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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 2 Methods Research Methods: approaches that social scientists use for investigating the answers to questions There are 2 general categories of methods for gathering sociological data: o Quantitative Methods: methods that seek to obtain information about the social world that is already in or can be converted to numeric form uses statistical analysis to describe social world that those data represent acquired through surveys, sampling bank records, weighing people on a scale o Qualitative Methods: attempts to collect information about the social world that cannot be readily converted to numeric form. Acquired through spending time with people and recording what they say and do (participant observation), to interviewing them in an open-ended manner to reviewing archives. o Both provide ways to establish causal relationship between social elements Once pick a question to investigate, there are two ways to approach research: o Deductive Approach: a research approach that starts with a theory, forms a hypothesis, makes empirical observations, and then analyzes the data to confirm, reject, or modify the original theory. o Inductive Approach: a research approach that starts with empirical observations and then works to form a theory. Causality versus Correlation Correlation or Association: simultaneous variation in two variables o Two things correlated- doesnt mean one causes the other, there can be three possible casual stories/possibilities about relationship between two variables Ex. Income & Health Poorer Health Lower Income o Get sick, cant work, lose job, lose money\ Poorer Health Lower Income (Better Health Higher Income) o Able to afford better doctors, access to fresh, healthy food, afford gym, high tech equipment. Third factor ( ex. Reckless tendencies) Reckless Tendencies Poorer health & Lower income o Love for fast cars, wines, late nights can negatively affect health and income- late for work, spending too much money, instead of spending smartly May appear one causes other, but truth is they are not related at all, but only connected through third factor. But still can be concluded that low income contributes to poor health, or poor health contributes to low income Causality: the notion that a change in one factor results in a corresponding change in another. o Three factors are needed to establish causality- correlation, time order, and ruling out alternative explanations. Ex. Nutrition varies across countries, observe different average heights across same countries that respond statistically to the differences in nutrition Time order- Have Country A always been taller that Country B?...
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