Bonus Assignment 2.5PS 3780 Data Literacy & Visualization, Spring 2023
Due Date: Friday, February 10, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.
Preliminaries of Final Project
THIS IS AN INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT
Your nal project for this class involves asking and answering an interesting question
using data visualization. For this assignment, you should propose a theory for a politically
interesting topic and investigate ways to operationalize your theory into testable hypotheses. Choose a topic that you have studied (in a political science class or elsewhere), or a
topic that you would like to know more about, and propose something that:
1. Has interesting political implications
2. Can be answered with available data
3. Lends itself to interesting visualizations
The topic that your theory aims to address should be neither too broad (What causes the
rise and fall of empires?) nor too narrow (How popular was the President last year?).
Shoot for a question that can be explored in 2-4 pages of text and 2-4 original visualizations. Do not simply reproduce an existing analysis or something we have done in class.
Please submit (3 pts):
1. Either a theoretical question your nal paper will address or a concrete theory that
implies an answer for a politically interesting question and that you want to test
2. Keep in mind when you are deciding on your topic that you should have both
an independent (cause) and dependent (eect) variable.
ask: What is the eect of smoking on lung cancer?
For instance, you may
In this example, smoking is
the independent variable, and lung cancer is the dependent variable. Label your
independent and dependent variables.
3. A hypothesis, along with 12 sentence on your logic behind it, about what you think
the relationship(s) will be between your independent and dependent variables.
1. What is the eect of democracy on country’s willingness to go to war with one
2. The independent variable is the level of democracy of a pair of countries and the
dependent variable is the number of wars between that pair.
3. I expect that democracies are less likely to go to war with other democratic countries
than authoritarian countries. Because democratic leaders have to be responsive to
their citizens, there is signicant pressure on both sides of a conict to avoid war.
However, authoritarian leaders are under fewer constraints and can entrench their
power during conict.
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