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Research, methodology and ethics.docx

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University of Waterloo
SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

Research, Methodology, and ethics Chapter 3 Avenues to Knowledge and Reasoning Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches  Quantitative: numerical data  Qualitative: non-numerical data o Rich detail o Smaller samples because they’re generally more indepth o More expensive to carry out o Uses interviewing and observation as main research instruments Systems of Reasoning  Inductive logic: from data to theory o Info becomes an explanation o Qualitative approach  Deductive logic: theory to data o Develop theory to explain a pattern  Testing is done after o Quantitative approach Essential Research Concepts Hypotheses  Tentative statement of particular relationship that can be tested empirically Independent and Dependent Variables  Variables: characteristics of objects, people, groups of people that can be measured  Independent variables can be varied or manipulated  Dependent variables are the reactions from the manipulation  Operational definition: description of how a variable is measured Validity and Reliability  Validity: accuracy  Reliability: consistency Correlation and Causality  Correlation: relationship between two variables  Causality: one variables causes a change in other variable  Spurious Correlation: one variable seems to produce change in another variable but correlation is false Research population  Group of people that researcher wishes to learn something about  A sample is drawn (subset of larger population) Research Methods  Surveys: preset questions get answered o Often in large scale research projects o Self administered questionnaires  Mailed at little cost  Quantitative research  “census” o Telephone surveys  Respondents can talk directly to researcher if they need clarification o In-person surveys  Useful for children, immigrants, lacking literacy skills or visually impaired  Interviews o Structured, unstructured, semi structured o Qualitative research  Participative Obs
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