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eBook The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking ePub

by Kenneth R. Hoover,Todd Donovan

eBook The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking ePub
Author: Kenneth R. Hoover,Todd Donovan
Language: English
ISBN: 1439082421
ISBN13: 978-1439082423
Publisher: Cengage Learning; 10 edition (February 17, 2010)
Pages: 208
Category: Social Sciences
Subcategory: Other
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 332
Formats: doc lit txt azw
ePub file: 1878 kb
Fb2 file: 1612 kb

Senior Publisher: Suzanne Jeans. 2 The Elements of Science 11 The Origin and Utility of Concepts 12 What Is a Variable? 15 The Hypothesis 24 The Scientific Method 27 The Many Roles of Theory 29. 3 Strategies 38 Thinking Over the Problem 40 Reality Testing 46 Understanding the Results 50.

University of California, Riverside) is a professor of Political Science at Western Washington University. He is coauthor (with Ken Hoover) of THE ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC THINKING, also published by Cengage Learning.

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He is coauthor (with Ken Hoover) of THE ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC THINKING, also published by Cengage Learning. Bibliographic information.

University of Wisconsin-Madison) was Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Western Washington University. The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking.

André Blais, Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan and Ola Listhaug. T Donovan, KR Hoover. Losers’ Consent: Elections and Democratic Legitimacy, 0. 852. Demanding choices: Opinion, voting, and direct democracy. University of Michigan Press, 2000. Cengage Learning, 2013. Citizens as legislators: Direct democracy in the United States. S Bowler, T Donovan, CJ Tolbert. Ohio State University Press, 1998.

Home . Details for: The Elements of social scientific thinking . Contributor(s): Hoover, Kenneth R, 1940-. Subject(s): Social sciences - Methodology Pharmacy m: - Text bookDDC classification: 30. 2. Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title.

This volume is a basic introduction to the vocabulary, concepts, and objectives of social scientific thought. The authors ask such questions as: "Where do concepts come from? What is a variable?

Todd Donovan, Kenneth Hoover.

Todd Donovan, Kenneth Hoover. This text is intended for use in a broad array of the social sciences, including Political Science, Sociology, and Psychology.

descriptions are more accurate and precise than casual descriptions ; - Because scientific observations are more careful and deliberate.

Todd Donovan Kenneth R. Hoover. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

A concise introduction to the fundamental concepts of social scientific thinking and research, this classic text makes scientific thinking, research methods and statistics accessible to undergraduates at a common sense level. This text is intended for use in a broad array of the social sciences, including Political Science, Sociology and Psychology.
This book is an absolutely superb introductory overview of scientific goals, methods, capabilities, and limitations. In other words, it's an introduction to the philosophy of science but, because the book is written by practicing social scientists, it doesn't have all the obfuscating and dry technicalities typically found in books written by philosophers of science. The result is that this book is wonderfully lucid, with writing which is fairly informal and always cuts right to the essence. I'm not surprised that it's in its tenth edition.

The examples and case studies in the book emphasize social science, which has the benefit of showing what science has to contend with in perhaps its most challenging domain. By comparison, the mathematical sophistication required for physics is daunting, but physics is also much "cleaner" than the messy world of human affairs. Chemistry, biomedicine, etc. are somewhere in between. Yet, despite the emphasis on social science, nearly all of the wise insights presented in this book are applicable to all branches of science. Because I can't possibly improve on the writing of the authors, I've summarized these insights below by quoting liberally from the book.

Needless to say, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in science, ranging from general readers to practicing scientists.

Excerpts summarizing key points from the book:

"By testing thoughts against observations of reality, science helps liberate enquiry from bias, prejudice, and just plain muddle-headedness."

"Science has to do with the way questions are formulated and answered; it is a set of rules and forms for inquiry created by people who want reliable answers."

"The scientific way of thought is one of a number of strategies by which we try to cope with a vital reality: the uncertainty of life."

"Science is a process of thinking and asking questions, not a body of knowledge. It is one of several ways of claiming that we know something. In one sense, the scientific method is a set of criteria for deciding how conflicts about differing views of reality can be resolved. It offers a strategy that researchers can use when approaching a question. It offers consumers of research the ability to critically assess how evidence has been developed and used in reaching a conclusion."

"... judgment plays a crucial role in how scientific evidence is gathered and evaluated."

"If there is doubt about the validity of what has been done, the study itself can be double-checked, or 'replicated', to use the technical term."

"It is in the realm of discovery that science becomes a direct partner of imagination."

"To call a thing by a precise name is the beginning of understanding, because it is the key to the procedure that allows the mind to grasp reality and its many relationships."

"The huge stock of concepts in language creates enormous possibilities for linking up variables to explain events. People have muddled around for centuries trying to sort through significant connections. Science is a highly elevated form of muddling by which these connections are tried out and tested as carefully as possible."

"One of the marks of a smart scientist is the ability to find ways of quantifying important variables in a reliable and useful way."

"The closer a quantified measure comes to reflecting the definition of the underlying concept the research is concerned with, the more valid the measure is."

"... sloppy or inappropriate measurement is generally worse than no measurement at all."

"A hypothesis proposes a relationship between two or more variables."

"A generalization is a hypothesis affirmed by testing. As generalizations in a field of study accumulate, they form the raw stuff of theories."

"It is tempting, but misleading, to conceive of theory as something rocklike and immobile behind the whiz and blur of daily experience. Rather, theory is a sometimes ingenious creation of human beings in their quest for understanding. People create theories in proportion to needs, and the theories they create can be either functional or dysfunctional to those needs."

"The term 'truth' is red meat for philosophers, and they are welcome to it. Science prefers to operate in the less lofty region of falsifiable statements that can be checked by someone else ... By making the degree of verification a permanent consideration in science, a good many rash conclusions can be avoided."

"If you want something absolute to believe in, it must be found outside of science."

"Good description is the beginning of science."

"As researchers look at 'old' data with a different perspective and a new hypothesis, fresh insights are revealed."

"... researchers typically use several statistics to summarize a situation, rather than relying on a single indicator, in order to compensate for the faults of any particular statistic."

"Be wary of people who say they have proven something - especially with 'facts' based on statistics."

"Hypotheses do not spring full-blown from the intellect unencumbered by a web of thoughts and preferences. Like any other artifact of human behavior, a hypothesis is part of a mosaic of intentions, learnings, and concerns."

"In a rough sense, a theory is a collection of hypotheses linked by some kind of logical framework. The term 'theory' connotes a degree of uncertainty about whether the understanding it offers is valid and correct. Theories, then, are tentative formulations. That which has been demonstrated to defy falsification is embodied in sets of 'laws' or axioms."

"The term paradigm ... refers to a larger frame of understanding, shared by a wider community of scientists, that organizes smaller-scale theories and inquiries."

"A null hypothesis can be disproven simply by demonstrating that there is any sort of association between two variables. Causation requires an enormous burden of proof and is at the opposite end of the relationship spectrum from the null hypothesis."

"... remember that measurement almost always look more precise than it really is."

"Probability constitutes nothing less than a fundamental of the scientific perspective ... Often explicitly and always implicitly, scientific generalizations are probabilistic."

"Science is the refinement of chance far more often than the discovery of certainty."

"Formally, we rarely speak of social science as conclusively proving anything. Rather, we speak of the probability that a hypothesis is supported by the available evidence."

"It should be stressed that a large sample will not necessarily compensate for unrepresentativeness."

"Statistics always distort reality to at least a small degree - that is why statisticians prefer using several techniques for characterizing data so as to hedge against the bias of a single procedure."

"Establishing a degree of association between two or more variables gets at the central objective of the scientific enterprise. Scientists spend most of their time figuring out how one thing relates to another and structuring these relationships into explanatory theories."

"Although it is possible to leave the mathematics to a computer, it is dangerous to use statistical techniques without being fully aware of the conceptual foundations for mathematical processes."

"Statistics don't create data; they describe it."

"... zealous defenders of science sometimes indiscreetly claim for science more than it can support as a strategy of knowledge. Feigning a mythical objectivity, they confuse the procedures of science for testing hypotheses with a claim to personal and professional immunity from bias and prejudice."

"... facts are not to be confused with Truth. A fact is only as good as the means of verification used to establish it, as well as the frame of reference within which it acquires meaning. A great deal of science consists of using methodological advances to revise, modify, or even falsify 'facts' and theories formerly 'verified' by cruder and less sensitive techniques."

"... we have to be aware that no matter how hard we try, our understanding will never be exclusively factual. Nor need it be. Science is a discipline for finding and organizing evidence about what interests us. We then try to use that evidence to shape our view of reality."

"... science does not answer all questions, and the answers it does provide must be placed in the perspective of other forms of understanding. In other words, science has its limitations."

"Remember that science begins - and also ends - in uncertainty. What science does is reduce uncertainty, but ultimately it cannot eliminate it."

"... true scientists generalize where there is evidence, but they do not claim more than the evidence allows. They certainly do not deny the possibility that other forms of knowledge (e.g., faith, intuition, or custom) may embody wisdom beyond the reach of evidence as scientists understand it."

"... a moral concern for humane values requires that there be a limit to both the arrogance of science as well as the claims of faith, intuition, and custom. If we are to deal with uncertainty effectively, a margin of tolerance for alternative forms of understanding is essential. Without it, we are likely to transcend the boundaries set by our human qualities."

"... there is a natural psychological pressure toward conformity in all human activity, as well as scientific inquiry."

"Science enters into personal action as a method for disciplining the process of understanding experience. The safeguards of the scientific method exist principally to control the natural tendency to project on what is observed whatever we want the world to be for our own private purposes. A discipline it is, but it becomes in practice a method for personal liberation from the narrowness of our own views, the limits of our own powers of observation, and the pressures of our prejudices."
I thought this book was boring but it's a Sociology book and it's not exactly supposed to be fun. It was a cheap purchase and it did the trick to help me study for class.
This book is great, and easy to read. Usually I do not rate textbooks, but this textbook was great and easy to read.
the book was in good condition. its an easier read for my methods class. people who are doing research may find this good helpful.
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