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SOC 2280 (49)
Lecture

research methods

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2280
Professor
Linda Hunter
Semester
Fall

Description
1) Experimental Method - The experiment is unique in its control over variables; it is useful for determining cause and effect. - Independent variables: those variables that are thought to produce a change in some variable. - Dependent variables: those variables that are influenced by independent variables. Example: smoking (as a dependent variable) is presumed to be influenced by income and education (independent variables). - Experimental group: the group of subjects exposed to the independent variable - Control group: the group of subjects not exposed to the independent variable Steps in the experimental method: 1) Randomly assign participants to the experimental and control groups 2) Measure the dependent variable for the experimental and control groups 3) Apply the independent variable to the experimental group only 4) Measure the dependent variable for the experimental and control groups Classic experiments in sociology and social psychology include: 1) Stanley Milgram’s “shocking” findings about obedience 2) Solomon Asch’s study of conformity 3) Phillip Zimbardo’s prison study 4) Elton Mayo’s discovery of the Hawthorne Effect 2) Survey Method - In a survey, data is collected by having people answer a series of questions - It is important to properly sample the population (the target group to be studied) in order to ensure that the research can be generalized to the population of interest. - There are two main ways to conduct survey research: 1) Questionnaires – respondents answer questions on their own (e.g., mail surveys) 2) Interviews– respondents are directly questioned by researchers (e.g., telephone surveys,
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