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Research Methods In Political Science 8th Edition by Michael K. Le Roy

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Research Methods In Political Science 8th Edition by Michael K. Le Roy

Instructor’s Resource Guide

Research Methods


Political Science

An Introduction Using MicroCase

Eighth Edition

Michael K. Le Roy

Whitworth University


Corrections below are underlined in bold italics.

  1. 230 second sentence from the beginning of the page should read: “Here, let’s compare the Kerry row from all tables, including the original table before we controlled for anything.”
  1. 233 third sentence from the top of the page should read: “The first of these percentages has been provided to help you get started—this percentage means that among those with high political information, 18.4% of those who want to increase government services classify themselves as conservatives.
  1. 233 table headings and the first row and first two columns should appear as follows:

More Services Same

High Political Information 18.4%


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Purpose of this Instructor’s Resource Guide iv

Purpose of Research Methods in Political Science:

An Introduction Using MicroCase iv

What’s New in the Eighth Edition? v

Comments on the Exercises and Worksheets vi

The Network Version of Student MicroCase viii

Printing, Copying, and Saving Results ix

How to obtain Technical Support ix

Feedback for the Author ix

Chapter 1: A Brief Overview of Research Methods in Political Science 1

Chapter 2: Measurement I: The Basic Ideas 4

Chapter 3: Measurement II: Types of Data 9

Chapter 4: Variables, Variation, and Explanation 13

Chapter 5: Hypotheses 17

Chapter 6: Sampling 21

Chapter 7: Data Preparation and Entry 25

Chapter 8: Descriptive Statistics 29

Chapter 9: How to Read a Cross-tabulation 33

Chapter 10: Tests of Statistical Significance and Measures of Association 37

Chapter 11: Cross-tabulation and Statistics: Controlling for a Third Variable 45

Chapter 12: Correlation and Regression 49

Chapter 13: The Overall Process 53

Answer Key

Purpose of this Instructor’s Resource Guide

This instructor’s manual provides:

  • Further information about the purpose of Research Methods in Political Science: An Introduction Using MicroCase, 8/e.
  • Additional suggestions concerning the exercises.
  • Comments concerning certain technical matters.
  • Brief comments on the text material and worksheets for each chapter of Research Methods in Political Science, 8/e.
  • Sample exam questions for each chapter.
  • Answers for the worksheet questions for each chapter.

Purpose of Research Methods in Political Science:

An Intro­duction Using MicroCase, 8/e

The purpose of this book is to teach undergraduate political science students the basic core of political science research methods through both written materials and computer exercises.

This book is a combination of a brief textbook (covering the essential elements of political science research methods) and a set of workbook exercises to give greater meaning to the material. This book is supplied with Student MicroCase, a statistical package which is at the same time extremely user-friendly and extremely powerful. The MicroCase package also contains seven data files that the students will use throughout the book. Each chapter of this book contains:

  • Concise written material on the topic of the chapter, and
  • A set of computer exercises to give the student experience and further knowledge concerning the concepts and methods involved.

The text material in each chapter covers the essential core of political science methods by building on—and reinforcing—the material presented in previous chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the entire research process. Chapter 2 introduces concepts, variables, conceptual definitions, operational definitions, and measurement. Chapter 3 deals with types of data (survey data, content analysis data, etc.) and levels of measure­ment (nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio). Chapter 4 explains some crucial concepts: dependent vs. independent vs. intervening vs. antecedent variables, variation, explana­tion, correlation vs. causality, and spurious relation­ships. Chapter 5 explains hypotheses and null hypotheses, how to state them, and how they relate to testing theories. Chapter 6 discusses sampling. Chapter 7 instructs students on how to take a set of data and create a data file from it. Before Chapter 8, students will have been exposed to certain aspects of descriptive statistics: frequency distributions, bar graphs, and pie charts. Chapter 8 further describes the presentation of frequency distributions and it gives basic explanations of measures of central tendency and measures of variability. Chapter 9 instructs students on how to read cross-tabulation tables and how to examine them for patterns. Chapter 10 explains tests of statistical significance and measures of association. Chapter 11 shows students how to deal with control variables when examining cross-tabulation tables. Chapter 12 explains correlation and regression. Chapter 13 recapitulates the overall research process, but at a higher level of sophistication than the overview contained in Chapter 1, and it provides a means to take the student through the complete process from beginning to end.

The worksheets in each chapter give students hands-on experience with the topics covered in the preliminary text. Students will be guided through the process from beginning to end. Because of the great ease of use of the MicroCase system, no part of this process is difficult or intimidating. In fact, the students should find it not only easy to work with MicroCase, but also enjoyable and interesting.

This book can serve two alternative purposes, depending on the extent to which instruction in research methods is given in a particular course:

  • For those who give the “methods” part of the course a smaller role than the “scope” part, this book can serve as a “stand alone” core of methods instruction. It covers all the topics in sufficient detail to give students a good grasp of concepts and methods. The textual material will cover the core topics of social scientific methods and the exercises give them experience. In this situation, this book might be used as the only book in the course or it might be used in conjunction with a book that focuses primarily on the scope of political science.
  • For those introductory courses which give much greater attention to methodology and for those upper division methods courses, this book can stand alone as the core for a course to be supplemented by lecture material or it can serve as a supplement to a more extensive, traditional textbook on research methods in political science.

What’s New in the Eighth Edition?

While much of the eighth edition is the same as the seventh edition, there are some important changes.

Data File Changes

The package includes seven updated data files that are used in the text itself and a small research archive for more in-depth student projects. Four of these are based on selected variables from major surveys—the 2006 and 2008 National Opinion Research Center General Social Survey (GSS) and the 2004 and 2008 American National Election Study (NES). Two files are based on aggregate data: the STATES file contains aggregate data for the 50 states and the GLOBAL (referred to as NATIONS in previous editions) file contains data for the 172 nations that have a population of 200,000 or more. The fifth file (HOUSE) contains data for the members of the House of Representatives111th Congress (2009-2010).

The research archive includes data files from the House and the Senate of the 111th Congress, small cumulative files from the GSS and NES over time, and a small version of the World Values Survey from selected countries (Germany, USA, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, and Nigeria). This research archive was selected to give the instructor more resources for in class demonstration, and independent student projects. The research archive is available for download from the Research Methods in Political Science, 8th edition web site.

Textbook Changes

While various changes have been made in the textbook, the basic substance of the explanatory material in most of the chapters has not changed greatly. The worksheet sections of the chapters have all been revised to enhance collaborative and active learning, critical thinking and analysis, and independent research skill.

We removed chapter 11 of the seventh edition that covered bivariate analysis using ANOVA. Feedback from many reviewers indicated that they would prefer to see coverage of regression expanded and few reviewers indicated a need for ANOVA analysis in their courses.

Because we have added the full editions of the GSS and NES there are too many variables to include in the Appendices of this textbook. We have included codebooks for a few of the data files (HOUSE and GLOBAL), but students or instructors who wish to print their own codebooks may do so by following the instructions on page 292 of the book or download codebooks from the website.

Software Changes

For the eighth edition of the text we continue to distribute the MicroCase software and data files from a website download. Each new copy of the text includes a card with instructions and a passcode for access. The Instructors Companion Page for this text contains the network version, ShowCase Presentation Software, and the Instructor’s version of the MicroCase Analysis System.

Comments on the Exercises and Worksheets

Each chapter contains a set of worksheets with questions to be answered by the students. These exercises are designed to give the students experience in applying the material covered in the text part of the chapter. Several additional comments need to be made about these worksheets.

What Is To Be Done with the Worksheets?

Different instructors will handle this matter in different ways. Depending on class size, grading each and every one of the worksheets might be an overwhelming task. At the same time, it seems to be a good idea to encourage student accountability by grading at least some of them.

Perhaps the worksheets for a particular chapter could be due on a certain day. Then it would be decided on that day by a random process whether the worksheets for that particular chapter would be graded.

Another possibility is to have students exchange papers and grade the worksheets themselves. As a variation on this practice, the worksheets might be collected some of the time for a more thorough examination by the instructor or a graduate assistant.

The real focus, of course, needs to be on what the students have learned. Thus, it is probably best not to count the worksheets too much in the grading process. Instructors should emphasize that students need to do the exercises carefully and learn from what they are doing. This learning would be assessed best by other means such as exams.

Given that the worksheet section for the last chapter requires that students bring together much of the material they have covered, some instructors might use this particular exercise as a small term paper for the course. This exercise could be treated as a fuller term paper by expanding it. For example, the exercise could easily be expanded by requiring additional variables and hypotheses and/or requiring an actual literature review.

Can the Exercises Be Altered?

There are many situations in which the exercises can easily be altered. For example, if students are supposed to obtain a cross-tabulation for two particular variables and analyze the results, two different variables could easily be substituted. If the exercise requires collapsing a particular variable, a different variable could be substituted. If the exercise requires giving conceptual and operational definitions for certain variables, other variables could be substituted. The instructor could simply give directions concerning the alterations in class or distribute a handout.

The biggest alteration that many instructors will make is to change the data used in Chapter 7. Chapter 7 shows students in a step-by-step fashion how to set up a MicroCase data file. In doing this, students will use a very small data file consisting of just six variables for ten U.S. senators from the 111th Congress (2009-2010).

Many instructors will alter the data for this exercise for various reasons — to make the files different from one term to another, to make different points about data files, to use data related to specific research problems, to have students collect original data, etc. There is no problem in altering the data base; this can be easily done. Chapter 7 provides a small example to show students how to set up a data file; once students have learned how to set up a file, they can replace the old data file with a new one.

Preventing Copying of Assignments

As a means to encourage students to do their own computer assignments, a “personal licensing” component is included in the MicroCase software. The first time students run their copy of MicroCase, they will be prompted to enter their complete name. After this point, whenever students print something from MicroCase, their name and the current date will be printed at the top of each page. By having students turn in printouts from an exercise (even just one printout), you can be sure that they did not photocopy the printout from another student. You’ll even know the date the assignment was completed.

You can, of course, simply grade the papers or have them graded by an assistant. On the other hand, simply to make sure that students actually bring completed assignments to class, it is sufficient to have them exchange papers as you go over the material. You probably will want to augment this practice to some extent, however. One way is to have the papers handed in for grading once or twice during the term— announcing at the start of the course that this will happen, but without warning as to when. Some faculty give one or two brief surprise quizzes based on the worksheets and the key concepts presented in the preceding material. It will be apparent which students rushed through an assignment or simply copied answers from another student.

Here are some additional ideas suggested by past adopters to discourage copying by students:

  • Include questions on the test that are based on the worksheet sections. For example, many instructors will print graphics or tables from the MicroCase program and ask students to interpret the results. This can be done in the form of multiple choice or open-ended questions.
  • For each worksheet section, develop some additional questions that students must complete. Since these can easily be changed each semester, you can discourage the copying of worksheets from earlier terms.
  • Have students write a final term paper utilizing the data files. If students found “alternative” methods for completing the worksheets, they will have difficulty developing ideas for a paper, or completing the required analysis. Again, by warning students that they will have problems later in the course if they do not do the exercises themselves, they are less apt to copy answers from a friend.
  • Do not allow students to turn in photocopied worksheet pages. This will force the student to obtain a copy of the book, and hence, it makes it much more likely that they will actually do their own work. If a student does not even have a copy of the book, they are much more likely to copy answers rather than “borrow” the book each week to complete the assignment.

Many instructors have reported that not much accountability is needed to spur the students on, because they discover it is a lot of fun to use MicroCase.

The Network Version of Student MicroCase

If you are using Student MicroCase in a computer lab or networked setting, you are strongly encouraged to use the network version of Student MicroCase that has been developed for this book. There is no charge for the network version of Student MicroCase if you have adopted the textbook for your course.

The network version of Student MicroCase does not install the data files that accompany this text. It is very important to note that during the course of the text, students will need to make changes/additions to the data contained in the data files. In order for each student to complete this work, it is crucial that each student work with their own personal copy of the data. To accommodate the various requirements at different institutions we have relaxed the requirements of the network version of Student MicroCase to allow the following setups for student access to data:

  • Students may provide their data files on any recordable media allowed by the network administrator (e.g., diskette, read/write CD-ROM, memory stick)
  • Administrators or Students may setup individual files for each student on the network in which to store/access unique copies of the data files.

The network version of Student MicroCase does not require a password to install, however, the license allows for use only at schools where Research Methods in Political Science Using MicroCase, 7th edition is actively in use and the software may not be redistributed or used for other purposes.

The network version of Student MicroCase is available for download from the Instructor Companion page for this text at:

Printing, Copying, and Saving Results

In Student MicroCase, refer to the on-line help for information on printing or pasting results to the Windows clipboard.

How to obtain Technical Support

If you have questions or problems with Student MicroCase, please contact the Cengage Learning Technical Support department at or (800) 423-0563.

Feedback for the Author

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions that you have concerning these materials.

Michael Le Roy

Department of Political Science

Whitworth University

Spokane, WA 99251-0002

Chapter 1

A Brief Overview of Research Methods in Political Science

Purpose of Chapter

This chapter provides the following:

  • an explanation of the goals of the book;
  • a description of the organization of the book;
  • a brief overview of the overall research process in political science;
  • an introduction to the use of the MicroCase software with the data files included in the package.

Notes on Chapter 1 Text Material

The chapter begins by setting out the following goals for the student to have achieved upon completion of this book:

  • Define and explain the core concepts used in the discussion of research methods in political science;
  • Explain the basic strategy and stages—from the beginning stage to the ending stage—of political science research;
  • Create a data file and do the appropriate statistical analysis of variables in data files.

The chapter then explains how the book is organized. Next, the chapter briefly describes each of the stages of the overall research process. The purpose here is to give the student some perspective of the overall process before getting into the individual parts of that process. While it is emphasized that real-world research does not necessarily follow this sequence exactly, the research process is discussed in terms of the following stages:

  • Formulating the Research Idea
  • The Literature Review
  • Formulating the Hypothesis
  • Defining the Concepts
  • Operationalizing the Concepts
  • Measuring the Data
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Drawing Conclusions
  • Writing the Research Report

The rest of the chapter gives the student greater familiarity with Student MicroCase and the data files included in the package.

Notes on the Chapter 1 Worksheet Section

The worksheets for Chapter 1 introduce students to Student MicroCase and the data files included with it. By the time that students have finished this chapter, they will know how to start MicroCase, open a data file, view lists of variables in a data file, obtain variable descriptions, search for variables that contain a particular word or phrase, view frequency distributions from the NES file (with bar graphs or pie charts), and map aggregate variables from the GLOBAL and STATES files, and how to exit from MicroCase.

By the time they finish this section, students will also have learned that it is easy and fun to use Student MicroCase. Students who have little computer experience might approach the worksheets with some dread; after this section is completed, they will see that using MicroCase is not difficult at all. Students should also be impressed with the quality and variety of the data available to them in the five data files.

Sample Exam Questions


There is a sequence of steps in the political research process that all political researchers must follow exactly.

Answer: FALSE

Students do not really need to understand the research process in political science unless they are going to do research themselves.

Answer: FALSE

The discussion of controversial political issues can be aided by knowledge gained through political research.

Answer: TRUE

As students of politics, we attempt to develop descriptions and explanations of aspects of political reality.

Answer: TRUE

After formulating the idea for political research, it is important to do a literature review to find out what is already known in this area of research.

Answer: TRUE

An operational definition is a specification of what we mean by a particular concept.

Answer: FALSE


Describe the stages in the overall research process in political science.

Particular political issues or policy areas often center on basic value disagreements among people. However, some questions involved in these areas are not simply a matter of values and can be investigated through political research. Specify a particular political issue or policy area (e.g., welfare, capital punishment, pornography, school prayer, international trade, crime prevention) and write at least two questions that could be investigated through political science research methods.

Chapter 2

Measurement I: The Basic Ideas

Purpose of Chapter

Chapters 2 and 3 each deal with different aspects of the measurement process in political research. This chapter will explain the following measurement topics:

  • Concepts
  • Variables
  • Variation
  • Conceptual (nominal) definitions: the meaning of concepts
  • Operational definitions: the measurement of concepts
  • Indicators
  • Reliability and validity

Notes on Chapter 2 Text Material

This chapter lays the foundation for a number of important concepts in political research: concepts, variables, variation, conceptual definitions, operational definitions, and indicators. The chapter also gives a brief discussion of reliability and validity.

The heaviest emphasis of the text material is on conceptual and operational definitions. The chapter provides several examples and reinforces the ideas further through the worksheet section. By the time students have finished Chapter 2 (including the worksheets), they should understand conceptual and operational definitions very well.

Notes on the Chapter 2 Worksheet Section

The worksheets for Chapter 2 are intended to achieve the following objectives:

  • Give the student further experience with Student MicroCase and the data files included with it.
  • Provide the student with more hands-on experience in dealing with the following concepts:

– Concepts

– Variables

– Variation

– Conceptual definitions

– Operational definitions

– Indicators

  • Emphasize to students that the way in which concepts are measured is important and can affect the results of research.
  • Give students more skill in searching data files for variables relevant to particular concepts.

Sample Exam Questions

Definition Define each of the following concepts:

Concept Variable

Variation Conceptual (Nominal) Definition

Reliability Operational Definition

Validity Indicator

Multiple Choice (A “*” indicates the correct answer).

A _____________________ is a measured concept.

*A. variable

  1. conceptual definition
  2. operational definition
  3. indicator

_______________________ are the kinds of observations that are made in order to measure a particular concept.

  1. variables
  2. conceptual definitions
  3. operational definitions

*D. indicators

_______________________ refers to differences among a set of measurements of a variable.

*A. variation

  1. reliability
  2. validity
  3. operational definition

A (an) __________________________________ is a statement of the meaning of a particular concept.

  1. variable

*B. conceptual definition

  1. operational definition
  2. indicator

A (an) ___________________________________ is a specification of the process by which a concept is measured.

  1. variables

*B. conceptual definitions

  1. operational definitions
  2. indicators


Reliability refers to the extent to which a measurement procedure measures what it is supposed to be measuring.

Answer: FALSE

The way in which a concept is operationally defined can affect the results of research.

Answer: TRUE

Dictionary definitions are conceptual definitions, but not all conceptual definitions are dictionary definitions.

Answer: TRUE

By their very nature, operational definitions always fully capture the meaning of a concept.

Answer: FALSE

When a concept is complex, we usually need just a single indicator in order to operationally define the concept.

Answer: FALSE

Short Answer

What is wrong with the following conceptual definition? Political participation refers to participation in politics.

Answer: First, lack of clarity might be a problem. Conceptual definitions should be clear so that someone else knows what you mean.

Second, avoid “defining” a concept by simply equating it to another concept with which it is related. For example, “Political interest refers to how much a person knows about politics.” This definition says that political interest is the same thing as political knowledge, but political interest and political knowledge are separate concepts.

Third, avoid circularity in definitions. “Political participation is participation in politics.” This simply defines a concept in terms of itself and gives no information about the meaning of the concept.

Suppose that there are two groups of people who are each discussing the issue of abortion. What would it mean to say that there is no variation within one of these groups on the issue of abortion? What would it mean to say that there is high variation within the other group on the issue of abortion?


What kinds of problems should be avoided when you are giving a conceptual definition of a concept?

Choose one of the concepts below, give a conceptual definition for it, and specify as completely as you can how you would go about operationally defining the concept. Be very specific.

Political knowledge Political participation

Political tolerance Racism

Support for capital punishment Support for welfare programs


Chapter 3

Measurement II: Types of Data

Purpose of Chapter

This chapter discusses types of data in political science in terms of three classifications:

  • cases (units of analysis)
  • approaches to data collection
  • levels of measurement

Notes on Chapter 3 Text Material

This chapter first discusses the different types of data in terms of the case (unit of analysis) involved. Specifically, the discussion distinguishes between individual data and aggregate data. Next, the chapter discusses the following approaches to data collection:

  • surveys
  • experiments
  • direct observation
  • content analysis
  • extracting data from public records

One goal is to make students aware that there are different types of data. Another goal is to make students aware that there are many sources of data to draw from when doing research.

The chapter then discusses the four levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. The discussion emphasizes that knowledge of these levels of measurement is important because different levels of measurement require different statistical techniques for analysis.

Notes on the Chapter 3 Worksheet Section

The worksheets for this chapter are designed to give students experience in using different kinds of data and distinguishing the different levels of measurement. The five data files were selected with the goal in mind of providing different types of data and different levels of measurement.

Sample Exam Questions


Survey data are data that have been collected through surveys and for which the individual is the unit of analysis.

Answer: TRUE

Different kinds of political research require different kinds of data.

Answer: TRUE


Which of the following is the most used source of data in political science?

  1. Content analysis data
  2. Public records data

*C. Survey data

  1. Aggregate data

Which of the following is NOT an academic polling organization?

  1. Center for Political Studies (CPS)
  2. National Opinion Research Center (NORC)

*C. Gallup Poll

What is the biggest source of aggregate data in the United States?

  1. National surveys such as the NORC General Social Survey

*B. The Census

  1. The Congressional Quarterly
  2. Data provided by all the political party organizations in the country.

Suppose a researcher was studying the political and social values portrayed in prime-time weekly television comedies. What is the case (unit of analysis) in this research?

  1. Political or social values
  2. Individual characters in the television shows

*C. Prime-time weekly television comedies

  1. Television shows

Short answer

Why is it important to know the different levels of measurement? That is, what difference does the level of measurement of the data make?

Answer: Different levels of measurement require different statistical techniques for data analysis.

Why is there so little experimental research in political science? That is, why is it so difficult to conduct experiments?

Answer: Because the types of independent variables we use cannot be controlled, they cannot be experimentally manipulated.


For each of the following variables, classify the level of measurement as nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio.

__________ state of residence (Alabama, Alaska, etc.) (NOMINAL)

__________ degree of political trust: low, medium, or high (ORDINAL)

__________ the year as measured in an analysis of death rates over time (INTERVAL)

__________ number of public figures that a person can correctly identify (RATIO)

Chapter 4

Variables, Variation, and Explanation

Purpose of Chapter

This chapter focuses on explanation in political science. In doing so, the chapter will:

  • explain the different types of variables (dependent, independent, antecedent, and intervening);
  • illustrate the concept of explanation in terms of relating variation in the dependent variable to variation in the independent variable;
  • distinguish between correlation and causality;
  • describe the idea of a spurious relationship and the consequences it has for the strategy of political research.

Notes on Chapter 4 Text Material

The discussion emphasizes the concept of explanation throughout this chapter. The concept of explanation is first used in order to distinguish between dependent and independent variables. Explanation is defined in terms of relating variation in the dependent variable to variation in the independent variable. This also requires an emphasis on the concept of variation.

The chapter also distinguishes between the dependent variable and the independent variable in theoretical terms: we think of the independent variable as affecting the dependent variable in some way. It is emphasized that when we examine relationships between variables, it must make sense to think that the independent variable could affect the dependent variable.

The chapter includes several examples to emphasize basic points. This includes demonstrating how an antecedent or intervening variable might affect the relationship between the dependent variable and the independent variable.

The text cautions students about the difference between correlation and causality. In this context, we discuss spurious relationships and their implications for the strategy of political research.

By the time students finish this chapter, they should be thoroughly familiar with the different types of variables and the concepts of variation and explanation. This will establish a solid foundation for the examination of hypotheses in the next chapter.

Notes on the Chapter 4 Worksheet Section

The worksheets for this chapter are designed to:

  • help students to understand the concept of variation.
  • introduce the student to analysis of cross-tabulation tables.
  • emphasize the difference between dependent variables and independent variables.
  • give the student a brief introduction to correlation—which will be discussed in greater depth in Chapter 13.
  • demonstrate that correlation and causality are not the same thing.
  • demonstrate the concept of explanation as relating variation in the dependent variable to variation in the independent variable.
  • give students an introduction to the process of controlling for another variable while examining the relationship between a dependent variable and an independent variable.

Sample Exam Questions

Fill in

______________________________ refers to relating variation in the dependent variable to variation in the independent variable. (EXPLANATION)

_______________________________ refers to differences among a set of measurements of a variable. (VARIATION)

A (an) _________________________________ is an apparent causal relationship between two variables which is actually due to one or more other variables. (SPURIOUS RELATIONSHIP)


In theoretical terms, we think of the independent variable as affecting the dependent variable in some way.

Answer: TRUE

We need to be careful to include variables in our research which might affect the relationship between the dependent variable and the independent variable.

Answer: TRUE

The strategy of political science research is to prove that one variable causes another variable.

Answer: FALSE


Suppose we find that two variables A and B are related to one another. Which of the following might account for this relationship?

  1. Variable A causes variable B.
  2. Variable B causes variable A.
  3. Both variable A and variable B are caused by another variable C.
  4. It is simply a coincidence.

*E. Any of the above statements might possibly be correct.

In Study A, a researcher wants to explain what variables lead some people to be Democrats, some to be Republicans, and some to be Independents. In Study B, a researcher wants to explain what effects political party identification has on the views of people concerning political issues. What kind of variable is political party identification in these studies?

  1. An independent variable in both studies
  2. A dependent variable in both studies
  3. An independent variable in Study A and a dependent variable in Study B

*D. A dependent variable in Study A and an independent variable in Study B

A political researcher is studying the relationship between religious views and political views. However, the researcher believes that gender might affect the way that religious views and political views are related to one another; that is females and males might have different patterns of linkages between religious views and political views. In this situation, what kind of variable is gender?

  1. A dependent variable
  2. An independent variable

*C. An antecedent variable

  1. An intervening variable

Suppose you were studying the effects of income on people. Which of the following could NOT be used as a dependent variable in your study?

*A. Race

  1. Views on capital punishment
  2. Views on welfare programs
  3. Political tolerance
  4. Political party identification

Several studies have found that people with higher education have higher political tolerance and people with lower education have lower political tolerance. However, it has been suggested that education does not directly affect political tolerance. Rather, greater education leads to greater exposure to social diversity and this in turn leads to higher political tolerance. Thus, when greater education does not lead to greater exposure to social diversity, it does not lead to higher political tolerance. In this situation, what kind of variable is exposure to social diversity?

  1. A dependent variable
  2. An independent variable
  3. An antecedent variable

*D. An intervening variable


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