The components of a model include a research question, subsidiary theories related to the question, and hypotheses related to each theory, as well as assumptions that may underlie the analysis. For instance, a research question might be, "Why have third parties been unsuccessful in American politics?" One of multiple theories about this question might be, "American political structure creates prohibitive social costs to the potential third-party voter." Some of the hypotheses subsidiary to this particular theory might be:

HI. In winner-take-all electoral districts, the voter will perceive voting for third party candidates as "throwing away" one's vote. H2. The more leading political parties are candidate-centered rather than platform-centered, the more leading party candidates will be able to adopt policy positions which co-opt potential third-party voters. H3. The more heterogenous the society in ethnic and racial terms, the greater the importance attached to leading parties as cultural unifiers and the more third party affiliation is seen as deviant behavior.