Lecture 1 Introduction-1

Lecture 1 Introduction-1 - Introduction to Research Methods...

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    Introduction to Research Methods Lecture 1 Prof. Gia Barboza Spring Semester 2008
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    What are Research Methods Research methods are the tools and approaches used by social scientists to answer questions about how or why things occur as they do in the social world. By using established procedures, we are able to find out our answers in a way that: Minimizes bias Observational errors Problems associated with casual inquiries
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    Introduction Social research consists of the process of formulating and seeking answers to questions about the social world Consider some of the following research questions: Should police end domestic disputes by asking one of the parties to leave the premises? Should they attempt to mediate to de-escalate the conflict? Or should they arrest the assailant? More generally, will punishment deter an individual from committing a crime or will punishment lead to more criminal activity?
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    Why Study Research Methods? Social scientists have developed formal guidelines, principles and techniques in order to answer such questions Boring and uninteresting? No! A knowledge of methods can benefit you as both a consumer and producer of research evidence
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    Why Study Research Methods? As consumers : much research evidence reported in professional journals as well as in newspapers and on television either is itself in error or is misinterpreted. Example : A study found that pedestrian accidents are higher in marked versus unmarked crosswalks Statistical associations do not always imply that one factor has caused the other What is the association here? What is the real cause?
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    Misleading Advertisements How seriously should we take the TV pitch that “75 percent of doctors interviewed prescribed drug X for relief of arthritic pain?” Thinking critically, what are some questions we may want to have answered before taking such a claim seriously? How many doctors were interviewed?
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course JLS 280 taught by Professor Barboza during the Spring '08 term at American.

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Lecture 1 Introduction-1 - Introduction to Research Methods...

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