This course teaches students how to think scientifically about politics by introducing them to research methods applied in political science and other social science fields. The first part of the course focuses on the nature of scientific research. Rather than simply describing what occurs, scientific research proposes theories to explain why particular political outcomes occur under certain circumstances and conditions. The remainder of the course provides an introduction to statistical methods used by political scientists to evaluate theories about political outcomes and behavior. Well-designed theories should have observable implications or hypotheses that can be investigated empirically, such that statistical methods serve as a means of objectively judging a theory¿s relevance in explaining and predicting outcomes. Students in this course will learn how to apply basic statistical methods and interpret the results so as to draw inferences about the causal processes underlying political behavior.