PLS 205

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CALIFORNIA STATE POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY at
POMONA
POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
PLS205/205A
Introduction to Research Method
Syllabus
Class Syllabus |Research Project
Office Phone : 909 869-3879
Fax: (909) 869-6995
E-mail:
[email protected]
Office Hours:
Monday 6-8 p.m., Wednesday 2-3:00 p.m.
Computer lab is generally open on Saturday
1:30 to 3:30 p.m. for class and advising.
Course Objective and Resources:
Powermutt is a system developed by Dr. John Korey that integrates topics about the scientific
method with areas of interest for political science students. These materials have been developed
specifically for PLS 205. The written discussions provided under Topics are augmented with data
sets, code books, exercises and on-line resources to guide and support student understanding and
mastery of research methods and techniques.
This quarter we also will be using Salkind’s Statistics for People Who Think They Hate Statistics.
DO NOT concern yourself with Salkind’s math. All math will be done using a software program
called SPSS.
The objective is to empower students to:


Define a viable research question, understand the tools available for exploring these
questions and
Understand how statistical tools may be used to describe, infer, predict and/or model
relationships that are of interest to the researcher.
Course Procedures:
PLEASE READ PRIOR TO CLASS SESSION. The pace of the class may not always be
synchronized with the assignments. You need to keep current with the readings and review the
material before the week's work begins. The reading assignments are the basis for the class.
The class uses a hands-on, learning- by- doing- approach. The faculty is responsible for
providing an appropriate foundation, introducing some initial questions and concepts that will serve
as a basis for exploration and discussion.
The student's role is to try out the resources provided and to question and explore the resources
provided.
Students are responsible for all information presented in each class meeting. This includes
substantial course material and procedural matters such as changes in schedules,
assignments, etc.
Grades
Grades are based on a scale of 100.
100-95= A;
89-87 =B+
79-77 =C+;
69-67 =D+
94-90=A86-83=B
76-73=C
66-63=D
82-80=B72-70=C62-60=D-
Below 60 = F
Required Materials:
Korey, John 2006. Powermutt Primer (Politically Oriented Web Enhanced Research Methods for
Undergraduates--Topics and Tools) is available to students at the Bronco Copy Center in the
BSC for about $14.74 including tax.
Salkind, Neil 2011. Statistics for people who (think they) hate statistics. Los Angeles, CA: Sage
Publications.
Software is available to you at the Computer Lab and on Saturday afternoons in 1-317. SPSS
offers software options at the web site www.e-academy.com where you can "lease/rent" the
software for a limited period of time. If you utilize the lease option, you need to contact SPSS sales
directly at 1-800-543-2185. Otherwise you may use the 1-317 lab for free. However, the student
needs to elect one option or the other.
DATA SETS: anes08, gss72_12forclassuse, country, senate, states_revised are in Blackboard.
Course Requirements:
Pop quizzes [3, best 2 out of 3 scores]
Practicum 1
Practicum 2
Total
MYTHBUSTER assignments
Assignment 1 (complete chart for assignment 1)
Assignment 2 (test myths about public opinion using ANES or GSS)
Assignment 3 (complete chart for sources of exploration, interval/ratio)
Assignment 4 (test myth about public record data e.g. census, indices)
TOTAL
OPTIONAL 1: 5 minute presentation of myth buster test OR
OPTIONAL 2: Reviewer for a myth buster presentation
Sum of all
20 points
10
10
40
10
25
05
20
60
8 pts
3 pts.
100 to 108
PLS 205: Introduction to Research Methods
September 26 through finals December 9
Week
1
2
dates
9/29
10/1
10/6
10/8
Topic
Introduction to Research:
1. Research questions
2. Hypothesis
3. Variables: independ,
dependent, control
4. Concepts vs.
operational definitions
5. PLS as a science
Literature Review:
 Search –library sources
 Seize- examining an
article for reliability
 Levels of measurement
 Issues of validity and
reliability
 Graphs.
Intro to bivariate analysis
for nominal /ordinal data
3
10/13
10/15
4
10/20
10/22
10/27
10/29
Analyzing NOMINAL and
ORDINAL DATA
 Discussion of Assign 2
 Practicum Review
 Practicum 1 EXAM
11/3
11/5
Intro to interval-ratio data
analysis and “Z”
5
6
Sampling: concept and
process.
Readings
Korey, Topic 1 - 2
Salkind Chpts 1, 7
Assignments
Is it more dangerous to be drunk
or on a cell phone when driving a
car?
http://www.discovery.com/tvshows/mythbusters/videos/cellphone-vs-drunk-drivingminimyth.htm
Salkind, Chpt. 4
(69-78) and 6
Korey, 3-4 & 6
Mythbuster (find a ‘myth’ to
test) discussion
Salkind Chpt 17 to
pg. 309
Korey 7
**
Assignment 1 due 10/13/14.
Korey Topic 8
**
REVIEW: Korey 14, 6-8 and Salkind
1, 4(69-78), 6, 7,
17 & Appendix A.
Salkind 2-4 & 7.
Korey topics 9, 10.
Assignment discussion ONLY.
Salkind 8 -9,
Korey Topic 5.
Assignment 2 due 11/3 at
beginning of class.
Generating Random Numbers
http://www.randomizer.org/
Estimating a sample from a pop
http://www.surveysystem.com/s
scalc.htm
Discussion of Next Assign
7
11/10
11/12
HOLIDAY
T-tests and F-tests
8
11/17
11/19
Hypothesis Testing Ex.
Correlations and Linear
and Multiple Regression
9
11/24
11/26
Multiple Regression and
Dummy variables
Qualitative Research
10
12/1
12/3
Practice Practicum 2
Practicum 2
Final
Wed
12/10
Salkind 10-13, 5,
& pg., 117-120.
SPSS for math.
Korey 11 -12
Salkind 5, 15 and
16
Veterans Day
Wednesday T- and F-test
BRING SALKIND to class
Assignment 3 due
Salkind Chapter
15 & 16
Korey Topic 12
and revisit topic 5
Salkind recap 2-4,
new are 7, 8-13,
15-16
Korey 5, 9, 10-12.
**
Volunteer paper presenters
contact Dr. E by email or sign up
early next week
Submit Assignment 4 on 12/1 at
beginning of class. Points
deducted for lateness.
Final Presentations
• 5 minutes: hypothesis,
design, analysis, findings/
recommendations.
• up to 8 points for
presenters]
Discussion of Assignment 4
Non presenters may be
evaluators for up to 3 bonus
points
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This page is Copyright; 2004 by S. M. Emerson. Updated, summer 2014
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