Research Methods

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  • Research Methods
    • Types of Data
      • Primary
        • Information collected first hand
        • Methods
          • Social surveys
          • Participant Observation
          • Experiments
        • Advantages
          • Collect precise data
          • Interpret the results
        • Disadvantages
          • Costly
          • Time consuming
          • Might need a lot of resources
      • Secondary
        • Data collected by someone else
        • Sources
          • Official statistics
          • Documents
        • Advantages
          • Quick
          • Cheap / free
          • Easy to access
        • Disadvantages
          • May not be relevant
          • May be biasis
      • Qualitative
        • Opinionated data
        • E.g. Participant Observation
      • Quantitative
        • Numerical data
        • E.g. Official Statistics
    • Factors Influencing Choice of Methods
      • Pratical Issues
        • Time and Money
        • Requirements of funding bodies
        • Personal Skills
        • Subject Matter
        • Research Opportunity
      • Theoretical Issues
        • Validity
          • One that produces a genuine picture
        • Reliability
          • When repeated it gives the same result
        • Representiveness
        • Methodological
          • Positivists
            • Quantitative Data
            • Seek to discover patterns of behaviour
            • Sociology is a science
          • Interpretivists
    • Experiments
      • Experimental group
        • Change the variables
      • Control Group
        • Keep vairables
      • Reliablilty
        • Can be replicated
        • Lab experiment is highley reliable
      • Methodological
        • Positivists
          • Favour lab experiments
        • Interpretivists
          • Reject lab experiments
      • Practical problems
        • Impossible to control all variables
        • Cannot be used to study the past
        • Can only use small scale samples
      • Ethical Problems
        • Needs Informed consent
        • Hawthorne effect
        • May Mislead
          • Milgram
            • Electric shocks
        • Free will
      • Field Experiment
        • Rosenthal and Jacobson
        • Interpretivists prefer field
          • Don't control variables
        • Advantages
          • High Validity
          • Lessens Hawthorne Effeft
          • Small Scale
          • No Volunteer bias
        • Disadvantages
          • Cannot control variables
          • Unreliable
          • Ethics: decent and harm
          • Small scale
          • Cant quantify
      • Comparative method
        • Created by positivists
        • Study of multiple data sets
          • Similar except for one variable
        • Usually uses official statistics
        • Durkheim
          • 'Le suicide'used method
        • Advantages
          • Avoids artificial
          • Historical references
          • Lessens ethics
        • Disadvantages
          • Cant control variables
          • Invalidity
          • Needs to be interpreted
    • Social Surveys
      • Types of question
        • Close - ended
          • Limited answers
            • "Yes" or "No"
          • Pre-coded
          • Easy to quantify
        • Open- ended
          • Free to answer
          • Pilot study
          • Formulate a hypotesis
      • Sampling
        • Random
          • Simplest method
          • Sected at random
        • Quasi- random
          • Random
            • Chosen every tenth or hundreth
        • Stratified
          • Diving the population by gender
          • Then taking a percentage of each gender
          • Equal numbers
        • Quota
          • Similar to stratified
          • Researcher goes and finds participants
        • Practical issues
          • Impossible to a sample that was an exact cross section of the population
          • Impossible to create a sampling frame
          • Respondents may refuse to participate
        • Theoretical issues
          • Interpretivists
            • It is more important to gain valid data
              • Than to discover general laws of behaviour
    • Questionnaires
      • Practical advantages
        • Quick and cheap
        • Large scale
        • No need to recruit interviewers
        • Easy to quantify
      • Positivists
        • Favour questionnaires
        • Reliable
          • Can replicate data
        • Large scale
      • Disadvantages
  • Covert research
    • Ethical Issues
      • Informed Consent
      • Confidentiality
      • Effects on research participants
      • Vulnerable groups
  • Qualitative data
    • Interpretivists

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