Department of Political Science
College of Liberal Arts and
                  Sciences

Kenneth D. Wald
Distinguished Professor
303 Anderson Hall
(352) 273-2391 or 392-0262

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Graduate Seminars

POS 6208 Empirical Political Research

This seminar is intended to equip students with the skills to conduct empirical research projects on social and political subjects. The skills emphasized include criticism/evaluation of research, problem and hypothesis formulation, concept development, measurement, data analysis and computer-based statistical analysis. The culmination of the course will be an original empirical research paper on some aspect of  social or political  behavior that interests you.

POS 6292 Religion and Politics

Once considered an archaic force, destined to wither away as nations underwent rapid economic development, religion has instead gained renewed interest as a factor in contemporary political life. This seminar introduces the major social scientific theories of religion and applies them to understanding the interaction between religion and political life. The focus is on the explanatory value of such theories in understanding mass political behavior. The course is intended primarily as a review of relevant literature.

POS 6757 Survey Research

Since its development in the 1930s and 1940s, survey research has become a major tool of investigation for academic researchers, journalists, social analysts, government agencies, political practitioners, market researchers, and others. The course is intended to provide students with a solid grounding in the design  of surveys, paying particularly close attention to the potential pitfalls inherent in this method of data collection. During the semester, we address the question of when and why to undertake surveys, explore the issues that arise in the administration and analysis of surveys, and consider how best to communicate survey data and issues. The principal focus of the seminar is on recognizing and dealing with potential threats to the validity of surveys that arise from what is called non-sampling error. The seminar will also consider the use of new survey modes and the growth of survey research as a global phenomenon. At the end of the semester, you should be a more sophisticated consumer of surveys and also have the capacity to contribute intelligently to survey design and interpretation.

   
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