• In the case of mailed questionnaires and online questionnaires a researcher may not always know if the intended participant was the person who completed the survey. • A researcher doesn’t know if every respondent read each question before answering it. • Survey questions that rely on a respondent’s ability to accurately remember past events may not produce accurate results as people can forget that something has happened or not remember the timing of events accurately. 8
Saturday, September 21, 2019 • Telescoping is a term which describes when individuals remember events as happening more recently than they actually have, for instance thinking that something happened one year ago when it actually happened two years ago. • Memory fade is a term which describes when an individual forgets something entirely. • Main method for collecting evidence • Provides a way to systematically compare answers • Done through self-administered questionaries or interviews • Validity: accuracy or relevancy • Reliability: is the consistency to which something can be measured • A measurement is reliable if it is consistent or repeatable • Surveys involve sampling • The list that the sample is collected is called the sampling frame • The frame must be as close as possible to including everyone in the population • When reviewing answers; • Do not assume they understand what you are asking • Do not assume that people know the answer to the question • Do not assume that people will admit the answer, even to themselves • Do not assume that people will give valid answers Qualitative Research • Done through ethnography • Ethnographers study people in their own environment or their natural setting • Includes researcher being immersed in a group or a subculture • Includes • Participation by observation • In-depth interviews 9
Saturday, September 21, 2019 • Analysis of documents Qualitative and Quantitative Methods • Both are important in sociology • There in an increasing amount of sociology research projects using both Other Research Methods Historical Sociology • Sociologist also look at change • They use historically data to assess change more so then historians Document Analysis • Examining o ﬃ cial documents to understand certain things • ie. maps, etc. 10
Saturday, September 21, 2019 Content Analysis • Use qualitative and quantitative analysis to understand content Use of O ﬃ cial Statistics • Governments collect stats • Sociologist can use these explain things Secondary Data Analysis • Secondary data analysis is when a researcher uses data that some other individual, group, or organization has collected. • It has become more popular as the internet provides for electronic access to data and reduces barriers to access such as geography. • Secondary data analysis can include the study of historical archival material but archival material is often not electronically available.
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