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Unformatted text preview: Theories in Social Science Theories Readings on Angel AND on reserve Readings Johnson & Reynolds Hockins et al Salant Course Reserve, 2nd floor main library 2h check out, no overnight Should be available Wed. 9/16 Available in text form plus folder with copies of Available chapters chapters University Of Illinois Researchers Find Link University Between Attending University Of Illinois, Receiving Solid Education At Great Price Why talk about science? Why Clarify terms Distinguish a scientific approach to studying Distinguish human behavior from other approaches human Is it research? Is
Most people who stumble across the YouTube Most video of the self-proclaimed rock star Gory Bateson singing to a scantily clad prostitute in Amsterdam's red-light district probably have no idea that the work is part of a research project - or that the man holding the guitar is a tenured professor. The video has attracted more than 12,000 views and won a few online fans. Chronicle of Higher Ed, 5/1/09 Chronicle Social Science Theory Social More on structure of science More
The Poverty of Historicism - Karl Popper Karl The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Thomas Kuhn Philosophy of Social Science - Alexander Rosenberg Theory Theory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAYDiPizD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =FZmx0jml1jk Theory Definition Theory
Theory: a set of systematically related set statements about relationships among concepts, with the purpose of explaining concepts with some phenomenon some Concept Concept
Concept: An abstraction that describes a An portion of reality. portion e.g. The concept education describes the e.g. aggregate of people’s learning experience. aggregate Concept Examples Concept
Socio-economic status News quality Concepts are measured with variables variables
Socioeconomic status Variable
Highest grade completed Annual income Quantity of local news coverage Number of sources cited in a typical story News quality Another way to think about theory about
A theory is a story of the causal relationship theory among concepts. among A theory aims to inform clearly and theory precisely. precisely. “Theory” is used differently in Theory” everyday speech everyday
Everyday speech “I have a theory that the butler did it.” Scientific speech “This finding supports the theory of natural This selection.” selection.” “Theory” is used differently in other Theory” fields fields Literary theory Political theory Etc. Etc. Example of Social Science Theory Theory Theory of Planned Behavior Theory of Planned Behavior Theory
h Attempts to explain behaviors. Attempts Makes a statement about relationship between attitudes and behaviors.
J Theory of planned behavior Theory
h Behavioral intentions are influenced by:
J J J Attitudes toward the behavior Social norms Perceived behavior control Theory of Planned Behavior Theory
This theory has strong predictive power, but it This does not include all factors that affect behavior. behavior. Theory of Planned Behavior Theory Very useful theory e.g. health communication Examples Wearing a bike helmet, condom use, binge drinking
Attitudes towards behavior Social norms Perceived behavioral control Influencing behavior
Attitudes towards behavior Social norms Perceived behavioral control Good theories are… Good Falsifiable Supported by evidence General Simple Why do we need theory when conducting research? conducting
Theory… Explains phenomena Guides us to interesting questions Integrates different empirical findings Tells us when a relationship holds and when it Tells doesn’t doesn’t A Downside of Theory Downside
Some remain committed to theory in spite of empirical evidence Some “…the temptation is always to keep on applying these extreme “…the simplifications, even where the evidence clearly shows that they’re wrong. What economists have to do is learn to resist that temptation. But doing so will, inevitably, lead to a much messier, less pretty view. messier, So be it.” Paul Krugman We need to move from theory to research We Theory and Research Theory
Theory Concept Relationship b/w concepts Relationship Research Variable Hypothesis Hypothesis What is a Hypothesis? What
Hypothesis: a statement about the relationships statement between variables. between It is less abstract than a theory. It It is meant to be tested. It Hypothesis Example Hypothesis
Theory “Negative stereotypes about racial minorities increase the Negative probability that racial minorities are discriminated against in society” society” One hypothesis derived from this theory might be… One hypothesis H1: Black drivers will experience more extensive policing H1: compared to White drivers as evidenced by video recordings of traffic stops. of Wheel of Science Wheel Sup po r t/Modify Hypothesis Observation Theory Research methods can be used to create basic knowledge and to solve very practical problems. very Practical Problems Practical
How can society use mass media to reduce How risky sexual behavior among teenagers? risky Basic Issues Basic
How does mass media influence social How norms about sexual behavior? norms Relationship Between the Practical and Theoretical Practical
They use the same research methods. Theory can help guide practical research Theory with adjustments. with Practical research can suggest empirical Practical relationships for theory. relationships Any questions? Any ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2011 for the course COM 200 taught by Professor Tamborini during the Fall '09 term at Michigan State University.
- Fall '09