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Research in Social Sciences Exam 3
Terms in this set (110)
Research method in which the researcher collects data in its natural setting as the action is happening.
What are appropriate topics for field research?
Topics that defy quantification, social processes over time, and study of attitudes and behaviors best understood within their natural settings.
What are the elements of Social Life Appropriate for Field Research? (hint: there are 9)
Practices, episodes, encounters, roles and social types, social and personal relationships, groups and cliques, organizations, settlements and habitats, and subcultures and lifestyles.
Element of social life appropriate for field research. Definition: Various kinds of behaviors
Element of social life appropriate for field research. Definition: Variety of events
Element of social life appropriate for field research. Definition: Two or more people meeting and interacting
Roles and Social Types
Element of social life appropriate for field research. Definition: The analysis of positions people occupy and the behavior associated with those positions
Social and personal relationships
Element of social life appropriate for field research. Definition: Behavior appropriate to pairs or set of roles
Groups and Cliques
Element of social life appropriate for field research. Definition: Small groups
Element of social life appropriate for field research. Definition: Formal organizations
Settlements and Habitats
Element of social life appropriate for field research. Definition: Small-scale "societies"
Subcultures and Lifestyles
Element of social life appropriate for field research. Definition: How large number of people adjust to life in groups
What is the role of the researcher in field research?
Make observations and record them
Can participation in actives occur as a researcher in the field?
Occurs when the researcher participates in the activities in the field
The role of the field researcher who strictly records data and does not participate in the field activities
The role of the field researcher who participates fully in the field activities
Subjects in social research may react to the fact of being studied, thus altering their behavior from what it would have been normally
What are three things field researchers must consider in relationship to subjects?
Emic, etic, and symbolic realism
One of the things field researchers must consider in relation to subjects. Definition: Need for social researchers to treat the beliefs they study as worthy of respect rather than as objects of ridicule
One of the things field researchers must consider in relation to subjects. Definition: Taking on the point of view of those being studied
Maintaining a distance from native point of view in the interest of achieving more objectivity
An approach to field research based on the assumption that an objective social reality exists and can be observed and reported accurately.
A report on social life that focuses on detailed and accurate description rather than explanation
An approach to the study of social life that focuses on the discovery of implicit, usually unspoken assumptions and agreements
Often involves the international breaking of agreements as a way of revealing their existence
Inquiry does not focus on subjects themselves but on underlying patterns of interaction
*** Really about exposing implicit rules in society (ex. social norms)
A qualitative research paradigm. That uses an inductive approach when studying social life and attempts to generate a theory from constant comparing of unfolding observations.
Different from hypothesis testing where theory is used to generate hypotheses to be tested through observations.
** Starts with collecting data and then seeing what comes out of it
A qualitative research paradigm. That is an in-depth examination of a single instance of some social phenomenon
Extended Case Method
Part of the case study method. A technique where case study observations are used to discover flaws in and improve existing social theories.
A qualitative research paradigm. A research technique where the personal experience of individuals are used to reveal power relationships and other characteristics of institutions within which they operate.
Inquiry focuses on institutions/structures rather than subjects themselves
Participatory Action Research
A qualitative research paradigm. An approach to social research where they people who are being studied are given control over the purpose and the procedures of of research
Intended to counter the idea that researchers are superior to those they study. Comes out of the concern that some groups are getting studied more disproportionately and then other groups other than the ones being studied are getting the benefits.
Part of the qualitative research paradigms. Research is conducted for the purpose of benefiting disadvantaged groups.
When preparing for conducting qualitative field research one must....
1. Review relevant literature
2. Discuss topic with others who have studied it
3. Discuss project with informant (a guide)
4. Establish initial contact
5. Establish rapport
An open and trusting relationship between researchers and the people they are observing
How do we record observations in qualitative field research?
1. Take notes continuously - it is an ongoing process
2. Qualitative interviewing
3. Focus groups
A method of recording qualitative data. Definition: An interview conducted on a set of topics that are discussed in-depth and not based on the use of standardized questions (one-on-one & open-ended)
A method of recording qualitative data. Definition: A group of subjects interviewed together, prompting a discussion
What are the 5 strengths of qualitative research?
1. Effective for studying subtle nuances of behavior
2. Effective for examining social processes over time
3. Relatively inexpensive
4. Flexibility (field research can be modified at any time)
5. Validity (high validity b/c its in their own words/their own actions)
What are the the weaknesses of qualitative research?
1. Inappropriate way for arriving at statistical descriptions of large populations
2. Lacks external validity and generalization
3. Lacks reliability as field research measurements can be personal and often cannot be replicated
What are appropriate topics for experiments?
Research projects with...
1. Limited concepts and propositions
2. Well-defined concepts and propositions
3. Hypothesis testing
4. Explanatory purposes
What are experiments are good for?
Establishing causation because they establish time order
What are the three components to a classic experiment
1. Independent and dependent variables
2. Pre-testing and post-testing
3. Experimental and control groups
Experimental stimulus which is present or not present (the one that is manipulated)
What happens to this variable when stimulus is applied (the one that is measured)
The measurement of a D.V. among subjects before they have become exposed to a stimulus representing an I.V.
The re-measurement of a D.V. among subjects after they have been exposed to a stimulus representing an I.V.
A group of subjects who receive the experimental stimulus, get it administered to them
A group of subjects who do not receive the experimental stimulus but resemble the experimental group in all other respects
Having a control group allows researchers to do what?
Address the Hawthorne Effect.
The Hawthorne Effect is the simple act of being included in a study causes subjects to change their behavior
By comparing the control to the experimental group at the end of the study researchers can do what?
Researchers can point to the effect of the experimental stimulus
An experimental design where neither the subject nor researcher knows which group subjects are in
What does the double-blind experiment help to address?
Addresses the issue of researcher bias
Researcher bias is when the researchers "see: the findings that they expect
How can we select subjects for experiments?
With probability sampling, randomization, and/or matching
Selecting two (2) probability samples from the same population
Assigning one sample as the control group and one as the experimental group
Rarely used in experiments b/c/ the number of subjects is usually small and it is usually expensive
Assigning subjects to control or experimental groups randomly
Ex. numbering all subjects serially and assigning odd numbers to control and even numbers to the experimental group
Procedure where subjects are put in matched pairs based on their similarities on one or more variables and one member of the pair is put in the experimental and the other is put into the control
Control and experimental groups should be comparable in terms of variables that most likely could relate to dependent variable in the study
Can also delay assigning subjects until after the DV is measured initially (pre-test)
What are the validity issues of experimental research?
Internal invalidity and external invalidity
Possibility that the conclusions drawn from the experiment results may not accurately reflect what went on in the experiment itself
Possibility that conclusions drawn from experimental results may not be generalizable to the "real world"
What are the eight threats that contribute to internal invalidity?
5. Statistical regression
6. Selection Biases
7. Experimental Mortality (Attrition)
Historical event happens in the course of the experiment that confound the results (ex. 9/11 and social distance scale)
Subjects grow and change in the course of the experiment (1st graders and math scores)
Process of testing and re-testing influences people's behavior
The measure used may drive the results rather than actual changes in the subjects.
Happens when different questionnaires are used in pre-test and post-test
changes occurring by virtue of subjects starting out as extremes and becoming less extreme over time
Control group and experimental group not comparable at the start of the study
Experimental Mortality (attrition)
Experimental subjects will drop out of the experiment before it is completed.
This can effect statistical conclusions and comparisons
Subjects may feel deprived in some way and stop trying which effects results
What are the different types of experiments?
Classic experiment, field experiment, web-based experiment, "natural" experiment
A formal experiment conducted outside the lab in a natural setting
Being used more frequently now, participants respond to online invitations
Nature (or other circumstances) designs and executes experiments that we can observe and analyze (natural control and experimental group)
Ex. Indiana counties and daylight savings
What are the strengths of the experimental methods?
1. Good tool for studying causal relationships (establishes time order, correlation, and nonspuriousness)
2. Ability to isolate the experimental variable impact over time
3. Studies using experiments can be easily replicated
What are the weaknesses of experimental methods?
1.Artificiality of lab setting
2. Almost always requires deception, must be vigilant to be ethical
3. Usually intrude on the lives of the subjects, more potential for psychological damage
What topics are appropriate for survey research?
May be used for descriptive, explanatory, and exploratory purposes
Useful for topics that have individuals as unit of analysis
Useful for measuring attitudes and orientations in a large population
A document containing questions and other types of items designed to solicit information appropriate for analysis
- Most common in survey research
- Also used with other research methods
What are the four methods for administering survey questionnaires?
2. Face-to-face Interview
Self-administered survey method
Respondents complete a hard copy of a questionnaire themselves
Face-to-face Interview survey method
Interviewer asks questions on the questionnaire in-person and records the responses
Telephone survey method
Interviewer asks questions on the questionnaire over the phone and records responses
Online survey method
Respondents complete a questionnaire online themselves
What are the guidelines for asking survey questions?
1. Choose appropriate question format
2. Make items clear
3. Avoid double-barreled questions
4. Respondents must be competent to answer
5. Short answers are best
6. Avoid biased terms
7. Avoid terms of negation
8. Respondents must be willing to answer
9. Questions should be relevant
A survey question intended for only some respondents, determined by responses to some other question.
Should be used sparingly with clear directions
How should we order items in a survey?
Start with an interesting non-threatening question
Questions should be logically ordered
Sensitive questions should not be placed at the beginning of a survey
Demographic questions should go at the end
How should we order items for interview surveys?
Demographic data should be in the beginning to build rapport
Move to sensitive items later o
What are key parts to questionnaire construction?
1. Questionnaire instructions
2. Pre-testing the questionnaire
Question instructions should
include clear instructions with introductory comments when appropriate
help respondents make sense of the survey and can make it more cohesive
Why should we pre-test a questionnaire when constructing it?
It helps researchers identify errors and lets researchers know if questions are being effectively communicated
What are the steps to self-administered questionnaires
1. Mail distribution and return
2. Monitoring returns
3. Follow-up mailings
4. Response rates aka completion/return rate
The number of people participating in a survey divided by the number selected in the sample
The percentage of questionnaires sent out that are returned
What are the general guidelines for survey interviewing
- Appearance and demeanor
- Familiarity with questionnaire
- following question wording exactly
- recording responses exactly
- probing for responses
A technique employed in interview to solicit a more complete answer to a question.
What is unobtrusive research?
Methods for studying social behavior without effecting it
- Learning about human behavior by observing what people unknowingly leave behind them
- Avoids many of the ethical issues present in other data-collection techniques
(Ex. medical students going through medical records to find data)
Why do we analyze existing statistics?
Existing statistics like the census bureau can provide a historical or conceptual context within which to locate original research
Can provide the main data for social science inquiry
Problems with unit of analysis in analyzing existing statistics
Existing statistics usually do not have individuals as unit of analysis
Usually broad data where information about individuals is not available
What are the problems with validity in analyzing existing statistics?
Data may exist in a form that do not directly match researchers interest
Tools for dealing with this problem
- logical reasoning
- replication ; several independent tests of given hypothesis
What are the problems with reliability in analyzing existing statistics?
Analysis depends on the quality of the statistics themselves
Tools are dealing with this problem
- investigating the nature of data collection and tabulation
What is comparative and historical research?
The examination of society (or other social units) over time and in comparison with one another
Benefits of comparative and historical research?
Provides historically grounded explanations of large-scale and sustainability important outcomes
Usually involves reading and evaluating historical documents
When reading and evaluating historical documents the research must do what 6 things?
1. Ask who composed the document
2. Ask for what purpose was the document created
3. Ask why the historical documents survived
4. Ask what are some of the biases in the document
5. Ask how inclusive is the sample contained in the document
6. Ask what is the time lapse between the observation of events documented and the witnesses documentation of that event
The study of recorded human communcations
What are some ways we can do a contact analysis
Through books, magazines, commercials, TV shows, web pages, poems, newspapers, song lyrics, paintings, emails
What are topics appropriate for content analysis
The study of any communication where there is a record
What are the steps to conducting content analysis?
Create operational definitions of key variables
What content are you going to study
Over what time period
In terms to content analyisis, sampling...
- Usually cannot observe all the content relevant to study
-Must establish the universe from which to sample (Ex. if looking at commercials what channels will you use?)
- Use appropriate probability sampling method
In terms of content analysis, unit of analysis...
- Must determine unit of analysis
- Unit of analysis may be different than unit of observation
In terms of content analyisis, coding...
Is the process whereby raw data is transformed into standardized form suitable for machine processing and analysis
In terms of content analysis what is manifest content?
The concrete terms contained in a communication, usually quantitative
In terms of content analysis what is latent content?
The underlying meaning of communication, usually qualitative
What are the strengths of content analysis?
- Time efficient
- Permits the study of processes over a long period of time
- Rarely has an effect on subject being studued
- Correction of Errors (easier to repeat a portion of the study if mistakes are made the first time around
What are the weaknesses of content analysis?
- Limited to examination of recorded communication
- Problems of Validity (manifest content)
- Problems of Reliability (latent content)
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
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Borrowed (for edit) LET Reviewer General Education…
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