POLS 307. Research Methods in Political Science
This course introduces students to the methods and terminology used by political scientists. We will examine basic concepts used in research (such as theories, hypotheses, independent and dependent variables, reliability and validity, sampling, and generalizability). We will also examine basic statistical techniques that are used to examine data, with an emphasis on interpreting the results (ranging from descriptive statistics to crosstabs, correlation, and regression). This course provides the knowledge necessary to conduct objective investigations of political phenomena and to better understand and evaluate the research of others. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to understand and interpret most research published in political science journals, as well as public opinion polls, surveys, and research findings reported in the news. As a result, students who complete this course will become more sophisticated consumers of diverse research and be prepared for future coursework in political science, as well as for life as an educated and informed citizen.