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Midterm

Midterm 2 Notes.docx

12 Pages
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Department
Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Professor
David Walters

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Description
Survey Research - the survey asks respondents about their beliefs, opinions, characteristics, and past or present behaviour – often called correlational - researchers usually ask about many things at home time, measure many variables and test several hypotheses in a single survey - the following can be asked in a survey: o behaviour o attitudes/beliefs/opinions o characteristics o expectations o self-classification (what do you consider yourself… i.e. liberal) o knowledge - limitation o it provides data only of what a person says, and this may differ from what he or she actually does Steps in the Process of Survey Research Step One: - develop hypotheses - decide on type of survey - write survey questions - decide on response categories - design layout Step Two: - plan how to record data - test survey instrument Step Three: - decide on target population - get sampling frame - decide on sampling size - select sample Step Four: - Locate respondents - Conduct interviews - Carefully record data Step Five: - enter data into computers - recheck all data - perform statistical analysis on data Step Six: - describe methods and findings in research report - present findings to others for critique and evaluation Principles of Good Question Writing - keep it clear, keep it simple, keep the respondent’s perspective in mind - 12 things to avoid when writing survey questions o jargon, slang, abbreviations o vagueness o emotional language o prestige bias o double-barreled questions o beliefs as real o leading questions o issues beyond respondent capabilities o false premises o distant future intentions o double negatives o unbalanced responses Types of Questions and Response Categories Threatening Questions - researchers must ask with extreme care - these questions are part of self-presentation and ego protection - respondents may underreport or self-censor reports or behaviour that they believe are a violation of social norms - masturbation is considered ‘very uneasy’ while sports activity is the ‘least uneasy’ Socially Desirable Questions - social desirability bias occurs when respondents distort answers to make their reports conform to social norms Knowledge Questions - many have inaccurate factual knowledge Skip or Contingency Questions - avoid asking questions that are irrelevant for a respondent - contingency question: two-or more part question - contingency questions select respondents for whom a second question is relevant Open Versus Closed Questions - open-ended question: asks a question to which a respondent can give any answer - closed-ended question: both asks a question and gives the respondent fixed responses from which to choose (i.e. good, very good, poor, very poor) o large scale surveys have closed-ended questions because they are quicker and easier for respondents and researchers - Advantages and Disadvantages Open Closed Pros - unlimited number of - easier and quicker for answers respondents to answer - respondents can answer in - easier to compare detail - easy to code and analyze - reveal a person’s logic Cons - different degrees of detail - respondents with no opinion - responses may be can answer anyways irrelevant - respondents may get - coding responses is difficult frustration - misinterpretation of question can go unnoticed - Nonattitudes and Middle Positions o Two types of errors can be made:  Accepting a middle choice or ‘no attitude’ respondent when responds hold a nonnetrual opinion  Forcing respondents to choose a position on an issue when they have no opinion about it o 3 Kinds of Attitude Questions  Standard Format  Does not offer a ‘don’t know’ response – agree or disagree  Quasi-Filter  Offers a ‘don’t know’ response  Full filter  Asks if they have an opinion – if yes, explain - Agree/Disagree, Rankings or Ratings o Less well-educated respondents are more likely to agree with a statement, whereas forced-choice alternatives encourage thought and avoid the response set bias o Better to ask respondents to choose among alternatives by ranking instead of rating - use a funnel sequence o ask more general questions before specific questions Types of Surveys: Disadvantages and Advantages Pros Cons Mail and Self - can give questions - low response rate Administered directly to - trickle in up to two respondents month later - cheapest - cannot control - conducted by a conditions single researcher - cannot clarify - offer anonymity questions - avoid researcher - incomplete bias questionnaires Web Surveys - very fast - coverage - inexpensive - privacy - flexible design - verification - design issues Telephone Interviews - 95% of population - higher cost can be reached - respondents - flexible method without phones - control of sequence - reduces anonymity - can use probes - potential interview bias Face-To-Face Interviews - high response rates - high cost - observe surrounds - interviewer bias - can ask all types of - appearance, tone of q’s voice, wording, etc. 10 Ways to Increase Mail Questionnaire Response - address the questionnaire - date cover letter - postage paid, address return envelope - attractive layout - easy to read - follow-up reminder letters - do not send during holidays - do not put questions on back of page - sponsors that are local are legitimate - small monetary inducement Experimental Research - best for issues that have a narrow scope or scale - limits one ability to generalize to larger settings Random Assignment - random assignment is a method for assigning cases to groups for the purpose of making comparisons. o It is a way to divide or sort a collection of cases into two or more groups in order to increase one’s confidence that the groups do not differ in a systematic way - We can use tests of statistical significance Why Randomly Assign? - Random assignment or randomization is unbiased because a researcher’s desire to confirm a hypothesis or a research subject’s personal interests do not enter into the selection process o Unbiased does not mean that groups with identical characteristics are selected in each specific situation of random assignment – it is that the probability of selecting a case can be mathematically determined, and the groups will be identical in the long run How to Randomly Assign - begin with a collection of cases - divide it into two or more groups by a random process (eg. flipping a coin) - assign ‘heads’ to the control group and ‘tails’ to the experiment group Types of Design - Classical Experimental Design o All designs are variations of this o Random assignment, pretest, posttest, experimental group, control group - Preexperimental Design o Used in situations where it is difficult to use the classical design o no random assignment - One-shot Case Study Design o One group, a treatment, post-test o No random assignment - One-Group Pretest-Posttest Design o One group, pretest, treatment, posttest o No random assignment o No control group - Static Group Comparison o Two groups, posttest, treatment In other words – Types of Design continued… Design Random Pretest Posttest Control Experimental Assignment Classical Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes One-Shot No No Yes No Yes Case Study One- No Yes Yes No Yes Group Pretest Posttest Static No No Yes Yes Yes Group Two- Yes No Yes Yes Yes Group Posttest Time- No Yes Yes No Yes series Quasi-Experimental and Special Designs - help researchers test for causal relationships in a variety of situations where the classical design is difficult or inappropriate
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