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Preface | p. xi |
The First Rule: There Should Be the Possibility of Surprise in Social Research | p. 1 |
Selecting a Research Question | p. 2 |
Researchable Questions | p. 2 |
Interesting Questions | p. 4 |
Selecting a Sample | p. 18 |
Samples in Qualitative Studies | p. 23 |
Is Meaningful Social Research Possible? | p. 26 |
Summary | p. 29 |
Student Exercises on Rule 1 | p. 31 |
The Second Rule: Look for Differences That Make a Difference, and Report Them | p. 36 |
You Can't Explain a Variable with a Constant | p. 37 |
Maximizing Variance to Find the Effect of a Cause | p. 39 |
Size versus Statistical Significance | p. 41 |
Comparing Effects Where There Is a Common Metric | p. 42 |
Calibration: Converting Explanatory Variables to a Common Metric | p. 44 |
Substantive Profiling: The Use of Telling Comparisons | p. 46 |
Visual Presentation of Results | p. 51 |
Policy Importance | p. 53 |
Importance for Theory | p. 54 |
Conclusion | p. 56 |
Student Exercises on Rule 2 | p. 58 |
The Third Rule: Build Reality Checks into Your Research | p. 64 |
Internal Reality Checks | p. 65 |
Reality Checks on Data-Dubious Values and Incomplete Data | p. 65 |
Reality Checks on Measures-Aim for Consistency in Conceptualization and Measurement | p. 69 |
Reality Checks on Models-The Formal Equivalence Check | p. 71 |
External Reality Checks: Validation with Other Data and Methods | p. 76 |
Using Causal-Process Observations to Test Plausibility of Results | p. 77 |
Using Ethnographic Data to Help Interpret Survey Results | p. 79 |
Other Examples of Multiple-Method Research | p. 81 |
Concluding Remark | p. 82 |
Student Exercises on Rule 3 | p. 84 |
The Fourth Rule: Replicate Where Possible | p. 90 |
Sources of Uncertainty in Social Research | p. 91 |
Overview: From Population to Sample and Back to Population | p. 93 |
Measurement Error as a Source of Uncertainty | p. 100 |
Illustration: Two Methods for Estimating Global Poverty | p. 101 |
Toward a Solution: Identical Analyses of Parallel Data Sets | p. 105 |
Meta-analysis: Synthesizing Results Formally across Studies | p. 106 |
Summary: Your Confidence Intervals Are Too Narrow | p. 109 |
Student Exercises on Rule 4 | p. 111 |
The Fifth Rule: Compare Like with Like | p. 120 |
Correlation and Causality | p. 121 |
Types of Strategies for Comparing Like with Like | p. 129 |
Matching versus Looking for Differences | p. 130 |
The Standard Regression Method for Comparing Like with Like | p. 131 |
Critique of the Standard Linear Regression Strategy | p. 132 |
Comparing Like with Like Through Fixed-Effects Methods | p. 134 |
First-Difference Models: Subtracting Out the Effects of Confounding Variables | p. 134 |
Special Case: Growth-Rate Models | p. 138 |
Sibling Models | p. 140 |
Comparing Like with Like through Matching on Measured Variables | p. 146 |
Exact Matching | p. 146 |
Propensity-Score Method | p. 147 |
Matching as a Preprocessing Strategy for Reducing Model Dependence | p. 151 |
Comparing Like with Like through Naturally Occurring Random Assignment | p. 152 |
Instrumental Variables: Matching through Partial Random Assignment | p. 153 |
Matching Through Naturally Occurring Random Assignment to the Treatment Group | p. 158 |
Comparison of Strategies for Comparing Like with Like | p. 159 |
Conclusion | p. 162 |
Student Exercises on Rule 5 | p. 165 |
The Sixth Rule: Use Panel Data to Study Individual Change and Repeated Cross-section Data to Study Social Change | p. 172 |
Analytic Differences between Panel and Repeated Cross-section Data | p. 173 |
Three General Questions about Change | p. 175 |
Changing-Effect Models, Part 1: Two Points in Time | p. 176 |
Changing-Effect Models, Part 2: Multilevel Models with Time as the Context | p. 182 |
What We Want to Know | p. 183 |
The General Multilevel Model | p. 183 |
Convergence Models | p. 185 |
The Sign Test for Convergence: Comparing Your [phi]s and [delta]s | p. 186 |
Convergence Model versus Changing-Effect Model | p. 191 |
Bridging Individual and Social Change: Estimating Cohort Replacement Effects | p. 195 |
An Accounting Scheme for Social Change | p. 197 |
Linear Decomposition Method | p. 198 |
Summary | p. 201 |
Student Exercises on Rule 6 | p. 203 |
The Seventh Rule: Let Method Be the Servant, Not the Master | p. 207 |
Obsession with Regression | p. 209 |
Naturally Occurring Random Assignment, Again | p. 209 |
Decomposition Work in the Social Sciences | p. 218 |
Decomposition of Variance and Inequality | p. 220 |
Decomposition of Segregation Indexes | p. 222 |
The Effects of Social Context | p. 226 |
Context Effects as Objects of Study | p. 227 |
Context Effects as Nuisance | p. 230 |
Critical Tests in Social Research | p. 231 |
Conclusion | p. 235 |
Student Exercises on Rule 7 | p. 236 |
References | p. 241 |
Index | p. 253 |
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