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Making Social Sciences More ScientificThe Need for Predictive Models$
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Rein Taagepera

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199534661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534661.001.0001

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Are Electoral Studies a Rosetta Stone for Parts of Social Sciences?

Are Electoral Studies a Rosetta Stone for Parts of Social Sciences?

Chapter:
(p.225) 17 Are Electoral Studies a Rosetta Stone for Parts of Social Sciences?
Source:
Making Social Sciences More Scientific
Author(s):

Rein Taagepera (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534661.003.0017

Some aspects of social sciences can be made more predictive and, in this sense, more like natural sciences. Electoral studies have many variables with a natural zero (ratio variables), which makes them amenable to certain types of logical model building and sets them apart from other social sciences. Still, plenty of ratio variables occur in other social sciences too, and here electoral studies may offer valuable methodological tips. From temperature to political involvement, looser scales sometimes have a way to turn into ratio scales, if we dare to play with them.

Keywords:   electoral studies, logical models, natural zero, political involvement, ratio variables, social versus natural sciences, temperature

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