2 Sociological Research
Chapter Outline <ul><li>What is the Scientific Method? </li></ul><ul><li>Major Research Designs </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics o...
What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Scientific Method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The  scientific method  is a systematic, or...
What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>State as clearly as possible what you hope to investigate. </li></ul><ul><li>Operat...
What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature  is the relevant scholarl...
What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Formulating the Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A  hypothesis  is a speculative st...
What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Formulating the Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Types of Variables: </li></ul></ul...
What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Formulating the Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Correlations  exist when a change ...
What is the Scientific Method? Figure 2.2: Causal Logic
What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Collecting and Analyzing Data </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting the Sample </li></ul><ul>...
What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Collecting and Analyzing Data </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring Validity and Reliability <...
What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Developing the Conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting the Hypothesis </li></ul><ul...
What is the Scientific Method? Figure 2.1: The Scientific Method
Major Research Designs <ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>A study generally in the form of an interview or questionnaire. <...
Major Research Designs <ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--High response rate. </li></ul>...
Major Research Designs <ul><li>Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Collecting information through direct participation and/or o...
Major Research Designs <ul><li>Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Participant Observation : When the researcher “joins” a grou...
Major Research Designs <ul><li>Experiments </li></ul><ul><li>The artificially-created situation that allows the researcher...
Major Research Designs <ul><li>Use of Existing Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary Analysis : Research techniques making u...
Major Research Designs Table 2-1: Existing Sources Used in Sociological Research
Ethics of Research <ul><li>Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain objectivity. </li></ul><ul><li>Respect the subject’s righ...
Technology and Sociological Research <ul><li>Computers </li></ul><ul><li>Have extended the range and capability to conduct...
Social Policy and Sociological Research <ul><li>Studying Human Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>The Issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li...
Social Policy and Sociological Research <ul><li>Studying Human Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>The Setting </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Social Policy and Sociological Research <ul><li>Studying Human Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Sociological Insights </li></ul...
Social Policy and Sociological Research <ul><li>Studying Human Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Initiatives </li></ul><u...
Social Policy and Sociological Research Figure 2.4: Percent of Television Shows that Contain Sexual Content (source: Kaise...
Social Policy and Sociological Research Figure 2.5: Views on Sex before Marriage
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Chapter02

  1. 2. 2 Sociological Research
  2. 3. Chapter Outline <ul><li>What is the Scientific Method? </li></ul><ul><li>Major Research Designs </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics of Research </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and Sociological Research </li></ul><ul><li>Social Policy and Sociological Research: Studying Human Sexuality </li></ul>
  3. 4. What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Scientific Method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The scientific method is a systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity and consistency in researching a problem. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>State as clearly as possible what you hope to investigate. </li></ul><ul><li>Operational Definition : An explanation of an abstract concept that is specific enough to measure. </li></ul><ul><li>Defining the Problem </li></ul>
  5. 6. What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Reviewing the Literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature is the relevant scholarly studies and information that pertains to the subject you’re interested in researching. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewing the literature helps refine the problem under study, clarify possible techniques to be used in collecting data, and eliminate or reduce avoidable mistakes. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Formulating the Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A hypothesis is a speculative statement about the relationship between two or more factors known as variables . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A variable is a measurable trait or characteristic that is subject to change under different conditions. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Formulating the Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Types of Variables: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--An independent variable is the variable that is hypothesized to cause or influence another. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--A dependent variable is the variable whose action depends on the influence of the independent variable. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Formulating the Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Correlations exist when a change in one variable coincides with a change in another. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correlations indicate that causality may be present. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. What is the Scientific Method? Figure 2.2: Causal Logic
  10. 11. What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Collecting and Analyzing Data </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting the Sample </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-- A Sample is a selection from a larger population that is statistically representative of that population. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--In a Random Sample , every member of an entire population being studied has the same chance of being selected. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Collecting and Analyzing Data </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring Validity and Reliability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-- Validity : The degree to which a measure truly reflects the phenomenon being studied. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-- Reliability : The extent to which a measure provides consistent results. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. What is the Scientific Method? <ul><li>Developing the Conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting the Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--Sociological studies do not always generate data that support the original hypothesis. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Controlling for Other Factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--Control variables are factors that are held constant to test the impact of the independent variable </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. What is the Scientific Method? Figure 2.1: The Scientific Method
  14. 15. Major Research Designs <ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>A study generally in the form of an interview or questionnaire. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides sociologists with information about how people act or think. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Major Research Designs <ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--High response rate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--Can probe beyond questionnaire. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Questionnaires </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--Inexpensive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--Good for large samples. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Major Research Designs <ul><li>Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Collecting information through direct participation and/or observation of a group. </li></ul><ul><li>Most common form of quantitative research , which collects and reports data primarily in numerical form. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Major Research Designs <ul><li>Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Participant Observation : When the researcher “joins” a group for a period of time to get a sense of how it operates. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Major Research Designs <ul><li>Experiments </li></ul><ul><li>The artificially-created situation that allows the researcher to manipulate variables. </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments involve two types of groups: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--Experimental Group : Exposed to independent variable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--Control Group : Not exposed to independent variable. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Major Research Designs <ul><li>Use of Existing Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary Analysis : Research techniques making use of publicly accessible information and data. </li></ul><ul><li>Content Analysis : The systematic coding and objective recording of data, guided by some rationale. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Major Research Designs Table 2-1: Existing Sources Used in Sociological Research
  21. 22. Ethics of Research <ul><li>Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain objectivity. </li></ul><ul><li>Respect the subject’s right to privacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Protect subjects from harm. </li></ul><ul><li>Preserve confidentiality. </li></ul><ul><li>Seek informed consent. </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge collaboration and assistance. </li></ul><ul><li>Disclose all sources of financial support. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Technology and Sociological Research <ul><li>Computers </li></ul><ul><li>Have extended the range and capability to conduct research. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow large amounts of information to be stored and analyzed. </li></ul>
  23. 24. Social Policy and Sociological Research <ul><li>Studying Human Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>The Issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--Sexuality is a difficult topic to research because of all the preconceptions, myths, and beliefs we bring to the subject. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--How does one carry out scientific research of such a controversial and personal topic? </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. Social Policy and Sociological Research <ul><li>Studying Human Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>The Setting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--There are few reliable national data on patterns of sexual behavior in the United States. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--This is partly due to the difficulty of researchers to obtain accurate information about a sensitive subject. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--Government funding for sexual studies is controversial. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. Social Policy and Sociological Research <ul><li>Studying Human Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Sociological Insights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--The government is the major source of funding for sociological research. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-- “Value neutrality” suggests that sociological researchers should remain autonomous and not bound to any one segment of society, including the government. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--Can sociologists remain impartial? </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Social Policy and Sociological Research <ul><li>Studying Human Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Initiatives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--In 1987, the U.S. Senate blocked funding for a national survey of sexual behavior by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--The researchers had to acquire private funding to complete the NHSLS survey. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Social Policy and Sociological Research Figure 2.4: Percent of Television Shows that Contain Sexual Content (source: Kaiser Family Foundation 2001/02)
  28. 29. Social Policy and Sociological Research Figure 2.5: Views on Sex before Marriage

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