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Chapter 2

Chapter 2- Research Designs.docx

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Sociology 2206A/B
Stacey Hallman

INTRODUCTION - quantitative research often explain a phenomenon in terms of causes and effects that are expressed in laws and principles - nomothetic explanations have to satisfy three criteria of causation, three conditions to satisfy in order to be plausible a. correlation: the proposed cause and the proposed effect have to vary together b. time order: the proposed cause must precede the effect in time c. non-spuriousness: alternative explanations for the correlation observed have to be ruled out’ literally means illegitimate - quantitative researchers choose research designs that help to satisfy these three criteria - qualitative researchers aim for different kinds of explanations  seek to produce rich description of a person or group based on the perceptions and feelings of the people studied rather than to discover general laws and principles  will choose a design that will produce idiographic explanations INTRODUCTION - Quantitative researchers use cause and effects to explain principles and laws  these laws are general and meant to be applied to people who are not apart of the study as well o called nomothetic approach  three criteria that needs to be satisfied in order for explanation to be considered acceptable:  correlation: proposed cause and effect have to vary with one another  time order: cause cannot precede the time effect  non-spurious: alternative explanations ruled out  quantitative researchers choose designs to satisfy these criteria’s - Qualitative researchers seek to produce a rich description of a person or group based on the perceptions and feelings of the people studied rather than to discover general laws and principles  not meant to explain other situations for others  it simply helps explain o called idiographic explanations  these involve stories or description of people studied based on empathic understanding CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING SOCIAL RESEARCH - variable is simply a characteristic or attribute that varies, such as gender, income, fondness for mathematics, or athletic ability  three prominent criteria: o Reliability  Quantitative concerned whether concepts are reliable  If replicable it is reliable o Replicability o Validity  Concerned with integrity of the conclusions generated by a piece of research  Construct Validity  Refers to whether a particular indicator actually measures what it is supposed to measure  Measurement validity is related to reliability; if a measure of a concept is unstable and hence unreliable  Internal Validity  Raises issue of how confident you can be that the independent variable really does have an impact on dependent variable  External Validity  Qualitative tends to fill requirement because it takes on natural stance o Naturalism refers to style of research that seeks to minimize the use of artificial methods of data collection  Concern that can results be generalized for people beyond the ones in the study  Some qualitative researcher agree it is inappropriate to apply the concepts of reliability and validity to their research o Lincoln and Guba recommended trustworthiness as a criterion of how a good qualitative study is:  Credibility  Transferability  Confirmability  Dependability RESEARCH DESIGNS  Greatest strength of true experiments is that they tend to be high in internal validity MANIPULATION o Many independent variables in social research cannot be manipulated  Ethical issues involved CALSSIC EXPERIMENTAL o Experiment group and control group o Random assignment o Following simple notation used to capture idea of classic experiments:  OBS: observation made of dependent variable  Pre-test and post-test  EXP: the experiment treatment (independent variable)  T: timing of the observation made in relation to the dependent variable o For study to be true experiment it must control for rival explanations of its causal findings o Presence of control group helps eliminate rival explanations
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