Scientific procedures that sociologists use to conduct research and develop knowledge about a particular topic.
Q: How do sociologists use research methods?
Analysis of quantitative data using cross-sectional studies, comparative studies, longitudinal studies, surveys, and experiments; through analysis of qualitative data using participant observation, case studies, and ethnographies.
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ability to conduct research without allowing personal biases or prejudices to influence you (note: teacher says transparency is needed because sociology is close to you so you do have biases)
versehenmax weber (one of the big 3 to know, teacher)
understanding the meaning of the action from the actor’s point of view
factors being studied
variables that are deliberately manipulated in an experiment
are the response to the manipulated variable
variables that are kept constant to accurately test the impact of an independent variable
something that brings about a change in something else
measure of how two or more factors vary under certain conditions (note: “connection”, be careful correlation is not causation and you need to ask the question “what else could be causing this?”, teacher)
Q: What’s the difference between causes and correlation?
Causes always create the same effects; correlations don’t.
condition or variable that leads to a certain consequence
relationship between cause and effect
indication that one factor might be a cause for another factor (note: but be wary)
includes two variables moving in a positive direction example: as icecream sales go up the temperature goes up
variables moving in opposite directionsex: as gas prices go up automobile sales go down
occurs when two variable appear to be related but actually have a different cause
investigation conducted by social scientists
study of relevant academic articles and information
comprehensive and systematic explanation of events that lead to testable predictions
involves a suggestion about how variables relate
abstract ideas that are impossible to measure
turning abstract ideas into something measurable
refers to the process used to find information
able to be trusted
assures that you’re actually measuring the thing you set out to measure in the first place
uses data from different sources in ordre to evaluate them against each other. Example: international comparisons, although they can have methodological problems
look at one event at a single point in time. Example: using multiple cross sectional studies to track trends in society.
include data from observations over time using a specific group of people called a cohort
specific group of people used in a study
an investigation of the opinions or experience of a group of people by asking them questions
target groups from which researchers want to get information
extreme willingness to use resources (to get most for effort)
subset of population selected for research
the extent that what is learned from a sample can be applied to the popuation from which the sample is taken
group of subjects arbitrarily chosen from a defined population
process of taking a biger sample if the group yo wish to study makes up a small percentage
sample of convenience
nonrandom sample available to researcher
(usually sample of convenience) likelihood that a non representative sample may leads to inaccurate results
occurs when people behave differently because they know they are part of an experiment
research conducted in a natural setting. example: jane goodall apes
is a type of field research in which the researcher poses as a person who is normally in the environment. example: me at the round up
are investigations of one person or event in detail
is a research method that aims to understand the social perspective and cultural values of a particular group by participating with or getting to know their activities in detail
are data that others have already collected and published
secondary data analysis
process of using & analyzing data that others have collected
is the numbers in the middle of an array of numbers. 3 types: mean, median & mode
midpoint in a distribution of numbers
most common value in a distribution of numbers
system of values of principles that guide one’s behavior
Q: What are the 5 principles of ethics?
professional competence (know limits of research, consult people who know more than you)2. integrity ( no falsehoods)3. professional and scientific responsibility (review others work and by honest and not hostile)4. respect for peoples rights, dignity and diversity ( don’t discriminate on differences)5. social responsibility (take what we know and use it for the good of the community
data based on numbers
information that comes in non-numverical forms. example: words, pictures, photos
type of research in which sociologists look for common words or themes in newspapers, books or structured interviews
process of using multiple approaches to study a phenomenon
is an analysis that studies the needs of a specific group and presents the result in a written statement
Q: How do you asses search engines in sociological research?
1. check headlines (do they check up w/story?)2.
check term definitions. Does the author define his value laden terms? 3. who funded the study?4. could something else be causing the result? did the researcher look at every possible angle? (spuriousness & selection effects)5.
look for agendas
Q: What do I need to ask myself when doing a needs assessment?
1. What information is needed?2. What is the background of this situation?3. How will we collect this information?