Experiments involve: (2 things)
Taking action (giving participants s stimulus)
Observing the consequences of that action
Topics Appropriate to Experiments
Projects with limited and well-defined concepts
Projects that are exploratory rather than descriptive
Studies of small group interaction
Components of Experiments
Independent and dependent variables
Pretesting and post testing
Experimental and control groups
A group of participants to whom an experimental stimulus is administered
A group of participants to whom no experimental stimulus is administered and who resemble the experimental group in all other aspects.
Double- Blind Experiment
An experimental design in which neither the participants nor the experimenters know which is the experimental group and which is the control.
________ groups are groups of participants to whom an experimental stimulus is administered.
A technique for assigning experimental participants to experimental and control groups randomly
a process in which participants are matched on the basis of their similarities on one or more variables, and one member of the pair is assigned to the experimental group and the other to the control group.
_________ is a technique for assigning experimental participants to experimental and control groups randomly.
Pre-experimental Research Designs
One-shot case study
One-group pretest post- test design
One-group pretest post- test design
adds a pretest for the group, but lacks a control group
One- shot case study
Single group of participants is measured on a variable following experimental stimulus
Includes experimental and control group, but no pretest.
*In One-group pretest post- test design, what is lacking?
*What is the basic difference between the classical design and the Solomon four-group design?
Solomon four-group design repeats the classical design but adds groups that are not pretested
Isolation of the experimental variable over time.
Experiments can be replicated several times using different groups of subjects.
Artificiality of laboratory setting.
Social processes that occur in a lab might not occur in a more natural social setting.
*Experiments are especially well suited for research projects involving:
*______________refers to the possibility that the conclusion drawn from experimental results may not accurately reflect what has gone on in the experiment itself.
*A ____________experiment eliminates the possibility of a researcher prejudging results.
*Natural experiments are most likely to resemble which one of the following designs?
*Which of the following is the chief advantage of a controlled experiment?
the isolation of the experimental variable's impact over time
Topics Appropriate to Survey Research
Person who provides data for analysis by responding to a survey questionnaire.
Instrument designed to elicit information that will be useful for analysis.
*When is survey research the best method available?
when collecting original data
when describing a population too large to observe directly
when measuring attitudes
Types of Questions
Respondent is asked to provide his or her own answer to the question.
Respondent is asked to select an answer from among a list provided by the researcher.
_________________ questions have a respondent select an answer from among a list provided.
Guidelines for Asking Questions
Choose appropriate question forms.
Make items clear.
Avoid double-barreled questions.
Respondents must be competent to answer.
Respondents must be willing to answer.
Questions should be relevant.
Short items are best.
Avoid negative items.
Avoid biased items and terms.
Guidelines for Questionnaire Construction
One question per line.
Use contingency questions when necessary.
Format matrix questions so they are easily answered.
Be aware of issues with ordering items.
Include instructions for the questionnaire.
Pretest all or part of the questionnaire.
*As a general rule, a questionnaire should be:
Refers to any property of questions that encourages respondents to answer in a particular way.
Kenneth Rasinski analyzed the results of General Social Survey studies of attitudes toward government spending.
He found the way programs were identified impacted their support.
Survey question intended only for some respondents, determined by their response to some other questions.
Number of people participating in a survey divided by the number selected in the sample.
A data-collection encounter in which one person (an interviewer) asks questions of another (a respondent).
A request for elaboration.
Acceptable Response Rates
50% - adequate for analysis and reporting
60% - good
70% - very good
Read the following item and then answer the question that follows:
The main cause of highway accidents is speeding by truckers. Don't you agree that the use of radar detectors by truckers should be made illegal?
*What is the major weakness with the previous question?
It is biased.
Guidelines for Survey Interviewing
Dress in a similar manner to the people who will be interviewed.
Study and become familiar with the questionnaire.
Follow question wording exactly.
Record responses exactly.
Probe for responses when necessary.
Training for Interviewers
Discussion of general guidelines and procedures.
Specify how to handle difficult or confusing situations.
Conduct demonstration interviews.
Conduct "real" interviews.
Money and time.
Control over data collection.
Surveys that are really ad campaigns.
*Which of these are among the many advantages that underlie the growing popularity of telephone surveys?
Strengths of Survey Research
Useful in describing the characteristics of a large population.
Make large samples feasible.
Flexible - many questions can be asked on a given topic.
Weaknesses of Survey Research
Can seldom deal with the context of social life.
Inflexible in some ways.
Subject to artificiality.
Weak on validity.
A form of research in which the data collected and processed by one researcher are reanalyzed—often for a different purpose—by another.
This is especially appropriate in the case of survey data.
Data archives are repositories or libraries for the storage and distribution of data for secondary analysis.
*A___________ is an instrument specifically designed to elicit information that will be useful for analysis.
*Which is not an advantage of survey research?
*A ____________is a survey question intended for only some respondents, determined by their responses to some other question.
*The major problem with secondary analysis pertains to
Methods of studying social behavior without affecting it.
Unobtrusive measures can be qualitative or quantitative.
Types of Unobtrusive Research
Analyses of existing statistics.
The study of recorded human communications, such as books, Web sites, paintings, and laws
Examine written documents such as editorials.
*Which type of research does not require the researcher to intrude on what he or she is studying?
*Which of the following may be examined in content analysis?
Process of transforming raw data into a standardized form.
The visible, surface content.
The underlying meaning of the content.
Negative Case Testing
Technique for qualitative hypothesis testing.
Exam the data to create a general hypothesis.
Search the data to find cases that would contradict the initial hypothesis.
Review each of the dis-confirming cases and either give up the hypothesis or see how it needs to be fine-tuned.
Strengths of Content Analysis
Economy of time and money.
Easy to repeat a portion of the study if necessary.
Permits study of processes over time.
Researcher seldom has any effect on the subject being studied.
Weaknesses of Content Analysis
Limited to the examination of recorded communications.
Problems of validity are likely.
Analyzing Existing Statistics
Can be the main source of data or a supplemental source of data.
Often existing data doesn't cover the exact question.
Reliability is dependent on the quality of the statistics.
Units of Analysis - often not individuals
Example: Durkheim was required to work with political-geographical units: countries, regions, states, and cities.
Validity - The existing data don't include exactly what we need and measurements may not be valid.
Reliability - Depends on the quality of the statistics: Are they accurate?
*Which of the following are types of unobtrusive research methods?
analysis of existing statistics
comparative and historical research
*Which of the following are usually qualitative?
comparative and historical research
*_________________ are the individual units that we make descriptive and explanatory statements about.
units of analysis
*In the content analysis of __________, sampling may occur at any or all of several levels.
*Existing statistics should always be considered a _____________ source of data.
*When we base research on an analysis of data that already exist, we face problems of: