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Statistics for Political Analysis

Statistics for Political Analysis
Understanding the Numbers

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March 2014 | 496 pages | CQ Press
Statistics are just as vital to understanding political science as the study of institutions, but getting students to understand them when teaching a methods course can be a big challenge. Statistics for Political Analysis makes understanding the numbers easy. The only introduction to statistics book written specifically for political science undergraduates, this book explains each statistical concept in plain language—from basic univariate statistics and the basic measures of association to bivariate and multivariate regression—and uses real world political examples. Students learn the relevance of statistics to political science, how to understand and calculate statistics mathematically, and how to obtain them using SPSS. All calculations are modeled step-by-step, giving students needed practice to master the process without making it intimidating. Each chapter concludes with exercises that get students actively applying the steps and building their professional skills through data calculation, analysis, and memo writing.
1. The Political Use of Numbers: Lies and Statistics
The Power of Numbers  
The Science of Politics  
Introductory Statistics: An Overview  
Removing the Barriers to Understanding How Statistics Works  
The Importance of Statistics: This Book’s Approach  
Using Data to Answer a Question  
A Political Application: Indoctrination U.  
Your Turn: Using Statistics  
Apply It Yourself: Assess Grants to Political Scientists  
Key Terms  
2. Measurement: Counting the Biggel-Balls
Finding Your Cases  
Measure an Attribute  
Evaluate the Conceptual and Operational Definitions  
Translate Information in Numbers: Coding Your Data  
Get a Frequency Distribution  
Summarizing the Process: Measurement  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with Measurement  
Your Turn: Measurement  
Apply It Yourself: Measure the Norm for Chief Justice Appointments  
Key Terms  
3. Measures of Central Tendency: That’s Some Mean Baseball
Measures of Central Tendency  
Summarizing the Math: Averages  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with Averages  
Your Turn: Measures of Central Tendency  
Apply It Yourself: Calculate the Percent of Earned Income  
Key Terms  
4. Measures of Dispersion: Missing the Mark
Distance from Mean  
Summarizing the Math: Dispersion  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with Measures of Dispersion  
Your Turn: Measures of Dispersion  
Apply It Yourself: Evaluate Graduates’ Salaries  
Key Terms  
5. Continuous Probability: So What’s Normal Anyway?
The Normal Curve  
Finding a Z-Score  
Use Probability to Calculate Z-Scores  
Summarizing the Math: Probabilities of Continuous Events  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with Continuous Probability  
Your Turn: Continuous Probability  
Apply It Yourself: Evaluate the Murder Rate  
Key Terms  
6. Means Testing: Sampling a Population
Type I and Type II Errors  
Means Testing  
Confidence Intervals: Two-Tailed Distributions  
Choose a Sample Size  
Summarizing the Math: Sampling a Population  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with Means Testing  
Your Turn: Means Testing  
Apply It Yourself: Assess Maternal Mortality Rate Increases  
Key Terms  
7. Hypothesis Testing: Examining Relationships
Hypothesis Testing  
Summarizing the Math: Hypothesis Testing and ANOVA  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with ANOVA  
Your Turn: Hypothesis Testing  
Apply It Yourself: Examine Partisanship’s Affect on Feelings toward the Democratic Party  
Key Terms  
8. Describing the Pattern: What Do You See?
Choosing the Appropriate Form of Presentation  
Graphs: Relationships and Scales  
Visualizing a Relationship: Contingency Tables  
Summarizing the Math: Graphs and Contingency Tables  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question Using a Contingency Table  
Your Turn: Describing the Pattern  
Apply It Yourself: Determine Stability across Legislative Systems  
Key Terms  
9. Chi-Square and Cramer’s V: What Do You Expect?
The Probability of Discrete Events  
Cramer’s V  
Summarizing the Math: Chi-Square and Cramer’s V  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with Chi-Square and Cramer’s V  
Your Turn: Chi-Square and Cramer’s V  
Apply It Yourself: Analyze Data by Type  
Key Terms  
10. Measures of Association: Making Connections
Basic Principles of Measures of Association  
Pearson’s R  
Summarizing the Math: Measures of Association  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with Measures of Association  
Your Turn: Measures of Association  
Apply It Yourself: Measure Poor Student Graduation Rates  
Key Terms
11. Multivariate Relationships: Taking Control
Spurious Relationships  
Interaction Effects  
Three-Way Contingency Tables  
Summarizing the Process: Setting Up Three-Way Contingency Tables  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with a Three-Way Contingency Table  
Your Turn: Multivariate Relationships  
Apply It Yourself: Analyze Data on Race for Partisanship and Income  
Key Terms  
12. Bivariate Regression: Putting Your Ducks in a Line
Graph a Relationship  
Fit the Data with the Ordinary Least Squares Estimate of the Line  
Find the Statistical Significance  
Find the Strength of the Relationship  
Use Regressions with Time Series Data  
Interpret Regressions with Dichotomous Independent Variables  
Summarizing the Math: Regression  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with Bivariate Regression  
Your Turn: Bivariate Regression  
Apply It Yourself: Analyze Influences on Corruption  
Key Terms  
13. Multiple Regression: The Final Frontier
Using Regression to Control for Other Variables  
The Assumptions of Regression  
Summarizing the Process: Multiple Regression  
Use SPSS to Answer a Question with Multiple Regression  
Your Turn: Multiple Regression  
Apply It Yourself: Evaluate the Impact of Multiple Factors on the 2012 Presidential Election  
Key Terms  
14. Understanding the Numbers: Knowing What Counts
Univariate Statistics  
Multivariate Statistics  
Keeping the Numbers Meaningful  
Embracing the Uncertainty  
Key Terms  
Reference Materials


Instructor Resource Site

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy to provide a diverse range of test items
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Instructor manual which summarize key concepts by chapter to ease preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • A set of all the graphics from the text, including all of the maps, tables, and figures, is available in PowerPoint, pdf, and JPEG formats for class presentations
Student Study Site

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment and features elements such as:

  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
  • Carefully selected video and multimedia content that enhance exploration of key topics
  • Datasets and documentation to be used with the "Apply It Yourself" exercises.

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