Definition for research methods

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Bottoms up theory
Generally called micro or interpretive approaches. Theories that analyse society by studying the ways in which individuals interpret the world.
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Correlation
A statistical relationship between 2 things. It does not necessarily mean that one causes the other. e.g. over 70% of burglars drink coffee, but this doesn't mean that drinking coffee causes one to commit burglary.
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Positivist approach
Sociology can be studied like a science, info can be collected objectively without bias. This will mean there will be no personal involvement with the group studied.
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Interpretivist approach
The idea that people act with intent and meaning. Sociology needs to understand the meaning behind people's actions to understand how they shape society. This will mean getting close to people so you can understand their actions.
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Primary data
Info collected by the researcher using research methods.
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Secondary data
Info that has already been collected e.g official stats.
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Triangulation
The use of multiple methods in research as a means of producing more reliable data than a single method would produce.
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Reliability
Anybody else or the same person using the same method would produce the same findings.
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Validity
The data gives a true picture of what is being studied.
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Representativeness
This relates to how far the group, individual or situation being studied are typical of the rest of the population.
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Objectivity
Methods and findings should not be influenced by the personal interests or bias of the researcher. It should discover 'facts' and be value free.
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Ethics
Consideration of what is morally right or wrong.
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Interview schedule
A list of questions asked by the interviewer.
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Pilot study
A small scale trial of a questionnaire or interview schedule. It's carried out to check that the questions work the way they are expected to.
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Sampling frame
A list of people from which the sample are drawn. There will not be a known list for every study, especially illegal/immoral activities.
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Random sampling
Sampling frame will be needed. People that are on the sampling frame all have an equal chance of being selected at random.
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Startified random sampling
The samplng frame must show the main characteristics of the population e.g. gender or age, the samplecan be drawn but include the right proportions of certain factors.
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Quota sampling
The researcher established how many participants are needed from each category, the researcher then seeks to find these individuals.
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Snowball sampling
The researcher interviews an individual and then asks them to suggest who else might be interviewed. The sample can grow as large as the researcher wants it to.
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Response rate
This refers to the number of people who reply. Postal questionnaires have an especially poor return rate, typically 10%. If the sample becomes too low it will impact the validity of the results.
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Top down theory
Often called macro or strucutral approaches. Believe it is important to look at society as a whole when studying it.
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Feild diary
A detailed record of events, conversations and thoughts kepy by participant observers, written up as often as possible.
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Card 2

Front

Correlation

Back

A statistical relationship between 2 things. It does not necessarily mean that one causes the other. e.g. over 70% of burglars drink coffee, but this doesn't mean that drinking coffee causes one to commit burglary.

Card 3

Front

Positivist approach

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Interpretivist approach

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Primary data

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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