Higher Education

The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking, 10th Edition

  • Kenneth R. Hoover Western Washington University
  • Todd Donovan Western Washington University
  • ISBN-10: 1439082421  |  ISBN-13: 9781439082423
  • 208 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2008, 2004, 2001
  • © 2011 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $72.00
  • Newer Edition Available
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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 common sense level. This text is intended for use in a broad array of the social sciences, including Political Science, Sociology and Psychology.

Features and Benefits

  • 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, 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.
6. Reflections: Back to the Roots.
Appendix A. "Tuning In, Tuning Out: The Strange Disappearance of Social Capital in America"
Appendix B. "Trust in Government: The United States in Comparative Perspective"

What's New

  • Updated research, findings and techniques:Additions have been made to the sections on research techniques to include even more information on computer-driven statistical tools.
  • 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.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

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).

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.