Quantitative Methods SOC202H1S

January 10, 2012

Science and the Research Process

Science: a systematic method of explaining empirical (observable/measurable)

phenomenon;

The research process:

Specify the research question

Review the scientific literature

Propose a theory and state hypotheses

Select a research design

Collect the data

Analyze the data and draw conclusions

Disseminate the results.

Statistical imagination

Comparison of how unusual an event is to other similar events

Causes and consequences: thinking of cause and effect

A deep curiosity about SOCIAL PATTERNS(relationships between variables

Prediction, probabilistic thinking, inference

Variable

A measurable phenomenon that varies (changes) over time or that differs from

place to place or from person to person.

The Basics

What is the difference between a dependent variable and an independent variable?

We want to explain variation in a dependent variable using predictor or explanatory

variables (independent variables);

A focal association (X Y);

Exercise : What is an example of a focal associations in which sleep is a

dependent variable? And, what about a focal association in which sleep (quantity

or quality) is an independent variable?

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