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Carol Mershon

7 May 2015 @ 14:00


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7 May 2015
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“Formal Modeling for Substantive Social Research: The Place of Narratives  in Linking Theory to Models”


This talk grows out of Mershon’s book manuscript, _Formal Modeling for Substantive Research_, co-authored with Olga Shvetsova. The talk and the book focus on the methodology of using formal models as a systematic component in research design in political science.  I offer an illustration of our approach with an example of an empirical case from the public policy subfield. A neutral information item gives rise to multiple theoretically motivated narratives, which in turn guide the design of multiple models. This discussion highlights the theory-driven nature of modeling, illustrates the use of modeling for testing the logical structure of theories, and identifies the type of implications from modeling that allow for subsequent hypothesis testing.