What are the two research methods?
Qualitative and Quantitative
What are Qualitative methods?
They are methods in which we generate the data
They are done through interviews and field research
They give non numerical data
What are Quantitative methods?
They are done through survey research, which then you get numerical values
Applied statistics is done through quantitative methods
What are examples of computer softwares?
What the two parts of social science?
1. Social theory: encompassed by Karl Marx, Max W Weber and Emile Durkheim. They govern the
way in which the world works. They deal with an intellectual part through theoretical perspectives
(the way in which we develop our own theories and harnish critical learning. You gain knowledge
for the sake of learning.
2. Research: You develop skills for employment (concrete skills)
What are some examples of research methods within employment?
Health\hospitals (they want in depth interviews of the patients they are treating)
Private sector businesses (focus groups
Health and hospitals
-Business\organizations - large scale research
What theorist contributed to social thought?
Who believed in Conflict theory?
Who believed in functionalism?
Who believed in Symbolic Interactionism?
What is conflict theory?
Conflict theory sees society being organized between conflict. There are competing groups (the haves
and have nots). There is class struggle. Conflict theorists believe that the power imbalance grows. They
believe that there should be equality of result (at the end of the day everyone is equal)
What is functionalism? Society exists because they are functional (they serve a purpose). When these functions are no longer
possible they come together to find a solution. On the issue of inequality, it is not important that everyone
is equal but rather we must provide the same opportunity to those in society
Functionalism can be defined by the two following words: consensus and functional
What is an example that illustrates the idea of equality of opportunity from a functional
perspective vs Conflict perspective?
Conflict theorists arge 90% of university professors in the natural sciences are male. This is problematic
because 50% of the population is female. In the end, gender distribution should be equal
Functionalist: 90% of prison pop is male- their opportunities should be the same
What does conflict theory and functionalism have in common?
They examine life at the macro level
What is symbolic interactionism?
This view focuses on the micro level and the individual level. The focus is on symbolism and the
meanings that are behind people's behaviour. They want to know why people do what they do and what
behaviour is generated. They want to know each individual's perception of reality because it is what
What data does conflict theory use?
Quantitative and qualitative data
What data does functionalism use?
What data does symbolic interactionism use?
What are methodologies?
How we generate and analyze the data
What are the two types of theories?
1. Testable theories
2. Non Testable theories
What type of theory does marx have?
What is Marx’s theory about social and economic change?
Marx's theory centered around capitalism. He argued that capitalism was the most powerful force on the
planet and the darkest. Over time he believed that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The
brougise owned everything while the proletarian worked at the expense of the wealthy. He thought there
would be fewer and fewer rich people that owned most of the resources of the world. He thought that the
working class would become education and create a class of themselves (Marx revolution) and they
would violently overthrow the elite. They would create a new social system called socialism and it would
result in communism. Marx theory is non testable as it is not subject to empirical testing. Psychoanalytic
theories cannot be tested
What is a theory? A theory is a general assertion about something. You do not test theory directly. You test it indirectly
through the hypothesis
What makes a theory testable?
What is an example of a hypothesis?
Guelph students have higher grades on a standardized test than do students from other universities
What are the quantitative research methods in testing theories?
To recall, quantitative research is data generated through numerical values and this is done through
experiments and survey research
What are experimental designs?
They provide us with a controlled environment and consist of three stages: the pre test, treatment and
What is an example where you can obtain qualitative data and at the end get numerical values to
obtain quantitative data?
Testing increases feelings of happiness
Hypothesis: group one and two will be happier than group 3
Measure Happiness- video camera- amount of time smiling (qualitative data)
There are 25 people in each group and the experiment tracks how long they smile. At the end of this, they
get numerical values (quantitative data)
What is survey research?
Survey research is quantitative research. It does not manipulate the subjects. The information is
converted into numerical values in which they analyze. Each question on the survey represents a variable
What is a variable?
Anything that varies
What are the types of variables? ***
1. Quantitative variables
3. Ie: education (years of schooling) and income (dollars)
2. Categorical Variables
1. No rank order
2. Non numerical
3. Example: religion
What are some examples of quantitative variables?
Hours watching television per week, hours worked per week, and age in years
What are some examples of categorical variables?
Gender (male, female)
Field of study (arts, humanities, and business)
Province (Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba)
What are ordinal level variables?
Variables on a continuous scale For example, education
7. Professional or graduate scalel
6. Bachelor's degree
5. Some university
3. High school
What is likert scale variables?
We treat them like quantitative variables.
Ie: How happy are you?
4- very happy
3- somewhat happy
2- somewhat happy
When do we treat likert variables quantitative?
We treat variables as quantitative as long as there is 4 categories and they are continuous
What happened in 1962?
Subjects told that psychologists have developed theories regarding how people learn. People learn better
if they are punished when they do something wrong. One is assigned the teacher and the other one is the
learner. One person is shocked- the teacher will deliver a shock if the learner gets the answer wrong
when choosing the answers by pressing the buttons. The early stages of this test past uneventfully. Later
on the answers said are incorrect and they get shocks. The shocks increase (more painful). The learner
wants to leave and get out, The researcher tells the teacher to continue
What were the results?
50% would go to the end and obey the researcher. Before the experiment, the researchers guess 10%
What does this experiment show?
The forces of obeying someone and having pressure from someone can make us do something we
normally would not do
What are ordinal variables?
They are conceptually continuous thus you can rank them. An example of a ordinal variable is a likert
variable which is a scale variable (5 strongly agree….1 strongly disagree). They are quantitative as long
as there are 4 categories and they are continuous
What is a correlation?
The relationship between two variables. We can get data from an experiment and then once they are
analyzed by a statistical variable and they are quantitative variable, they are called correlations
How do graphs represent correlations?
Uphill: left to right→ positive correlation
Downhill: right to left→ negative correlation
No correlation: flat slope
What do scatterplots do?
Scatterplots plan an important role when exploring the relationships between two quantitative variables.
They allow us to identify a problem causes (unusual observations), the form of the relationship (whether it
is linear) and have a preliminary estimated of the strength of the relationship
A scatter plot also shows direction and how compact they are together What is a correlation coefficient?
A good summary measure of the direction and strength of a linear relationship
When does it make sense to use a correlation coefficient?
Only when the relationship is linear
What does a correlation coefficient range from?
It ranges from -1 (perfect negative linear relationship) to +1 (perfect positive linear relationship) 0 means
no linear relationship
What does +1 mean?
Positive slope. One variable increases the other increases
What does -1 mean?
What happens if we get closer to -1 or +1?
We get to a straight line
What are unusual cases referred to as?
They are referred to as outliers. An outlier is someone that is outside the relative area that every other
variable is on the graph. This affects the math substantially
What do we do with outliers?
If it is part of the data but is unusual, we check if there is a coding error
When do outliers have less of an effect?
If you have a big sample size
What is the issue of causality\how do we know which variables causes the other?
Correlation does not mean causation. We infer a causal relationship based on our understanding of the
temporal relationship between variables.
What is the variable that occurs first?
What is the variable that occurs second?
The effect variable
What are the classifications of variables?
Independent variable→ cause (x)
Dependent variables→ effect variable\causes outcome. The dependent variable is influenced by the
independent variable (y)
What is an example of a dependent, and independent correlation on a graph?
Education vs Income
Education is the independent variable thus it is on the x axis. Income is the dependent variable this it is on
the y axis. A line between the dots means that the experimenters think it is causation. The inference of
causality is made by us
Why is it sometimes problematic to think that education causes a higher income?
Because there may be other variables that are outside the two variables that we are not considering
What does a statistically significant relationship mean?
It did not happen by chance What does a higher correlation mean?
A stronger relationship
What does a more steep slope mean?
The more steep the slope is and ight the dots are together means that the x (independent variable) is
statistically related to the y variable (dependent variable)
What is the p value?
The likelihood or probability that something will happen
What are the common thresholds for “p values?
P= 0.5- there is a 5% chance we are mistaken (we are wrong 5 times out of 100) (or 1 in 20) (95%
chance we are right
P= 0.01- There is a 1% chance we are wrong (1\100=0.01) We are 99% sure we are not mistaken
P= 0.001 - It is 1\1000 chance we are wrong- We are % 99.9 sure we are not making a mistake
Why do we need p values?
Because we can’t sample a whole population thus we need p values to tell us how confident we are in the
relationship between the two variables
Do statistics equal mathematics?
No, statistics deals with probabilities. We never use the word prove because there is no absolute. We can
assign an exact p value in which we can be wrong
What does a spurious relationship mean?
A realtionship influenced by a third lurking variable
(ie: instead of education influencing income, it is intelligence that affects both education and income)
What is regression analysis?
Identifying whether the effect on an independent variable on a dependent variable is statistically
significant, while holding other variables constant
What are the advantages of survey research?
Surveys are very good to tap into attitudes, they are quick and easy to administer, generalizable and can
be used on a large number of respondents
What are the disadvantages of surveys?
Control- we cannot be sure we controlled for everything
What does quantitative research generate?
What are some attributes about qualitative research?
It does not involve statistics but rather sensitive information. It establishes a report and is not restricted by
a rigorous research agenda.
How is qualitative research done?
1. Qualitative interviews
2. Participant observation
What is qualitative interviews? They are open ended questions (ie: tell me how you feel). The respondents answer in their word as they
are not restricted. The researchers can probe (rapport)
What are the strengths of qualitative interviews?
It provides a more, rich, descriptive detailed information. It is better suited for sensitive issues
What are the weaknesses of qualitative interviews?
It is time consuming, expensive and the effectiveness depends on the research we
What is participant observation?
It is observing the people in their natural habitat. It is a hands on approach. Researchers participate
(rapport). It is based on the principle of grounded theory (the data generates the theory). It is exploratory
and here is no variables. In PO, the researcher also conducts interviews
What are the strengths of participant observation?
It is more interesting, more engaging, more valid, more thorough, and more generalizable (real world)
What are the weaknesses of participant observation?
It is more subjective (researchers point of view), it is generalizable (beyond the group)
What does quantitative data allow?
They test theories- they are objective, free from bias, reliable and less thorough
What does qualitative data allow?
It allows one to generate theories
What is an example of a quantitative scenario within the school system?
The SOAN exam is quantitative because everyone is evaluated by the same criteria
What is an example of a qualitative scenario within the school system?
Essay format (you don't know if everyone is measured the same way)
Out of experimental designs, survey research, qualitative interviews, participant observation,
which is the best?
None, they all have their weaknesses. We have to use which is best suited for the purpose
What did the Milgram experiment deal with?
What is the ethical issue in this experiment?
Did he protect the well being of the participants in this design
What are the implications within this experiment?
Experimental design: this experiment would not be conducted today as it was a pioneer study
What was the Humphries (1970) study?
It dealt with impersonal sex in public places in tea rooms. Tea rooms are where gay men would get
together Humphrie pretended to be apart of this group. The police would often play the same role as
Humphrie as being gay was illegal. He served out as the lookout person to see if anyone was coming. He
followed the people to their cars and got their license plates. He went to their house and conducted an
interview. His findings were that these people were typical, everyday people. This was surprising to hum
because they were engaging in deviant behaviour Why were these findings influential?
They had implication on participant observation in the future
What was the main issue of this study?
Consent- the people in his study did not know they were apart of it
What are the dimensions in research ethics?
-Sensitive questions- values, beliefs and backgrounds
-Deception: it is imperative that we deceive them to a certain degree
-Anonymity: the people in the study are anonymous- even the researcher cannot identify them
If you can't have anonymity what should you have?
Confidentiality- the researcher knows the name of the people of the study, but does not disclose this
What are implications of past research?
There is a code of ethics (review boards). At each institution, the wording may be different, however the
essential premise is the same. There is a lengthy review process
What are some features of ethics in field research?
The researcher has to be careful about the researcher\participant relationship as they there is certain
illegal behaviour. The law is a tricky area for social researchers
Lecture 5 (part 2)
What are measures of central tendency?
They are statistics that summarize the central location of variables. They are found with quantitative
What are examples of central tendency?
1. The mean: the average. Add up all the values and divide it by the total number of observations
2. The median: The middle value. You have to organize them from low to high (ie:
3. Mode: The number that occurs the most
What are measures of dispersion?
1. Variance: the average square deviation from the mean
2. Standard deviation: the average deviation from the mean
What are distribution curves?
They represent the distribution of observation across the scope of all potential observations
What does a correlation to the left mean?
Positively right skewed distribution
The mean is greater than the median
What does a correlation to the right mean?
Right: negatively\right skewed distribution
Mean is less than median
What does a normal distribution mean? Mean=median.
What does a standard deviation from the mean allow us to figure out?
What is a z score?
It determines if it is statistically significant.
95% of the cases are approximately 2 standard deviation from the mean
What z score is significantly significant?
A z-score of approximately 2 is statistically significant at 0.5 (95 confidence level)
99% of cases are approximately 2.6 standard deviation from the mean
A z score of approximately 2.6 is statistically significant at 0.01 (99% confidence level)
How to calculate standard deviation:
1. Calculate the mean
2. For every observation
1. First obs minus mean= value. Square that value
2. Second obs minus mean= mean. Square that value
3. Last obs minus mean= value. Square the value
4. Sum all of the squared values to get a new value (sum of squared deviations) Next divide
that value by the sample size (n) minus 1
What is statistics?
The science of taking out a portion of numerical data and studying it. It is about using the smaller group of
number to tell us things about the big groups of number. In statistics, the statistical population is the large
group where you will gather data
What is a sample?
A randomly picked portion of a population
What are the elements of a statistical problem?
1. Identify the question being asked, and identify the population 2. Determine the design of the population (can you use the population or a sample)
3. Establish a method to collect and analyze the data
4. Choose a procedure for making inferences (centers around probability)
5. See how reliable your inferences are
6. Organize data in data sets
What are graphical methods?
Relative frequency histogram
1. Divides the data into intervals (classes)
2. You can see what proposition falls into each class
3. Normally 5-20 classes
4. There is a relation to the distribution curve
What is a class width?
How wide classes are (All classes→ equal width)
What are class boundaries?
Where a class begins and ends
What conditions does a class has to meet?
1. Lowest class contains lowest boundaries
2. No measurements on boundaries
Steps of making a histogram:
-Once you found the range, find classes
-Once you determined the number of classes, figure out class width
-Class width→ boundaries
-Classes→ Take values from data set
When are histograms used?
With smaller data sets
When are distribution curves used?
With large amounts of data
What is a stem and leaf display?
It is a picture representation of data. It shows us the frequency and shape of the data. Unlike the relative
frequency histogram, the stem and leaf display allows you to obtain the actual representation of data. The
numbers fall into patterns. Each number is divided into two parts: a stem and a leaf. Anything that comes
before the decimal point is the stem and the things that come after is the leaf.
How do you build a stem and leaf display?
To build the stem, you separate and break up the values. Vertically list stems in ascending order (larger
on the bottom and smallest on top). Smallest on the left largest on the right. The picture is formed by the
numbers of leaves on stem.
What does the variant tell you?
Tells you the average square deviation around the number
LECTURE 7 What are the measures of variability?
(shows how spread out the data is)
range, deviance, variance
What is the range?
Highest value- lowest value= range
What is the deviation & how do you calculate it?
How far away a measurement is from the mean or average set (x-mean= deviation)
How to calculate the deviation?
Step 1: find the deviation for each value
Step 2: square deviations
Step 3: find sum of the squares
Step 4: divide by #1 of values minus 1
What is Standard deviation?
Standard deviation is the positive root of the deviance.
What is the variance?
variance is the expectation of the squared deviation of a random variable from its mean,
What are the 3 measures of central tendency?
Mean, mode and median
What is the variance formula?
It is the same as the standard deviation formula, just without the square root at the end and minus 1
What is the empirical rule?
Every measurement is plus or minus 3 deviations from the mean
What is an exception to the empirical rule?
Outliers are special cases In normal distributions what is the percentage of measurements that will fall within the mean?
What are measures of relative standing?
The comparison of two variables to each other
What are the 3 measures of relative standing?
1. Z scores (see definition below)
2. Quartiles (separate data into 4 tiles - Outliers (can bring data way up or down
3. Percentiles: rank measures by percentage
What are z scores?
How many standard deviations they are from the mean
You take x and subtract by the mean and then divide by the standard deviation
2.0 is the score to be statistically significant
How do you test the statistical significance?
By testing theories and z scores
How can we understand z scores?
Every observation can be converted into a z-score. Z scores can indicate whether an observation is
staticaly significantly different from the mean. Z scores can be both positive or negative.
What does a positive z score mean?
It is higher than the mean
What does a negative z score mean?
It is lower than the mean
What are the general rules of z scores?
95% of all observations will be within plus 2 or minus 2 standard deviations of the mean
99% of all observations will be within 2.6 deviations of the mean
Thus, if an observation z score is plus or minus 2 standard deviations from the mean p=