King, Gary. 1986. How Not to Lie With Statistics: Avoiding Common Mistakes in Quantitative Political Science. American Journal of Political Science 30: 666–687. Copy at http://j.mp/jFQ4Zl
Abstract:This article identifies a set of serious theoretical mistakes appearing with troublingly high frequency throughout the quantitative political science literature. These mistakes are all based on faulty statistical theory or on erroneous statistical analysis. Through algebraic and interpretive proofs, some of the most commonly made mistakes are explicated and illustrated. The theoretical problem underlying each is highlighted, and suggested solutions are provided throughout. It is argued that closer attention to these problems and solutions will result in more reliable quantitative analyses and more useful theoretical contributions.