Ggr277 Exam Review 2014

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Department
Geography
Course
GGR277H5
Professor
Nicole Laliberte
Semester
Winter

Description
GGR277 – EXAM REVIEW (Multiple choice, two long answer case studies) Introduction to Research This is an ontological question. What is the social world? Is it a ‘thing’ that people experience? Is it created through people’s actions? ONTOLOGY Definition: The branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of “being”. In other words: the question of ‘WHAT IS?’ What is the social world? OBJECTIVISM: Social phenomenon have an existence independent of social actors or their perceptions Is it a ‘thing’ that people experience? Is it fixed and out there? CONSTRUCTIVISM: Social phenomenon and their meanings are continually created by social actors Is it created through people’s actions? Not pre-existing and fixed but created through “ppls” actions This is an epistemological question. How can the social world be studied? Can the methods of the natural sciences be applied to the social world? Do social sciences need unique methods? EPISTEMOLOGY Definition: The branch of philosophy concerned with what constitutes knowledge and how knowledge is acquired. (Likes to reflect on past facts and test facts, usually natural science) In other words: how do we know about that which exists in the world? How can the social world be studied? POSITIVISM: Can the methods of the natural sciences be applied to the social world? Following the model of the natural sciences: Meant to provide an explanation of human behaviour Anything that can be confirmed by the senses: sight, hearing etc can be accepted as knowledge (empiricism) It is a process of fact gathering to test and produce theories Science must be ‘value free’ (objective knowledge that different people can validate at different time and place) Clear distinction between scientific statements (what is known/knowledge) and normative statements (assessments of moral acceptability/feelings – which can’t be confirmed by the senses) INTERPRETIVISM: Do social sciences need unique methods? Critique of positivism – Role of social scientists is to grasp the subjective meanings of people’s actions Therefore, subject matter of social sciences is fundamentally different from natural sciences – and needs different method of study Social science meant to provide interpretation of human behavior How do people in a social group/setting understand their actions and the actions of others SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM - Individuals are continuously interpreting the symbolic meaning of their environments including the actions of others. - Symbolic interactions requires the student to catch the “process of interpretation” through which actors construct their actions What is a classroom? (Objectivist/Positivist style) What are its rules and regulations? What are its procedures? Is there a division of labor? How are these social practices enforced? What happens if you don’t follow them? Will the classroom go on without you? What is a classroom? (Constructivist/Interpretivist style) What are the social interactions that produce the norms of a classroom? Who is involved in creating these social norms? How do these norms change with time? Vary with place? Soft Constructionism There may be an objective social reality, but our understandings of it are constructed to justify forms of domination. How does this space make this room a classroom? Objectivist/Positivist: facts and fixed knowledge (can be tested within different time and place and still yield the same results) Constructivist/Interpretivist: experience and interpretations, sometimes based on feelings Soft-Constructivist (?) Why does theory matter to research? First: what is a theory? “an explanation of observed regularities or patterns” Grand Theories Middle Range Theories How are theory and methods related? The question of ontology and epistemology The chicken vs. the egg debate Should research test established theories? Should research provide the basis for constructing theories? Should research just be fact - finding projects? Deductive Method Inductive Method Research tests established theories Research provides info to construct theory Theory Identifying a phenomena to be studied Hypotheses Gather or examine data Data Collection Construct concepts or theories Findings Reflection Hypothesis confirmed or rejected Gather more data Revision of theory.. Clarify concepts or theories...... Iterative approach: Moving back and forth between data and theory Simply Put… Deduction Induction Theory Observation/Findings ↓ ↓ Observation/Findings Theory Research Questions Start from general area of interest Narrow down what you’re interested in Natural Science Uniquely Social Science Approach Ontological approach Objectivist Constructivist ↓ ↓ Epistemological approach Positivist Interpretivist ↓ ↓ Major Theme: Every research project is based on some theoretical foundation. The more aware you are of yours, the better your proposals and research will be. Research Ethics Respect for Persons: humans should not be treated as mere objects or means to an end. Must have consent, be informed, confidential and allowed to withdraw. Deceptions: must include debriefing. Concern for Welfare: avoids physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, economic and social harm of individuals, communities and organizations. Justice: burdens and benefits of research should be spread evenly across society. No person or group should be exploited (for another group) or excluded from its benefit. Guest Lecturer: Dr. Dean Sharpe (Research Ethics Board Manager) History: Nuremberg Code (1947) · WWII crimes against humanity Declaration of Helsinki (1964) · World Medical Association, drug trials Belmont Report/Common Rule (1979) · Research scandals (e.g., Tuskegee syphilis study) Tri-Council Policy Statement (1998, 2010) & MOU · Canadian research council guidelines nd Tri-Council Policy Statement, 2 Ed. (TCPS-2, 2010) Research ethics: key principles and issues • Respect for human dignity – Autonomy . . . e.g., consent – Welfare . . . e.g., privacy, confidentiality – Justice, fairness, equity . . . e.g., vulnerability • Risks versus benefits System of research participant protection • Prior review of “protocols”: Office of Research Ethics (ORE) and Research Ethics Boards (REBs) REBs Quorum • 5 members, women & men • 2 expertise in relevant disciplines, fields, methods • 1 knowledgeable in ethics • 1 no affiliation with the institution • 1 knowledgeable in relevant law (biomed research) University of Toronto: 3 boards • “Social Sciences, Humanities & Education” (& management, law, engineering, . . .) • Health Sciences • HIV (for HIV-related protocols) Research Ethics Culture: Integral Part of Scholarly Process Excellence in research & excellence in research ethics go hand in hand; not about authority • Mandated by research funding bodies • Researchers: Take possession, conception to completion: expert on groups/topics/methods -> expert on consent/confidentiality; budget for it, have models on hand, supervise/educate…push back if ill informed • Reviewers: informed, principles based, tightly reasoned, collegial tone…open to counter-argument • Myth that ethics/scholarship totally separate: compelled to comment if groups/topics/methods unclear, contradictory; expertise/experience/supervision inadequate • Community-based research…conception to completion: consultative, iterative…explicit agreements on principles Research Ethics Culture: Proportionate Approach Delegated: minimal risk, on par with daily life (but see risk matrix) ~90% of protocols in SSH • Undergrad: Delegated Ethics Review Committees • Grad & faculty: review by 1 REB member Full REB: Greater than minimal risk (but see risk matrix) Continuing: annual renewal, amendment, completion Proportionate Review & “Risk” Group vulnerability: diminished autonomy . . . Informed? Free? • Physiological (e.g., health crisis, service dependence) • Cognitive/emotional (e.g., age, capacity, recent trauma) • Social (e.g., stigma, under the table, undocumented) Research risk: probability & magnitude of reasonably foreseeable, identifiable harm • Methods invasiveness & data sensitivity • Physiological (e.g., new diagnoses, side effects) • Cognitive/emotional (e.g., stress, anxiety) • Social (e.g., dismissal, deportation, reporting, subpoena) Review Type by Group Vulnerability & Research Risk Research Risk Group vulnerability Low Med High Low Del. Del. Full Med Del. Full Full High Full Full Full Research Ethics Issues: Free & Informed Consent Quality of relationship from first contact to end • Emphasis on process: not signature on paper; not jargony; not contractual/legalistic (I the undersigned… I understand that..I understand that..I understand that..) • Group-appropriate, plain language: who researcher is, affiliation, what they’re studying, what participation would involve, voluntariness, confidentiality…(check readability) • Variations, as appropriate, with clear rationale: – Verbal (literacy, criminality, cultural appropriateness), phone, web – Age-appropriate assent, alternate (e.g., parental) permission – Deception & debriefing – Admin consent, community consultation, ethics approval Research Ethics Issues: Privacy & Confidentiality Some projects: name participants, attribute quotes; most projects: protect personal info • Consider collection, use, disclosure—life of project • Recruitment: e.g., snowball, distribution/disclosure? • Data collection: e.g., notes/recording; 1-on-1/groups • Data management plan: – identifiers (collected/separated/de-linked?) – safeguards (double locking/passwords/encryption?) – retention/destruction (sensitivity, richness, standards of discipline? Not simply: When will you destroy…) • Publication: pseudonyms, generics, aggregates • Limits: duty to report (abuse, suicidality, homicidality), subpoena (criminality) Research Ethics Issues: Conflict of Interest Commercialization, investment… but typically Role-based: concurrent dual roles with power over • e.g., researcher + instructor/minister/manager • real or perceived, should inform REB and participants of non-research aspects • may have to manage—e.g., not recruit directly, stay blind to participation until after relationship ends • May have to abandon one interest Research Ethics Issues: Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria Equity, justice—fair distribution of benefits/burdens • justify basis for including/excluding • students sometimes have trouble with complex constructs (e.g., sex/gender/sexual orientation, race/ethnicity/culture) State consistently throughout protocol sections & appendices (e.g., recruitment, consent) Research Design: Criteria for Evaluating Social Research Reliability: Would the same results be achieved if the same measurement technique were administered several times to the same research subject? Replicability: Are other researchers able to repeat the study and get the same results? Validity: Do the findings of a research study have integrity? Measurement or construct validity: · Does a particular indicator actually measure what it is supposed to measure? Internal validity: · How confident can you be that the independent variable really does have an impact on the dependent variable? External validity: · Are the study’s findings applicable outside of the research setting? How far can the results be generalizable? Four Types of Research Design: Experimental - is an orderly procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, refuting, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Field Experiment - experimental design manipulates and independent variable to determine its influence on a dependent variable - experimental group/ treatment group: independent variable is manipulated on - control group: those not exposed to the treatment Laboratory Experiment - Control over research environment - Quasi-Experiments: Researcher waits for phenomena or changes to be brought by people not doing the research (natural); this allows gathering of data like they do in experiments Ex. earthquakes in a particular city Cross-Sectional - type of observational study that collects data from a population, or a representative subset, at one specific point in time (SNAPSHOT). (no manipulation of independent variables) - can use: structured interviewing, structure observations Longitudinal - is a correlational research study that involves repeated observations of the same variables over long periods of time — often many decades. - Panel Study: People studied at two different occasions ex. children at 11 doing a follow up interview every 2 years - Cohort Study: People sharing the same experience ex. born the same year, graduating from a particular school at the same time (same ppl may not be selected for the sample each year) Problems: some may die, move or withdraw from study Case Study - is a descriptive, exploratory or explanatory analysis of a person, group or event. ex. a state or province, like a study of rise in cohabitation in Quebec - Critical Case: researcher clearly specifies hypothesis, a case is then chosen to allow further understanding of the circumstances regardless of whether the hypothesis stands or not. - Extreme/Unique Case: common focus in clinical studies ex. study of growing up in Samoa - Revelatory Case: investigator gets to analyse a previously inaccessible phenomenon, like previously evidence becomes accessible Transferability: which parallels external validity · Do the findings apply to other people and other contexts? Credibility: which parallels measurement and internal validity · How believable are the findings? Dependability:which parallels reliability · Are the findings likely to be consistent over time? Confirmability: which parallels replicability - Would another investigator reach the same conclusions? Designing Questions Types of questions: Personal Age, income, status, occupation etc. Rely on memory to answer About others Bad idea. Best to interview person directly instead of asking another person Entity or Event Act as an informant: may be biased in their observations Attitudes Used in structured interviews and questionnaire research Beliefs Asked about moral, political, social or religious beliefs Knowledge Testing respondents on their knowledge in a certain area Open Questions · Definition: respondents can reply however they wish. Advantages Disadvantages People can answer in their own terms Time consuming to record variety of Allow unanticipated answers answers Taps into a person’s knowledge base More work for respondents; might Useful in exploring new/changing ideas decrease response rate They can help generate fixed-choice Must code answers, time consuming answers Answer may be lost during coding/transcription Transcription may increase in data Closed Questions · Definition: respondents have a fixed set of answers to choose from. Advantages Disadvantages Answers are easy to process Answers may lack authenticity, or not Enhance the comparability of answers cover all the options Help clarify question for respondents May irritate respondents: if they can’t find Usually quick and efficient a suitable answer + largely impersonal Circumvent post-coding Provide all possible answers: common Reduce bias, no need of interpretation compromise to list the most likely to be from interviewer chosen and leave the rest in the “other category” + avoid overlap ex: 30-40, 40-50, 50-60 (confuses participants) Vignette Technique A form of closed question, presents respondents with one or more scenarios and asks for their response if confronted by the matter. Ex. Choice between paid and unpaid work, gender questions: should men or women be responsible for… Coding - Key stage for quantitative research - To make sense of unstructured and unorganized data from interviews / open ended questions o Themes and categories of behaviour must be derived from the given data Example: Job that people like 11 codes: 1 pay, 2 feeling of accomplishment, 3 control of work, 4 pleasant work, 5 security etc. In quantitative research: · Codes are the tags used to assign the data on each variable to a category of the variable in question. Numbers are usually assigned to each category to allow easier computer processing. In qualitative research: · Coding is the process in which data are broken down into component parts, which are then assigned names. (Pre - Coding vs. Post – Coding) Tips on creating questions - Avoid long questions - Avoid ambiguous terms (ex. Very often, quite often, not often etc) instead ask about frequency - Avoid double-barrelled questions (ex. How satisfied are you with your pay and working conditions) - Avoid generalization, too broad of questions, questions with negatives, minimize technical terms Types of Surveys & Interviews · Surveys / Questionnaires o Paper & pencil or Virtual / Online or Telephone or Face by face Pros Cons - Absence of interviewer effects - Greater risk of losing data (doesn’t influence the - Cannot: probe, ask a lot of respondents’ answers)
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