Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Illustrate that political scientists use empirical research methods to investigate important questions about politics and government.
  • Discuss the ways that research on inequality examines the importance of group power in determining winners and losers.
  • Relate how research attempts to explain why some people participate in politics more than others.
  • Summarize findings into what accounts for the gender gap in elected officeholders.
  • Explain the approach of studies into the repression of human rights.
  • Identify the obstacles of researching judicial decision making.
  • Describe the technical issues considered in studying lobbying and oversight of federal agencies.
  • Relate the results of studies on the effect of campaign advertising on voters.
  • Discuss the findings of research on the factors influencing public support for US military involvement.