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Social Research Methods

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Presentation on theme: "Social Research Methods"— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Research Methods
Introduction Chapter 1 Neuman and Robson

2 How do we know about the world around us?
Authority Tradition Common sense Media Personal experience Overgeneralization Selective observation Premature closure Halo effect

3 “Confirmation Bias” Read Bob McDonald’s “Howling at the Moon”
We tend to interpret information in a manner that confirms our existing beliefs At the same time we ignore or overlook any new information that contradicts what we already “know”

4 The Nature of Scientific Theory
A. The Two Tasks of Science Discovery Explanation B. Properties of scientific knowledge Assertions about relationships Empirical referents Sensory verification Deductive structure Allows for prediction

5 The Nature of Scientific Theory (cont.)
C. Desirable characteristics of science Abstract, verifiable, intersubjective agreement D. Goals of science Provide method to understand causality and to predict E. Causality Association Time order Non-spuriousness Theoretical justification

6 The Nature of Scientific Theory (cont.)
F. Testable propositions vs. parsimonious explanations G. Problems unique to the social sciences Empirical measurement Control Ethics Bias The human subject

7 H. What is Research? Real Research = the systematic process of collecting and analyzing information Criteria for research Start with clear question/problem Plan of how to proceed (methodology) Acknowledgement of assumptions Data gathered to solve problem (not indiscriminate) Cyclical process The research process (see p. 9 in text)

8 Research Design Influenced by: Current knowledge Cost Ethics Skills

9 Dimensions of Research
A. Style of Research Exploratory Descriptive Explanatory B. Purpose or Focus Basic Applied

10 Dimensions of Research (cont.)
C. Time Cross-sectional Longitudinal D. Data Collection Technique Quantitative Qualitative

11 Schools of Thought Quantitative Research Qualitative Research Meanings, concepts, and definitions Quality assessed through words, images, and description Meaningfully expressed by numbers Provides counts and measures Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010 11

12 The Quantitative-Qualitative “Divide” in Research
Is really an artificial divide Deductive vs inductive Hard vs soft science Value-free vs value-laden Objective vs subjective The research process more accurately can be described as a cyclical search for social truth

13 The Wheel of Research

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