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Chapter 9

Research Methods - Chapter 9.doc

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2206A/B
Professor
Neil Holt
Semester
Winter

Description
Research Methods Chapter 9: Experimental Research [Introduction] - Positivist approach basis - 3 things done in experiments: Begin with hypothesis, modify something in a situation, compare outcomes with and without modifications - Strongest for testing causal relationships because 3 conditions for causality (temporal order, association, no alternative expectations). Research Questions Appropriate for an Experiment Issue of Appropriate Technique - Match between a research question and technique is not fixed but depends on informed judgement - Understand different techniques Research Questions for Experimental Research - Questions used confront ethical and practical limitations - Questions that give answers the researcher can manipulate - Best for narrow scope or scale [Random Assignment] - Valid comparison depends on comparing things that are fundamentally alike. - Random assignment facilitates comparison by creating similar groups - Two groups must be similar in more respect except for some alterable variables Why Randomly Assign Random Assignment: method for assigning cases to groups for the purpose of making comparisons - Random describes a process in which each case has a known chance of being selected - Random means a case has an equal chance of ending up in one group over the other - Obeys mathematical laws - Unbiased – probability of selecting a case can be mathematically determined - Sampling and Random Assignment How to Randomly Assign - Simple - Begin with collection of cases - Divide into 2+ groups by random process Matching vs. Random Assignment - Some matched based on characteristics - Matching is infrequently used Research Methods Chapter 9: Experimental Research [Experimental Design Logic] Language of Experiments - Subject: people used in research projects Parts of the Experiment: 7 parts Treatment: What the researcher modifies; Independent variable Dependent Variable: outcomes in experimental research that changes to response to treatment Pretest: measurement of the dependent variable prior to introduction of treatment Posttest: measurement of dependent variable after treatment has been introduced into the experimental situation Experiemental Group: group that receives treatment Control Group: group that doesn’t receive the treatment Random Assignment Steps in the Conducting an Experiment: 12 steps 1. Begin with hypothesis 2. Decide on design 3. Develop how to introduce treatment 4. Develop a measure 5. Set experimental setting 6. Locate subjects 7. Randomly assign subjects to groups 8. Gather pretest data 9. Introduce treatment to experimental group 10. Gather posttest data 11. Debrief: inform subjects of purpose 12. Examine data collected - Control is crucial in experiments - Deception: when researcher intentionally misleads subjects through written or verbal instructions - Confederates/Stooges: people who bystand by actually work for the researcher Types of Design Experimental Design: Combining parts of an experiment together - Standard designs tell reader about experiment and illustrate common ways to combine design parts Classical Experimental Design: Random assignment, pretest, posttest, experimental and control groups Preexperimental Designs: lack random assignments; shortcuts or compromises. Used in situations where using classical design is hard Research Methods Chapter 9: Experimental Research One-shot case study Design: One group, posttest and treat
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