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Chapter 20-Research Methods Apr 1 2009

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University of Toronto St. George
Sheldon Ungar

April 1 , 2009 Chapter 20: Research Methods Introduction N Only evidence relevant to theoretical ideas is useful in social research N Sociological study= sound theorycareful methods Perspective N The social practice of science is influenced by subjectivity N Science As A Social Practice o If our perceptions of reality can be affected by our values, then how can scientists know for certain that what they see if true? o Good research= minimize the types of errors that have been attributed from evidence N Minimizing Bias In Social Science o Scientists trained= minimize the influence of their personal valuesexpectations on the results of their work o Objectivity: the attempt to minimize the effect of personal bias on research results or the idea of impartiality N Scientific vs. Non-Scientific Thinking o N- observations o Public scrutinyskeptical reasoning o S- doctrine of certainty, observations based on well rounded methods, set of practicesprocedures for testing knowledgeable claims N Natural vs. Social Science o Both explain help understandexplain why certain patterns emerge o Nat- we think, act, reason, decide o SS- we study ourselves (nowthen) o $4.L4O4JL89889: o Meaningful Action: human action; as distinct from physical behaviour, occurs with specific intentions or reasons on mind Methods of Social Research N Explanation o Explanation: an account of the casual logic that shows how and why variables influence one another o Be adequate if it could show how the cause affects the effect o Causation: involves a relationship between two variables where change or variation in one variable produces change or variation in a second variable- Variables:
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