key concepts of research methods

  • Created by: kf2019
  • Created on: 18-02-19 18:59
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  • Key Concepts (GROVER)
    • Reliability
      • If research study is repeated and similar findings recorded, then the data and the method are seen as reliable.
    • Objectivity
      • Although sociologists will investigate issues that they are interested in, the research must be conducted in an impartial and unbiased way.
      • To remain objective means that your personal values and beliefs should not affect how the issue is approached or how the data collected is interpreted.
    • Representative
      • Research is carried out on a small collection or sample of society; only the Census studies the whole population.
        • When considering the value of the findings of a study, it is important to ask how those studied are of the rest of society. if the group is untypical then the findings may be of little value.
      • One criticism that feminists made of research carried out in the 1950's and 1960's was that it often focused on men, ignoring women and so was unrepresentative of society as a whole.
    • Ethics
      • Ethics are issues of right and wrong. in research it is wrong to harm anyone and so steps should be taken to protect people.
      • Sometimes the ethical issues are complex and can affect what research is possible or how the research is carried out. There are professional guidelines to help sociologists.
    • Generalisability
      • This is where the data obtained from a small group of people can be applied to a whole population.
      • If the data is not representative then it cannot be generalised.
      • studies of educational attainment that are based solely on boys cannot be generalised to the education system as a
    • Validity
      • Data is said to be valid if it is genuine, an accurate reflection of what is being studied.
        • Demographic data is usually seen as valid; the number of births and deaths officially counted each year in England and Wales is close to the actual figure; few births or deaths go unreported.


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