Some Political Science Published Works that Use Simple Statistical Procedures

A fair number of political science students don't see the relevance of statistics for their political science B.A. (or M.A. or Ph.D.) degree. Here are a few published works which actually use the tools that sophomore students or first year graduate students in a beginning stat course are learning about (basic probability distributions, confidence intervals around a population mean, difference of means [or proportions], ANOVA, crosstabs, simple correlations, simple linear regression) without moving on to multiple regression, MLE procedures, or beyond.  Some involve experiments, because the crucial test is often a simple difference of means between the experimental and control groups. But there are several others involving judicial assignments and ideology, public policy, political psychology, comparative politics, and international relations.

Thanks to several colleagues on PSRT-L and H-POLMETH for sharing their favorites with me.  If you would like to suggest another article for this list, please feel free to email me.

Abramowitz, Alan I. and Kyle L. Saunders. 1998.   "Ideological Realignment in the US Electorate."  Journal of Politics. 60 (3):  634-652.
correlations, a simple path analysis, and one three-variable multiple regression at the end.

Adams, Greg D. 1997. "Abortion: Evidence of an Issue Evolution." American Journal of Political Science 41 (3, July): 718-737.
line graphs, histogram, differences in percentages
Atkins, Burton M. and William Zavoina. 1974.   "Judicial Leadership on Court of Appeals - Probability Analysis of Panel Assignment in Race Relations Cases on Fifth Circuit."  American Journal of Political Science 18 (4, November): 701-711
Probability Calculations and Chi-square Tests.

Alford, John R., Carolyn L. Funk, and John R. Hibbing. 2005. "Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted?" American Political Science Review 99 (2, May):  153-168. 
bivariate correlations,  z-score tests for significance in differences between correlations

Beck, Paul Allen. 1996. Party Politics in America.  Eighth edition.   New York :Longman.
On page 56, Beck charts declining standard deviations among states for each presidential election from 1896 through 1992 to demonstrate the decline of interstate differences and the nationalization of politics.

Bennett, Stephen Earl, and David Resnick.  1990.  "The Implications of Nonvoting for Democracy in the United States."  American Journal of Political Science 34 (3, August):  771-802. 
Mostly Chi-Square tests, eta, and tau c.

Cooper, Christopher A. and Marc Schwerdt. 2001. "Depictions of Public Service in Children's Literature: Revisiting an Understudied Aspect of Political Socialization." Social Science Quarterly 82 (3, September):  616-632. 
difference of means

Caiazza, Amy   2002  "Does Women’s Representation in Elected Office Lead to Women-Friendly Policy?" Washington:  Institute for Women's Policy Research, IWPR Publication #I910. 

Coppedge, Michael .  1998.   “The Dynamic Diversity of Latin American Party Systems,” Party Politics 4 (4, October): 547-568.  
A graph that uses ovals to trace 95% confidence intervals around means in a bivariate plot, to compare party systems in Latin America.

Dalton, Russell J.  1984.  "Cognitive Mobilization and Partisan Dealignment in Advanced Industrial Democracies."  Journal of Politics 46 (1, February):  264-284.
Crosstabs, simple correlations, tau-b

Dougherty, Keith L. 1999.  "Public Goods and Private Interests: An explanation for state compliance with federal requisitions, 1775-1789," in Jac Heckelman et. al. (eds.) Public Choice Interpretations of American Economic History. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishing.
bivariate regressions

Gibson, James L. 2002.  Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation: Judging the Fairness of Amnesty in South Africa.  American Journal of Political Science. 46 (3, September): 540-556. 
Differences of means and a simple multivariate regression.

Hochschild, Jennifer L.  1995.  Facing up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation. Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press. 
See Chapters 3 and 4 for analyses built mainly around crosstabs.

Hokenmaier, Karl G. 1998. "Social Security vs. Educational Opportunity in Advanced Industrial Societies: Is There a Trade-Off?" American Journal of Political Science, 42:709-711.
simple correlations

Hood, M.V. and G.W. Neeley.  2000.  "Packin' in the hood?: Examining assumptions of concealed-handgun research."  Social Science Quarterly 81 (2, June): 523-537. 

Hurwitz, Jon and Mark Peffley. 1997.  "Public Perceptions of Race and Crime:  The Role of Racial Stereotypes."  American Journal of Political Science  41 (2, April):  375-401. 
Bivariate regressions.

Licklider, Roy.  1995.  “The Consequences of Negotiated Settlements in Civil Wars, 1945-1993.”  American Political Science Review 89 (3, September):   681-690. 

Lodge, Milton G. and Ruth Hamill.  1986.  "A Partisan Schema for Political Information Processing."  American Political Science Review 80 (2, June):  505-520.
T-tests and 2 way ANOVAs

Matland, Richard E.  1994.  "Putting Scandinavian Equality to the Test - an Experimental Evaluation of Gender Stereotyping of Political Candidates in a Sample of Norwegian Voters."  British Journal of Political Science 24:  273-292. 
Difference of means tests

Mulligan, Kenneth, and Philip Habel. 2011. "An Experimental Test of the Effects of Fictional Framing on Attitudes." Social Science Quarterly 92 (1, March): 79-99.

T-tests and bar charts

Mann, Thomas and Raymond Wolfinger. 1980. "Candidates and Parties in Congressional Elections." American Political Science Review 74 (3, September): 617-632.  
Percentages and means, no real statistical tests

Morrell, Michael E.  1999. "Citizens' Evaluations of Participatory Democratic Procedures: Normative Theory Meets Empirical Science." Political Research
Quarterly. 52: 293-322. 
t-tests and ANOVA

Mutz, Diana C. and Byron Reeves. 2005. "The New Videomalaise: Effects of Televised Incivility on Political Trust." American Political Science Review 99 (1, February):1-15. 
F-tests and t-tests

Segal, Jeffrey A. and Albert D. Cover.  1989.   "Ideological Values and the Votes of United States Supreme Court Justices.  American Political Science Review 83 (2, June): 557-565.
frequencies, a simple scatterplot, and bivariate correlations

Simon, Christopher A. . 2002. "Testing for Bias in the Impact of AmeriCorps Service on Volunter Participants: Evidence of Success in Achieving A Neutrality Program Objective." Public Administration Review 62 (Nov/Dec): 670-678. 
difference of means

Smith, Kevin B., Christopher W. Larimer, Levente Littvay, and John R. Hibbing. 2007. "Evolutionary Theory and Political Leadership: Why Certain People Do Not Trust Decision Makers." Journal of Politics 69 (2, May): 285-299.
t-test and chi-square

Wood, Sandra L, Linda Camp Keith, Drew Noble Lanier, and Ayo Ogundele.  1998. "‘Acclimation Effects' for Supreme Court Justices: A Cross-Validation, 1888-1940." American Journal of Political Science 42:  690-697. 
difference of means

Related sites of interest:

The Data and Story Library

Michael D. Martinez


Department of Political Science


University of Florida

(352) 273-2363 (352)392-8127

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