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Lecture 4 (Chapter 3)

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Sociology 2206A/B
Don Kerr

Lecture 4Chapter 3 The Nature of Quantitative ResearchQuantitative research inquiry using quantitative data gathering methods Social survey is by far the most commonTodays LectureMain goals in quantitative researchThe main steps in quantitative research11 basic stepsMeasurements and operationalizationChecking for reliability and validity in measurementSome criticism of quantitative researchMain Goals of Quantitative researchers1Systematic measurement of social phenomenonFundamental in descriptive research ex social trendsFundamental in studying concepts their interrelationships and social phenomena in generalClarity in definition of our concepts is obviously fundamentalExample of systematic measurement1Establishing causality researchers want to know what causes social phenomena Ex population health and longevity prejudice crime class conflict etc explanatory researchEx longitudinal research 20 years following a large sample of Canadians health behaviours and outcomes1Generalization of findings to those not studiedThe goal is to come up with generalizations that apply to large numbers of peopleHaving a representative sample a sample that is not bias is essential for thisNomothetic explanation1ReplicationRepeating a study using the same methods provides a check for biases and routine errorsIf the findings are not the same as those of the original study the findings of the original are brought into the questionIf the same researchers have greater confidence in the original findingsEx what is the effect of sunlight Vitamin B on Cancer incidence All sorts of studies currently replicating recent study demonstrating beneficial effectThe Main Steps in Quantitative ResearchEmphasis is deduction in theoretical reasoningBegin at the library databases available ex sociological abstractsreview past research and theoretical arguments Develop a hypothesis ex labeling theory is relevant to academic achievement7 steps of quantitative research
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