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Conducting Empirical Analysis

Conducting Empirical Analysis
Public Opinion in Action

First Edition

Other Titles in:
Political Behavior

December 2010 | 192 pages | CQ Press
Clawson and Oxley's new workbook marries substance with skills, showing students how to conduct web-based data analysis using UC Berkeley's Survey Documentation and Analysis (available online for free) to discover firsthand the interesting questions that can be answered when manipulating public opinion data. Exercises cover a range of data collection techniques, survey research, and statistical analyses, ramping up from multiple-choice and open-ended questions to mini-research projects. An instructor's guide with solutions is available for adopters.
Tables and Figures
Introduction to Conducting Empirical Analysis
Using SDA Web-based Software

Conclusion and Looking Ahead

Political Socialization
Parental Socialization

Adult Socialization

For Further Exploration: Life Cycle Effects

Mini-Research Project

Mass Media
Where Do Citizens Get Their News?

Newspaper Readership

For Further Exploration: Evaluations of the News Media

Mini-Research Project

Attitude Stability and Attitude Change
Attitude Change, Partisanship, and Exposure to Newspapers

Collective Public Opinion: Attitude Stability or Attitude Change?

For Further Exploration: Issue Attitude Stability or Change?

Mini-Research Project

Political Ideology
Citizen Ideology

Sex Differences in Ideology

Ideology and Government Spending

For Further Exploration: More on Ideology and Issue Positions

Mini-Research Project

Pluralistic Roots of Public Opinion

Racial Attitudes

For Further Exploration: Racial Prejudice Over Time

For Further Exploration: Race and Racial Prejudice

Mini-Research Project

Political Knowledge
Measuring Political Knowledge

Political Knowledge and Gender

Political Knowledge and Age

Political Knowledge and Education

For Further Exploration: Examining Political Knowledge

Mini-Research Project

Support for Civil Liberties
Public Support for Free Expression

Contextual Effects on Tolerance

For Further Exploration: GSS Tolerance Measures

Mini-Research Project

Support for Civil Rights
Attitudes toward Interracial Marriage

Attitudes toward Gay Marriage

For Further Exploration: Ideology and Attitudes toward Gay Marriage

For Further Exploration: Examining Attitudes toward Gay Marriage

Mini-Research Project

Trust in Government and Social Capital
Trust in Government

Social Capital

For Further Exploration: Measures of Political Trust

Mini-Research Project

Impact of Public Opinion on Policy
Income Variation in Policy Opinions

Appealing to the Public

Mini-Research Projects

Public Opinion and the 2008 Election
Race, Gender, and Candidate Evaluation

Racial Resentment and the Vote

For Further Exploration: The Iraq War and the Vote

Mini-Research Project

Reference Appendix
The SDA Archive

The SDA Main Page

Statistical Analysis Techniques and SDA Features


The exercises are well structured, and Clawson and Oxley provide
very clear instructions on how to complete them. The questions included
in the exercises seek to balance interpretation and critical
thinking–helping students get at what the numbers tell us about the
relationship between two variables and why that relationship exists. I
like the hands-on approach, and I think the exercises address topics
that students will find interesting and engaging

Erin Cassese
West Virginia University

I think this book can help students experience the joy of
discovery firsthand. Rather than talking about how data can be used to
shed new insights on public opinion or refute hoary truths, Clawson and
Oxley show them how to find out such things on their own. Hearing a
professor say it or show it with slides is one thing, but doing it on
your own and waiting for the data to pop up online is a lot more fun,
informative, and powerful

Paul Goren
University of Minnesota

I found the text both straightforward and engaging, an often
difficult balance to strike for a text teaching basic research methods.
The explanations in the workbook are very clear-it walks students
through each step and reinforces content with multiple examples. I was
also quite impressed with the balance between skill development and
substance. The explanations of how to perform analyses and the
exercises are well grounded in both the substance of politics and
well-established research areas in political science

Laurie Rice
Southern Illinois University

This practice book accompanying a handbook by Clawson & Oxley is potentially useful for courses of at least one semester long, in my view. As much as I tried to make it part of my course for undergraduates, I found that many exercises in the book required good knowledge of the US political context and/or good command of English, which would be a bit of an extra for international students having their introductory course on public opinion. However, one can never know; I might consider it again next year.

Dr Anna Shirokanova
Faculty of Sociology, State Univ -Higher School of Economics
August 31, 2015

Rosalee A. Clawson

Rosalee A. Clawson is professor of political science at Purdue University. Her research focuses on public opinion, mass media and politics, political psychology, and the politics of race, class, and gender. Her work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Communication, Journal of Black Studies, and Global Environmental Change. She is the coauthor of Legacy and Legitimacy: Black Americans and the Supreme Court.   More About Author

Zoe M. Oxley

Zoe M. Oxley is professor of political science at Union College. Her research interests include the effects of the media on public opinion, gender and public opinion, women in electoral politics, and political psychology. Her work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Politics & Gender, and PS: Political Science and Politics. More About Author

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ISBN: 9781608716739