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SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Falsifiability

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Robert Brym

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March 30th, 2011
Research Methods
Things that affect the way in which we see the world:
How research filters perception values, theories, existing research, & methods
(for collecting data) reality
Tension privets all scholarship based on the observation of reality
Subjectivity (which aspects of reality are worth checking up on) & objectivity
(process of doing research, reality check”) play an important role in sociology
The Research Cycle
1) Figure out what matters to you most:
Different issues matter to different people
Not just enough to have an issue, you have to formulate a testable theory (a
theory may begin vaguely about how facts are connected together) tentative
explanation of a phenomenon (the theory is testable & falsifiable, open to
2) Formulate a testable theory:
Not just an explanation about how facts are related, NOT a theory
3) Review existing literature:
Stimulate imagination, allow you to refine your initial question & duplicating
your effort
Name of the game discover new information
4) Select method(s):
Survey is really important, through experiments, some analyze statistics, & some
sociologists engage in observational research
Each method suitable for a different kind of problem
Coming ace to face with the reality that interests you
5) Collect data
6) Treat subjects ethically:
Must be acutely aware of treating research subjects ethically (ethics review board
outlines the ethics involved in research involving people)
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