A Quantitative Tour of the Social Sciences by Andrew Gelman, Jeronimo Cortina

By Andrew Gelman, Jeronimo Cortina

To foster a deeper realizing of the interconnection of the social sciences, economists should still be aware of the place historic info come from, sociologists may still understand how to imagine like economists, political scientists would receive advantages from realizing how versions are demonstrated in psychology, historians may still find out how political approaches are studied, psychologists may still comprehend sociological theories, and so on. This evaluate through fashionable social scientists offers an available, non-technical feel of the way quantitative examine is completed within the social sciences. Upon completing this booklet, the reader must have a feeling of different versions and other ways of considering in economics, heritage, sociology, political technological know-how and psychology, which in flip they could deliver again to their significant box.

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I’ll be referring to an interesting work by Alfred Crosby (1997), who asks, why do we count, and do Europeans count differently from everybody else? Did they start at a different time than everybody else, and if so, why? Crosby studies quantification in Western society from 1250 to 1600, and he incidentally sheds light on another of the great debates in history: Why did Europe conquer or expand over the rest of the world? It should not have occurred. Europe in 1500 was not the wealthiest area in the world, nor was it the most advanced area economically, nor did it have the most advanced technology at the time.

When crunching numbers, it’s easy to get stuck worrying about relatively minor aspects of the political system, such as gerrymandering and the allocation of congressional seats, and forget about more systematic ways in which people get more or less of a say in their collective institutions. 3. The Allure and Limitations of Mathematical Modeling: Game Theory and Trench Warfare We conclude the first part of this book with a critical overview of an application of mathematical theory to a problem in history – a game-theoretic model that was developed more than twenty years ago to describe some surprising behavior in the trenches in the First World War.

This is an important step in social science analysis, inside or outside the academic setting: If you’re going to claim that you’re right and other people are wrong, you’d better also explain why those other people (who were generally not fools) got it wrong. Scholarly journals are littered with proudly “counterintuitive” findings that are counterintuitive for the simple reason that they are wrong and most people’s intuition is right. THE PRISONER’S DILEMMA: A GAME-THEORETIC MODEL APPLIED TO SOCIAL INTERACTIONS Mathematical theory can be a powerful tool for understanding social phenomena but can also mislead, as I’ll illustrate with an example from my undergraduate thesis, which was in political science.

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