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CHAPTER 2: SOCIAL RESEARCH Qualitative + Quantitative = mix method approach Do research to gage the extent of the problem Sociological Investigation – application of scientific method to social research Basics: 1. Knowing based on intuition – not on rational thought, but on insight 2. Knowing based on common sense – belief in something based on widely held belief or assumptions 3. Knowing based on authority – belief based on an expert’s ideas, individuals less likely to challenge 4. Knowing based on tradition – it always has been, part of social culture **not scientific – no methodology 5. Knowing based on science – based on direct and systematic observation, can prove or disprove ideas - validated through our senses - hard to remain impartial Elements of Social Research: 1. Concepts – mental construct that represents some part of the social world simplified form 2. Variables – concept that changes from person to person and case to case stays same = constant 3. Operationalization of Variables – how do you measure given variables 4. Reliability – consistency in measurement 5. Validity – actually measuing what you intended to measure Ask the Hypothesis Research Question Theory Evaluate Hypothesis Analyze Data Data Collection Every variable must be: mutually exclusive and exhaustive Data collection : 1. Qualitative – more subjective, observation 2. Quantitative – more objective, counting (survey) 3. Mixed method – combination of both Analyzing Data: depends on type of research, what theories are being looked at again different methods for qualitative and quantitative research Evaluation of hypothesis – does the study show what it was supposed to show or not Directs future research question Theories – can be tested, verifiable statement about a reality, cause/effect relationship Values – personal judgments, opinion about what is good or bad, not testable How to tell 2 apart?: Theories may be proven, values can’t be proven true or false.
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Relationships b/t Variables: 1. Cause and effect – A will cause an effect in B 2. Three main types of Variables: a. independent – causal variables (x variable), example demographic variables, race, sex, education b. dependent – outcome variable (y variable) c. control – something put into place to see if dependent and independent actually have a cause and effect relationship (z variable) 3. Correlations – how two variables change a. Positive (direct) = both move together, same direction either up or down b. Negative (inverse) = move in opposite directions The Cause and Effect Relationship: 1. Correlation – do they move together 2. Time order – cause has to come before effect 3. Lack of other variables
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course SOCL 2001 taught by Professor Mecom during the Spring '07 term at LSU.

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