Positivism and Quantitative Methods; Key Words

Exploring Sociological Research into Social research into Social Ineuality and Difference; Positivism and Quantitative Methods; Key Words.


Postivism and Quantative Methods; Key Words

Case Study = a highly detailed study of one or two social situations or groups.

Cross-sectional Survey = a survey conducted at one time with no attempt to follow up the surveyed over a longer time.

Dependent Variable = a social phenomenon that changes in response to changes in another phenomenon.

Experiment = a highly controlled situation where the researchers try to isolate the influence of each variable. Rarely used in sociology.

Experimenter Effect = unreliability of data arising as a result of people responding to what they perceive to be the expectatinos of the researcher.

Field Experiment = an experiment undertaken in the community or real life, rather than in a controlled environment.

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Positive and Quantative Methids; Key Words

Hypthetico-deductive model = the research process associated with the physical sciences and used by positivists in sociology.

 Independent Variable = the phenomenon that causes the dependent variable to change.

 Indicator = a measurable social phenomenon that stands for an unmeasurable concept. e. g. using church attendance to measure religious belief.

Inductive = way of reasoning that starts from the particular and works towards the general. In social research, this might mean identifying patterns and trends and then developing hypotheses and theories based on them.



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Positivism and Quantative Methods; Key Words

Interpretive Sociologists = those whose approach to sociology and research emphasises understanding society by exploring the way people see society, rather than following traditional scientific analysis.

Longitudinal Survey = a survey that is carried out over a consideable number of years on the same group of people.

Operationalise =  to put into practice.

Pilot Survey = small scale trial cariied out before the main study in order to identify potential problems and errors.



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Positivism and Quantative Methods; Key Words

Representative = a sample is representative if it is an accurate cross section of the whole population being studied. This allows the researcher to generalise the results for the whole population.

Sampling Frame = a list used as the source for a random sample.

Social Fact = a term used by Durkheim to claim that certain 'facts' exist only in society that are not influenced by individuals. Examples, include the existence of marriage, divorce or work.

Stratified Sampling = where the population under study is divided according to known criteria, such as sex and age, in order to make the sample more representative.

Survey = a large scale piece of quantative research aiming to make general statements about a particular population.

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Positivism and Quantative Methods; Key Words

Systematic Sampling = where every nth name on a list is chosen.

Target Population = the group the sociologist is studying and from whom the sample is drawn. It might be secondary school pupils in London, cannabis smokers or women at home.

Validity = the need to show that what research .

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