Publications by Year: 2012

Chilton, A., & Tingley, D. (2012). The Doctrinal Paradox and International Law. University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law , 34 (1), 67-148. tingley_chilton_doctrinalir.pdf
Johnson, D., McDermott, R., Cowden, J., & Tingley, D. (2012). Dead Certain: Confidence and Conservatism Predict Aggression in Simulated International Crisis Decision-Making. Human Nature , 23 (1), 98-126. deadcertain.pdf
Imai, K., & Tingley, D. (2012). A Statistical Method for Empirical Testing of Competing Theories. American Journal of Political Science , 56 (1), 218-236. WebsiteAbstract

Empirical testing of competing theories lies at the heart of social science research. We demonstrate that a very general and well-known class of statistical models, called finite mixture models, provides an effective way of rival theory testing. In the proposed framework, each observation is assumed to be generated from a statistical model implied by one of the theories under consideration. Researchers can then estimate the probability that a specific observation is consistent with either of the competing theories. By directly modeling this probability with the characteristics of observations, one can also determine the conditions under which a particular theory applies. We discuss a principled way to identify a list of observations that are statistically significantly consistent with each theory. Finally, we propose several measures of the overall performance of a particular theory. We illustrate the advantages of our method by applying it to an influential study on trade policy preferences.