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Research Methods Textbook Notes.docx

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Sociology 2206A/B
William Marshall

Research Methods Textbook NotesChapter OnePremature closure an error that is often made when using personal experience as an alternative to science for acquiring knowledge It occurs when a person feels he or she has the answers and does not need to listen seek information or raise questions any longerHalo effect an error often made when people use personal experience as an alternative to science for acquiring knowledge It is when a person over generalizes from what he or she accepts as being highly positive or prestigious and lets its strong reputation or prestige rub off onto other areas Data the empirical evidence or information that a person gathers carefully according to established rules or procedures can be qualitative or quantitative Qualitative data information in the form of words pictures sounds visual images or objects Quantitative data information in the form of numbers Empirical evidence the observations that people experience through their sensestouch sight hearing smell and taste can be direct or indirect Scientific communitya collection of people who share a system of rules and attitudes that sustain the process of producing scientific knowledge Scientific method the process of creating new knowledge using the ideas techniques and rules of the scientific community Steps in research processo Select topic o Focus question o Design a studyo Collect data o Analyze datao Interpret datao Inform others Basicsocial research research designed to advance fundamental knowledge about the social worldo More money o Long Applied social research research that attempts to solve a concrete problem or address a specific policy question and that has a direct practical applicationo Quick small studyBasic Applied 1 Research is intrinsically satisfying and 1 Research is part of a job and is judged judgments are by other social scientistsby sponsors who are outside the disciplines of social science2 Research problems and subjects are 2 Research problems are narrowly selected with a great deal of freedomconstrained to the demands of employed or sponsors3 Research is judged by absolute norms 3 The rigour and standards of of scientific rigour and the highest scholarship depend on the uses of standards of scholarship are soughtresults Research can be quick and dirty or may match high scientific standards 4 The primary concern is with the 4 The primary concern is with the internal logic and rigour of research ability to generalize findings to areas of designinterest to sponsors5 The driving goal is to contribute to 5 The driving goal is to have practical basic theoretical knowledgepayoffs or uses for results6 success comes when results appear in 6 Success comes from when results are a scholarly journal and have an impact used by sponsors in decision makingon others in the scientific community Evaluation research study a type of applied research in which one tries to determine how well a program or policy is working or reaching its goals and objectives Action research a type of applied social research in which a researcher treats knowledge as a form of power and abolished the division between creating knowledge and using knowledge to engage in political action Social impact assessment SIA a type of applied social research in which a researcher estimates the likely consequences or outcome of planned intervention or intentional change to occur in the future Exploratory research research into an area that has not been studied and in which a researcher wants to develop initial ideas and a more focused research question Descriptive research research in which one paints a picture with words or numbers presents a profile outlines stages or classifies types Explanatory research research that focuses on why event occur or tries to test and build social theoryExploration Description Explanation Become familiar with the Provide a detailed highly Test a theorys predictions basic facts setting and accurate picture or principle concernsCreate a general mental Located new data that Elaborate and enrich a picture of conditionscontradict past datatheorys explanation Formulate and focus Create a set of categories Extend a theory to new question for future or classify types issues or topics research Generate new ideas Clarify a sequence of steps Support or refute an conjectures or or stages explanation or predictionhypotheses Determine the feasibility Document a causal Link issues or topics with of conducting an process or mechanism a general principle experimentDevelop techniques for Report on the Determine which of measuring and locating background or context several explanations is future dataof a situationbestCross sectional research research in which a researcher examines a single point in time or takes a onetime snapshot approach Longitudinal research research in which the researcher examines the features of people or other units at multiple point in time Timeseries study any research that takes place over time in which different people or cases may be looked at in each time period Panel study a powerful type of longitudinal research in which a researcher observes exactly the same people group or organization across multiple time points Cohort study a type of longitudinal research in which a researcher focuses on a category of people who share a similar life experience in a specified period Casestudy research research usually qualitative on one or a small number of cases in which a researcher carefully examines a large number of details about each caseExperimental research research in which one intervenes or does something to one group of people but not to another and then compares the results of the two groups Survey research quantitative social research in which one systematically asks many people the same questions and then records and analyzes their answersContent analysis research in which one examines patterns of symbolic meaning within written text audio visual or other communication medium Existing statistics research in which one examines numerical information from government documents or official reports to address new research questions Qualitative interview a oneonone interview between a researcher and an interviewee that is usually characterized by being semistructured and open ended Focus group a type of group interview in which an interviewer poses questions to the group and answers are given in an open discussion among the group members Field research a type of qualitative research in which a researcher directly observes the people being studied in a natural setting for an extended period Often the researcher combines intense observation with participation in the peoples social activitiesHistoricalcomparative research research in which one examines different cultures or periods to better understand the social world
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