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SOAN 2120 (129)
Chapter 6-10

Textbook Notes Chapters 6-10

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Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

Reading Notes on Basics of Social Research IIChapters 6 7 8 9 10 1112 not requiredChapter 6Survey ResearchWhat is a SurveySurveys used to answer questions about beliefsbehavioursSurveys sample may respondents who answer the same questionsThey measure many variables test multiple hypos within a single surveyMeasures association among variables statisticallycoorelationalPositivist deductive approachResearch questions appropriate for a surveytypes of things a survey can ask and expect valid answersbehaviour attitudesbeliefsopinions basic characteristics generally agreed upon facts such as marital status expectations selfclassification knowledgebasically subjective things agreed upon factual things as individual knowledge is limitedMust recognize that how people actually act may differ from what they say many factors influence responsesshould not ask respondents why as not fully aware of causal factorsresearcher must build their own causal theorySteps in Conducting a Surveyflow chart summarizes on page 137 of textStep 1Develop hypothesisDecide on typeDesign questionnaire The questionnaire is the instrument used ie the sheet of paper with the questions that the respondent marks onAlternatively an interview schedule can be usedthe difference being this is read to the respondent by an interviewerStep 2Plan data recordingStep 3Identify respondentsdecide on sampling frame sample sizeStep 4Do itStep 5Data entryStatistical analysisStep 6Research report publishedConstructing The QuestionnaireWriting Good QuestionsGive valid measuresdifficult when diverse background of respondents is considered12 main principles to avoid bias and create clear questions Chart on page 142 provides example of all of these questionsAvoid slang and abbreviationsQuestions might be incomprehensible or misinterpretedAcceptable iftargeting a specific populationAvoid vaguenessAvoid emotional languageCould lead respondentAvoid prestige biascan colour a question and lead respondentAvoid double barrelled questionsThese are questions that join two questions togetherCan lead to inaccurate responseshow do you answer if you do not have the same opinions on both topicsDont confuse beliefs with realityAvoid leading aka loaded questionsMany of the above fit under this categoryAvoid false premisesIf you begin a question with a premise that your respondent does not agree with they will be lostIeWilliam Shatner is a McGill alumni and one of the most esteemed actors of the modern era Do you agree or disagree that the administration should rename the University building the Shatner building as decided in a student referendum This statement is based on a false presence as Shatners greatness is debateable and actually dropped out of McGill No distant future questionsRespondent recall is limitedIt can take longer and is inaccurate over certain periods ie a yearto help this the question can be framed with aids to jog respondents memories ie location time frameAvoid double negativesAvoid unbalanced response categoriesMust be mutually exclusiveexhaustiveTypes of QuestionsThreatening QuestionsAbout sensitive issues or may damage self imageInclude qs about drugs criminal activity mental healthdeviance People wish to present a positive image and protect their egos and may lie toproject a certain image or may be too embarrassed to admit certain behavioursUnderreport negative and overreport positivebased upon societal normsTo get truthful answers can frame in context of more serious infractionsCan establish rapport with respondent and make them feel at easeSocially Desirable QuestionsDistort answers to coincide with normsThis is the overreporting of the positiveMay avoid bias by making norm violation less objectionableKnowledge QuestionsEverybody wants to look smartPhrase questions in a way that acknowledges not everyone will have knowledgeSkip Contingency Questions
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