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the study of society based on systematic observation of social behavior

empirical evidence

information we can verify with our senses

scientific sociology

the study of society based on systematic observation of social behavior


a mental construct that represents some part of the world in a simplified form


a concept whose value changes from case to case


a procedure for determining the value of a variable in a specific case

operationalize a variable

specifying exactly what is to be measured before assigning a value to a variable


consistency in measurement


actually measuring exactly what you intend to measure

cause and effect

a relationship in which change in one variable causes change in another

independent variable

the variable that causes the change

dependent variable

the variable that changes


A relationship in which two (or more) variables change together

spurious correlation

An apparent but false relationship between two (or more) variables that is caused by some other variable


holding constant all variables except one in order to see clearly the effect of that variable


personal neutrality in conducting research


repetition of research by other investigators

interpretive sociology

the study of society that focuses on the meanings people attach to their social world

critical sociology

the study of society that focuses on the need for social change


the personal traits and social positions that members of a society attach to being female or male

research method

a systematic plan for doing research


a research method for investigating cause and effect under highly controlled conditions


a statement of a possible relationship between two (or more) variables

Hawthorne effect

a change in a subject's behavior caused simply by the awareness of being studied


a research method in which subjects respond to a series of statements or questions in a questionnaire or an interview


the people who are the focus of research


a part of a population that represents the whole


a series of written questions a researcher presents to subjects


a series of questions a researcher asks respondents in person

participant observation

a research method in which investigators systematically observe people while joining them in their routine activities

inductive logical thought

reasoning that transforms specific observations into general theory

deductive logical thought

reasoning that transforms general theory into specific hypotheses suitable for testing

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