SOC200H1 Chapter Notes -Syphilis, Ecological Fallacy, Heart Failure

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Published on 22 Oct 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC200H1
1
Correlation:
means two things vary together. When one changes, the other changes, too.
Correlation does not mean two things are found together.
Three steps for showing causation:
1. Show correlation
Correlation means two things vary together. When one changes, the other changes
too.
The variation is key here. Correlation does not mean things are bound together.
The things that are correlated must vary: take on different values, called
attributes.
If only ne attribute is present in data, this isn't a variable because it doesn't vary.
E.g.: Hair colour.
Showing correlation requires that data include variation in both variables.
2. Show time-order
Cause must precede effect.
Does working longer hours lead to worse health, or do people in good health care
more about leisure time?
How to show? Longitudinal studies, theory.
3. Absence of spuriousness
This is the one we just can't seem to get around with 100% certainty.
What if 2 things vary together because they're both caused by something else.
Demonstrating spuriousness: find the correlation, hold possible source of
spuriousness
constant and look at the correlation again.
You can never be sure you've thought of and checked everything.
Experimental designs can dramatically reduce the risk of spuriousness.
Three purposes of research
Exploration
Description
Explanation
Exploration is the attempt to develop an initial, rough understanding of some
phenomenon
To satisfy the researchers curiosity and desire for better understanding
To test the feasibility of undertaking a more extensive study
To develop the methods to be employed in any subsequent study
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2
Description is the precise reporting and/or measurement of the characteristics of
some population or phenomenon under study.
Canadian census
Explanation is the discovery and reporting of relationships among different
aspects of the phenomenon under study. Whereas descriptive studies answer the
question “what’s so” explanatory ones tend to answer the question “why”
To answer why.
Both idiographic an nomothetic models of explanation rest on the idea of
causation.
The idiographic model aims at a complete understanding of particular
phenomenon, using all relevant factors.
explanations explain one, specific event or occurrence.
The nomothetic model aims at a general understanding-not necessarily complete
of a class of phenomena, using a small number of relevant causal factors.
Explain objective in general,explain a class of occurrences or a pattern.
Two types of causes
Necessary
A condition Must be present for the effect to follow
X is a necessary causes of Y, if Y cannot happen without X.
Take all the course to get a BA, but you need to pass all the course. Take
course is not sufficient causes, it is necessary.
Sufficient
X is a sufficient causes of Y if Y always happens when X happens.
Skip exam will fail.
Units of analysis are the people or things whose characteristics social researcher
observe, describe, and explain.
The unit of analysis in social reserach is the individual person, but it may also be
a social group, a formal org, a social artifact.
Ecological fallacy
Erroneously drawing conclusions about individuals based solely on the
observation group
Cross-sectional study (same time different units)
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Document Summary

Correlation does not mean two things are found together. Three steps for showing causation: show correlation. Correlation does not mean things are bound together. The things that are correlated must vary: take on different values, called too. attributes. If only ne attribute is present in data, this isn"t a variable because it doesn"t vary. Showing correlation requires that data include variation in both variables: show time-order. This is the one we just can"t seem to get around with 100% certainty. What if 2 things vary together because they"re both caused by something else. Demonstrating spuriousness: find the correlation, hold possible source of spuriousness. Constant and look at the correlation again. You can never be sure you"ve thought of and checked everything. Experimental designs can dramatically reduce the risk of spuriousness. Exploration is the attempt to develop an initial, rough understanding of some phenomenon. To satisfy the researcher"s curiosity and desire for better understanding.

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