Sarah Ammendolia SOAN Saturday February 9, 14
Overgeneralization; occurs when some evidence supports your belief, but you falsely assume that it applies to
many other situations too.
Selective Observations: Occurs when you take special notice of some people or events
and tend to seek out evidence that confirms what you already believe and ignore
Premature Closure: It often operates with and reinforces the first two errors. Premature
closure occurs when you feel you have the answer and do not need to listen, seek
information or raise question any longer.
Halo effect: It is when we overgeneralize from what we accept as being highly positive
or prestigious and let its strong reputation or prestige “run off” onto other areas.
Steps in the research process. Pg. 910
Seven Step Process
1. Topic: General area of study. Note, a topic is too broad to conduct a study. Ex.
2. Focus: Narrow the topic into a specific research question for study. Ex. Are
people who marry younger more likely to engage in ‘physical abuse’ of a spouse
under conditions of high stress than those who marry older?
3. Literature: Past research on a topic or question and design a study.
4. Gather the data or evidence (Ask people Q’s, record data)
5. Analyze the data: To see patterns to help interpret the data collected.
6. Interpret the data
7. Inform others: Writing a report that describes the study’s background, how you
conducted it and what you discovered.
Not linear, steps can overlap
- Four dimensions of research; between applied and basic research, purpose of
doing research, how time is incorporated into the study design and the specific
data collection technique used.
Dimensions of Research pg. 1115 [Type text] [Type text] [Type text]
Make decisions about the specific type of research you are going to conduct.
Know the adv. And dis. Of each type.
Four dimensions (categories) of research.
First dimension is a distinction in how research is used, or between applied and
The goal? Or purpose?
Third dimension: How time is incorporated into the study design
Fourth dimension the specific data collection technique used.
Use of Research
Basic Research: Basic special research advances fundamental knowledge about he social
world. (Refuting or supporting theories that explain how the social world operates)
Foundation for knowledge that advances understanding in many policy areas,
problems or areas of study.
Study of broad questions that has the potential of shifting how we think about a
wide range of issues.
Applied Research: Is designed to address a specific concern or to offer solution to a
problem identified by an employer, club, agency, social movement or organization.
Rarely concerned with building, testing or connecting to a larger theory, developing a
long term general understanding or carrying out a largescale investigation that might
This research is used for decision making
Applied research results are less likely to enter the public domain
*Basic researchers adopt different orientations towards research methodology. They
emphasize high methodology standards and try to conduct nearperfect research.
Applied researchers must make more trade offs. They may compromise scientific rigor to
get quick, usable results.
Types of Applied Research
Evaluation Research Study: Applied research designed to find out whether a program, a
new way of doing something, a market campaign, a policy and so forth is effective.
“Does it work?”
This type of research is the most widely used especially in large bureaucratic
organizations, to demonstrate the effectiveness of what they are doing.
Survey and field (Research technique)
Ethical and political conflicts often arise in evaluation research because people can have
posing interests in the findings.
Limitations: Rarely go through a peer review process, raw data are rarely publically
available, and the focus is narrowed to select inputs and outputs more than the full
process by when a program effects peoples lives. Sarah Ammendolia SOAN Saturday February 9, 14
Action Research Study: Applied research that treats knowledge as a form of power and
abolishes the division between creating knowledge and using knowledge to engage in
1. The people being studied actively participate in the research process.
2. The research focuses on issues of power
3. The research focuses on issue of power
4. The research seeks to raise consciousness or increase awareness of issues
5. The research is tied directly to a plan or program of political action
This style of research tends to be associated with social movement, political
cause, or advocacy for an issue.
Social Impact Assessment Research Study Estimates the likely consequence of a
planned intervention or international change to occur in the future.
Impact are the difference between a forecast od the future with the project or policy and
without the project or policy.
Range of social outcomes “What if”
Outcomes include “quality of life” issues, such as healthcare, illegal drug and alcohol
use, employment opportunities, schooling quality, teen pregnancy rates etc.
SIA’s are rarely required.
Time Dimension in Research. Pg. 1721
Different research questions or issues incorporate time differently.
Some studies give a snapshot of single, fixed time point and allow you to analyze
it in detail (Crosssectional)
Other studies provide a moving picture that lets you follow events, people, or
social relations over several time points (Longitudinal)
CrossSectional Research: Most social research studies are crosssectional. They
examine a signal point in time or take a onetime snap shot approach.
Disadvantage: cannot capture social process or change
Longitudinal Research: Examine features of people or other units at more than one
More costly but more informative
3 types of longitudinal research…
Time series study: Researchers gather the same type of information across two or more
Researchers observe stability or change (Track conditions over time) [Type text] [Type text] [Type text]
Panel Study: Powerful research in which the researcher observes exactly the same
people, group or organization across multiple time points.
Very valuable but very costly
Clearly show the impact of a particular life event
Cohort Study: Similar to a panel study.
Rather than observing the exact same people, the study focuses on a category of
people who share a similar life experience in a specific time period.
Ex. All people born in the same year (Most commonly used)
Researchers do not have to find the exact same people
Case Study Research
Researchers examine, in depth, many features od a few cases over a duration of
time with very detailed, varied and extensive data, often in a qualitative form
Data Collection Techniques
Quantitative experiments, surveys, content analysis, and existing statistics
Experiments Small group, well focused research question
Broken up into two groups
Survey’s Written questionnaire
Content Analysis Examining information or content
Ex. Books, newspapers, films record specific aspects of it
Existing stats previously collected information (often government reports or previously
Qualitative Data Includes field research and historical comparative research
Field Research Small group of people over a length of time
Field researcher begins with a loosely formulated idea or topic
Selects a social group > adopts a social role in the setting and observes in detail
Historical comparative Research examine aspects of social life in a past historical era
or across different cultures
May focus on historical period or several
Combines theory building/testing with data collection
Loosely formulated question that is refined during the research process
The Aspects of Theory Pg. 2934 Sarah Ammendolia SOAN Saturday February 9, 14
Direction> Abstract thinking Logically connect the ideas in theory to concrete