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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 (Chapters 6-7)

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Sociology 2206A/B
Don Kerr

This week y Few more words on questionnaire design y Structured observation chapter 6 y Other sources of data chapter 7 Using Existing Questions y If certain questions have worked well for other researchers they may be appropriate for ones own study y Allows results from different studies to be compared y If not used exactly as others have used them careful with temporal reliability slight changes in wording may change consistency in responseContinuing with Questionnaire DesignA Few Other Issues y Somewhere on the questionnairequestionnaire identification number several may be needed for one respondent and sample unit identifier 1 per respondent o Both should be captured in database o Keeping track of completion and nonresponse o Double checkingoutliers are they real o Note need not keep personal identifiers in the same file as collected informationStructured Observation Chapter 6 y Typically direct observation of the behaviour of others Quantitative nature y Note the emphasis here is NOT on the self reported behaviours or attitudes but on directly observed behaviours y Direct observation can be either quantitative chapter 6 or qualitative chapter 9 y The most widely practiced form of qualitative observation is participant observationbread and butter technique for anthropology and qualitative sociology which also involved extensive qualitative interviewing techniques y Emphasis here is quantitative structured observation y Structured observation can move beyond some of the problems found in survey researcho Gap between stated and actual behaviour in survey researchEx time use surveyspeople tend to overstate in surveys the amount of housework they do o Social desirability effect in answering questions which is particularly problematic with sensitive questionsEx children rarely admit to bullying when asked but many children bully o Problems of memorywhat was done where it was done etcEx would the observation of the frequency of text messaging differ from what might be self reported in a survey o Misunderstanding the meaning of the terms used in the surveynot an issue in direct observationEx survey question on time devoted to caring for children on a daily basissomething that is always poorly reported caring for children means different things for different peopleShould you Consider Structured Observation y Is the topic sensitive o Ex research on racismsurvey research can be quite biased
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