SOC 204 Week 4 Lecture Notes
SOC 204 Week 4 Lecture Notes SOC 204
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Scott Morrison on Friday April 24, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 204 at University of Oregon taught by Dr. C.J. Pascoe in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 138 views. For similar materials see Intro Sociology in Social Science at University of Oregon.
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Date Created: 04/24/15
SOC 204 Lecture Notes Week 4 The Ethics and Techniques of Sociological Research Sociology has specific research methods a standard set of methods used to answer sociological questions Sociological Research Quantitative information that can be converted into a numerical form like a hard science Can be used to determine how one variable affects another Quantitative methods include surveys opinion polls census data Qualitative information that cannot be translated into numerical form meanings that people attach to their actions Qualitative methods include interviews ethnography Mixed Method Research mixing qualitative and quantitative research with each other This often leads to a more wellsupported study Deductive reasoning hypothesis 9 observations and evidence to explain hypothesis tends to be quantitative Inductive reasoning observations 9 hypothesis to explain observations tends to be qualitative Correlation vs Causality Correlation two things change at the same time and at the same rate They vary in proportion to one another Causation One thing causes another thing Much more difficult to prove than correlation requires much more experimentation and analysis Correlation is NOT the same as causality Independent Variable The variable that is to be manipulated in the experiment The values of this variable are known before the experiment Dependent Variable The variable that is to be measured in the experiment The values of this variable are not known before the experiment Moderating Variable Variables that actively interfere moderating variables cause the independent variable to affect the dependent variable Mediating Variable Explain but do not affect the IVDV relationship Control any variable that is held constant throughout the experiment Time Order The order in which things happen in a sequence of events this is relevant to proving causality because if thing A happens after thing B then thing A cannot possibly cause thing B In order to prove causality two variables must have correlation correct time order alternative explanations what else could explain the relationship How to do Good Research Operationalization Strictly define the variables f variables aren t defined how can you know that you are accurately measuring what you are trying to measure Validity Accuracy Ensuring that your experiment measures what you intend to measure Reliability Precision The same results are achieved if the experiment is done a second time Generalizability The results of a sample also apply to a large population Experimenter Effects The presence of a researcher can change the behavior of a subject for instance a researcher looking to study nosepicking isn t going to get accurate results if they sit alone in a room staring at a person and waiting for them to pick their nose Reflexivity Taking your position as a researcher seriously and weighing over how you could be affecting your results The ability to research a community and report your results acting as a voice for the community is a position of power and it should not be taken lightly Feminist Methodology How do power relationships affect study results How does personal bias eg sexism on part of the researcher sway the results of a study Using language or conducting research that excludes whole groups of populations like women for instance leaves massive chunks of populations untested leaving the researcher with results that are true and consistent for only part of a population Feminist methodology seeks to examine sociology in the sense that women can t be accurately studied by studying men and guessing about women based on what is known about men Three basic principles of feminist methodology treat women s experiences as legitimate sources of legitimate data participate in sociological research that leads to positive policy changes for women the researcher is just as important as the subject matter Data Collection estabish research topic write hypothesis determine experiment to test hypothesis operationalize define variables for validityaccuracy coect data but how There are many aspects to take into account for proper data collection Population who are you examining Women Black women Rich women The population is the ENTIRE group of people that you want to study Sample The sample is the portion of the population that you will actually be experimenting on It is too difficult to experiment on an entire population so a small group is selected and tested to represent the population 1000 n for a healthy sample size n sample size Methods Surveys Ordered series of questions designed to get information from respondents Can be done in person electronically or by mail Researchers can ask a variety of questions but the questions can only be closedended questions with a limited set of choices pick A B or C Part of the issue with surveys is that the same question worded differently can get very different responses People respond positively to positively worded questions and negatively to negatively worded questions quotnot allow will get more people to agree than forbid forbid is too harsh Good surveys will have a good variety of questions and very specific questions another issue with surveys is that questions can always be interpreted in multiple ways The question quotdo you smoke has a lot of different answers and it can t necessarily be limited to yes or no do I smoke if I smoked once as a college student Are we talking about smoking cigarettes specifically The reward given to the sample can also introduce bias offering free beer in exchange for participating in a survey about drinking will only bring participants who drink Experiments Take two groups that are as similar as possible alter only one variable in only one group and compare the groups to one another Experiments tend to be more valid than surveys because experiments aow researchers to get into subconscious behaviors that can t be examined by surveys Surveys allow people to make themselves look better by giving politically correct answers people can t give politically correct results in an experiment Informed voluntary consent is needed for any experiment It can be difficult to get consent for an experiment without invalidating the experiment if people know what s really being tested it might affect the results Interviews Like surveys but with openended questions no limited set of choices respondent can give any answer Interviews have back and forth communication between the researcher and the respondent Interviews have the capability to be qualitative AND quantitative unlike surveys which are usually just quantitative Ethnography Living inside of a community observing and reporting your results Requires participant observation meaning you are actively participating in the group that you are observing Ethnography is fascinatingly capable of finding divisions in groups that externally appear to be homogenous Some issues with ethnography include power relations being a researcher and speaking for a community when that community cannot do so itself is a very powerful position and should not be taken lightly