HSCI 307 Lecture #4 Tuesday, Feb. 1st, 2011
information about them is being used in a study ~µ][Z]oµZ]v(}u]}v]v}
being identified to the individual).
-Includes: unobtrusive research (observations, e.g. reviewing medical records), examination of
statistical information/documents and secondary analysis.
-a technique for examining the content, or information and symbols, contained in written
documents or other communication medium (e.g. legal documents,
newspaper articles, etc.)
-This is non-reactive because the creators of the content do not know whether anyone will
analyze it or not.
-Most often used for descriptive purposes, but can be used for exploratory or explanatory
Secondary analysis of existing data
-a re-examination and statistical analysis of quantitative data that has been gathered
-The researcher directly observes and records notes on people in a natural setting for an
extended period of time (e.g. years, months, etc. depending on study).
-Most often conducted on a small group of people
- Typically begins with a loosely formulated idea or topic then gets elaborated further
throughout the course of the study
- Proceeds with researcher selecting a group or site to study
-Researcher gains access (permission) then adopts a role within the group and begins observing
for a period of several months to several years (e.g. boss at a manufacturing firm, elders in a
tribal community, etc.) to reduce tensions among groups.
-Data includes detailed notes on a daily basis (field notes) that speak to the observations you
are most interested in as a researcher.
-Researcher examines data on events and conditions in the historical past and/or across
-Researchers may focus on one historical period or several, compare one or more cultures, or
mix historical periods and cultures.
-Approach combines theory with data collection
-Usually draws on a mix of evidence
Quantitative Design Issues
Language of variables
Types of variables
x Independent variable (IV): The cause variable, or the one that identifies forces or conditions
that act on something else.