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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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Why Social Sciences Are Not Scientific Enough

Why Social Sciences Are Not Scientific Enough

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Why Social Sciences Are Not Scientific Enough
Source:
Making Social Sciences More Scientific
Author(s):

Rein Taagepera (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534661.003.0001

Science is not only about the empirical “What is?” but also very much about the conceptual “How should it be on logical grounds?” Statistical approaches are essentially descriptive, while quantitatively formulated logical models are essentially predictive in an explanatory way. Social sciences have overemphasized statistical data analysis, often limiting their logical models to prediction of the direction of effect, oblivious of its quantitative extent. A better balance of methods is possible and will make social sciences more relevant to society. This book is about going beyond regression and other statistical approaches, and also about improving their use.

Keywords:   description versus explanation, directional prediction, empirical versus conceptual, logical models, statistical data analysis

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