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4. Method and Reading On Silencing Science.docx

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Shelly Ungar

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 Sociology can be looked as a science because of there are hypothesis, Testing idea, and Refutations (people improve on it and disagree with it)  Just like the research cycle, once you formulate a question, review existing literature to see if it’s been done or failed before. Third step is selecting a theoretical approach or method  A Hypothesis specifies a testable relationship between two or more variables. Ex. Observed aggressive behavior on television leads to increased violence in children  Social learning theory is learning from imitating others. Ex. Role models  Content Analysis (Media Effect)– analysis to determine the meaning, purpose, or effects of any type of communication such as literature and newspaper by studying and evaluating the details. Ex. The front page suicides on a newspaper have an effect on others. After the publicized suicides there are usually more.  Philips has a study called the 3 day-after peak, that shows after a publicized suicide 3 days after leads to the highest peak of publicized suicides. More publicity = more deaths  Philips also showed a study where violent boxing matches attracting publicity led to more homicide rates after the fight. Ex. After 3 days after a fight in the mid-70s there was a 12.5% increase in murders (3 day-after peak) Philips also showed an increase in spouse abuse after a three day peak after the super bowl  The purpose to research is to test hypotheses and eliminate alternative explanations. Like stated from the previous week there are 4 designs of research(Correlation experiment, Survey, Field study, and laboratory study)  Correlational Design – Hard to measure because stats are always changing, and some data are hidden (low validity) there are always multiple spurious variables.  Ex. Hypothesis: more violence on TV = More kids violence in real world. Hard to study because not all crimes are reported, there are third variables like availability to weapon  Field Study – is research based on the observation of people in their natural settings. Allows the researchers to get ‘inside’ the minds of their subjects, but its low reliability and validity (week 3). Issues include hard to evaluate  Ex. measuring behaviour of two groups, one that’s usually expose to high violence while the other low violence television. Low validity because the kids could watch it at friend’s house and low reliability because they can behave differently because they’re told they’ll be watched  Laboratory Experiment - are created by sociologist for purposes other than sociological research. Costs a lot and hard to get samples  Ex. Same hypothesis, where there is a random selection from samples and get one group to watch one violent TV show and the other non-violent. How is aggressive behaviour going to be measured  Survey - where sociologists ask respondents questions either face to face, telephone or pencil paper format.
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