Sociology Exam #2
Involves manipulating the independent variable and observing the effect on
the dependent variable.
The strength of the experimental method is that it is really the only means by
which we can explore casual relationships among variables.
Experiments need two groups: control and experimental
The researcher pretty much leaves alone
Receives the treatment or experiences the manipulation of the independent
It is crucial that subjects be assigned randomly to the control and
When we can assign people randomly to experimental or control groups and
then test the effect of the independent variable on the experimental group,
we usually can rule out that something besides change in the independent
variable is causing change in the dependent variable.
A particular research technique in which the researcher directly observes the
behavior of individuals in their usual social environments, not in a
Some sociologists refer to observational research as field research, because
the normal social world is the field in which sociologists conduct their
A series of questions asked of a number of people.
Interviews – face-to-face or over the phone
Self-administered questionnaire – list of questions on paper and ask people
to write their own answers.
Strength: capability to obtain data from large numbers of people.
Strength: it allows researchers to obtain