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intro - Introduction to Methods of Social Research A What...

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Introduction to Methods of Social Research A. What is the point of research methodology? Making claims on reality What really exists? The essential methods question: What would it take to know? Science and research are attempts to critically evaluate the world, to question the nature of reality. B. Non-scientific forms of knowledge 1) Tradition —knowledge that is passed down. Things have been figured out in the past. This is the way that things have always been done. 2) Authority —knowledge that is passed along by a person in a position of authority 3) Experience – provides anecdotal evidence or examples of situations where certain rules apply Direct experience generally offers a more accurate picture of reality than tradition or authority, but remains problematic for a number of reasons. a) Not systematically collected b) Not representative c) Subject to personal biases C. Consequences of the non-scientific collection of evidence 1) Inaccurate observations Not paying attention, looking for something else 2) Overgeneralizations Biased sampling, variation across different contexts
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  • Spring '08
  • ORT
  • social science research, scientific inquiry Deductive research, Observation Data analysis, Social Research A.

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