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October 2021

Replicating text: The cumulation of knowledge in social science

Author(s): McKenzie, D. P.

Journal/Book: Qual Quant. 1999; 33: Spuiboulevard 50, PO Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publ. 97-116.

Abstract: Obtaining a statistically significant result does not necessarily tell us whether we would obtain significant results in other, similar studies, particularly if the original sample sizes were small. This is why we are supposed to replicate experiments. The present study concerns social science events that cannot be repeated by virtue of their being historically situated. Among social science events, many textual data are datable and, by definition, unrepeatable. One solution to this quandary lies in bootstrap replications, which are based on the original data. A case in point is that of founding political speeches such as those that buoy the European construction. We analyze and compare 82 speeches made by President Delors over the period 1988-1994, and 28 by President Santer over the period 1995-1997. We have all these speeches (N = 110) concorded as to which words are used, how often, where, and when, with the help of a computer-aided content analysis package. We then test various hypotheses using replication bootstrap estimates, that is, by replicating the original sample a large number of times and recreating several thousand samples from the population so created.

Note: Article Hogenraad R, Univ Catholique Louvain, Dept Psychol, 10 Pl Cardinal Mercier, B-1348 Louvain, BELGIUM

Keyword(s): computer-supported content analysis; replication bootstrap estimates; time-series; INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY; STANDARD ERROR; BOOTSTRAP; PSYCHOLOGY; JACKKNIFE; PROGRAM

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