SOAN 3070 Chapter Notes - Chapter week 3: Sampling Fraction, Systematic Sampling, Simple Random Sample
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In an applied context, theories can be understood as interrelated ideas
about various patterns, concepts, processes, relationships, or events.
In a formal sense, social scientists usually dene theory as a system of
logical statements or propositions that explain the relationship
between two or more objects, concepts, phenomena, or characteristics
of humans—what are sometimes called variables
Concepts, then, are symbolic or abstract elements representing
objects, properties, or features of objects, processes, or phenomenon.
Concepts may communicate ideas or introduce particular perspectives,
or they may be a means for explaining a broad generalization.
Since concepts are abstract representations, of course, they contain a
much broader range of possibilities than what any individual case is
likely to contain.
Concepts used in social scientic research similarly may seem obvious
at rst, but they must always be clearly dened.
Typically concepts have two distinct parts: a
element (a word,
symbol, term, etc.) and an associated
an important part of developing social scientic theory is rst to dene
relevant concepts that will be used in a given research process or
any vagueness in the use of key concepts invites speculation
or what others may call
. One can connect
di'erent concepts or conceptual thoughts to each other through
propositions. Propositions, then, are statements about relationships
between concepts (Maxeld & Babbie, 2007). Taylor and Bogdan
(1998) suggest that although a concept may not t (may not convey
the intended meaning), propositions may be either right or wrong
statements of fact, although the research may not be able to prove
Testable propositions about the relations among our research concepts
form a special class of propositions called
ideas promote potential research endeavors
There are some who argue that ideas and theory must come before
empirical research. This has been called the
oone begins with ideas (conjectures) and then attempts to
disprove or refute them through tests of empirical research
oIdea → Theory → Design → Data Collection → Analysis → Findings
there are some who argue that research must occur before theory can
be developed. This