Sociology - Chapter 2

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spurious

an apparent but false association between variables (the observed relationship is explained by some third variable).

range

the "spread" of a set of data

mean

the straight average

mode

the most common quantity/quality in a set of data

median

the middle quantity/quality in a set of data

reliability

consistency (weight scale)

validity

does your measurement tool measure what it is supposed to measure? ex: does church attendance measure "religiosity" or does it measure attendance?

science

a logical system that bases knowledge on direct, systematic observation

experiments

1 of the 4 most common research methods: highly controlled conditions, studies cause & effect, applies random selection, random assignment (exp. & control groups), pretests dependent variables, applies a stimulus, and post-tests to measure change.

survey research

1 of the 4 most common research methods: most popular to measure intangibles (attitudes, beliefs, values), quantitative in nature (analysis based on interpretation of numerical data), uses population, sample, and EPSEM. Forms: questionnaires and interviews.

participant observation

1 of the 4 most common research methods: qualitative in nature, inquiry based on subjective interpretation (joining a cult to research that cult).

secondary analysis

1 of the 4 most common research methods: utilizes other people's data (gss)

research ethics

competence (trained), objectivity, full disclosure as a researcher (hawthorne effect's problem), be ethical and terminate all research if danger threatens a participant (zimbardo), confidentiality & anonymity (codebook), state full purpose of research.

hawthorne effect

the idea that data will be skewed when the subjects are aware that you're studying them.

sample

the group of people/things in a population that you physically study

population

the total number of people/things that the study is about.

research design

random selection, random assignment of exp. & control groups, pretest the depend. variable, apply a stimulus, post-test to measure change.

dependent variable

the variable that changes according to the independent variable (y)

independent variable

the variable that does not change (gender, race, etc.) (x)

theory

how things are

hypothesis

how things might be

open-ended questions

allows subject to freely respond

closed-ended questions

answers are provided, easier to compute/analyze

EPSEM

equal probability of selection method: eliminates conscious and unconscious bias when it comes to selecting a sample

univariate analysis

one variable

bivariate analysis

two variables

PHI

personal human inquiry: our own thoughts (jocks = athletic, teachers = typically female, etc).

shortcomings of PHI

politics, gender, limited sample, ideologies, logic, wanting to prove something

empirical evidence

observable phenomena verifiable with our senses, grounded in fact rather than theoretical in nature

to establish a relationship

determine time order, co-variation (vary together in a systematic, non-chance way), eliminate the co-variation being explained by some 3rd variable.

conceptualization

making imprecise notions (concepts) precise by specifying exactly what we mean when we use particular terms

operationalization

defining how to measure a concept

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