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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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How to Construct Predictive Models: Simplicity and Nonabsurdity

How to Construct Predictive Models: Simplicity and Nonabsurdity

Chapter:
(p.23) 3 How to Construct Predictive Models: Simplicity and Nonabsurdity
Source:
Making Social Sciences More Scientific
Author(s):

Rein Taagepera (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534661.003.0003

Predictive models should be as simple as one can get away with, and they must not predict absurdities. They join the parsimony of “Occam's razor” to the “Sherlock Holmes principle”: Show how things cannot be connected, and only one acceptable form of relationship may remain – or very few. Conceptual models must not predict absurdities even under extreme circumstances. All too many variables are interdependent rather than “independent” or “dependent,” so it is safer to talk about input and output variables under given conditions.

Keywords:   conceptual models, input and output variables, interdependent variables, nonabsurdity, Occam's razor, predictive models, Sherlock Holmes principle, simplicity

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