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Sociology 2

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scientific method
a systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity and consistency in researching a problem
operational definition
transformation of an abstract concept into indicators that are observable and measurable
hypothesis
a testable statement about the relationship between two or more variables
variable
a measurable trait or characteristic that is subject to change under different conditions
casual logic
the relationship between a condition or variable and a particular consequence with one event leading to each other
independent variable
the variable in a casual relationship that causes or influences a change in a second variable
dependent variable
the variable in a casual relationship that is subject to the influence of another variable
correlation
a relationship between two variables in which a change in one coincides with a change in the other
sample
a selection from a larger population that is statistically representative of that population
random sample
a sample for which every member of an entire population has an equal chance of being selected
validity
the degree to which a measure or scale truly reflects the phenomenon under study
reliability
the extent to which a measure produces consistent results
control variable
a factor that is held constant to test the relative impact of an independent variable
research design
a detailed plan or method for obtaining data scientifically
survey
a study, generally in the form of an interview or questionnaire, that provides researchers with information about how people think and act
interview
a face-to-face or telephone questioning of a respondent to obtain desired information
questionnaire
a printed, written, or computerized form used to obtain information from a respondent
quantitative research
research that collects and reports data primarily in numerical form
mean
a number calculated by adding a series of values and then dividing by the number of values
median
the midpoint, or number that divides a series of values into two groups of equal numbers of values
mode
the single most common value in a series of scores
qualitative research
research that relies on what is seen in field or naturalistic settings more than on statistical data
observation
a research technique in which an investigator collects information through direct participation and/or by closely watching a group or community
ethnography
the study of an entire social settings through extended systematic observation
experiment
an artificially created situation that allows a researcher to manipulate variables
experimental group
the subjects in an experiment who are exposed to an independent variable introduced by a researcher
control group
the subjects in an experiment who are not introduced to the independent variable by the researcher
Hawthorne effect
the unintended influence that observers of experiments can have on their subjects
secondary analysis
a variety of research techniques that make use of previously collected and publicly accessible information and data
content analysis
the systematic coding and objective recording of data, guided by some rationale
code of ethics
the standards of acceptable behavior developed by and for members of a profession
value neutrality
max weber's term for objectivity of sociologists in the interpretation of data