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Making Social Sciences More ScientificThe Need for Predictive Models$
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Rein Taagepera

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199534661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534661.001.0001

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All Indices Are Not Created Equal

All Indices Are Not Created Equal

(p.176) 13 All Indices Are Not Created Equal
Making Social Sciences More Scientific

Rein Taagepera (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Models are tested with data, but also data are tested by agreement with conceptual models. When competing indices exist to measure the same phenomena, one should use the ones that agree with logically supported prediction. These indices need not be philosophically “truer” measures of the underlying concepts, but they are more useful for prediction. The choice between two accepted ways to measure cabinet duration and three ways to measure the number of parties illustrates this advice. Clearest results emerge when symmetric regression is used for testing.

Keywords:   cabinet duration, number of parties, prediction, symmetric regression, testing of data, testing of indices, testing of models

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