Research Methods for Political Science (20192020)
Welcome! This website is meant to provide students with additional and useful material for PO3110 and PO3111, Research Methods for Political Science A and B.
This space will be used to publish tutorials’ slides and extramaterial such as useful papers or webpages. You find the slides of the lectures, homeworks and datasets on Blackboard. This webpage only supplements the information from Blackboard by offering additional material.
Should you have further queries, please do get in touch with me!
Calendar
I prepared this Google Calendar with all the main deadlines and dates for the course. Feel free to add it to your Calendars.
Communication and Office Hours
For questions about the lectures or tutorials you can either send me an email or join the Slack channel I have set up for the course. Slack is a workspace hub with amazing chat features that allow for a quick and efficient communication. The idea behind this is to create a virtual space where you can ask questions that me and your colleague will be able to see as well (use emails for private communication!). For a fancier description on slack click HERE.
How to join? Just click HERE and use to TCD email to log in]. Please avoid using nicknames.
In general, I scheduled my office hours on Tuesdays from 15 to 16 (ONLY upon request). While I am certainly happy to meet students, I would encourage you to bring up doubts, questions or issues of sort during tutorials.
Get and install SPSS
This course is based on SPSS. You are free to use alternative (and free) statistical software such as R or JASP. As a TCD student, you get a free SPSS license from the IT Service. What you need to do: Either you go to the IT Service Desk, get an installation DVD and fill out a form, or you print the form, bring it to the IT Service Desk and download SPSS directly from the TCD download website. Note that you will need to be logged in to the TCD network (cabled) to download the software. Once you got the files, follow the instructions provided in the PDF file. The licence code is on the tcd software website, HERE. If you scroll down on the licence page there should be an heading for the 2018/19 licence.
Online Support and Resources
While we will cover a lot of the SPSS functions in the tutorials, for your homework and research project you will very likely need additional functions.
SPSS
 SPSS Tutorials: A website with dozens of useful SPSS tutorials.
 Tutorials, Kent State University: An wide range of written and illustrated SPSS tutorials.
R
 UCLA Tutorials for R, Stata and SAS: Very useful tutorials for the most important statistical analyses.
 Swirl: Simulates an R workspace allowing you to learn R in R.
 Moderndive: A great interactive introduction to data visualisation and modelling in R.
 Stackoverflow: Here you will find almost all answers to specific questions.
Information on submitting assignments
Throughout both Michaelmas and Hilary term you will need to submit homeworks, assignments and a research project. You are free to conduct the homework with SPSS or an alternative statistical software (for example Stata or R, but not Excel).
Some general rules:

The assignments must be typed into a LaTeX or Word/Open Office document and submitted as a PDF via Turnitin (see the Syllabus for more details). Screenshots of the SPSS output are not sufficient as you will need to describe and interpret the results and procedures.

If you include tables, do not use a screenshot, but use the “export” function from SPSS. Please save figures appropriately in high resolution (We recommend PDF as vector graphic formats have the best possible quality).

Add the contents of the SPSS Syntax file/R script/Stata do file at the end of your document. It is good academic practice to present the full code and replication script. While SPSS has a pointandklick interface, not relying on scripts results in extra work if you need to repeat an analysis. Even more important, only with scripts you can ensure reproducibility of your results. On the topic of reproducibility, have a look at the following links:
To reiterate, please copy the contents from the SPSS syntax file at the end of the submitted document.
Useful links for each tutorial
Below I post a selection of useful links for each tutorial. If you found additional material that might be useful, either open a pull request on GitHub or let me know via email/slack.
Michaelmas Term
Tutorial 1, MT
Tutorial Material
Guides:
 Introduction to the SPSS Environment;
 Panels, symbols, output viewer
 Syntax editor
 Importing datasets
 Simulate the distribution of sample means
Tutorial 2, MT
Tutorial Material
Guides
 Subset data
 Grouped Data (Split Command)
 Recode variables
 How to name variables and share data
 Change decimals for numeric variables
 Difference between standard deviation and standard error
Tutorial 3, MT
Tutorial Material
 Tutorial Slides (MT 3)
 Simulated Rent Data (by Stefan Mueller)
Guides
 Student’s ttest explained
 Calculate ttest by hand
 Calculate ttest in SPSS
Tutorial 4, MT
Lecture material
Tutorial Material
Guides
 Export in SPSS
 Hypothesis Testing  Z test twotailed example (VIDEO)
 Hypothesis Testing  T test onetailed example (VIDEO)
Tutorial 5, MT
Tutorial Material
Guides
 Crosstabs in SPSS
 How (not) to interpret confidence intervals
 Save and export graphs in SPSS
 Add regression line to plot in SPSS
Tutorial 6, MT
Tutorial Material
Guides
 Crosstabs in SPSS
 Merge datasets in SPSS
 Understanding and interpret boxplots
 Cheat sheet for plotting different types of variables
 Interpret results from crosstables
Tutorial 7, MT
Guides
Tutorial 8, MT
Guides
 Calculate correlation coefficient by hand
 Correlation in SPSS and some theory
 Same stats, different graphs
 Choosing the right statistical test
 Choosing a statistical test
 Tutorial: Choosing the correct statistical test
Tutorial 9, MT
Guides
 Advanced Video: Comparison of IndependentSamples T Test and PairedSamples T Test using SPSS
 Types of Ttests
 Paired Samples Ttests
 Independent Samples Ttests
Research Projects
Acknowledgements
This repo has been forked from PO3600 repo from last year and further adapted/updated. We thank Stefan Mueller for the amazing resources.