Popular magazines and television generally do not provide accurate or scientific information about sociology; rather, studies initially reported in these media are usually sensationalistic and/or poorly designed. Ask and answer the following questions when deciding the validity of a piece of social research: • Are the sociologists qualified to conduct sociological studies? What are their credentials? Are the sociologists associated with an academic institution, laboratory, or clinic? • What research method did the sociologists use? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this method? Do the sociologists acknowledge the limitations associated with their particular method(s)? • Are the questionnaires or tests used both reliable and valid? • Is the sample gender-biased, consisting of more men than women, or vice versa? Is the sample biased in any other way? Does it include minorities? Is the sample exclusively
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