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SOC221H5 (74)

CH 1-7.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Jayne Baker

Soc 221 ReadingsChapter OneAlternatives to social researchMedia MythsDo not accurately reflect social reality distortionPrimary goal is to entertain Media tends to perpetuate the myths of culture facts are often opinion eg mentally ill people are often violent Competing interest use media to win public support Gives phenomena importance Is vaccine panic a media mythPersonal experience Can lead an individual astraydistortionjudgement4 errors in personal experience Overgeneralization an error that people often make when using personal experienceas an alternative to science for acquiring knowledge Occurs when some evidence supports a belief but a person falsely assumes that it applies to many other situations as wellEg blind people who are friendly Selective observationthe tendency to take notice of certain people or events based on past experience or attitudes Focus on such preconceived ideasalso ignore features that contradict our ideasPeople seek out and distort memoriesPremature CloseAn error that is often made when using personal experience as an alternative to science for acquiring knowledge It occurs when a person feels heshe has the answers and does not need to listen seek information or raise questions any longer Jumping to conclusions when small amount of evidence is available Eg small sampling people in a town to determine who will be mayor Halo Effect an error often made when people use personal experience as an alternative to science for acquiring knowledge It is when a person overgeneralizes from what he she accepts as being highly positive or prestigious and lets it rub off onto other areas Eg assuming a report written by an individual from McGill will be excellent while no such assumption is made for a person from another university not considering own merit of workScienceIn social research involves thinking scientifically about question and involves social processesSocial sciences involve studying people beliefs behaviour interactions institutions etcData empirical evidence that a person gathers carefully according to established rules or procedurecan be qualitative pictures sounds visuals objects images or quantitativeinfo in numbers Empirical evidenceobservation that peole experience through their senses either indirect or directResearchers are not to use their sense to observe social world Scientific Community collection of people who share a system of rules that sustain the process of producing scientific knowledge science set of norms behaviours and attitudesprofessional community both natural and social sciences for the most partAt core are researchers who conduct studies on a fullpart time basis with the help of assistantsAlthough they have a big impact on the lives of people and represent what humanity knows only a small number of people are actually producing most new scientific knowledge Scientific Methodthe process of creating new knowledge using ideas and techniques and rules of the scientific community Ideas rules techniques and approaches used by scientific communityIncludes norms such as honesty and openness of research Journal Articles in Science blind review reinforces scientific principle judging a study on its merits alone Researchers accept 1015 manuscripts in a field
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