ISS_225_Lec_2_Scientific_Method

One parent family structure i is more likely to

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1. One-parent family structure (I) is more likely to generate delinquency (D) than the two parent family structure. – Here we are explaining delinquency by family structure. 2. Male college students are more likely than female college students (gender – I) to have tried marijuana (D). – Here we are explaining marijuana use by variation in gender. Hypotheses are generated from: from theories directly from observation (sit on corner and observe people) intuition (prejudices) 4. Choose the Research Design How are you going to approach the subject and attempt to prove your hypothesis? Are your methods going to include the need to interview people, survey archives, research old newspapers, or conduct a survey? Will you collect both qualitative and quantitative data? Will you use a case study, historical, comparative or cross-cultural approach? 5. Collect the Necessary Data What data do social scientists collect? 1. Constants : Characteristics that do not vary from trial to trial. Gender of mother is a constant. Social science does not study constants. 2. Variables : Characteristics that differ (vary) from one individual to another (for example, age, social class, and income). A variable is a logical set of attributes. The variable gender, for example, is made up of the attributes male and female. 3. Attributes are characteristics or qualities that describe a person or an object. Examples of attributes include female, religious, conservative etc. Variables are logical groupings of attributes. Male and female are attributes of the variable gender. This step is essential in determining the quality of your results. Picking variables to study is vital. If you are conducting a general survey of the population, but just interview 4
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ISS 225 Power, Authority, Exchange Scientific Method people who vote in one party or come from one economic stratum, how objective is your research to the general whole? 6. Analyze the Results The scientific method seeks to develop statements about how events or behaviors might be related and then determines the validity of these statements by careful, systematic, and logical tests. Statistics offers a device to compare what is logically expected with what is observed. Correlation is a significant statistical relationship but does not equal causation. For example, there is a correlation between voting and age. But, be careful about causality - Someone once showed a correlation between stork migration in Europe and an increase in the birth rate of humans. This is the step where you collect your research raw data into a coherent set of results. This includes organizing, categorizing, establishing correlations, and performing statistical analysis. For example, if you surveyed the economic background of U.S. Senators, just listing all the information would not be too helpful. You would want to organize some tables and charts giving various categories. You might even want to show some correlations between dimensions such as region and economic levels and voting in Congress.
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