56 terms


Chapter 2
a logical system that bases knowledge on direct, systematic observation
information we can verify with our senses
empirical evidence
the study of society based on systematic observation of social behavior
positivist sociology
assumes that an objective reality exists "out there" that can be discovered by gathering empirical evidence
positivist sociology
a mental construct that represents some part of the world in a simplified form
sociologists use ___ to label aspects of social life like "the family", "the economy", and "social class"
a concept whose value changes from case to case
a procedure for determining the value of a variable in a specific case
specifying exactly what is to be measured before assigning a value to a variable
operationalize a variable
in order for a measurement to be useful, it must be both ___ and ___
reliable and valid
consistency in measurement
actually measuring exactly what you intend to measure
(T/F) Consistency guarantees validity
a relationship in which change in one variable causes change in another
cause and effect
the variable that causes the change
independent variable
the variable that changes
dependent variable
a relationship in which two or more variables change together
an apparent but false relationship between two or more variables that is caused by some other variable
spurious correlation
holding constant all variables except one in order to see clearly the effect of that variable
personal neutrality in conducting research
one way to limit distortion caused by personal values
repetition of research by other investigators
the study of society that focuses on the meanings people attach to their social world
interpretive sociology
positivist sociology focuses on __ because that is what be observed directly
interpretive sociology focuses on
people's understandings of their actions
the study of society that focuses on the need for social change
critical sociology
ask moral and political questions as opposed to scientific questions
critical sociologists
rejects the positivist claim that researchers should try to be "objective" and limit their work to studying the status quo
critical sociology
seek to change the character of research as well as society itself
critical sociologists
often identify with their research subjects personally and encourage them to help decide what to study and how to do the work
critical sociologists
object taking sides and being personally involved or biased
positivist sociologists
the personal traits and social positions that members of a society attach to being male or female
approaches an issue from the male perspective
approaches an issue from the female perspective
researchers use data drawn from people of only one sex to support conclusions about "humanity" or "society"
failing to consider gender at all
gender blindness
researchers distorting what they study by judging men and women differently
double standard
a subject reacting to the sex of the researcher which interferes with the research operation
a systematic plan for doing research
research method
a research method for investigating cause and effect under highly controlled conditions
a statement of a possible relationship between two or more variables
a change in a subject's behavior caused simply by the awareness of being studied
Hawthorne effect
a research method in which subjects respond to a series of statements or questions on a questionnaire or in an interview
typically yield descriptive findings
the people who are the focus of research
a part of a population that represents the whole
researchers draw a sample from the population at random so that every person in the population has an equal chance of being selected
random sample
a series of written questions a researcher presents to subjects
a questionnaire that offers a narrow range of responses that makes it fairly easy to analyze the results, but can also distort findings
closed-ended format
questionnaire type allowing subjects to respond freely, expressing various shades of opinion
open-ended format
a survey in which the examiner mails or e-mails questionnaires to respondents and asks them to complete it and send it back
self-administered survey
a series of questions a researcher asks respondents in person
interviewing people then asking them to suggest others
snowball sampling
a research method in which investigators systematically observe people while joining them in their routine activities
participant observation
reasoning that transforms specific observations into general theory
inductive logical thought
reasoning that transforms general theory into specific hypotheses suitable for testing
deductive logical thought