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Soc%20005%20-%20Lecture%201_1 - SOCIOLOGY 005 Lecture 1...

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SOCIOLOGY 005 Lecture 1 Wednesday, June 24, 2009 Sociological Research Scientific Research is an effort to reduce uncertainty about some aspect of the world through systematic examination Basic research is concerned with arriving at general statements about relationships which are about universal processes Applied research seeks to explain things with immediate policy implications Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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Sociological Research We start scientific research by stating propositions which state theorized relationships between concepts Concepts are (ideally) precisely defined objects, behaviors, etc. Concepts vary in their precision Concepts only take on meaning within a particular theory Wednesday, June 24, 2009 Sociological Research We call something a theory when there are two or more related propositions which can be stated as a set Typically in social science linearity is assumed within theoretical relationships Theories do not have unlimited explanatory power and have limits that we call scope conditions Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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Hypotheses and Variables The concepts within theories have empirical equivalents we call variables A variable is simply something that is a characteristic of the object we are studying that can be assigned a numerical value Latent variables are variables we can not directly observe (e.g. gender) Manifest variables are variables we can directly observe (e.g. height) Wednesday, June 24, 2009 Hypotheses and Variables There are two types of variables we are particularly interested in: Independent variables: causes change in .... Dependent variable: a variable which is affected by a change in an independent variable Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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Hypotheses and Variables In order to know which variables are of interest in research, we need to find variables which reflect theoretical concepts
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