The Eitm Approach: Origins and Interpretations

John H. Aldrich, James E. Alt and Arthur Lupia

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199286546
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

The Eitm Approach: Origins and Interpretations

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  • Political Methodology
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This article describes the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s initiative to close the gap between theory and methods. It also deals with the Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) as currently understood as a way of thinking about causal inference in service to causal reasoning. Additionally, it explores the approach's origins and various ways in which NSF's call to EITM action has been interpreted. It makes a brief attempt to explain why the EITM approach emerged, why it is valuable, and how it is currently understood. It then contends that EITM has been interpreted in multiple ways. It emphasizes a subset of extant interpretations and, in the process, offers views about the most constructive way forward. The idea of EITM is to bring deduction and induction, hypothesis generation and hypothesis testing, close together.

Keywords: Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models; National Science Foundation; causal inference; causal reasoning; interpretations; hypothesis

Article.  7295 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Methodology ; Comparative Politics

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