Higher Education

The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking, 11th Edition

  • Todd Donovan Western Washington University
  • Kenneth R. Hoover Western Washington University
  • ISBN-10: 1133607675  |  ISBN-13: 9781133607670
  • 208 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2008, 2004
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $67.25
  *Why an online review copy?
  • It's the greener, leaner way to review! An online copy cuts down on paper and on time. Reduce the wait (and the weight) of printed texts. Your online copy arrives instantly, and you can review it anytime from your computer or favorite mobile device.

If you prefer a print copy to review, please contact your representative.

About

Overview

A concise introduction to the fundamental concepts of social scientific thinking and research, this classic text makes scientific thinking, research methods, and statistics accessible to undergraduates at a commonsense level. This text is intended for use in a broad array of the social sciences, including Political Science, Sociology, and Psychology. Available with InfoTracĀ® Student Collections http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Features and Benefits

  • In answer to reviewer feedback, the eleventh edition will include a new "For Example" feature within each chapter. This feature is designed to provide students with a concrete, real-life example of a given topic or idea, aiding them in their understanding of scientific thinking and research.
  • A new Appendix A provides an introduction to a discussion of America's declining "social capital" in order to illustrate how scholars have approached the changing relationship of community involvement and political participation.
  • Appendix B explores the causes and consequences of trust in government in order to illustrate how observations of correlation are used to assess explanations of causality.
  • Based on the backgrounds of the authors, a theorist and a behavioral analyst, the text bridges the gap between the anti-positivist and positivist approaches to research, focusing on various forms of epistemology and methodology.
  • Offers a basic, cross-disciplinary guide to research methods. The text assumes no statistical background and uses anecdotal language, cartoons, and contemporary examples to introduce students to scientific thinking.
  • Demystifies the social scientific method by stressing the roles of curiosity, creativity, and imagination in social scientific problem solving.
  • Organized into self-contained, progressively more specialized chapters that may be read chronologically by beginning students or selectively by researchers.
  • Uses updated examples and new discussions and provides a fresh look at the elements of social science.

Table of Contents

1. Thinking Scientifically.
2. The Elements of Science.
3. Strategies.
4. Refinements.
5. Measuring Variables and Relationships.

What's New

  • In answer to reviewer feedback, the eleventh edition will include a new "For Example" feature within each chapter. This feature is designed to provide students with a concrete, real-life example of a given topic or idea, aiding them in their understanding of scientific thinking and research.
  • The content has been revised to provide instructors and students with a streamlined discussion. Chapter 6 ("Reflections: Back to the Roots") has been removed, with its content blended more thoroughly into the remaining chapters. This revision is designed to keep topics as relevant as possible.
  • InfoTracĀ® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTracĀ® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at: http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Efficacy and Outcomes

Reviews

"What I like about the book is that it gets students to start thinking like social scientists, which is a craft that takes practice to perfect. This book shows what the social science enterprise looks like. It also gives students resources and ideas for further exploration."

— Brandon Bartels, The George Washington University

"Well written, easily understood, simple approach to explaining complex concepts to students who have never had the material before."

— Michael Thompson, University of Nevada, Reno

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Todd Donovan

Todd Donovan (Ph.D., University of California, Riverside) is a professor of Political Science at Western Washington University. He teaches state and local politics; American politics, parties, campaigns, and elections; comparative electoral systems; and introductory research methods and statistics. His research interests include direct democracy, election systems and representation, political behavior, subnational politics, and the political economy of local development. He has been published extensively in academic journals; written a number of books on direct democracy, elections, institutions, and reform; and has received numerous grants and awards for his work. He is coauthor (with Ken Hoover) of THE ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC THINKING, also published by Cengage Learning.

Kenneth R. Hoover

Kenneth Hoover (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) was Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Western Washington University. His final books included THE FUTURE OF IDENTITY (2004); ECONOMICS AS IDEOLOGY: KEYNES,LASKI, HAYEK AND THE CREATION OF CONTEMPORARY POLITICS (2003); and with John Miles, Vernon Johnson, and Sara Weir, IDEOLOGY AND POLITICAL LIFE, Third Edition (2001).