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Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts (1st edn)

Jean-Frédéric Morin, Christian Olsson, and Ece Özlem Atikcan
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date: 02 December 2021

Time Series

A Statistical Method for Longitudinal Analysislocked

Time Series

A Statistical Method for Longitudinal Analysislocked

  • Jean-Frédéric Morin,
  • Christian Olsson
  •  and Ece Özlem Atikcan

Abstract

This chapter focuses on time series analysis, a statistical method of longitudinal analysis which is suitable if researchers are interested in the temporality of social phenomena and want to analyse social change and patterns of recurrence over time. In contrast to other statistical methods of longitudinal analysis, time series analysis can be applied even if researchers have only a few cases (maybe even only one) and only a few (maybe even only one) variables. Time series can be built for any level of analysis, as cases can be persons, but are usually organizations or countries. In order to build a time series, the variables need to have been measured several times over a given period, and for each measurement one needs to know the measurement date. There are different goals when doing time series analysis, which can be used in descriptive, explanatory, and interpretive approaches.

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