Research Portfolio Post #9: End of Term Mentor Meeting

I met with Dr. Rovner on December 5th for half an hour to discuss the methodological practices which would be the most beneficial and the most interesting to pursue in the coming semester. In the beginning, I wanted to develop a cyberstrategy index which would have been entirely qualitative and would not have added much worth to the field besides explaining what strategy each state abides by. Dr Rovner recommended that I switch my focus to predictive analysis of what strategy an actor would develop. This led to pitfalls however as operationalizing this as a dependent variable proved exceedingly difficult. He returned to the point that operationalizing the dependent variable should be the primary goal and the rest of the project will follow suit. To that end, I have decided that large-n analyses is the best route forward with cyber power being the dependent variable and operationalized by the percentage of successful event compared to overall traffic.

He loved the idea of creating a database or index that tracked these numbers and then the idea of beginning to play with them to see the relative pull and strength of each variable. The vast majority of my variables will be development and telecommunications rates paired with a monetary focus. Similarly, the hypothesis’ will go along this route, focusing on the economic variables having more influence. Research wise, I will need to collect information across an arbitrary time in the United States about internet traffic as well as hostile events in order to operationalize my DV effectively. I will not need access to complete databases as I will be compiling my own which can later be used for analysis.

Going forward into 306, the majority of my fear/consternation is over the actual application of statistical analysis. I realize that we will have access to the stat lab and apparently there is a clear slant in the amount of neopositivists compared to interpretivists, so they will be able to aid me. However, going into something without 100% knowledge is obviously a source of stress.

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