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This book presents a method for bringing data analysis and statistical technique into line with theory. The author begins by describing the elaboration model for analyzing the empirical association between variables. She then introduces a new concept into this model, the focal relationship. Building upon the focal relationship as the cornerstone for all subsequent analysis, two analytic strategies are developed to establish its internal validity: an exclusionary strategy to eliminate alternative explanations, and an inclusive strategy which looks at the interconnected set of relationships predicted by theory. Using real examples of social research, the author demonstrates the use of this approach for two common forms of analysis, multiple linear regression and logistic regression. Whether learning data analysis for the first time or adding new techniques to your repertoire, this book provides an excellent basis for theory-based data analysis.