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Experim
ents
Researche
rs set up
an artificial
situation
and
manipulat
e it to
test their
theory.
Field Experiments Lab experiments Comparative method
(Changing one variable
over time/place).
Example Rosenthal and Jacobson
tested the theory of the
self-fulfilling prophecy by
giving teachers false
information about the IQ
scores of pupils.…

Page 2

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Questio
nnaires
A written
list of
questions,
which are
answered
by
responden
ts.
Unstructured questionnaires Structured questionnaires
Example Douglas used questionnaires alongside
other methods to study the factors
influencing attainment in different social
classes.
Practical Quick and easy to make. Quick and easy to make.
Can collect large amounts of…

Page 3

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Ethical Insensitive. Questions can be adapted to be more
Confidentiality. sensitive where necessary.
Guilty knowledge. Confidentiality.
Guilty knowledge.

Theoretical Hawthorn effect. Hawthorn effect.
Reliable. Unreliable.
Unrepresentative. Unrepresentative.
Positivists. Valid.
Anti-positivists.


Docume
nts
Any
physical
artefacts
containing
informatio
n that
could be
used by a
sociologist
.
Historical documents Personal documents…

Page 4

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Example McKnight et al used data from official statistics on qualifications to evaluate the
effectiveness of the Labour government's policies.
Practical Easy to access.
Cheap and quick to obtain.
Easy to analyse.
Research may not be collected with the same aim so data may only be relevant.

Ethical Information is…

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