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Quantifying the Qualitative
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Quantifying the Qualitative
Information Theory for Comparative Case Analysis

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December 2015 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Quantifying the Qualitative presents a systematic approach to comparative case analysis based on insights from information theory. This new method, which requires minimal quantitative skills, helps students, policymakers, professionals, and scholars learn more from comparative cases. The approach avoids the limitations of traditional statistics in the small-n context and allows analysts to systematically assess and compare the impact of a set of factors on case outcomes with easy-to-use analytics. Rigorous tools reduce bias, improve the knowledge gained from case studies, and provide straightforward metrics for effectively communicating results to a range of readers and leaders.
 
CHAPTER 1: Enhancing Small-n Analysis: Information Theory and the Method of Structured-Focused Comparison
Why Quantify the Qualitative? Enhancing Qualitative Analysis With Information Theory

 
Who Needs to Quantify the Qualitative?

 
Information and Action Under Uncertainty

 
Origins and Motivations

 
From Cryptography and Communication to Comparative Case Studies

 
Making Qualitative Analysis of Information Systematic: The Method of Structured-Focused Comparison

 
Information Theory and Metrics for Qualitative Learning

 
A Roadmap for Quantifying the Qualitative

 
Conclusion

 
 
CHAPTER 2: The Information Revolution
Information Theory for the Information Age

 
What’s Under the Hood: A Primer A Primer on Logarithms and Probability for Small-n Analysis

 
Information Uncertainty Measures

 
Fundamental Contributions of Information Theory

 
The Growing Use of Information Metrics

 
A Note for Practitioners: From Analytics to Action

 
Conclusion

 
 
CHAPTER 3: Case Selection
Research Design and Information Theory

 
Case Selection Strategies and Challenges

 
Coding Cases

 
Case Selection and the Advantages of Information Theoretic Analysis

 
Conclusion

 
 
CHAPTER 4: The Information Method—If You Can Count, You Can Do It
Quantify: Setting up a Truth Table for Comparative Case Analysis

 
Count: Calculating the Probabilities

 
Compute: Computing the Uncertainty Measures

 
Compare: Understanding the Outcomes

 
Conclusion

 
 
CHAPTER 5: Information Metrics at Work—Three Examples
Example 1—Ecology: Information Analysis for Tropical Forest Loss

 
Example 2—Education: Accounting for Teaching Quality

 
Example 3— Medicine: Effective Nursing Care

 
Conclusion

 
 
CHAPTER 6: Sensitivity Analysis—Entropy, Inference, and Error
Confidence Intervals and the Information Metric

 
Analytic Leverage for a Study of Environmental Incentives

 
The Information Metric and the Problem of Inference

 
Sensitivity Analysis

 
Dropped-Case Analysis

 
Outcome Coding Sensitivity

 
Conclusion

 
 
CHAPTER 7: The QCA Connection
Understanding Qualitative Case Analysis (QCA)

 
QCA and Causal Complexity

 
Where QCA and Information Metrics Differ

 
Examples of Enhancing QCA with Information Metrics

 
Conclusion

 
Selected Introductory QCA Resources

 
QCA Software and Web Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 8: Conclusion
Information, Research, and the Digital Era

 
Reducing Uncertainty and Improving Judgment: Using Information Analysis in the Real World

 
The Limits and Further Possibilities for Information Analysis

 
Extensions

 
Conclusion

 
 
APPENDIX A: Using Excel for Information Metrics
Step One: Enter Data

 
Step Two: Probability Calculations

 
Step Three: Entropy and Mutual Information Metrics

 
 
APPENDIX B: Using R for Information Metrics
Example 1: Deriving Information Metrics from Conditional Probabilities

 
Example 2: Deriving Information Metrics with the abcd Method

 
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Companion Site

Visit study.sagepub.com/drozdova for FREE Tools and Additional Resources!

[Quantifying the Qualitative] gives students the tools they need to enhance systematic case-study analysis.”

Laura Roselle
Elon University and Duke University

“[This text] is a new and fresh approach to learning how to analyze case studies from a qualitative research paradigm that faculty can use and students can wrap their heads around.”

Shon D. Smith
University of Florida

“[This book] just oozes with policy recommendations and future research...a huge contribution.”

Mark Meo
University of Oklahoma

“[This text introduces] more contemporary tools to address questions that are important to the world now.”

Juanita A. Johnson
Union Institute & University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 6


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Ekaterina Drozdova

Ekaterina “Katya” Drozdova, PhD, is an associate professor of Political Science in the School of Business, Government, and Economics at Seattle Pacific University. She has lectured extensively and taught courses on subjects ranging from Research Methods in Social Science to Global Security, Strategy, History, Information, and Political Economy as well as carried out a number of research projects in these areas which successfully utilized both qualitative and quantitative techniques.Professor Drozdova has earned a PhD and MPhil in Information Systems from New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business, Department of Information,... More About Author

Kurt Taylor Gaubatz

Kurt Taylor Gaubatz, PhD, is an associate professor in the Graduate Program in International Studies at Old Dominion University. In addition to courses in international relations and international law, he regularly teaches research methods and advanced statistics. He has previously taught methodology and formal modeling as a faculty member at Stanford University and at Oxford University (Nuffield College), where he was the visiting John G. Winant Lecturer in American Foreign Policy. He has also served as the Susan Luise Dyer Peace Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and received a Pew Faculty Fellowship from the... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781483392479
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