A2 SOCIOLOGY UNIT 2 RESEARCH AND METHODS

A2 SOCIOLOGY UNIT 2 RESEARCH AND METHODS 

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  • Created on: 21-11-12 22:22
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2
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Type of Experiment Information Practical issues Ethical Issues
Laboratory experiments A laboratory 1. Open systems ­ Can only 1. Informed con
experiment is controlled work with science. Society 2. Harm to subj
and is in an artificial is an open system where everything, in
environment. the factors cannot be risks, must b
There must be two groups controlled. but what if y
, an experimental and 2. Individuals are complex ­ it Milgram?
control group. is hard to `match' the
We can discover cause and members of the control
effect relationships this and experimental group.
way. 3. Studying the past ­ Cannot
They are rarely used be used for the past as
in sociology. the variables cannot be
controlled.
4. Small samples ­ difficult
to investigate large scale
social phenomena.
5. The Hawthorne effect.
6. The expectancy effect

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Page 2

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Field experiments Takes place in the
subject's
1. Problems of
access.
1. Personal effects ­
Rosenthal
Positivists ­ they are
not natural
surroundings.
2. Can the researcher
control
and Jacobson's
experiment
reliable as they cannot
be
Those involved do not know
all the variables?
may have affected the
school
repeated again as lab
they are the subjects.
3. To what extent does
the
life of the other children
told
experiments can.…read more

Page 3

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The researcher
manipulates
natural environment
change
that they were not
smart
produce quantitative
data the situation but
the
the researched
behaviour?
enough.
though but you can't be
in researched do not
know this.
2. Informed consent.
control of all the
variables.
Actor tests and
Interpretivists ­ can
correspondence tests are
understand the meanings
to examples. Brown and
Gay
some extent.…read more

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The comparative method A thought experiment. - -
Relies on secondary data.
Identify cause and effect.
The most famous example is
Durkheim's
suicide.…read more

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Past question
(a) Outline and critically assess the arguments for and against using experiments in sociology.
Note that there are different types of experiment ­ laboratory, field and comparati-
ve.
Laboratory experiments ­ describe their features and their usefulness.
Compare these to field experiments and then do the same with this.
Then go to thought experiments and how it avoids the pitfalls of them both.
Illustrate points with reference to studies that have used experiments.…read more

Page 6

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It is difficult to recreate society in a laboratory.
They tend to examine general issues such as authority ­ Zimbardo's prison study.
Ethics
Crime related research issues are sensitive, involving danger or victimisation.
Re-creating them can have harmful effects. Again, look at Zimbardo.
Some groups can't be experimented on like children. Look at Bandura's study.
Validity
Manipulation of variables tells us little about the real world.
Bobo dolls are made to invite violent actions.
Other techniques are better than this.…read more

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I
n
t
e
r
v
i
e
w
s
Type of Interview Information Practical Issues Ethica
Structured Interview Are like questionnaires Cover large numbers of There are ve
but require a social people. Young and ethical issue
interaction. Wilmott interviews 933 structured in
The questions are usually people. The intervie
closed-ended. Thus Suitable for not have to
producing quantitative gathering every questi
data. straightforward The intervie
pressured in
data.
answering a
Easily quantified. They should
Response rates are a guarantee
little higher.…read more

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Unstructured Interview The only difference is that
Allows the development of
a -Same as above
Positivism
the questions do not
come
rapport ­ empathy.
Is not reliable
pre-set. It is not a
question
Needs for
training ­
Can't be
quantified. with a
little interaction.
interpersonal and
Not
representative.
They may come with
some
sociological.
idea of the questions to be
Can take a long time.…read more

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Comments

wngono

A fantastic resource for A2 sociology students which also includes pasta exam question which are great to tests knowledge and understanding.

steeeephtaylor

This is really useful, thanks! 

Lima'

the document starts off with '2. Experiments', is there supposed to be a page with 1. (Heading)?

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