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Owen-Smith says universities must demonstrate value of higher education

Armstrong says USC's removal of questions from a required Title IX training module may reflect student-administration relations

Fomby finds living with step- or half-siblings linked to higher aggression among 5 year olds

Highlights

PRB training program in policy communication for pre-docs. Application deadline, 2.28.2016

Call for proposals: PSID small grants for research on life course impacts on later life wellbeing

PSC News, fall 2015 now available

Barbara Anderson appointed chair of Census Scientific Advisory Committee

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Feb 1 at noon, 6050 ISR-Thompson
Sarah Miller

psc brown bag iconAggregation Problems

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks (Department of Demography, University of California, Berkeley)

03/11/2013, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

Archived video available

Social science relies heavily on aggregation - that is, on moving from individual cases or instances to higher-order categories. This presentation argues that (1) basic theoretical claims are embedded in how we make up the aggregates that we study, (2) important phenomena may look radically different at different levels of aggregation, (3) aggregates may have certain characteristics that apply only at that aggregate level, and cannot be reduced to the characteristics of the constituent parts, and (4) sometimes the apparent characteristics of the aggregate are artifacts of a bad process of aggregation and what look like relationships are not in fact relationships at all. The variation in how relationships at the micro level are reflected at the macro, and vice versa, may be systematic and meaningful. That is, when we know something about the causal processes behind the variables that interest us, we may be able to predict what kinds of macro-micro patterns will emerge as we move across levels of aggregation.

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