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Lecture 3

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Sociology 2206A/B
Don Kerr

Lecture 3Research DesignsLast Class y Issues of replicability reliability and validity y All are relevant in developing research designsToday y 4 types of research designs 1 Experiments associated with quantitative research 2 Cross sectional studies could be either quantitative or qualitative 3 Longitudinal studies could be either quantitative or qualitative 4 Case studies associated with qualitative research y Issues relating to research ethics surface continuouslyTrue Experiments y Rare in sociology more common in psychology y If done properly high level of internal validity ie excellent way to establish cause and effect y Weaker in terms of external validity ie often major obstacles to generalizing beyond those studies y Experiments are relatively rare is sociology because o Many variables of interest are not subject to experimental manipulation ex what is the effect of economic inequality on mortality o Ethical concerns can sometimes preclude performing experiments ex association between poor nutrition and child academic performance o Many phenomena of interest have longterm complex causes that cannot be simulated in experiments ex what is the effect of religiosity on child bearing y Experiment Rosenthal and Jacobson 1968 o Teach expectations independent o Student academic performance dependent o Labeling theory the way people treat you defines how you look at yourselfLooking for empirical support y Key concepts that are relevant to experiments o Experimental or treatment group receives a treatment or manipulation of some kind o Control group does not get the treatment or manipulation o Random assignment participants are placed in the experimental or control group using a random methodo Pretest measurements of the dependent variable before the experimental manipulationo Posttest measurement of the dependent variable after the experimental manipulationo Note the experimental manipulation introduces change in the relevant independent variable y 2 types of experiments 1 Laboratory experiments take place in artificial environments2 Field experiments are conducted in reallife surroundings y RosenthalJacobson textbook
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