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Unformatted text preview: 20-1Copyright © 2008 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited Chapter 20Chapter 20Research MethodsResearch Methodsby Neil Guppyby Neil Guppy20-2Copyright © 2008 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTION•Will examine:Social research as scientific researchMinimizing bias in researchMethods and techniques of social researchFuture of social research*20-3Copyright © 2008 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited SOCIAL RESEARCHSOCIAL RESEARCH•Social research involves systematic study of the social world •Uses theoretically informed questions•Integrates sound theory with careful methods*20-4Copyright © 2008 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited SCIENCE AS A SOCIAL SCIENCE AS A SOCIAL PRACTICEPRACTICE•Science combines both subjectivity and objectivity: Subjectivity: Perceptions-view of reality that are filtered by our personal values and expectationsCan lead to observer biasObjectivity: Attempt to minimizeeffect of personal bias on research results, or idea of impartiality-fairness20-5Copyright © 2008 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited MINIMIZING BIAS IN SOCIAL MINIMIZING BIAS IN SOCIAL SCIENCESCIENCE•Scientific practices minimize bias by:Subjecting research findings to rigorous scrutiny-analysis by scientific communityApplying skeptical reasoning to research findings•Does not negate central need though for subjectivity in change and innovation*20-6Copyright © 2008 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited SCIENTIFIC THINKINGSCIENTIFIC THINKING•Scientific thinking starts with uncertainty; i.e., a hypothesis(question, hunch, or well-conceived conjecture about how the world works) that must be testable Should include possibility of refuting scientific claim•Science is not merely observation of facts but requires interpretation of the collection of facts •In science, need to confront problem of 20-7Copyright © 2008 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited NATURAL SCIENCES VS. NATURAL SCIENCES VS. SOCIAL SCIENCESOCIAL SCIENCE•Both natural sciences and social science use the scientific method: Set of practices or procedures for testing knowledge claims•But social science has different subject matter:Study meaningful action: Activities that arise from intentionality and are meaningful to people involved*20-8Copyright © 2008 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited METHODS OF SOCIAL METHODS OF SOCIAL RESEARCH: EXPLANATIONRESEARCH: EXPLANATION•Explanationis necessary to show howor whya cause has a certain effect Causationinvolves relationship between two variables where change in one variable produces change or variation in second variableMultiple causes are involved in almost every social-scientific explanation•Need to guard against assuming correlation equates to causation because correlation can be spurious-false: Incorrect inference about causal relations 20-9Copyright © 2008 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited...
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This note was uploaded on 09/25/2009 for the course SOCIOLOGY SOC101Y1 taught by Professor Tepperman during the Winter '09 term at University of Toronto.

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20 - 20-1Copyright © 2008 by Nelson a division of Thomson...

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