Tutorial: Research Methods in Political Science (PO3600)
Welcome! This site contains useful material for the tutorials of the module Research Methods for Political Science. In particular, I will use this site to publish links to useful papers, tutorials, or general advice. If you have any questions feel free to get in contact with me. You find the slides of the lectures, homeworks and datasets on Blackboard. This webpage only supplements the information from Blackboard by offering additional material.
Questions about the lectures or tutorials? Please ask them here.
Get and install SPSS
This course is based on SPSS. You are free to use alternative (and free) statistical software such as R or JASP. As a TCD student, you get a free SPSS license from the IT Service. What you need to do: Either you go to the IT Service Desk, get an installation DVD and fill out a form, or you print the form, bring it to the IT Service Desk and download SPSS directly from the TCD download website. Note that you will need to be logged in to the TCD wifi to download the software. Once you got the files, follow the instructions provided in the PDF file.
Online Support
While we will cover a lot of the SPSS functions in the tutorials, for your homework and research project you will very likely need additional functions.
SPSS
 SPSS Tutorials: A website with dozens of useful SPSS tutorials.
 Tutorials, Kent State University: An wide range of written and illustrated SPSS tutorials.
R
 UCLA Tutorials for R, Stata and SAS: Very useful tutorials for the most important statistical analyses.
 Swirl: Learn R in R.
 Moderndive: A great interactive introduction to data visualisation and modelling in R.
 Stackoverflow: Here you will find almost all answers to specific questions.
Information on submitting assignments
Throughout both Michaelmas and Hilary term you will need to submit homeworks, assignments and a research project. You are free to conduct the homework with SPSS or an alternative statistical software (for example Stata or R, but not Excel).
Some general rules:

The assignments must be typed into a LaTeX or Word/Open Office document and submitted as a PDF via Turnitin. Screenshots of the SPSS output are not sufficient as you will need to describe and interpret the results and procedures.

If you include tables, do not use a screenshot, but use the “export” function from SPSS. Please save figures appropriately in high resolution (I recommend PDF as vector graphic formats have the best possible quality).

Add the contents of the SPSS Syntax file/R script/Stata do file at the end of your document. It is good academic practice to present the full code and replication script. While SPSS has a pointandklick interface, not relying on scripts results in extra work if you need to repeat an analysis. Even more important, only with scripts you can ensure reproducibility of your results. On the topic of reproducibility, have a look at the following links:
To reiterate, please copy the contents from the SPSS syntax file at the end of the submitted document.
Useful links for each tutorial
Below I post a selection of useful links for each tutorial. If you found additional material that might be useful, either open a pull request on GitHub or let me know via email.
Tutorial 01, Hilary Term
 Tutorial Slides (HT 01)
 Overview of ttests
 One sample ttest
 Two sample independent ttest
 Manifesto Research Project
 Crowdsourced text analysis
 Tool for quantitative text analysis (comments welcome!)
Tutorial 02, Hilary Term
Tutorial 03, Hilary Term
 Tutorial Slides (HT 03)
 Run a linear regression in SPSS and interpret the output
 Kieran Healy. 2018. Data Visualization: A Practical Introduction
Tutorial 04, Hilary Term
 Tutorial Slides (HT 04)
 How To Visualise Your Data (Financial Times)
 Difference between ttest and Ftest
 SPSS Annotated Output Regression Analysis
 Calculating Krippendorff’s alpha
Tutorial 05, Hilary Term
 SPSS Regression Diagnostics
 Testing Assumptions of Linear Regression in SPSS
 Regression Diagnostics in R
 Reverse Engineering a Regression Table
 Understanding Cook’s Distance Using SPSS
 Influential Observations
Tutorial 01, Michaelmas Term
 Tutorial Slides (MT 01)
 Introduction to the SPSS Environment:
 Panels, symbols, output viewer
 Syntax editor
 Importing datasets
 Data organisation in spreadsheets
 Calculate mean and standard deviation by hand
 Simulate the distribution of sample means
 Difference between standard deviation and standard error
Tutorial 02, Michaelmas Term
 Tutorial Slides (MT 02)
 Subset data
 Recode variables
 How to name variables and share data
 Change decimals for numeric variables
Tutorial 03, Michaelmas Term
 Tutorial Slides (MT 03)
 Student’s ttest explained
 Calculate ttest by hand
 Calculate ttest in SPSS
Tutorial 04, Michaelmas Term
 Tutorial Slides (MT 04)
 Save and export graphs in SPSS
 Add regression line to plot in SPSS
 Ways to estimate reliability
 Examples of reliability and validity
Tutorial 05, Michaelmas Term
Tutorial 06, Michaelmas Term
 Tutorial Slides (MT 06)
 Merge datasets in SPSS
 Understanding and interpret boxplots
 Cheat sheet for plotting different types of variables
Tutorial 07, Michaelmas Term
 Tutorial Slides (MT 07)
 Interpret results from crosstables
 Lambda and Gamma
 Calculate Gamma (by hand)
Tutorial 08, Michaelmas Term
 Tutorial Slides (MT 08)
 Calculate correlation coefficient by hand
 Same stats, different graphs
 Choosing the right statistical test
 Choosing a statistical test
 Tutorial: Choosing the correct statistical test