research 5-6

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  • Created by: clararose
  • Created on: 22-04-16 09:48
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  • Research Methods
    • Questionnaires in social research
      • A questionnaire is a list of questions in a written, standardised format. it is used to gather quantitative data.
      • The main strength of a questionnaire is that it is scientific and reliable. It is only valid if it is well designed and people have told the truth.
      • A weakness of questionnaires is that they cannot offer depth of understanding and the quality of question design is very important.
    • Interviews in social research
      • Interviews can be used to gather quantitative data if they are highly structed. They are used to gather qualitative data if they are unstructured and similar to a conversation in style.
      • Focus groups or group interviews enable the researcher to speak to more than one person at a time
      • The strength of interviewing is that it is highly valid, because a rapport between the interviewer and interviewee means that the researcher can be probe or explain questions.
      • A weakness of interviewing is that they cannot ensure confidentiality and anonymity you the respondent, There can also be interviewer effects.
    • Observations in sociology
      • Observations consist of watching real behaviour in the social world. Convert observations are hidden from the participants, overt observations are more ethical because participants know they are watched.
      • Researcher join in a behaviour, it is participant, if they stand to on side and simply watch, it is non participant.
      • Observations are high in validity because they reflect how people really behave. They are low in reliability because they depend on the interpretation of the observer and people may behave differently on other occasions.
    • Secondary data in social research
      • Any data not produced by the researcher is secondary data, Official statics are an excellent source of material as are private documents such as dairies.
      • The weakness of secondary sources are that they are often not entirely value free, so police data will reflect the concerns of the police in terms of what incidents they choose to record.
      • The strength of secondary sources is that they are open to the public and often, though not always relatively easy to use.
    • Alternative methods in research
      • Sociogists are constantly thinking and rethinking how they can conduct research, especially if they are seeking qualitative data. The problem is that no single research method is better than another, each has its advantages and disadvantages
      • Some alternative methods are used to triangulate and support the validity of existing material. Other are designed to support people who are not normally studied for reasons of literacy or understanding
      • Sometimes if research has practical difficulties, researchers will collect a variety of data using innovative techniques to obtain information.


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