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Exam 1 study guide

by: Cassidy_SWK2018

Exam 1 study guide SWK 947

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exam 1
Social Work Research Methods
Dr. Joy Learman
Study Guide
50 ?




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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Cassidy_SWK2018 on Wednesday September 28, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SWK 947 at Meredith College taught by Dr. Joy Learman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Social Work Research Methods in Social Work at Meredith College.

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Date Created: 09/28/16
Mid­term Exam Review The mid­term will consist of multiple choice, true­false and short answer questions.  It will cover our text  chapters 1­5 (excluding chapter 4), in­class lectures, PowerPoint presentations, discussions and activities.  Although the test will draw from all course content, below are specific concepts from the text and  PowerPoint lectures to be familiar with from each chapter. The exam will be worth 15 points. Chapter 1:  Why Study Research? 1. Contrast scientific inquiry with nonscientific inquiry. a. Scientific method: an approach to inquiry that attempts to safeguard against errors  commonly made in casual human inquiry. Chief features include viewing all knowledge  as provisional and subject to refutation, searching for evidence based on systematic and  comprehensive observation, purusing objectivity in observation, and replicating studies.  (pg. 7) b. Unscientific method(s): relies on inaccurate methods of gathering evidence, such as  inaccurate observation, overgeneralization, selective observation, ex post facto  hypothesizing, ego involvement in understanding, illogical reasoning, premature closure  of inquiry, and pseudoscience. (pgs. 11­15) 2. Identify and describe flaws in unscientific sources of social work practice knowledge.  a. Inaccurate observation: casual observation that often results in mistakes. Because we  haven’t decided on a focus for our observation or a plan of how to observe, we miss  obvious things and notice unimportant things or think we notice something that isn’t  there. (pg. 11) b. Overgeneralization: when we look for patterns among the specific things we observe  around us, we often assume that a few similar events are evidence of a general pattern.  (pg. 11) c. Selective observation: overgeneralization may lead to this. Once you have concluded that  a particular pattern exists and developed a general understanding of why, then you will be tempted to pay attention to future events and situations that correspond with the pattern.  You will most likely ignore those that don’t correspond. (pg. 12) d. Ex Post Facto Hypothesizing: this is perfectly acceptable in science if it doesn’t stop  there. The argument you proposed clearly suggest that you should test it again in new  ways among a broader spectrum of people. This doesn’t mean your hypothesis is correct,  but you should continue testing it. (pg. 13) e. Ego involvement in understanding: our understanding of who we are is linked to our  understandings of things around us. When something we understand, in this case in  research, is proven or seems to be proven wrong or different, we can become defensive  because it makes us feel stupid. Thus, we are determined to prove ourselves right, which  can lead to faulty research. (pg. 13) f. straw person argument: someone attacks a particular position by distorting it in a w ay  that makes it easier to attack. (pg. 14) g. ad hominem attack: ties to discredit the person making an argument rather than addressing the argument itself. (pg. 14) h. bandwagon appeal: a relatively new intervention is touted on the basis of its growing  populatiry. (pg. 14) i. premature closure of inquiry: research begins with our desire to understand the world  around us, and the various flaws of unscientific methods often lead us to stop inquiry to  soon. Basically we think we’ve figured it all out. (pg. 14) j. pseudoscience: fake science about an area of inquiry or practice that has the surface  appearance of being scientific, but upon careful inspection can be seen to violate one or  more principles of the scientific method or to contain fallacies against which the scientific method attempts to guard. (pg. 373) 3. Identify the features of the scientific method. a. TROUT b. Tentative i. Everything we think we know today is open to question and subject to  reassessment, modification, or refuation c. Replication i. Even the best studies are open to question and need to be replicated d. Observation i. Knowledge is gournded in orderly and comprehensive observations e. Unbiased i. Observations should be unbiased f. Transparent i. All procedural details are openly specified for review and evaluation and to show  the basis of conclusions that were reached (pg. 8) 4. Explain the importance of replication in science. a. There are no foolproof ways for social science to guarantee that evidence is purely  objective, accurate, and gerneralizable, so the scientific method also calls for the  replication of studies. This is in keeping with the notion that lal knowledge is tentative  and refutable. Scientifically minded social workers should have the courage to question  not only cherished beliefs but also the conclusions of scientific studies and the method of  sstudy used. (pg. 8) 5. Identify the advantages and risks of relying on tradition and authority as ways to know things. a. Tradition i. Pros 1. You don’t have to start your research completely from scratch. You have  something to go off of.  ii. Cons 1. If you try to find a new understanding of something, you may face a lot  of criticism 2. You may not even think to try something so new iii. All from page 9 b. Authority i. Pros 1. Authority comes with skills and qualifications (usually) to recommend  their work ii. Cons 1. Authorities shouldn’t be trusted on things outside their realm of expertise 2. They should keep up iwht the changes in their field iii. Pg. 9 6. Explain why common sense and the popular media are risky alternatives to science as sources of  knowledge. a. Common sense can be wrong, it isn’t scientific, and it is relative to cultures and  individuals (pg. 10) b. Popular media gives us info colored by whoever is giving it, biased and usually not very  scientific (pg. 10) 7. What is a paradigm? a. A fundamental model or frame of reference that shpaes our observations and  understandings (pg. 17) 8. Contrast the following paradigms: positivism, social constructivism, and postmodernism. a. Positivism: a aparadigm that emphasizes the pursuit of objectivity in our quest to observe  and understand reality b. Social constructivism: a paradigm that emphasizes multiple subjective realities and the  impossibility of being completely objective c. Postmodernism: an extreme form of social constructivism that rejects the ntion of an  objective social reality 9. Discuss why it is important for social work practitioners to be able to utilize research and critique  research quality. a. Social work research aims to provide the practical knowledge that social workers need to  solve everyday practice problems b. Understanding research  can increase your practice’s effectiveness c. Learning to critically appraise whether adequate scientif evidence supports particular  interventins in certain practice situations becomes at least as important as learning how to  apply interventions in general. (pg. 4) 10. Describe the fit between research utilization and social work values and professional ethics. a. Being professional involves striving to make sure we provide our clients with the most  effective services b. We have compassion for our clients and care about helping them, so we seek scientific  evidence about the effects of the services we are providing  and of alternative services that might help them more.  c. The NASW Code of Ethicsrequires us to keep current with and critically appraise prctece­ related research in the professional literature, and to include evidence­based knowledge as part of the knowledge base for their practice.  d. Pgs. 4­5 Chapter 2:  Evidence­based Practice 1. Describe what evidence­based practice is and the role of practitioners. a. Evidence based practice: a process in which practiotioners consider the best scientific  evidence abailable pertinent to a particular practice decision a san important part of their  decision making. Pg. 22 2. Describe the steps in evidence­based practice. a. Formulate a question to understand practice needs i. Question based on what is known, will be relevant to the practice decidsion that  must be made and to what additional info is needed to best inform that decision 1. Hwat intervention, program or policy has th ebaest effect? 2. What factors best predict desirable or undesirable consequences? 3. What’s it like to have had my client’s epxperiencjes” 4. What assessment tool should be used? 3. Explain the roles of practice expertise and client attributes in the EBP process. 4. Distinguish definitions of EBP based on process versus a list of empirically supported  interventions. 5. Explain why defining EBP in terms of a list of empirically supported interventions can influence  practitioners to view EBP negatively. 6. Formulate an EBP question (CIAO). 7. Discuss the importance of critically appraising evidence in the EBP process. 8. Explain the importance of evaluating outcomes in the EBP process. 9.     Explain the controversies and misconceptions about evidence­based practice. 10.   Explain the hierarchy of evidence. 11.   Describe the cycle of evidence­based practice. Chapter 3:  Factors influencing the Research Process 1.  Differentiate qualitative and quantitative methods and their purposes. 2. Illustrate how qualitative and quantitative methods can be used to study the same phenomenon. 3. Describe how one's paradigm can influence one's research. 4. Describe the role of theory in social work research. 5. Describe the difference between the inductive method and the deductive method.  6. List and explain the major purposes of social work research. 7. Distinguish between cross­sectional studies and longitudinal studies. 8. Identify the main phases of the research process. Chapter 5:  Conceptualization in Quantitative and Qualitative Inquiry 1. Distinguish between the terms variable, hypothesis and attributes. 2. Recognize and construct testable, properly worded hypotheses. 3. Distinguish between independent and dependent variables. 4.  Understand the difference between moderating variables and mediating variables.  5. Identify and give examples of positive, negative, and curvilinear relationships. 6.    Define operational definition. 7. Operationally define abstract variables. 8. Discuss and give an example of how the choice of an operational definition can influence  research findings. 9. Identify the main advantages and disadvantages of self­reports, direct observation, and examining available records as ways to operationally define variables in social work. 10. Distinguish between and provide examples of the four levels of measurement. 11. Describe how conceptualization is different in qualitative inquiry as compared to quantitative  inquiry.


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