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Political Methodology

Purdue Political Science scholars also contribute to the field of political methodology, the study existing tools and develop new tools for extracting meaning from empirical data. This field encompasses research designs and tools for quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis as well as formal theory and its implications for empirical tests. Recent work by department faculty in political methodology can be found in Political Analysis, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Political Science Research and Methods, Nature Human Behaviour, PLOS ONE, Public Opinion Quarterly, among others. 

Areas of strength include:

  • Survey research for mass and elite populations
  • Experimental Methods
  • Causal Inference
  • Qualitative content analysis
  • Computational and AI methods for social science
    • Audio and video analytics
    • Machine learning and NLP
    • Complex modeling
    • Remote sensing using satellite data 
  • Latent variables   
  • Utilizing experts for measuring concepts
  • Process tracing
  • Formal theory and bargaining models

Labs and programs: 

Advanced Methods at Purdue is a cross-college initiative that brings together scholars in the behavior, health, and social sciences to increase methodological expertise and collaborative opportunities. It offers a certificate program for graduate students. 

The Computational Social Science Lab examines mass and elite behavior with a particular focus on data from non-traditional sources, like audio and video data. Current projects include work utilizing the C-SPAN Archives, political advertisements, political advertisements, social media, and pedestrian interactions on traffic camera feeds. 

The JMK Social Science Lab is a collaborative lab in the College of Liberal Arts managed by Political Science and Sociology. It provides space and advanced facilities for conducting experiments and facilitating research space for our labs.