Overview of Research Methods
* Quantitative Research: translates the social world into numbers which can be studied mathematically * Qualitative Research: Uses non-numerical data like texts, interviews, photos and recordings to help understand social life The Scientific Approach
* The Scientific Method—a procedure for acquiring knowledge that emphasizes collecting data through observation and experiment. * Most sociologists believe that they should not allow their personal beliefs to influence their research. * Max Weber coined the phrase value-free sociology, stating that researchers should identify facts without allowing their own personal beliefs or biases to interfere. The Scientific Method
* Literature Review, Hypothesis, Variables, Operational Definitions. * Helps determine:
- Identify a problem or ask a question, Conduct a literature review, Form a hypothesis, Choose research design or method, Collect data, Analysis data, Disseminate findings. * Correlations: a relationship between two variables
* Causations: a relationship where one variable causes another variable to change Spurious Correlations: a relationship that seems to appear between two variables, but is actually caused by something that external, or intervening variable Paradigm Shifts
* Research can lead to what Thomas Kuhn called “a paradigm shift,” or a change in the way we think about some aspect of life. Methods: How do we gather data?
1. Ethnography -studying people in their own environments in order to understand the meanings they give to their activities. -The researcher participates in and observes a setting. -Then the researcher makes a written account (field notes) of what goes on there. Participant observation - the researcher both observes and becomes a member in a social setting. 2. Interviews - involve direct, face-to-face contact with respondents - Can generate large amounts of...
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