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Lecture 3

SOAN 2120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Turnitin, Nomothetic, Sexual Orientation

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

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SOAN*2120 Week 3 LEC 2
Asia Barclay
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
- Submit Assignment 1 ASAP so that you can redo it if TurnItIn spotted errors!
- Summary due the 15th of February & class will be CANCELLED THAT DAY in
order to make sure you get your work in on time
- Dropbox opens this week
- MY GROUP: Group 1 (“Drug Use in Schools”)
- I-CLICKERS for bonus marks!!!
- Correlation does not imply causation!
- Often, logic suggests that observed associations are not causal
i.e. because of a third variable; because of coincidence; etc.
- Idiographic explanations
1. Credibility
2. Whether ―rival hypotheses‖ were seriously considered and found wanting
- Nomothetic explanations
1. Cause Effect
2. Two variables must be empirically correlated
3. Relationship is not the result of a third variable
- Necessary Cause
Condition must be present for the effect to follow
(i.e. becoming pregnantnot guaranteed to happen but if the conditions for it are present,
there is always a chance of it happening)

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- Sufficient Cause
Condition guarantees the effect
(i.e. if you don’t show up for an exam, you’ll fail it)
May not be the only possible cause of an event
- A cause can be necessary, but not sufficient
- A cause can be sufficient, but not necessary
- Causes can be both necessary and sufficient
Necessary and Insufficient <> Necessary AND Sufficient <> Sufficient and Unnecessary
- Scientists use:
Imperfect indicators Imperfect associations Interpretations
Example #1:
For his statistics course, C. Masaki found out the proportion of McGill students who receive their
bachelor’s degree in four years or less. With this information he devised a categorization of the
faculties with the lengthiest and shortest programs. The purpose of this research was...
A. Merely exploratory
B. Exploratory and explanatory
C. Explanatory and descriptive
D. Merely descriptive
We don’t know the scope of the study...but if it was exploratory it would be more specific to one
program, rather than an entire university. You could also argue for a merely exploratory purpose
(A.) as well. But the solid answer is D.
Example #2:
Throughout her honours thesis, J. Brownstein documented the rate at which Canadian university
students have dropped out of school for the past 10 years. She proposes that competing demands
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