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Contemporary societal problems are complex, intractable, and costly. Aiming to ameliorate them, social scientists formulate policies and programs, and conduct research testing the efficacy of the interventions. All too often the results are disappointing; partly because the theories guiding these studies are inappropriate, the study designs are flawed, and the empirical databases covering their research questions are sparse. This book confronts these problems of research by following this process: analyze the roots of the social problem both theoretically and empirically; formulate a study design that captures the nuances of the problem; gather appropriate empirical data operationalizing the study design; model these data using multilevel statistical methods to uncover potential causes and any biases to their implied effects; use the results by refining theory and by formulating evidence-based policy recommendations for implementation and testing.
Applying this process, the chapters focus on these social problems: political extremism; global human development; violence against religious minorities; computerization of work; reform of urban schools; and the utilization and costs of health care. Because these chapters exemplify the usefulness of multilevel modeling for the quantification of effects and causal inference, they can serve as vivid exemplars for the teaching of students. This use of examples reverses the usual procedure for introducing statistical methods. Rather than beginning with a new statistical model bearing on statistical theory and searching for illustrative data, each core chapter begins with a pressing social problem. The specific problem motivates theoretical analysis, gathering of relevant data, and application of appropriate statistical procedures. Readers can use the provided data sets and syntaxes to replicate, critique, and advance the analyses, thereby developing their ability to produce future applications of multilevel modeling.
The chapters address the multilevel data structures of these social problems by grouping observations on the micro units (level-1) by more macro-units (level-2) (e.g., school children are grouped by their classroom), and by conducting multilevel statistical modeling in contextual, longitudinal, and meta-analyses. Each core chapter applies a qualitative typology to nest the variance between the macro units, thereby crafting a "mixed-methods" approach that combines qualitative attributes with quantitative measures
Quotient Space Based Problem Solving provides an in-depth treatment of hierarchical problem solving, computational complexity, and the principles and applications of multi-granular computing, including inference, information fusing, planning, and heuristic search. Drawing upon years of academic research and using numerous examples and illustrative applications, the authors, Ling Zhang and Bo Zhang provide a unique guide to computerized problem solving and granular computing. This book is a valuable guide to graduate students, research fellows, and academics specializing in artificial intelligence or concerned with computerized problem solving and granular computing. It explains the theory of hierarchical problem solving, its computational complexity, and discusses the principle and applications of multi-granular computing. It describes a human-like, theoretical framework using quotient space theory, that will be of interest to researchers in artificial intelligence. It provides many applications and examples in the engineering and computer science area. It includes complete coverage of planning, heuristic search and coverage of strictly mathematical models.
Uniquely focusing on intersections of social problems, multilevel statistical modeling, and causality; the substantively and methodologically integrated chapters of this book clarify basic strategies for developing and testing multilevel linear models (MLMs), and drawing casual inferences from such models. These models are also referred to as hierarchical linear models (HLMs) or mixed models. The statistical modeling of multilevel data structures enables researchers to combine contextual and longitudinal analyses appropriately. But researchers working on social problems seldom apply these methods, even though the topics they are studying and the empirical data call for their use. By applying multilevel modeling to hierarchical data structures, this book illustrates how the use of these methods can facilitate social problems research and the formulation of social policies. It gives the reader access to working data sets, computer code, and analytic techniques, while at the same time carefully discussing issues of causality in such models. This book innovatively: *Develops procedures for studying social, economic, and human development. * Uses typologies to group (i.e., classify or nest) the level of random macro-level factors. * Estimates models with Poisson, binomial, and Gaussian end points using SAS's generalized linear mixed models (GLIMMIX) procedure. * Selects appropriate covariance structures for generalized linear mixed models. * Applies difference-in-differences study designs in the multilevel modeling of intervention studies. *Calculates propensity scores by applying Firth logistic regression to Goldberger-corrected data. * Uses the Kenward-Rogers correction in mixed models of repeated measures. * Explicates differences between associational and causal analysis of multilevel models. * Consolidates research findings via meta-analysis and methodological critique. *Develops criteria for assessing a study's validity and zone of causality. Because of its social problems focus, clarity of exposition, and use of state-of-the-art procedures; policy researchers, methodologists, and applied statisticians in the social sciences (specifically, sociology, social psychology, political science, education, and public health) will find this book of great interest. It can be used as a primary text in courses on multilevel modeling or as a primer for more advanced texts.
In clear, easy-to-grasp language, the author covers many of the topics that you will need to know in order to win your dream job and be the first in line for a promotion.
Management of Problem Soils in Arid Ecosystems examines the challenges of managing soils in arid and semiarid regions. These soils contain low organic matter, are not leached, and accumulate lime, gypsum, and/or soluble salts, requiring special management and practices. This book discusses how to identify problems, reclaim the soils, and then use them efficiently and economically. Water management and desertification in these areas are also discussed. It contains extensive references as well as 40 tables and illustrations.
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