Research Methods

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Bias
Where someone's personal, subjective feelings or thoughts affect someone's judgement
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Case Study
Researching a single case or example of something using multiple methods, for example researching one school / factory.
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Confdentiality
The idea that the information respondents give to the researcher in the research process is kept private
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Covert research
Where the researcher is undercover and respondents do not know they are part of a research study.
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Dependent Variable
The object under study in an experiment
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Independent Variable
What the researcher varies to see how they affect the dependent variable
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Ethnography
An in-depth study of the way of life of a group of people in their natural setting
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Ethics
Taking into consideration how the research impacts on those involvedd with the research process
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Focus groups
A type of group interview where the respondents are asked to discuss a certain topic
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Going native
Where a researcher becomes biased or sympathetic towards the group they are studying, they therefore lose their objectivity
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Group interviews
Where the interviewer interviews two or more respondents at a time
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Hawthorne effect
Where repondents alter their behaviour because they know they are being observed
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Hypothesis
A theory made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation
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Informed consent
Where the respondent agrees to take part in a research study with full awareness that research is taking place, what the purpose of the research is and what the researcher intends to do with the results
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Interpretivism
An approach to social research which tries to understand human action through the eyes of those acting. Emphasise respondent-led qualitative methods of research
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Interviews
A method of gathering information by asking questions orally, either face to face or by telephone
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Interviewer bias
Where the values and beliefs of the researcher influence the reponses of the interviewee
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Leading questions
Questions which prompt a respondent to provide a particular answer when being interviewed. Leading questions are an example of interviewer bias
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Longitudinal studies
A study of a sample of people in which information is collected for the same people at intervals over a long period of time
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Non-participat observation
Where the researcher observes a gorup without taking part with that group
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Official statistics
Numerical information collected and used by the government and its agencies to make decisions about society and the economy
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Participant observation
Involves the researcher joining a gorup of people, and taking an active part in their day to day lives as a member of that group
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Positivism
An approach to social research which aims to be as close to the natural sciences as possible. Positivists emphasise the use of quantitative data in order to remain detached from the research process and identify social trends
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Primary data
Data collected first hand by the researcher themselves
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Qualitative data
Refers to information that appears in written, visual or audio form, suh as transcripts of interviews, newspapers and websites
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Quantitative data
Information that appears in numerical form, or in the form of statistics
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Card 2

Front

Researching a single case or example of something using multiple methods, for example researching one school / factory.

Back

Case Study

Card 3

Front

The idea that the information respondents give to the researcher in the research process is kept private

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Where the researcher is undercover and respondents do not know they are part of a research study.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The object under study in an experiment

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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