Getting to Know Your Repository

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Data Appendix (1) -- Considering Another Author’s Appendix

  1. Look at Erik Bleich’s article “Historical Institutionalism and Judicial Decision-Making: Ideas, Institutions, and Actors in French High Court Hate Speech Rulings” and its accompanying Interview Methods Appendix (scroll to Appendix B). Also, open the data for the article on QDR. Quickly skim the article, and read more closely through the narrative for 1993 to 1997 starting on page 70, focusing in particular on claims made based on interview evidence. Look up the notes for the cited interviews available on QDR. What does the availability of the interview methods appendix add? Do the interview notes help you better evaluate the quality of the inference that is based on interviews?
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    1. Your reactions to the interview methods appendix will be shaped by your epistemological priors, i.e., how much you think it is possible to learn through human participants research. If you believe we gain significant insights from such research, at first blush having more information about the interviews that Bleich conducted, and more of the raw data available to you, are likely to make you more persuaded by the argument. Beyond that, your evaluations will depend upon whether you wanted more or different kinds of information about the interviews, and whether the additional information Bleich provided about his cited interviews made you more confident in them, or potentially less confident. If you had both reactions, why was that the case?