a cause of an observed association between democracy and services for poor residents?
v. What could you do in terms of the research design to eliminate (or reduce) the threats to internal validity in your design?
1. What could you do to demonstrate that it is actually the presence/absence of democracy that causes the outcome and not some other, alternative explanation?
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