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Empircal Methods Commun

by: Holden Sauer

Empircal Methods Commun CMN 102

Holden Sauer
GPA 3.69

Robert Bell

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Robert Bell
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This 10 page Study Guide was uploaded by Holden Sauer on Tuesday September 8, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to CMN 102 at University of California - Davis taught by Robert Bell in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see /class/191807/cmn-102-university-of-california-davis in Communication at University of California - Davis.

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Date Created: 09/08/15
CMN102 Exam I Study Guide Chapter I Human Inquirv And Science Science offers an approach to both agreement reality and experiential reality An assertion must have both logical and empirical support 0 It must MAKE SENSE and it must NOT contradict actual observation Epistemology 7 the science of knowing Methodology 7 a subfield of epistemology the science of nding out Future circumstances are somehow caused or conditioned by present ones Pattems of cause and effect are probabilistic in nature 0 The effects occur more often when the causes occur than when the causes are absent 7 but not always Main goal of research to understand in order to make better predictions Human inquiry aims at answering both what and why questions 0 We pursue these goals by observing and guring out Two important sources of our secondhand knowledge tradition and authority Tradition 7 by accepting what everybody knows we avoid the overwhelming task of starting from scratch in our search for regularities and understanding Authority 7 We do well to trust the judgment of the person who has special training and expertise But people do make mistakes Errors in Ingui and Some Solutions 0 Inaccurate Observations 7 simply making observations are not always reliable 0 Overgeneralization 7 we often assume that a few similar events are evidence of a general pattern overgeneralize on the basis of limited observations 0 Solution replication 7 provides a safeguard repeating a study and checking to see ifsame results occur each time Selective Observation 7 once you have concluded that a particular pattem exists and have developed a general understanding of why it does you ll tend to focus on future events and situations that fit the pattern and you ll ignore those that don t you see what your eyes want you to see Illogical Reasoning 7 an exception can draw attention to a rule or to a supposed rule but it does not mean it can logically prove the rule it contradicts 0 Example gain bler s fallacy 7 consistent run of either good or bad luck is presumed to foreshadow its opposite NOT TRUE 0 Solution scientists avoid this pitfall by using systems of logic consciously and explicitly 0 EX post Facto Hypothesis 7 made up information ignoring information that disproves your point no matter how legitimate it is 0 Ego Involvement in Understanding 7 rationalization thinking about yourself over everything dismissing other stories or facts because it might affect the way you perceive yourself Premature Closure of Inquiry 7 idea that an issue is so understood that there is no need to do more research however things aren t always as they seem Mystification 7 occurs when we include magical supernatural factors that make it difficult to study people may not bother to study certain things because they think it s impossible to study for example studying love but it IS possible Na39139ve realism 7 we all live with a view that what s real is pretty obvious and that view usually gets us through our day However nature of reality is more complex than we tend to assume The Premodern View 7 our ancestors assumed that they saw things as they really were one single view instead of understanding that there can be multiple views 0 Example Stay out of that tree or you ll turn into a toad The Modern View 7 accepts such diversity as legitimate a philosophical different strokes for different folks o In the modern view a dandelion is simply a dandelion The Postmodern View 7 all that is real in the postmodern view are the images we get through our points of view 0 Example Husband and wife ghting and if the wife tells you her side of the story your view of the situation will look a lot different than the husband s view There is NO way people can totally step outside their humanness to see and understand the world as it really is There are only several subjective views Foundations of Social Science Two pillars of science are logic and observation A scienti c understanding of the world must 0 Make sense 0 Correspond with what we observe Social scientific theory 0 Has to do with what is not with what should be 0 Cannot settle debates on value 0 Aims to find patterns in social life Exceptions to regularities do not really matter 7 0 As long as the pattern still exists exceptions do not matter 0 Social regularities represent probabilistic patterns a general pattern does not need to be re ected in 100 of the observable cases Social scientists study primarily social patterns rather than individual ones these patterns re ect the aggregate or collective actions and situations of many individuals 0 They create theories about the nature of group life rather than individual life 0 They try to understand the systems in which people operate which in turn explain why people do what they do Variables elements in a system being researched made up of attributes 0 Example age occupation race sex Attributes 7 characteristics or qualities that describe an object 0 Example youngold doctorlawyerengineer AsianLatino MaleFemale Independent Variables 7 variable with values that are not problematical in an analysis but are taken as simply given presumed to cause or determine a dependent variable Dependent Variables 7 variable assumed to depend on or be caused by another Types of Causal Reasoning o Idiographic Explanation 7 when we have completed an idiographic explanation we feel that we fully understand the causes of what happened in this instance 0 Intention is to explain one specific case fully o Nomothetic Explanation 7 explain a class of situations or events rather than a single one seeks to explain economically using only one or just a few explanatory factors and it settles for a partial rather than a full explanation Inductive Theory 7 logical model in which principles move from the specific to the general from a set of observations to the discovery of a pattern that represents some degree of order among all given events 0 Discovery doesn t necessarily tell you why pattern exists 7 just that it does Deductive Theory 7 principles move from general to the specific 0 Moves from pattern that might be logically expected to occur 9 to observations that test whether the expected pattem actually occurs 0 Deduction begins with why and then moves to whether Quantitative Data 7 numerical data opens up possibility of statistical analyses Qualitative Data 7 nonnumerical data Pure research 7 gaining knowledge for its own sake Applied research 7 research for some other gain in return Chapter 2 Paradigms Theorv amp Research Paradigm 7 a model for observation and understanding which shapes both what we see and how we understand it frames of reference we use to organize our observations and reasoning Theories seek to explain paradigms provide ways of looking Macrotheory 7 focus attention on society at large or at least on large portions of it 0 Example economic classes in society int l relations institutions gov t etc Microtheory 7 deals with issues of social life at the level of individuals and small groups 0 Example dating behavior studentfaculty interactions jury deliberations etc Auguste Comte s positive philosophy 3 stages of history 0 Theological Stage 7 predominated world until about 1300 ce o Metaphysical Stage 7 replaced God with ideas such as nature and natural law 0 Positivism 7 scientific approach to negative elements in the Enlightenment knowledge based on observations through the ve senses rather than belief Con ict Paradigm 7 Karl Marx suggested that social behavior could best be seen as the process of con ict the attempt to dominate others and to avoid being dominated Symbolic Interactionism 7 most interactions revolved around individuals reaching a common understanding through language and other symbolic systems 0 Humana ability to 1ake the role of the other 0 Generalized other 7 gain idea of how people in general see things Ethnomethodology 7 methodology of the people people are continuously trying to make sense of the life they experience everyone is acting like a social scientist Stmcturalfunctionalism 7 social systems theory a social entity such as an organization or a whole society can be viewed as an organism Feminist paradigm 7 revealed the treatment of women or the experience of the oppression but often point to limitations in how other aspects of social life are examined Critical Race Theory civil rights movement 0 Interest convergence 7 thesis that majority group members will only support the interests of minorities when those actions also support their own interests Critical in the name of a paradigm or theory refers to a nontraditional View All our experiences are inescapably subjective we can only see through our own eyes Traditional Model of Science 0 Hypotheses 7 testable hypotheses formed from a theory 0 Operationalization 7 must specify the meanings of all the variables involved in it 0 Operational definition concrete de nition of something in terms of the operations by which observations are to be categorized 0 Observation 7 final step in traditional model of science looking at the world and making measurements of what is seen Traditional model of science uses deductive logic Null hypothesis 7 hypothesis that suggests there is no relationship among the variables under study In summary the scientific norm of logical reasoning provides a twoway bridge between theory and research Scienti c inquiry involves alternation between deduction and induction 0 Deductive phase 7 reason toward observation 0 Inductive phase 7 reason from observation Social scientists observe certain aspects of life then construct a theory through the inductive method 0 Field research direct observation of events in progress frequently used to develop theories through observation In the deductive model research is used to test theories In the inductive model theories are developed from the analysis of research data Science depends on two categories of activity LOGIC and OBSERVATION Chapter 3 The Ethics and Politics of Social Research Ethical issues in Social Research 0 Voluntary Participation O No Harm to the Participants 0 Informed consent subjects must base their voluntary participation in research projects on a full understanding of possible risks involved 0 Anonymity and Confidentiality O Anonymity when researcher and others cannot identify a given response with a given respondent 0 Con dentiality 7 when researcher can identify a given person s responses but essentially promises not to do so publicly O Deception o Debriefing 7 entails interviews to discover any problems generated by the research experience so that those problems can be corrected 0 Analysis and Reporting researchers have ethical obligations to their colleagues in the scienti c community negative ndings if any should be reported if they are at all related to the analysis 0 Institutional Review Boards IRB 7 governed by federal law ensure that risks faced by human participants in research are minimal 0 Professional Codes of Ethics 7 formal codes of conduct describing what is considered and 39 39 f 39 behavior Two Ethical Controversies 0 Trouble in the Tearoom 7 Laud Humphreys homosexual study in the bathroom 0 Gross invasion or no Lies and deception o Observing Human Obedience 7 Stanley Milgram s electric shock study 0 Play with human emotions Politics of Social Research 0 Ethics of social research deals mostly with the methods used political issues center on the substance and use of research 0 Ethical aspects of social research have formal codes of accepted conduct39 political aspects of social research do not 0 Researcher s personal political orientation should not interfere with or unduly in uence his or her scientific research Objectivity and Ideology o Value free sociology sociology like other sciences needed to remain unencumbered by personal values if it was to make a special contribution to society o Participatory action research committed to using social research for the purposes designed and valued by the subjects of the research Politics in Perspective 1 Science is not untouched by politics Science proceeds in the midst of political controversy and hostility of 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 quot enriches the study and practice of social research methods Reseachers can and may participate in public debates and express both their scientific expertise and personal values although they should not let their own values interfere with the quality of the research Ch agter 4 Research Design Three purposes of research 0 O O Exploratory Research 7 to start to familiarize a researcher with that topic How does this work 0 Appropriate for more persistent phenomena 0 Pursued through the use of focus groups 0 Most typically done for 3 purposes 1 satisfy researcher s curiosity 2 test the feasibility of undertaking a more extensive study 3 to develop the methods to be employed in any subsequent study 0 Source of grounded theoij Descriptive Research 7 researcher observes and describes what was observed What When How 0 Typically more accurate and precise than casual ones 0 Many qualitative studies aim primarily at description Explanatory Research 7 research to explain things Why Criteria for Nomothetic Causality 1 2 3 Variables must be correlated correlation Cause must take place before the effect time order Variables are nonspurious the effect cannot be explained in terms of a third variable 0 Spurious relationships rely on third variables Nomothetic model of causal analysis lends itself to hypothesis testing carefully specify variables you think are causally related then specify in the manner in which you will measure them False Criteria for Nomothetic Causality 1 Complete Causation nomothetic explanation is probabilistic and usually incomplete 2 Exceptional Cases exceptions do NOT disprove a causal relationship 3 v Majority of Cases causal relationships can be true even if they do not apply in a majority of cases Necessary cause 7 represents a condition that must be present for the effect to follow 0 Example you must take college courses in order to get a degree Suf cient cause 7 represents a condition that if present guarantees the effect in question 0 Example skipping an exam would be a sufficient cause for failing it but there are other ways to fail it as well 0 Cause can sufficient but not necessary Idiographic analysis of single cases 7 you may reach a depth of explanation from which it is reasonable to assume that things could not have turned out differently suggesting that you have determined the su ciem cause for a particular result Idiographic causes are sufficient but not necessary Units of Analysis 7 the who or what that is being studied nomothetic research often studies large collections of people or things also known as aggregates 0 Individuals 0 Descriptive studies with individuals as their units of analysis typically aim to describe the population that comprises those individuals 0 Explanatory studies aim to discover the social dynamics operating within that population 0 Groups 0 Organizations 0 Researcher might imply a population of all corporations 0 Social Interactions 0 Basis for one of the primary theoretical paradigms in the social sciences and the number of units of analysis that social interactions provide are nearly infinite 0 Social Artifacts 0 Any product of social beings or their behavior books movies poems pottery buildings songs etc 0 Units of analysis can be friendship choices court cases divorces etc Faulty Reasoning about Units of Analysis 0 The Ecological Fallacy 7 assumption that something learned about an ecological unit says something about the individuals that make up that unit Reductionism 7 attempts to explain a particular phenomenon in terms of limited and or lowerorder concepts reductionist explanation is not altogether wrong but is simply too limited Time Dimension 0 O Cross sectional study 7 involves observations of a sample of a population or phenomenon that are made at one point in time o Exploratory and descriptive studies are often cross sectional Longitudinal studies 7 designed to permit observations of the same phenomenon over an extended period of time recalling memories is also longitudinal 1 Trend studies type of longitudinal study that examines changes within a population over time 2 Cohort studies examines specific subpopulations as they change over time Vietnam veterans baby boomers etc 3 Panel studies examines the same set of people over time 0 Problem 7 panel attrition some respondents studied in the first wave maybe not participate in later waves Steps of Research Design Define purpose of your project exploratory descriptive or explanatory Conceptualization clarify meanings of variables Choice of Research Method interview surveys questionnaire etc Operationalization decide on measurement techniques 7 how data will be collected direct observation questionnaire etc Population and Sampling Observations Data Processing classificationcoding of written answer and transfer info to a computer 8 Analysis draw conclusions that re ect interests ideas and theories that initiated inquiry 9 Application repare or publish a report Research Design in Review 0 When designing a research project begin assessing three things your interests your abilities and the available resources


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