Sociology 2105A/B Lecture Notes - Falsifiability, Operational Definition

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1 Feb 2013
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Sociological Research
- Science refers to the application of systematic methods of observation to obtain knowledge and
the knowledge obtained by those methods.
- Science possesses the following four elements:
1) Objective procedures
2) Precise measurement
3) Full disclosure and replication
4) Empirically falsifiable propositions
Non-scientific Ways of Knowing
• Authority
• Media Myths
• Tradition
• Common Sense
• Personal Experience
• Faith
The Research Process
• Selecting a Topic
• Defining the Problem
• Reviewing the Literature
• Formulating a Hypothesis
• Choosing a Research Method
• Collecting the Data
• Analyzing the Data
• Reporting the Results
Components of Scientific Theory
- Research questions (or propositions): statements that inter-relate two or more variables.
- Hypothesis: a testable formulation of a research question.
- Theory: a set of logically inter-related propositions that explain some process or set of
phenomenon in a testable fashion.
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