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    Philip Schrodt

    "Seven Deadly Sins of Contemporary Quantitative Political Analysis"


    Abstract: A combination of technological change, methodological drift and a certain degree of intellectual sloth and sloppiness, particularly with respect to philosophy of science, has allowed contemporary quantitative political analysis to accumulate a series of dysfunctional habits that have rendered a great deal of contemporary research more or less scientifically useless. The cure for this is not to reject quantitative methods---and the cure is most certainly not a postmodernist nihilistic rejection of all systematic methods---but rather to return to some fundamentals, and take on some hard problems rather than expecting to advance knowledge solely through the ever-increasing application of fast-twitch muscle fibers to computer mice. In the original paper, presented at the American Political Science Association meetings in 2010 and subsequently one of the most frequently downloaded papers from the meeting, these "seven deadly sins" are identified as : 1. Kitchen sink models that ignore the effects of collinearity; 2. Pre-scientific explanation in the absence of prediction; 3. Reanalyzing the same data sets until they scream; 4. Using complex methods without understanding the underlying assumptions; 5. Interpreting frequentist statistics as if they were Bayesian; 6. Linear statistical monoculture at the expense of alternative structures, particularly those in machine learning; 7. Confusing statistical controls and experimental controls. [The talk will focus on topics 2, 5, and 6] The answer to these problems is solid, thoughtful, original work driven by an appreciation of both theory and data. Not postmodernism. The talk will close with a review of how we got to this point from the perspective of 17th through 20th century philosophy of science, and provides suggestions for changes in philosophical and pedagogical approaches that might serve to correct some of these problems.

    Bio: Before coming to Penn State, Professor Schrodt was a professor of political science at the University of Kansas and at Northwestern University in Illinois, where he helped develop Northwestern's programs on Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences and the multidisciplinary program in international studies. Dr. Schrodt has also taught at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, the American University in Cairo, the University of California at Davis, Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, and spent a year at the University of Lancaster (England) on a NATO Postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Schrodt's major areas of research are formal models of political behavior, with an emphasis on international politics, and political methodology. His current research focuses on predicting political change using statistical and pattern recognition methods. He teaches a variety of courses in international relations, with an emphasis on international conflict, and U.S. defense policy. Dr. Schrodt has published more than 75 articles in political science journals including International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy Analysis and the American Political Science Review. Additionally, his Kansas Event Data System computer program won the "Outstanding Computer Software Award" from the American Political Science Association in 1995.

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    /groups/cssi/search/index.rss?tag=hotlist/groups/cssi/search/?tag=hotWhat’s HotHotListHot!?tag=hot1/groups/cssi/sidebar/HotListterrieTerrie Kellogg2014-09-25 15:46:50+00:002014-09-25 15:46:50updated5terrieTerrie Kellogg2014-09-25 15:44:37+00:002014-09-25 15:44:37updated4Added tag - hotcscfCSCF2014-09-25 15:44:35+00:002014-09-25 15:44:35addTag3cscfCSCF2014-09-25 14:56:43+00:002014-09-25 14:56:43updated2First createdcscfCSCF2014-09-25 14:55:46+00:002014-09-25 14:55:46created1wiki2014-09-25T15:46:50+00:00groups/cssi/wiki/5f1a4False2013 Archives/groups/cssi/wiki/5f1a4/2013_Archives.htmlTerrie Kellogg5 updates2013 Archives This is a collection of videos of the Cross-Departmental Seminar Series events. February 1, 2013 - Brian F. Schaffner "Inequality and Repr...Falseterrie2014-09-25T15:46:50+00:00hot/groups/cssi/search/index.rss?sort=modifiedDate&kind=all&sortDirection=reverse&excludePages=wiki/welcomelist/groups/cssi/search/?sort=modifiedDate&kind=all&sortDirection=reverse&excludePages=wiki/welcomeRecent ChangesRecentChangesListUpdates?sort=modifiedDate&kind=all&sortDirection=reverse&excludePages=wiki/welcome0/groups/cssi/sidebar/RecentChangesListmodifiedDateallRecent ChangesRecentChangesListUpdateswiki/welcomeNo recent changes.reverse5search