Introduction to Sociological Research_Kupchik_Date_021210

Introduction to Sociological Research_Kupchik_Date_021210 -...

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Chapter 1 Science, society, and criminological research Process of doing research; conducting research Talk about why we do social science research? o Better understand experiences of others o Try to help live in a diverse society o Learn more about others perceptions of world o Evaluate effectiveness of laws and policies o Research is usually policy oriented Test whether or not they are doing a good job Eg. Charging children as adults Found that this puts us at greater risk, these kids are more likely to re-offend upon release o Document problems that need to be addressed o Gain better understanding of problems in society o Develop, test, and refine theories about how societies and individuals behave o Research helps us moved towards understanding Steps of research o Asking a question o Eg. Does prosecuting children as adults prevent crime o Researcher has to come up with a precise research question o Eg. Do policing strategies reduce crime? Can we call social science “science”? o Science involves a set of logical, systematic, documented methods for investigation nature and natural processes o Hypothesis testing, often via experimental design o Social science involves the use of scientific methods of investigate individuals, societies, and social processes o Hypothesis testing through a variety of methods o The lack of true experimental condition puts a high burden on our careful use of methods It becomes important to carefully study things o Even with care, there is a lot of uncertainty Still subject to error Questions might not be good questions Sometimes need to replicate studies Everyday errors in reasoning o 1. Overgeneralization o What is true for one case is true in all cases A lot of what we know is base on a case study Are we looking too deep into findings
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o 2. Selective observation o Look at things according to personal beliefs, regardless of fact (e.g. does scared straight work?) Does sending kids to prison for a day really make them stop crime Have to come into program in unbiased judgment free way o 3. Inaccurate observation o We think we see something that did not occur , or perceive the same situation
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Introduction to Sociological Research_Kupchik_Date_021210 -...

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