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Scientific Research Methods in Geography Montello and Sutton Chapter 5 Summary.

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Presentation on theme: "Scientific Research Methods in Geography Montello and Sutton Chapter 5 Summary."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scientific Research Methods in Geography Montello and Sutton Chapter 5 Summary

2  Behavioral Observations  Archives  Coding-Open Ended Records  Review/Discussion Observation of Behavior Physical Measurement Archives Explicit Reports Computational Modeling

3  Behavior is overt potentially perceptible action or activity by people or other animals; goal-directed  What we do and not why we do it  Records are made for coding into data later Anecdotal records- written observations Specimen records- running record, detailed  Participant observation  Formal observation schedules Time sampling Event sampling

4  Presence of observers can affect behavior  Participant observers have an influence in some way or another on the setting observed  Selective and subjective nature of perception  Observers and coders have a hard time overcoming tendency to interpret the world meaningfully  Observers and recording devices have points of view

5  Existing records that weren’t collected for specific research  Secondary data  Ex: historical travel journals, financial records, birth and death records, newspaper stories, industry and business records, historical documents, diaries, letters, movies, literature, voting results, etc.  Non-reactive source of data  Biases can be a problem because the info was provided to someone other than a researcher…different setting and situation

6  Coding: open-ended records typically consist of words, pictures or intentional acts that must be digested for meaning  Content analysis: coding verbal or graphical expressions  Segmentation: breaking the records into appropriate units  Classification: assigning segments to the categories that capture aspects of the meaning of the records Exhaustive Mutually exclusive Top-down and bottom-up approaches  Coding manual: documentation of your coding system; used to train coders, describe research and replicate your work

7  Be able to convince others that your coded data is reliable and valid  Inter-rater reliability: have 2 or more coders independently and repeatedly code subsets of your records  Difficulties arise because a single word can often times mean totally different things with different meanings that are unrelated

8  How does scientific behavioral observation differ from the everyday behavioral observation that we all do?  What are some strengths and weaknesses of archives as a source of data?  What types of data sources in geography require open-ended coding and why?

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