10 Sections on Social Science and Observation Discussion

I’m trying to learn for my Social Science class and I’m stuck. Can you help?

1. Choose an observation. This should not be any observation we have discussed in the class or that is found in the text. Feel free to be creative. Generally speaking, the more serious and complex the observation, the more difficult you will find this task. On the other hand, it may be more interesting and rewarding for you. You are not graded on the choice of observation, so feel free to choose whatever you wish. You do have to create interesting models, however. Generally speaking, if your “models” are just a list of different reason for different people or for different situations, then they are not models. The problem doesn’t lie with your models, it lies with your observation. Pick a new and different observation.

2. Write a sentence or two describing the observation. For example, “Lawyers are more respected than fast-food workers.”

3. Imagine three different speculations about why the observation occurs. These are your three models. Make sure they are unique and not just subtle variations on each other. Write a one sentence statement of what your model is. The model should probably not directly mention the observation. To be a good model, it should be a statement about a process, it should have interesting implications, and it should be more general rather than more specific. You will lose points if these conditions are not met. An example of a model is, “People respect education.”

4. Write a few sentences describing how each model explains the observation. Here is where you explain that lawyers are generally more educated than fast-food workers and that they, therefore, will be more respected.

Thus, your assignment will look like this:

Section One: A description of your observation.

Section Two: A sentence stating your first model, and then a couple sentences explaining how it relates to your observation.

Section Three: A sentence stating your second model, and then a couple sentences explaining how it relates to your observation.

Section Four: A sentence stating your third model, and then a couple sentences explaining how it relates to your observation.

Section Five (new): State the two implications for your second model. Discuss each implication separately. Use two paragraphs, one for each implication.

Section Six (old/revised): Stating your third model and explaining how it relates to your observation.

Section Seven (new): State the two implications for your third model. Discuss each implication separately. Use two paragraphs, one for each implication.

Section Eight (new): Describe one of your critical experiments. (Remember it has to be a natural experiment as well.) State what the experiment is. State which two models it is distinguishing between. And state what you would expect to see if one of the models is true, and state what you would expect to see if the other model is true.

The description of the first critical experiment should look something like

d) Describe the outcomes and state which model each outcome supports

Section Nine (new): Repeat Section Eight with another critical experiment.

Section Ten (new): Repeat yet again with yet another Critical experiment. (Remember, unless you can distinguish all three of you models from each other with only two critical experiments, it is strongly recommended that you use three critical experiments to successfully distinguish all of you models from each other.) Note: If your first experiment distinguishes Models 1 and 3, your other experiments cannot all distinguish Models 1 and 3 and never discuss Model 2. I assume this is obvious.

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