SOC2002 Lecture 4

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  • SOC2002 Lecture 4

    1. 1. SOC2002: Sociological Analysis and Research Methods LECTURE 4: Ethics and Quality in Social Research Lecturer: Bonnie Green [email_address]
    2. 2. Today: <ul><li>Research Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Quality Criteria in Social Research </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule changes and project plans </li></ul>
    3. 3. The research process: what we’ve covered so far… Reporting Topic/Object 1 2 3 4 5 6 Research question Research design Data collection Data analysis Interpretation Literature review, and/or field reconnaissance Choosing indicators & Project Planning
    4. 4. The research process: Today… Reporting Topic/Object 1 2 3 4 5 6 Research question Research design Data collection Data analysis Interpretation Literature review, and/or field reconnaissance Choosing indicators & Project Planning Ethics Quality
    5. 5. Ethics and Quality in Social Research <ul><li>Research Ethics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do we mean by ‘ethics’ in social research? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are these a vital part of your research project? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quality Criteria in Social Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In quantitative research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In qualitative research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Two markers of ‘good conduct’ </li></ul>
    6. 6. Ethical issues in social research <ul><li>What is the relationship between ‘ethics’ and social research? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical conduct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Codes of ethics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professionalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duty towards people participating in your project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consideration of the ethical implications of your work is not an optional extra – it is an integral part of research design </li></ul>
    7. 7. Ethical issues in social research <ul><li>Ethical Conduct </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research decisions that “not in terms of expediency or efficiency but by reference to standards of what is morally right or wrong” (May, 2001: 59) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ ethical judgements in social research follow a set of principle which guide to conduct of research itself” (May, 2001: 60) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Usually laid out formally, in a set of “Ethical Guidelines” </li></ul>
    8. 8. Ethical issues in social research <ul><li>What ethical guidelines apply to me? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HuSS Ethics Guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>British Sociological Association Guidelines ( www.britsoc.org.uk ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ESRC Research Ethics Framework ( http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/opportunities/research_ethics_framework/ ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure you have read and understood these guideline – and adhere to them! </li></ul>
    9. 9. Ethical issues in social research <ul><li>Basic principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The voluntary nature of participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The informed nature of participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment of possible harm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Declaration of interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data protection </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Ethical issues in social research <ul><li>The voluntary nature of participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation in any research project must be voluntary and free from coercion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The informed nature of participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants must be informed of the purpose of the research, its methods, and the intended use of the data they provide - it is your job to make sure they have understood this information! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Informed Consent” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants should be fully informed before giving explicit (preferably written) consent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participant information sheets and consent forms </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Ethical issues in social research <ul><li>Assessment of possible harms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You must assess the potential for any possible harm to come to your participants should they consent to taking part in your research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This includes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physical harm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological or emotional distress </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social stigmatisation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Legal, political or economic repercussions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… .any others specific to your project </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If there are any possible harms these must be explicitly stated on your participant information sheets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If there are not, it is often worth stating that too </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The are possible legal repercussions for yourself if a participant comes to any harm as a result of your research </li></ul>
    12. 12. Ethical issues in social research <ul><li>Declaration of interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants should be informed about who is funding or supporting the research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants should be informed of any commercial gains directly associated with the project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data protection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participant data must be anonymised before release </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You are responsible for the secure storage of the data you collect. Consult the University’s Data Protection Officer if you are in any doubt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participant must be informed of what will happen to their data at the end of the project </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Ethical issues in social research <ul><li>Ethical conduct is of primary importance in social research </li></ul><ul><li>If your research is judged to be unethical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The ethics committee will stop you from going ahead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You may face penalties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any eventual knowledge you produce will be worthless </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Steps towards ethical research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read the guidelines, and consider the issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to look at things from a participant’s point of view </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct a full assessment of possible harms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare necessary documents in advance of ethical review, including participant information sheets and consent forms </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Quality criteria in social research <ul><li>An Activity! </li></ul>
    15. 15. Quality criteria in social research <ul><li>What are ‘quality criteria’ in social research? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we know ‘good’ research? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we know ‘bad’ research? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3 points each, in 2 minutes – either on your own or with the people next to you. </li></ul><ul><li>Go! </li></ul>
    16. 16. Quality criteria in social research <ul><li>What are ‘quality criteria’ in social research? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we know ‘good’ research? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we know ‘bad research? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Note - the criteria are different for quantitative and qualitative research </li></ul>
    17. 17. Quality criteria in quantitative research <ul><li>Quality in quantitative research concerns: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>whether the measures we use are consistent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>whether we are studying what we think we are studying </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These concerns map onto the criteria: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validity </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Quality criteria in quantitative research: Reliability & Validity <ul><li>What is ‘reliability’? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The extent to which an experiment, test or measurement procedure yields the same result on repeated trials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is ‘validity’? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The extent to which an experiment, test or measurement procedure really measures what you think it measures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Both affect your ability to make claims about the world based on your findings </li></ul>
    19. 19. Quality criteria in quantitative research: Reliability <ul><li>Features of reliability: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeatable measures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The degree to which a measurement given repeatedly remains the same </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stability over time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where measures are being taken repeatedly over time, need to check they are stable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal consistency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The extent to which different measures on the same test associate with each other </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Quality criteria in quantitative research: Validity <ul><li>Features of validity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concurrent validity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The extent to which scores on an instrument are correlated with some measure of behaviour or performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predictive validity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The degree to which scores are confirmed by some later participant behaviour </li></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Quality criteria in quantitative research: Validity <ul><li>Features of validity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Construct validity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The extent to which a measure correlates with other measures design to target the same theoretical construct </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Face validity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The degree to which the test seems to provide a reasonable measure of the concept it is intended to measure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Related to content validity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the extent to which a measure adequately and comprehensively measures what it claims to be measuring </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Quality criteria in quantitative research: <ul><li>Reliability and validity are related </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A finding can be reliable, but not necessarily valid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It can be repeatable, stable and consistent, without measuring what it was intended to measure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A finding can be valid, but not necessarily reliable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It can ‘hit the bulls-eye’ with respect to concurrence, prediction and ability to access underlying construct, but without measures being repeatable, stable and consistent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t think you can attend to one of these and the other will follow! </li></ul><ul><li>For more information look at Kirk and Miller (1985). Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research . London: Sage. </li></ul>
    23. 23. Quality criteria in qualitative research <ul><li>Quality in qualitative research concerns: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The indication of methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representativeness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional equivalents to reliability and validity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These concerns map onto criteria related to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Triangulation, transparency and procedural clarity and corpus construction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thick description, local surprise, and communicative validation </li></ul></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Quality criteria in qualitative research: Confidence <ul><li>“confidence indicators allow the reader…to be ‘confident’ that the results…represent ‘reality’” (Bauer and Gaskell, 2000: 344) </li></ul><ul><li>Markers of confidence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Triangulation and reflexivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transparency and procedural clarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corpus construction </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Quality criteria in qualitative research: Relevance <ul><li>“ relevance indicators…refer to the extent to which the research is viable in the sense that links to theory ‘internally’ or is a surprise vis-à-vis some common sense ‘externally’” (Bauer and Gaskell, 2000: 345) </li></ul><ul><li>Markers of relevance: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thick description </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>local surprise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>communicative validation </li></ul></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Quality criteria in qualitative research: <ul><li>In qualitative research confidence and relevance are the key criteria </li></ul><ul><li>They are related to reliability and validity, but are significantly different from them </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think you can attend to one of these and the other will follow! </li></ul><ul><li>For more information look at Bauer and Gaskell (2000). “Towards Public Accountability”. In Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound. London: Sage. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Ethics and Quality in Social Research: Summary <ul><li>Ethics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Possibly one of the most important considerations in research design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is up to you to make sure you gain approval and follow the guideline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You could be in serious trouble if you don’t! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality criteria are an important way of separating ‘good’ social research from ‘bad’ – make sure you are on the right side on the line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The criteria are different for quantitative and qualitative research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attend to the relevant criteria and build them into your research design at an early stage </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Finally… <ul><li>Alterations to the lecture/seminar and assessment schedules </li></ul><ul><li>Project Plans </li></ul>

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