A Primer of Statistics for Political Scientists

A Primer of Statistics for Political Scientists

A Primer of Statistics for Political Scientists

A Primer of Statistics for Political Scientists

Excerpt

This is a preface that ought to be read. Otherwise the purposes, uses, and limits of the book may not be properly understood.

The objective of the chapters that follow is not pretentious. It is to introduce the student who is unaware of the difference between a square root and a standard deviation to the most elementary techniques of quantitative analysis. The aim has been to explain simply a few of the more common and more useful statistical procedures by illustrative applications to the data of politics in order that the book might be readily comprehensible to political scientists, historians, and others concerned with political studies. For the treatment of many questions of politics only the simplest quantitative techniques are either necessary or sensible. As a "how to" handbook for such analyses the book can stand on its own feet. The student who wishes really to dig into statistical technique on his own may find this volume, with its illustrative cases drawn from familiar material, useful as an aid in finding his way into more advanced treatments.

A general point of view of the book is that quantitative procedures may be best regarded as particular techniques by which more general methods of reasoning may be applied to the data of politics. Hence, the discussion may be suggestive to students concerned about systematic political analysis regardless of whether they need to learn the intricacies of quantitative technique. A vir-

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