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Unformatted text preview: Ch. 2 Social Research Sources of Knowledge Nonscientific Sources • Four Major sources: o Intuition – quick and ready insight that is not based on rational thought (Ex. Because something “feels wrong”) o Common sense – refers to opinions that are widely held because they seem so obviously correct o Authority – someone who is supposed to have special knowledge that we do not have o Tradition – It is traditional to believe that an only child will be self-centered • Often provide false and misleading information, sometimes leading to completely opposite conclusions Science as a Source • Objectivity – the principle stating that scientists are expected to prevent their personal biases from influencing their interpretation of their results o Myrdal believes personal recognition of biases is insufficient; public exposure of them is essential • Verifiability – a principle of science by which any given piece of research can be duplicated (replicated) by other scientists Causation and the Logic of Science Causation – the idea that events occur in a predictable, nonrandom way and that one event leads to another Multiple Causation – the idea that an event occurs as a result of several factors operating in combination Variable – characteristic (such as age, education, or social class) that is subject to change. • Quantitative variable – variable that can be measured and given a numerical value • Qualitative variable – consists of a variation in kind rather than number o (Ex. sex/marital status/group membership) • Independent variable – a variable that causes something to happen o (Ex. divorce) • Dependent variable – a variable in which a change (or effect) can be observed o (Ex. marital infidelity) • Intervening variable – a variable that influence the relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable o (Ex. A government support program may intervene between poverty[IV] and hunger[DV]) Correlation – a statistical measure in which a change in one variable is associated with a change in another variable • Positive correlation – a statistical measure in which the independent and dependent...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 101 taught by Professor Clarke during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.
- Spring '08