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Social ResearchBaodong Liu

Social Research

Integrating Mathematical Foundations and Modern Statistical Computing (First Edition)
Baodong Liu

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-62131-724-1, 236 pages


Baodong Liu has written an informative book that students and scholars can easily understand and apply when conducting research in the social sciences. It is also written in a way that makes the formulas and concepts understandable. It is an excellent book.—Dr. Sharon D. Wright Austin, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of African American Studies, The University of Florida

Like quantitative analysis itself, the text Social Research begins with a question. Why do social scientists use numbers to talk about everything from the stock market to human emotions?

Social Research provides an answer with its common sense approach to the quantitative scientific method. The book balances imagination and reason with theoretical and mathematical information processing to help students understand the important link between social research and foundational math skills.

Initially, readers are asked to consider the type of tasks to which such analysis might be applied. They learn about conceptualization, units of analysis, and the quantitative mind. These can then be applied as students explore specific tools, including measurement, variables, hypothesis and experiment, and controlled comparison. It shows detailed examples of how to use both SPSS and R software programs for basic statistical operations and programming needs.

The book also discusses random sampling, the central limit theorem, Type I and Type II errors and bivariate and multiple regression.

Social Research is about why science works, and while it includes mathematics, it does so in an accessible way. The book is suitable for undergraduate methods courses that meet the requirement for quantitative sciences, and it can also be a supplemental text to first graduate-level quantitative method classes that require mathematical training.

Baodong Liu holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans. He is an associate professor of political science at the University of Utah, where his research and teaching interests include urban and racial politics, voting and elections, and quantitative research methods. Dr. Liu is the author of The Election of Barack Obama: How He Won and Race Rules: Electoral Politics in New Orleans, 1965 – 2006.