Using Single-Equation Models of Function-of-Functions Type in Sociological Research

Using Single-Equation Models of Function-of-Functions Type in Sociological Research This paper argues that single-equation explanatorymodels of many types of social phenomena should not be built in accordance with establishedsociological ways of thinking. In sociological research, the focus is often on the causal mechanisms behindphenomena, and it is often interesting to use models that show the hierarchical causal structure,that is, how influences are nested in the causal process. I propose such a model with a form that reflectsa two-step structure. According to this model, the dependent factor is a product of independentfactors that are linear functions of variables. The model, which should be used with the factor product inunexpanded form, can be assumed to have wide application. However, the models used insociological research and discussed in textbooks are generally very different. They do not have afunction-of-functions form, but take a form in which variables are directly entered. Furthermore,even if they take interaction into consideration, they are linear in an extended sense because they construeit as one or more terms that are products of single variables. In comparison with the proposed typeof model, these models are technically simpler. However, this paper argues that the proposed typeof model is superior in many contexts because it better reflects the causal process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Using Single-Equation Models of Function-of-Functions Type in Sociological Research

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1010332909949
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper argues that single-equation explanatorymodels of many types of social phenomena should not be built in accordance with establishedsociological ways of thinking. In sociological research, the focus is often on the causal mechanisms behindphenomena, and it is often interesting to use models that show the hierarchical causal structure,that is, how influences are nested in the causal process. I propose such a model with a form that reflectsa two-step structure. According to this model, the dependent factor is a product of independentfactors that are linear functions of variables. The model, which should be used with the factor product inunexpanded form, can be assumed to have wide application. However, the models used insociological research and discussed in textbooks are generally very different. They do not have afunction-of-functions form, but take a form in which variables are directly entered. Furthermore,even if they take interaction into consideration, they are linear in an extended sense because they construeit as one or more terms that are products of single variables. In comparison with the proposed typeof model, these models are technically simpler. However, this paper argues that the proposed typeof model is superior in many contexts because it better reflects the causal process.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 3, 2004

References

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