SBR: Gelman & Cortina: A quantitative tour of the social sciences


Andrew Gelman is professor of statistics and political science at Columbia and also known for his blog on social science research and methods, specifically Bayesian and causal analysis. Via this, I became aware of the book “A quantitative tour of the social sciences”, he published in 2009 together with Jeronimo Cortina. This book seems indeed very well described by its title: it’s a tour in the sense that it devotes one part to each of political science, psychology, sociology, history and economics, showcasing example studies rather than providing a comprehensive, coherent view. It’s quantitative in the sense that all example studies are based on methods from the “quantitative” paradigm of social science research. I’ll comment on this focus and the book in general below, and for what purpose I’d recommend to read it and for what not.

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(This was originally posted on my old wordpress blog and not imported in full text.)