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Lecture 5

Sociology 1025A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Inductive Reasoning, Selective Perception, Deductive Reasoning

Course Code
SOC 1025A/B
Lauren Barr

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Applying Sociological Research Methods
Common-sense is limited as a result of individual's selective perception, while sociological
reasoning uses empirical methods and systematic procedures to study the social world
and enhance our understanding of people and society
Sociology is considered a science because similar to the natural sciences like biology and
chemistry, it uses systematic procedures.
Concept - an abstract idea expressed as a word or phrase
Deductive reasoning starts with theories and ends with research findings, whereas
Inductive research begins with observations and ends in theory construction.
Main goals of sociological research -
o Exploratory research helps us understand an area that is not well established
o Descriptive research helps denote features and characteristics of a group
o Explanatory research clarifies aspects of a particular social phenomenon
o Critical research helps assess outcomes of some aspects of the social world
Exploratory research is best suited to answering question: what is it like to be X?
Steps for conducting sociological research:
Identify an area of interest
Determine what is already known about the topic
Narrow the research topics
Develop a research design
Collect data
Analyze data
Draw conclusions
Disseminate (Report) the findings
When sociologists claim that measure is "reliable", that means that two researchers have
received the exact same outcome from their studies.
A research design should include:
o Identify the research interest, whom or what will be studied
o How data collection will take place (i.e. a description of the research method)
o How a data site will be accessed and left once the study is concluded (include in
some cases)
Research involving humans should always be carried out in a manner that demonstrates a
concern for welfare, respects dignity and the decision to participate in research, and
prioritize justice
Three main principles that form the basis of the need to respect human dignity as
outlined by the Tri-council policy statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving
Respect for persons - research participants are granted "autonomy" or the right to
decide whether and how they will be involved in research
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