3401 Intro to Sociological Research
3401 Intro to Sociological Research 3401
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SOC3401 Introduction to Sociological Research Spring 2016 Test I Study Guide Final Human Inguiry and Science 1 Discuss firsthand and secondhand knowledge A What does each way of knowing entail There are 2 ways of knowing what you know 1St hand knowledge refers to direct experience or observation and second hand knowledge refers to resource someone told you and you agreedFor secondhand knowledge discuss both tradition and authority Traditional knowledge is inherited cultural word of mouth and knowledge through religion B Provide an example of each type of knowledge An example of firsthand knowledge would be that you went outside and saw that it was raining Therefore you have gained rsthand knowledge that it is raining outside An example of second hand knowledge would be that a doctor told you that your blood pressure was low You know your blood pressure is low through an authority C Discuss advantages and disadvantages of each 1St hand knowledge advantages probably more accurate1St hand knowledge disadvantages con rmation bias observation bias and false conclusion learn the hard way 2nd hand knowledge advantages backed up tried out safe they have more knowledge and expertise2nd hand knowledge disadvantages opinions over facts can t refute claims an expert isn t always really an expert and may be wrong 2 What is social scientific research What criteria do scientists rely on to accept the reality of things that they do not actually experience Social science is the science of people or collections of people such as groups rms societies or economics and their individual or collective behaviors Scientists accept the reality of things that they may not necessarily understand but may have special standards to do so Scienti c assertions must be logical and have empirical support 3 What does it mean to say that the end product of research is provisional The end product would be knowledge that addresses questions but not xed or absolute results only provisional truths The standard of a question may change with time so the end product is only t for the current period of time For example the human population today may be different than the human population in 10 years 4 Research involves critical thinking What are some characteristics of critical thinking Critical thinking involves judging carefully and being skeptical of every piece of information you receive This skepticism is healthy skepticism which discourages us from premature closing Critical thinking helps us understand ambiguities and nuances and encourages us to be open minded and willing to look at an issue from different perspectives Critical thinking obviously includes logical thinking Critical thinking also allows a researcher to create an examination of one s assumptions and biases take note of your assumptions and biases before starting research to help prevent them from steering your conclusions The examination of one s assumptions and biases relates to contra ideological thinking which promotes a researcher to look at what is rather what ought to be or what the researcher wants it to be A researcher must think for the public good and eliminate opinionated or assertive research Basically prevent observer and confirmation bias What does each error in inquiry entail Discuss an example of each error as well as how social scientific research protects us from making each error A Inaccurate observations Most of our observations are casual and semiconscious so our observations may be inaccurate Inaccurate observation occurs when we make conclusions based on hasty or incomplete observations As an example a young police officer once walked by a break room where a young records clerk was in tears Sitting on each side of her were the captain in charge of Internal Affairs and an IA investigator In a harsh tone of voice the captain was telling her to stop crying The officer walking by immediately thought Those jerks They could have taken her into their office before interrogating her Several years later the officer then a sergeant for whom the woman in question now worked learned that she had been extremely distraught over the breakup of her marriage and that the captain was a father figure to her who had actually been consoling her PROTECTIONS B Overgeneralization You observe one or a few samples and believe it s true for all For example you may see one woman driver crash her car so you believe all women drivers are bad drivers Social scientific research protects us from overgeneralizations through replication of experiments and by encouraging researchers to use a large sample C Selective observation Researchers look at what they want to look at and ignore all other factors Racial and ethnic stereotyping would be an example of negative selective observation The attitude that All whites are racists who seek to oppress minorities may cause the observer to see what he or she believes in the behaviors of all European Americans with who they come into contact Social scientific research prevents selective observations though having the researcher specify the number and kind of observations they make D Illogical reasoning Illogical reasoning refers to attribution errors Illogical reasoning happens when we decide that despite our past observations the future will be different For example the individual who plays the lottery loyally believing that eventually he has to win because someone always does is an example of illogical reasoning Social scienti c research protects us from illegal reasoning through having researchers use systems of logic consciously and explicitly 6 What is empiricismempirical evidence Empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience also known as empirical evidence data or knowledge also known as experience is a collective term for the knowledge or source of knowledge acquired by means of the senses particularly by observation and experimentation 7 What does it mean to say that sociologists seek social regularities Human behavior is patterned Social norm Common sense What are some objections to this and how are these objections refuted What is a fool s experiment Is it worth conducting Why Aggregates and Social Science Nature of groups not individual per se Contra psychologistsObjections Regularities are trivial we should study theories pertaining to common sense as there is an underlying cause to everything something is not what it is just because it s common sense Contradictory casesexceptions to the rule just because there are exceptions to the rule does not mean the pattern or social norm does not hold People involved could upset the pattern same as contradictory cases Fools experiment 8 How is sociological research different than psychological research Sociology deals with how society affects a person while psychology deals with how a person affects societyThe two disciplines tend to overlap in several fields However psychology also is concerned with determining the biological explanations for behavior which gives it some scientific credibility to base conclusions other than research studies alone On the other hand sociology is mostly based on theory and research studies to draw conclusions from 9 Define and differentiate the various components of each dialectic of social research 1 Idiographic and nomothetic explanation IDEGRAPHIC There are a large number of factors causing a social problem or phenomena Ideographic explanations are unique indepth and fully understands the causes in a particular case causes may include gender race ethnicity socioeconomic status friends group experience profession background etc NOMOTHETIC Limited number of factors In these evaluations you find the variables that in uence a social phenomenon then look at the relationship between the variables and the outcome Provides a partial explanation 2 Inductive and deductive theory and research INDUCTIVE Most inductive work is qualitative The starting point is the cycle Moves from a specific observations to broader generalizations and theories Inductive reasoning is more open ended and exploratory With this method once a researcher had identified patterns and trends amongst a set of data he or she can then formulate some hypothesis to explore and finally develop some general conclusion or theories DEDUCTIVE Most deductive work is quantitative The starting point is theories in the cycle Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the specific We might begin with thinking up a theory about our topic of interest We then narrow that down into more specific hypotheses that we can test We narrow down even further when we collect observations to address the hypotheses This ultimately leads us to be able to test the hypotheses with specific data a confirmation or not of our original theories Deductive reasoning is narrower and is concerned with testing or conforming hypotheses 3 Qualitative and quantitative data QUALITATIVE In depth research wants to get the big picture Includes large number of factors and is subjective Tied to words rather than numbers Qualitative research looks for meaning and is usually more up close and personal Compared to qualitative research qualitative research has a smaller sample Qualitative research includes focus groups interviews and field research May be a participant or nonparticipant research 4 Determinism and agency DETERMINISM How much of your behaviors are developed by structural factors it is determined by external factorsAGENCY Behavior by you Agency looks at an individual rather than external factors 5 Pure and applied research PURE Knowledge for the sake of understanding itAPPLIED To put knowledge into action using knowledge to serve a social problem 10 How are the first three dialectics related to one another QUALITATIVE ideographic and inductiveQUANTITATIVE nomothetic and deductive 11 Describe the four key components of the simplified research cycle What type of research is associated with theory as a starting point What type of research is associated with observation as a starting point Theories hypotheses observations and empirical generalizationDeductive theory starts at theories and inductive theory starts at observations Paradigms Theory and Research A What are three functions of theory Prevent ukes suggest possibilities eg policy and shape and direct research efforts Prevent us from taking something for granted or being clueless about life theory is about explanation allow for change B What is a paradigm Paradigms do not equal theoriesParadigms are not about explanations and are hard to see because they are taken for granted Often new paradigms entirely replace old paradigms Each paradigm is a differently way to see human social world what drives human behavior or stages throughout history D A paradigm is a theoretical orientation referring to a problem in society Basically it is like a theory or a perspective you have taken to analyze the problem What is the positivist paradigm and how does it relate to social research Positivist paradigm has 3 theories theological GOD metaphysical law of nature and positive stages scienti c truth can be positively verified through empirical observations and the logical analysis of what was observed and assumes we are rational actors which is not always the case What is one criticism of this paradigm Rational actors objectivity Reading and Writing Social Research 12 13 14 15 16 Who and what defines what literature is relevant for a sociological study Who The researcherWhat Your research question concepts Describe what is typically found in each part of a research article in sociology ie abstract introduction literature review methods findings discussionconclusion and references Abstract Summary of the article including purpose method and findingsINTRODUCTION Introduces topic concepts and perspectives used in the article relates to the researchMETHODS Explains how data was collected for the study including how the key concepts were measures and how they collected the dataFINDINGS Reveals the results of the study very much like reporting does not give interpretations DISCUSSIONCONCLUSION Interprets findings discusses implications of the study and gives directions for future research REFERENCES List of sources cited and used for the research In sociological research articles are the parts always explicitly labeled the abstract always labeled Abstract If not what are some other terms Not always sometimes they may not have a title or they may have a title that is not relevant to the topic What is particularly important about the references section especially when thinking about writing a sociological research paper The references may help you get articles relevant to your research topic A good snowball strategy When reading a sociological research article that uses survey methods what are some important questions to ask What about an article that uses field research methods SURVEY Were the questions open or closed ended How were they answered Were they exhaustiveexclusiveAre the questions clear Could respondents understand them well Is social desirability a problem How would you answer the surveyIs this a primary or secondary data analysisFIELD RESEARCH What theoretical paradigm informs the researcherWhat are the main variables in the study and how are they defined and measuredHow has the researcher affected the interpretation of what has been observed The Literature Review Laboratorv Session with Librarian wow What is a literature review Why do you conduct a literature review What can do it for you A body of text that aims to review the critical points of current knowledge andor methodologies about a topic Footprints to understand the development of topics and theories HINT It s not a simple summary of the research you find Rather a critical re ection of how it impacts the research you want to do What is peerreview What does it mean to say that an article is peerreviewedrefereed How should literature reviews be structured How should they not be structured What does a proper ASA bibliographic entry look like Research Design 17 Explain four purposes of research What is your goal when conducting each type of 18 research EXPLORATION what Researcher examines an interest or a new topic NEW TERRAIN Satisfy curiosity and gain understanding TESTING THE FEASIBILITY TO CONDUCT A MORE EXTENSIVE RESEARCHmostly QUALITATIVE INDUCTIVEDESCRIPTION What when and how Describes what is happening in a speci c geographic region ex US Census Bureau What s going on in the field QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVEEXPLANATION Seeking cause and explaining the relationship between the cause and outcome deductive tests hypotheses and connects hypotheses with the dataEVALUATION Answers does it work Evaluates thins with weakness and strength Applied research Measures the effectiveness of a program product or policy What are the key components of the research process See owchart 1 What does each step entail Is the research process linear and unidirectional INTEREST IDEA THEORY CONCEPUTALIZATIOIN CHOICE OF RESEARCH METHOD POPULATION AND SAMPLING OPERATIONALIZATION OBSERVATIONS DATA PROCESSING ANALYSIS AND APPLICATION VIEW FLOWCHART FOR STEP DESCRIPTION interest many sources Ideas Hypotheses The ow chart is not linear or unidirectional A What is theory Where do researchers turn to understand theories about their topics Theory is an explanation it is what it is not what it ought to be Theory is not a paradigm Source What is a variable What are attributes A logical set of attributes such as the variable sex is made up of the attributes male and female Attributes are a characteristic of a person or a thing What is an independent variable Dependent variable INDEPENDENT Is presumed to cause or determine a dependent variable a variable with values that are not problematical in an analysis bur are taken as simply given DEPENDENT A variable assumed to depend on or be caused by another called the independent variable 0 What does it mean that two variables are positively negatively or not correlated POSITIVE CORRELATION When one variable goes up the other does as well Example Increase in education is positively correlated to higher incomeNEGATIVE CORRELATION When one variable goes up the other goes down Example As the amount of hair treatment increases the health of hair decreasesNO CORRELATION Two variables are in no way related to each other Example An increase in skin lotion will not make a difference if one is doing better or worse during an exam 0 What is a hypothesis A null hypothesis Do we ever prove a hypothesis HYPOTHESES A proposed and testable explanation between two or more variables that predicts an outcome or may explain a phenomenonNULL HYPOTHESIS A hypothesis that states that there is no correlation between two or more variables We cannot prove a hypothesis because results are provisional 0 What is the difference between conceptualization and operationalization CONCEPTUALIZATION Meanings and de nitions the mental process whereby fuzzy and imprecise notions concepts are made more specific and precise taking a broad idea and making it smaller or Conceptualization creating a definition for somethingOPERATIONALIZATION Measurement issues the process of strictly de ning variables into measurable factors the process defines fuzzy concepts and allows then to be measured empirically and quantitatively Specified the exact operations involved in measuring a variable determining how you will measure your concept 0 What are the key research methods that sociologists use QUANTITATIVE Experiments and closeended surveysQUALITATIVE openended interviews and ethnographic field research secondary data analysis 0 How do researchers select a research method What is triangulation Researchers select a research method through methodological triangulation Methodological triangulation is the use of two or more research methods in a single piece of research to check the reliability and validity of research evidence 0 What is a population A sample POPULATION Who we are trying to generalizeSAMPLE Individuals or objects from the sample who we are going to study 0 What are the key things that should be discussed at the end of a research report Interpretation of findings analysis future research instructions limitations theoreticalsocialpolicy implications critiques and drawbacks 19 What are the key components of conducting a survey See owchart 2 Sampling 20 What is sampling What is the typical goal of sampling particularly for quantitative survey research Sampling is who or what you are studying from the population The goal of sampling is to be representative of the population and find an empirical generalizability of findings make a general statement about the population 21 Why is sampling necessary Why is it important Sampling is important because it determines what conclusion we will draw and it includes a vast diversity variation in opinions and demographics 22 What is the main difference between probability and nonprobability sampling techniques Probability sampling A sampling technique that involves EPSEM equal probability of selection method Informed by probability theory more likely to get a representative sample than nonprobability samplingNonprobability sampling Not informed by probability theory and does not involve EPSEM EPSEM Everyone has an equal chance of getting selected for a sample 23 Can sampling strategies be used for any unit of analysis No 24 What is an element A population A sample ELEMENT A unit of which a population is comprisedPOPULATION Total group of subjects for whowhat you want to understand who we are trying to generalizeSAMPLE Whowhat you re actually are studying 25 What is the difference between a respondent participant subject and informant Respondents amp Participants are in surveysSubjects are part of experiments INFORMANT A respondent with a good amount of knowledge on our research question example You are conducting a research on hormones an your respondent is an endocrinologistRESPONDENT Any individual who responds to a surveyPARTICIPANT Anyone who took part in somethingSUBJECT The object typically an individual or group observed in an experiment or social scene NonProbability Sampling Techniques 26 Describe the logic of each of the following sampling techniques along with their advantages and disadvantages A Convenience sampling CONVIENCE SAMPLING Accidental or haphazard sampling selection based on convenience anything goes Examples surveys at the mall or online surveys Convenience sampling is not random sampling in sociology random means something very specificDISADVANTAGES Lost generalizability because the sample is not very speci c and doesn t necessarily capture diversity we re not using EPSEM you can only capture diversity by luckADVANTATGES It s convenient and easy it is good to use as a pretesting instrument B Quota sampling Selects a sample based on the basis of prespecified characteristics Matrix You must identify cells and percentage quota frames Selecting a sample that has the same distributions of characteristics as the populationDISADVANTAGES You need to know what each cell looks like you don t have a list to refer to and there is no guarantee that each cell is representativeADVANTAGES C Snowball sampling Sampling based on networks Example You sampled on person about political views and they refer you to sample their friend who is very involved in political groups Chain referral SNOWBALL EFFECT a snowball picks up more and more snow as it rolls downADVANTAGES Useful when looking for a difficult to locate subject like left handed people DISADVANTAGE They might all have the same ideas and there may be no diversity homophily birds of a feather flock together D Purposive sampling Used widely by qualitative and small studies Selects a sample based on the knowledge of a population its elements and the purpose of a study Makes you think about the goal of your studyADVANTAGES Good for finding informative cases difficult to reach populations and is useful for deviant cases not politically orientedDISADVANTAGES 27 What are deviant cases Cases that are out of the social norm and not politically oriented Contradicts your data analysis 28 Are convenience samples random in a statistical sense Explain No in the social world random means something unplanned but in a statistical sense it means something very specific Participants should have specific characteristics 29 What is homophily What sampling technique is it related to and how 30 When should a researcher use nonprobability sampling techniques Discuss how researchers should approach these types of sampling techniques Nonprobability sampling is a sampling technique where the samples are gathered in a process that does give all the individuals in the population equal chances of being selected Should be used when bounded by time money and workforce Researchers can disclose the method in their research We can check the demographics of individuals in a research Probability Sampling Techniques 31 What is sampling biasbiased sample Sampling bias means that those selected are not typical or representative of the larger population they re been chosen from This 32 33 34 35 36 kind of bias does not have to be intentional In fact it s virtually inevitable when you pick people by the seat of your pants Discuss homogeneity variation in the population and sample size particularly in terms of how they potentially impact sampling bias In sample bias if all samples were homogeneous any single case would suffice as a sample to study characteristics of the whole population because the human beings who compose any real population are quite heterogeneous varying in many waysa sample of convenience is easy but not representative and selecting and observing those people who are most readily at hand is the simplest method perhaps but it s unlikely to provide a sample that accurately re ects the population When dealing with sample bias you must select a sample that represents the population for example a researcher that wants to study university students outside a library would not obtain a good representative sample due to the fact that the researcher could be biased and pass on people they have or see as unapproachable What is representativeness The quality of a sample having the same distribution of characteristics as the population from which it was selected It is enhanced by probability sampling and provides for generalizability and the use of inferential statistics A Does representativeness refer to all characteristics of the population Note that samples need not be representative in all aspects representativeness concerns only those characteristics that are relevant to the substantive interests of the study However you may not know in advance which characteristics are relevant Do researchers ever get a perfectly representative sample Representative samples even carefully selected EPSEM samples SELDOM if ever perfectly represent the populations from which they are drawn What is EPSEM Clearly explain the logic of EPSEM Why is it important EPSEM equal probability of selection method is a sample design in which each member of a population has the same chance of being selected into the sample It is important because a basic principle of probability sampling is that a sample will be representative of the population from which it is selected if all members of the population have an equal chance of being selected in the sample What is a sampling frame Is it always complete or accurate What is coverage error A sampling frame is the list or quasi list of elements from which a probability sample is selected For example if a sample of students is selected from a student roster the roster is the sampling frame A sampling frame is not always complete or accurate A coverage error is an error that results from differences between the sampling frame and the target population can involve inclusion and exclusion What is nonresponse error What is sampling error due to sampling variability A non response error occurs when sampling units selected for a sample are not interviewed Sample units typically do not respond because they are unable 10 unavailable or unwilling to do so For example in a webbased survey the link may be incompatible with a respondent s 37 Describe the logic of each of the following probability sampling techniques along with their advantages and disadvantages A Simple random sampling Simple Random Sampling is a basic sampling method assumed in the statistical computations of social research It is a type of probability sampling in which the units composing a population are assigned numbers A set of random numbers is then generated and the units having those numbers are included in the sampleADVANTAGES If a sampling frame is in a machinereadable drive a simple random sample can be selected automatically by computer if the computer program numbers the elements in the sampling frame generates its own series of random numbers and prints out the list of elements selectedDISADVANTAGES It is randomly used in practice It is not usually the most efficient method and it can be laborious if done manually typically it requires a list of elements and when available researchers usually employ systematic sampling instead B Systematic sampling with random start Is a type of probability sampling in which every kth unit in a list is selected in the samplefor example every 25th student in the college directory for example you would begin by selecting a random number between one and ten the element having that number is included in the sample plus every tenth element following it also known as a SYSTEMATIC SAMPLE WITH A RANDOM STARTSAMPLING INTERVAL is the standard distance between elements selected in the sample ten in the preceding sampleSAMPLING RATIO is the proportion of elements in the population that are selected such as 110 in the sample In the case of systematic sampling empirically the results are virtually identical to that of simple random samplingDISADVANTAGES The arrangement of elements in the list can make systematic sampling unwise such as arrangement is called PERIODICITY and if the list of elements is arranged in a cyclical pattern that coincides with the sampling interval a grossly biased sample can be drawn Basically if you arrange the sample in a particular order such as military rank you can bias the sample when you select every 10th person who might be all the same rank and not representative of the population C Stratified sampling It is a modification of simple random sampling and systematic sampling with random startis a method for obtaining a greater degree of representativeness by decreasing the probable sampling error this is done by grouping the units composing a population into homogeneous groups or strata before sampling and can be used in conjunction with simple random systematic or cluster sampling and improves the 11 representativeness of a sample at least in terms of the variables used for strati cation Strati cation is based on the fact of a homogeneous population produces a smaller sampling errors than does a heterogeneous population if the population is spit 5050 on the statement then the sampling error will be much greater second factor in sampling theoryADVANTAGES Ensures the proper representation of the strati cation variables this in turn enhances the representation of other variables related to them and is more likely than a simple random sample to be more representative on several variables Multistage cluster sampling May be used when it s either impossible or impractical to compile an exhaustive list of the elements composing the target population such as all church members in the United StatesCLUSTER SAMPLING is a multistage sampling in which natural groups cluster are sampled initially with the members of each selected group being subsampled afterward For example you might select a sample of US college and universities from a directory get lists of the students at all the selected schools then draw samples of students from eachit makes possible those studies that would otherwise be impossible 38 What is a sampling interval With which probability sampling technique is it associated 39 What is periodicity Is it methodological desirable What is implicit stratification Is it methodological desirable What sampling techniques are they related to and how History of Human Subjects Protection 40 What happened in each of these studies Brie y describe A Nazi Germany research Nazi Germany WWIIJoseph Mangle tried to experiment on Jewish individuals to make the perfect race the study of Eugenics Tuskegee syphilis study 19321972 African American general population poor indigent sharecroppers in Alabama were enrolled in study for bad blood but it was under false pretenses Around 1947 Penicillin as not given to the test subjects these participants infected their spouses Milgram s studies of obedience to authority 1960s Obedience lm It shows a aw in human nature Humphrey s tearoom trade study 1970s This study was done in a San Francisco bath house It was to observe men who engaged in sexual acts when out of the public eye Zimbardo s psychology of prison study at Stanford This study was conducted in the basement at Stanford University students assumed the role of prison guards and prisoners The study took a turn when the students started to act 12 like what they were portraying Students who were prisoners asked to be let out of the make shift cells which made the researchers end the study 41 What is the significance of the National Research Act 1974 It created the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects or Biomedical and Behavioral Research The commission was charged with the task of determining the fundamental ethical principles that should guide research on human subjects The commission subsequently published The Belmont Report which elaborated on three key principles 1 RESPECT FOR PERSONS Participation must be completely voluntary and based on full understanding of what is involved special caution must be taken to protect minors and those lacking complete autonomy eg prisoners 2 BENEFICENCE Subjects must not be harmed by the research and should benefit from it 3 JUSTICE The burdens and benefits of research should be shared fairly within the society The National Research Act also established a requirement for Institutional Review Boards IRBs through which universities would monitor compliance with ethical standards in research involving human subjects Conducting Ethical Research 42 What is the Belmont Report 1979 What are its three basic ethical principles Identify specific Violations of Belmont Report principles in each of the five historical cases WWII research Tuskegee etc 1 Discuss each principle Respect for persons Treat them like autonomous agents and person with diminished autonomy are entitled to special protection eg special populations For example Children who are not mature enough Elderly the incarcerated 2 Beneficence Do no harm Hippocratic maxim types of harm Maximize possible benefits and minimize possible harms 3 Justice Fairness in the distribution of both benefits and burdens of research who ought to receive the benefits of research and bear its burden Injustice occurs when some benefit to which a person is entitled is denied without good reason or when some burden is imposed unduly 43 A Principle 1 What does respect for persons entail I Define autonomous agents I What are some examples of individuals with diminished autonomy B Principle 2 What does beneficence entail I Discuss the Hippocratic maxim Do no harm What type of harm can human subjects experience Discuss different types of harm and describe examples of each C Principle 3 What does the principle of justice entail I Discuss the benefits and burdens of research and when injustice occurs 13 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 I Who has historically bore the burden of research Who has traditionally benefited from research Discuss What is informed consent What are the three components of informed consent What are Institutional Review Boards IRB s What is CITI What role do these play for institutional researchers To what professional and ethical code are sociologists bound What is the difference between anonymity and confidentiality Ethical research involves balance What is being balanced Explain Ultimately who bears the burden of conducting ethical researcher and protecting human subjects eg researchers IRBs subjects Do ethics issues only affect the data collection phase Are there ethical concerns in data analysis and reporting Nomothetic Explanation and Time Issues in Research 51 52 53 54 Describe the three criteria for establishing nomothetic causality 1 The variable must be correlated it must be based on social research assertions on actual observations rather than assumptions2 The cause takes place before the effect 3 The variables are nonspurious the effect cannot be explained in terms of some third variable for example when social researchers say there is a casual relationship between say education and racial tolerance they mean 1 there is a statistical correlation between the two variables 2 a person s educational level occurred before their current level of tolerance or prejudice and 3 there is no third variable that can explain away the observed correlation as spurious Describe the three false criteria for nomothetic causality When they say that one variable causes another they do not necessarily mean to suggest complete causation to account for exceptional cases or to claim that the causation exist in a majority of casesCOMPLETE CAUSATION A nomothetic explanation is probabilistic and usually incompleteEXCEPTIONAL CASES Nomothetic explanations do not disapprove a causal relationship for example women are more religious than men in the US however gender may be a cause of religiosity those exceptional cases do not disprove the overall causal patternMAJORTIY OF CASES Causal relationships can be true even if they do not apply in a majority of casesfor example children who are not supervised after school are more likely to become delinquent than are those who are supervised when actually lack of supervision is a cause of delinquencyaccording to social researchers can be seen more clearly in terms of necessary and sufficient causes How are crosssectional designs different from longitudinal designs Crosssectional designs are based on OBSERVATIONS representing a single point in time while longitudinal designs are a study involving data collected at DIFFERENT POINTS IN TIME In a crosssectional study how is one time defined It is defined as dealing with one timeframe a snapshot l4 55 Describe the logic of panel studies trend studies and cohort studies What is a cohort The panel study examines the same set of people each time for example we could interview the same sample of voters every month during an election campaign asking for whom they intended to vote Through such a study would allow us to analyze overall trends in voter preferences for different candidates It would also show the precise patterns of persistence and change in intentionsTrend study is a type of longitudinal study in which a given characteristic of some population is monitored over timecohort studya study in which some specific subpopulation or cohort is studied over time although data may be collected from different members in each set of observations COHORT is an age group such as people born during the 1950s but it can also be some other time grouping 56 What is panel attrition What is panel conditioning When and why are these concerns for researchers PANEL ATTRITION Subject dropping out of a studyPANEL CONDTIONING 57 What is a unit of analysis The unit of analysis is the what or whom being studied and in social science research the most typical units of analysis are individual people 58 Why is it important to clearly identify a study s unit of analysis What is the ecological fallacy It is potential to draw invalid conclusions categorizing possible units of analysis may make the concept seem more complicated than it needs to be what you call a given unit of analysis a group a formal organization or a social artifact is irrelevant The key is to be clear about what your unit of analysis is you run the risk of drawing invalid conclusions because your assertions about one unit of analysis are actually based on the examination of another In this context ecological refers to groups or sets or systems something larger than individuals the ecological fallacy is the assumption that something learned about an ecological unit says something about the individuals making up that unit social researchers very often have little choice but to address a particular research question through an ecological analysis 15
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