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Week 1 In-Class Notes

by: Lorena Roberts

Week 1 In-Class Notes CFS 395 001

Lorena Roberts
GPA 3.5
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About this Document

Notes from Tuesday, January 19th, and the mini-quiz that was today at the beginning of class!
Intro Research Methods/Stats
Dr. Greer Fox
Class Notes




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lorena Roberts on Thursday January 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CFS 395 001 at University of Tennessee - Knoxville taught by Dr. Greer Fox in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 93 views. For similar materials see Intro Research Methods/Stats in Child and Family Studies at University of Tennessee - Knoxville.


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Date Created: 01/21/16
January 19, 2016 Lecture 1: Role and Importance of Research (Chapter 1: pages 1-17) A. Why Do Research? a. Judicial and Policy Decisions: the Supreme Court in its 1954 decision on desegregation pioneered the use of social science research; social science research is used in policymaking and judicial decisions B. Primary Reasons for Research a. Curiosity b. Interest c. Discovery of Patterns d. Understanding Behavior- “What’s happening here? What’s going on?” e. What can we expect next? C. What is behavioral research all about? a. Increasing our awareness of regularities in our world b. Increasing the predictability of our world D. Intuition a. Something seems logical or familiar i. Opposites attract, old wives tales ii. We tend to rely on cultural influences b. Problem with intuition: i. Selective perception ii. Inaccurate observation: not seeing clearly iii. Overgeneralization iv. Cognitive biases- 1. Confirmation bias: the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories. E. Authority: Another Source of Information a. Trusted figures or entities b. Sources of authority i. Traditional- church ii. Expert- professors iii. Positional – parents c. Problem with reliance on authority i. Assertions do NOT equal evidence ii. **They can be wrong** F. The Scientific Method a. A shared philosophical approach to understanding the world b. A standard sequence of steps in formulating and answering questions c. Generally agree upon standards for evaluating the results G. Characteristics of the Scientific Method a. Skepticism- ideas must be evaluated on the basis of careful logic and results from scientific investigations b. Empirical- the idea that knowledge is based on observations c. Collaborative- science is a shared activity d. Adversarial- ideas do battle and so do researchers e. Peer Review strict scrutiny from others in the field H. Scientific Method a. A set of rules for conduct of research b. A set of standards for evaluating research outcomes c. An open system i. Open to questions ii. Open to scrutiny th iii. Open to a second or third, or 100 look iv. Open to a change of mind I. Ask the question, identify the important factors, formulate a hypothesis, collect relevant information, test the hypothesis, work with the hypothesis, reconsider the theory, ask new questions ask the question… J. Goals of Science a. To describe behavior b. To predict behavior c. To determine the causes of behavior d. To understand or explain behavior K. Descriptive Studies a. Rules for Observing b. Accurate observations c. Allows for discovery of patterns L. Prediction a. Given the patterns of behavior just described, what can be expected to come next and what can be anticipated? Can you describe trends over time? M. Causation- 3 Rules a. Time-order: cause X must precede effect Y b. Co-variation: a persistent relationship between cause and effect X and Y c. No other plausible factor Z could account for the relationship between X and Y N. Explanation: a. What did what just happen? b. How can we understand X  Y? c. What’s going on here? d. Theory becomes very important. O. Basic versus Applied Research a. Basic: fundamental processes and patterns b. Applied: immediate applicability P. Pseudoscience: people making claims that may or may not have any basis of actual research a. Examples of this include: Airborn and “Your Baby Can Read!” January 21, 2016 Mini-quiz: - Scientific method - X  Y - Intuition is useful in social research because it can be used as a source of ideas for research topics and hypotheses - “High school seniors with higher SAT scores will have higher college GPAs” is an example of predicting behavior. - “Males have higher average quantitative SAT scores than do females” is an example of describing behavior. In-class review of the article, “Managing Murder”


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