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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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Beyond Regression: The Need for Predictive Models

Beyond Regression: The Need for Predictive Models

(p.236) 18 Beyond Regression: The Need for Predictive Models
Making Social Sciences More Scientific

Rein Taagepera (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Society needs more from social sciences than they have delivered, and this book offers openings. To the society at large, quantitative social scientists presently seem no better at prediction than qualitative historians, philosophers, and journalists — they just look more boring. computers could be a boon to social sciences, but they have turned out a curse in disguise, by enabling people with insufficient understanding of scientific process to use canned computer programs and grind out reams of numbers parading as “results,” to be printed — and hardly ever used again. One may discard this book on the basis of errors of detail, but the problems it points out will still be there. Unless corrected, they will lead to a Ptolemaic dead end.

Keywords:   prediction, Ptolemaic dead end, scientific process, quantitative social sciences, conceptual constraints, descriptive approaches, graphing, Ordinary Least-Squares, predictive ability, predictive approaches, quantitative predictions

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