Research Themes

While the research fostered by the Centre will be quantitative in nature, the substantive questions addressed will be diverse. There are several methodological themes that will prove to have great cross-disciplinary appeal. For example:

  • Experimentation, the modus operandi of psychology, is only now entering the mainstream of political science and sociology. No doubt, the expertise in experimental design could foster bonds between psychology and the other social sciences.
  • The Geography department’s focus on GIS and spatial analytics could easily cross disciplinary boundaries into political science and sociology as existing results get contextualized with important spatial attributes.
  • Political science and sociology have made great advances in the use of observational data in quantitative analysis, including the use of Bayesian modeling. There are currently no formal courses taught in any social science department dealing with Bayesian statistics. One of the goals of the Centre is to identify demand for specialized courses across departments.
  • Researchers in economics have made great strides in identifying causal effects. These methods are interesting across the social sciences. Each department, with its unique set of skills and expertise will contribute to the growing quantitative trend in Canadian social science.
  • Psychology has long been concerned with rigorous evaluation of test construction. This could be easily paired with the expertise in survey design in political science to produce incredibly fruitful discussions.
  • From history to political science, many social science fields rely on archival research. We have expertise in history and political science in the acquisition and analysis of text data. Bringing these groups of scholars together could be beneficial to all.