Textbook Notes (363,693)
Canada (158,533)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCC31H3 (6)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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Shirin Montazer

Why the Social Researcher Uses Statistics The Nature of Social Research Social scientists make educated guesses in a structured manner by examining the characteristics of human behavior called variables. o Variables are characteristics that differ from individual to individual (ex: class, age, race) or from one point to another (ex: crime rate, unemployment, population Not all characteristics vary (ex: gender is constant, we are certain that only females give birth) Social scientists also determine the unit of observation for the research (ex: individuals) However, sometimes researchers focus on aggregates (i.e. population of individuals, ex: metropolitan area) The ideas that social scientists come up with are called hypotheses (i.e. a statement expressing the relationship between two or more variables o Independent variable: presumed cause o Dependent variable: presumed effect Ex: Hypothesis-Socially isolated children watch more television than children who are well integrated into their peer groups. Heshe may conduct survey in which both socially-isolated children and well-integrated children are questioned regarding the time they spend watching TV Social isolation = independent variable TV-viewing behavior = dependent variable Research methods employed by social scientists include: o Experiment: to determine if arresting a wife batterer will deter this behavior in future o Survey: to investigate a political opinion www.notesolution.com
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