Textbook Notes (230,803)
CA (157,359)
UTSC (19,948)
Sociology (1,094)
SOCA02H3 (322)
Mc Kinon (31)
Chapter

How Sociologists Do Research

11 Pages
42 Views
Winter 2011

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Mc Kinon

This preview shows pages 1-3. Sign up to view the full 11 pages of the document.
How Sociologists Do Research
SCIENCE AND EXPERIENCE
OTTFSSENT
The fact that experience filters perceptions is the single biggest problem for
sociological research.
In sociological research, the filtering occurs in four stages:
oFirst, the real-life experiences and passions of sociologists motivate much
research.
oSecond, our values lead us to formulate and adopt favoured theories for
interpreting and explaining those problems.
oThird, sociologists interpretations are influenced by previous research.
oAnd fourth, the methods we use to gather data mould our perceptions.
We can never perceive society in a pure or objective form. What we can do is use
techniques of data collection that minimize bias. We can also clearly and publicly
describe the filters that influence our perceptions. Doing so:
oEnables us to eliminate obvious sources of bias.
oHelps others see biases we miss and try to correct for them.
Researchers generally try to be objective in order to perceive reality as clearly as
possible.
Although objectivity is a reality check, subjectivity leads us to define which aspects
of reality are worth checking on in the first place.
Scientific versus Non-scientific Thinking
Scientists, including sociologists, develop ways of collecting, observing, and thinking
about evidence that minimize their chance of drawing biased conclusions.
10 types of non-scientific thinking:
www.notesolution.com
oKnowledge based on tradition science is required to separate valid from
invalid knowledge.
oKnowledge based on authority scientists should always question authority
to arrive at more valid knowledge.
oKnowledge based on casual observation uncertainty can be reduced by
observing in a conscious and deliberate manner and by recording
observations.
oKnowledge based on overgeneralization scientists sample cases that are
representative of entire populations.
oKnowledge based on observation the scientific requirement that evidence be
drawn from representative samples of population minimizes bias arising from
selective observation.
oKnowledge based on qualification qualifications or exceptions to the rule
are often made in everyday life, and they are in science. In science inquiry
they are treated as statements that must be carefully examined in the light of
evidence.
oKnowledge based on illogical reasoning we may expect the recurrence of
events without reasonable cause, ignoring the fact that rare sequences of
events occur just by chance. They also use statistical techniques to
distinguish between events that are probably due to chance and those that
are not.
oKnowledge based on ego-defence the whole institution of science, with its
commitment to publishing research results and critically scrutinizing
findings.
oKnowledge based on the premature closure of inquiry science is only
temporarily true. Matters are never settled.
oKnowledge based on mystification scientists remain skeptical.
CONDUCTING RESEARCH
The Research Cycle
www.notesolution.com
Sociological research seeks to overcome the kind of unscientific thinking described
above.
The research cycle includes the following:
oFormulate question,
oReview existing literature,
oSelect method,
oCollect data,
oAnalyze data, and
oReport results
Ethical Considerations
Throughout the research cycle, researchers must be mindful of the need to respect
their subjects rights.
oRight to safety
oThe right to decide whether their attitudes and behaviors may be revealed to
the public
oRight to privacy
oRight to confidentiality
oRight to informed consent
Ethical issues arise not only in the treatment of subjects but also in the treatment of
research results.
oExample: plagiarism
Ethical standards better known can help remedy the problem of plagiarism better
policing.
The most effective remedy, however, is for instructors to ensure that what they teach
really matters to their students.
www.notesolution.com

Loved by over 2.2 million students

Over 90% improved by at least one letter grade.

Leah — University of Toronto

OneClass has been such a huge help in my studies at UofT especially since I am a transfer student. OneClass is the study buddy I never had before and definitely gives me the extra push to get from a B to an A!

Leah — University of Toronto
Saarim — University of Michigan

Balancing social life With academics can be difficult, that is why I'm so glad that OneClass is out there where I can find the top notes for all of my classes. Now I can be the all-star student I want to be.

Saarim — University of Michigan
Jenna — University of Wisconsin

As a college student living on a college budget, I love how easy it is to earn gift cards just by submitting my notes.

Jenna — University of Wisconsin
Anne — University of California

OneClass has allowed me to catch up with my most difficult course! #lifesaver

Anne — University of California
Description
How Sociologists Do Research SCIENCE AND EXPERIENCE OTTFSSENT The fact that experience filters perceptions is the single biggest problem for sociological research. In sociological research, the filtering occurs in four stages: o First, the real-life experiences and passions of sociologists motivate much research. o Second, our values lead us to formulate and adopt favoured theories for interpreting and explaining those problems. o Third, sociologists interpretations are influenced by previous research. o And fourth, the methods we use to gather data mould our perceptions. We can never perceive society in a pure or objective form. What we can do is use techniques of data collection that minimize bias. We can also clearly and publicly describe the filters that influence our perceptions. Doing so: o Enables us to eliminate obvious sources of bias. o Helps others see biases we miss and try to correct for them. Researchers generally try to be objective in order to perceive reality as clearly as possible. Although objectivity is a reality check, subjectivity leads us to define which aspects of reality are worth checking on in the first place. Scientific versus Non-scientific Thinking Scientists, including sociologists, develop ways of collecting, observing, and thinking about evidence that minimize their chance of drawing biased conclusions. 10 types of non-scientific thinking: www.notesolution.com o Knowledge based on tradition science is required to separate valid from invalid knowledge. o Knowledge based on authority scientists should always question authority to arrive at more valid knowledge. o Knowledge based on casual observation uncertainty can be reduced by observing in a conscious and deliberate manner and by recording observations. o Knowledge based on overgeneralization scientists sample cases that are representative of entire populations. o Knowledge based on observation the scientific requirement that evidence be drawn from representative samples of population minimizes bias arising from selective observation. o Knowledge based on qualification qualifications or exceptions to the rule are often made in everyday life, and they are in science. In science inquiry they are treated as statements that must be carefully examined in the light of evidence. o Knowledge based on illogical reasoning we may expect the recurrence of events without reasonable cause, ignoring the fact that rare sequences of events occur just by chance. They also use statistical techniques to distinguish between events that are probably due to chance and those that are not. o Knowledge based on ego-defence the whole institution of science, with its commitment to publishing research results and critically scrutinizing findings. o Knowledge based on the premature closure of inquiry science is only temporarily true. Matters are never settled. o Knowledge based on mystification scientists remain skeptical. CONDUCTING RESEARCH The Research Cycle www.notesolution.com
More Less
Unlock Document

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

You've reached the limit of 4 previews this month

Create an account for unlimited previews.

Already have an account?

Log In


OR

Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit