The number of yard signs displayed may not be a valid measure of pre-election support.This is because yard signs often require public commitment by the people who display the signs. For this reason, the yard signs provide a measure of intensity among people in a area but not the extent of support in the electorate.
In addition, since some individuals may choose to erect the signs out of request from the candidate and not out of their own initiative, it may not represent voter sentiment.
Also, if reliance is on the number of signs through counting, a house which has many of the yard signs but only one voter present may signify higher electoral support comparing to another house with one yard sign and one voter.
- 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.
One way of ensuring validity of the results is through the use of an in-person survey of the neighborhood residents. A questionnaire should be designed aimed at gauging the level of pre-election support for the candidate (Pollock).
2) Describe how you would establish the construct validity of your measure.
The validity of the measure can be determined by checking the operational measurement has a relationship with other concepts. In the event that the pre election measure is valid, the level of election support should be able to correspond to the measured level of pre election support for each of the candidates.
- Explain how you would design an observational study to test the following hypothesis:
- If countries are democratic, then they will provide more public services to poor residents than if they were not democratic, ceteris paribus.
An observational study will involve a consideration of one country which has high scores of democracies and another country which has low scores of democracy.
- What is the treatment? How is it defined/measured?
The treatment is level of democracy in the country.It can be measured using the democratic index by the Economist Intelligence Unit
It is defined as the level of democracy in a country measured by the electoral process, pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation, political culture. The scores are determined on 60 indicators which classify the country either as a full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime or authoritarian regime.
- What are your outcome variable(s)? How defined/measured?
The outcome variable is the number and nature of public services available to the public.It can be measured through a counting of the number of the public services available, types of public service available, or an evaluation of the quality of public services available.
iii. What is the research design you’ll use to test this hypothesis? That is,what units are you comparing to what other units?
The research design will be quantitative. Since I will be comparing the number of public services available between he countries which are more democratic to those which are not.
- 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?
- One thing that may cause association between democracy and services for poor people is the culture of the country, if the country is able to maintain the public amenities well, there might be a possibility of them being many.
- What could you do in terms of the research design to eliminate (or reduce) the threats to internal validity in your design?
I could use a country with similar values to the one with high levels of democracy in order to ensure that democracy level is the only variable in the study
- 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?
By making all other factors constant, I will be able to control the other variables in the study and hence have a direct relationship between democracy and the level of public services.
- In the Alvarez et al. (2010) paper the authors conducted and analyzed a field experiment to measure how political campaigns affect voter turnout. Explain in your own words the advantages of conducting a field experiment to identify the effects of campaign contacts on turnout.
Advantages of a field experiment
A filed experiment is useful since it is likely to reflect real life due to its natural occurrence. It therefore has a higher ecological validity (Pollock).Also, there is limited chance of the demand characteristics influencing the results since the participants are not aware that they are being studied.