Research toolkit methods

  • Created by: Hannah274
  • Created on: 09-01-19 10:52
What is the truth/ What kinds of things actually exist?
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The methods we use to find out the truth. - How do we know what is the truth?
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Independent variable
The determinant of a political outcome
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Dependent variable
The political outcome that you are investigating
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Intervening / extraneous variable
Other variables that act on the dependent variable
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How something works or behaves
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What causes something to occur
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The future outcome of current traditions and trends
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What is the best, just or honorable thing to be done. And, what must be done to bring about this outcome?
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What you think will happen
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A good literature review will...
Synthesis, integrate and critique the literature.
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What is quantitative research?
A method whereby the researcher gains numerical data.
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When doing quantitative research what must you do?
Number the hypothesis, Identify possible interactions, use identifiable names.
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What is qualitative research?
A method in which the researcher gains data as words. Usually provides rich contextual data.
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When doing qualitative research what must you do?
Develop specific hypothesis for each part of the chain. What things should be true if each part of the mechanisms is operating in the real world? Mention as many specific observable mechanisms as you can.
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What specificities should one use when doing quantitative research?
Are there any existing databases, or are you using new variables? If so, what are your coding rules and resources?
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What specificities should one use when doing qualitative research?
What rational have you used for each data set? Why these interviews / Observations? Why this archive and why these document? Collect and organise data for each part of the causal chain.
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What is Positivism?
To analysis events in line with natural observation or the scientific method. the truth is the truth, no matter the context.
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What is Reflectivism / Constructivism / Interpretivism?
That all truth is socially constructed, and based on certain subjective forces.
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Which methology dictates that the researcher and the interviewee has a shared experience?
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Which theory are Glaser, Strauss and Charmaz linked to?
Grounded theory
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What is grounded theory?
It is a method to create hypotheses.
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What are the main points of grounded theory?
Inductive, intuitive and iterative.
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What is Inductivism?
Principles / conclusions drawn by evidence
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What is intuitiveism?
Our own lived experience affects the research process
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What is iterativeism?
The act of repeating the process
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What does Grounded theory do?
Creates a subjective theory pertinent to the case study that you are using.
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What is Grounded theory really bad at?
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Why is being open to new ideas and theories so important when conducting Grounded theory research?
Because you start off with no idea about what you are truly looking at until you start your investigations. Therefore, you must be flexible in your approach to figure out the best theory.
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What is empirical research?
Involves the gathering of data, based on observation and experience.
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What is theoretical research?
Based on a theory model or framework.
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What are other names for observations?
Field work/Ethnography
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What methods can be used in Ethnography?
Interviewing, watching, participating, note taking
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Why is ethnography so important as a research method?
It is high in ecological validity, interpretative and phenomenal. But it does need some absorption of the self.
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What is anthropological ethnography?
You study an exotic location, you observe 'alien' cultures, norms and locations, and it often involves culture shock.
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What is Sociological ethnography?
You study a familiar location, you observe known cultures, normes and locations. And, it often includes cultural scaffolding.
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What is naturalist ethnography?
When the researcher takes a fly on the wall approach.
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How can a study be ecologically valid?
When the results of the study match the phenomenon in the real world.
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What arguments might an interpretivist have that is against ethnography?
They state that no one person can be objective when they are studying another person.
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What is Phenomenology?
It is concerned with understandings the subjectivities of the participates and how they interpret meaning.
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What are the 4 essential dilemmas for ethnography?
Distance, Visibility, Grounding, Organisation
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What is distance?
How close should the researcher get to the participants? - Participant or observer
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What is visibility?
How obvious should our research be? - Covert or Overt.
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What is Grounding?
What should our observations be based on? - Theory/field driven. -
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What is Organisation?
How will you do your observations? - Structured or unstructured?
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What are direct observation and ethnography useful for?
Providing a richer context for the hypothesis.
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What are direct observation and ethnography useful for?
The descriptive and exploratory stages of research, fears over a lack of internal validity can be squashed, peer-review, qualitative data can be analysed rigorously and external validity can be high if the events are recorded in which they happen.
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What is obtrusive research?
where participants know that they are being studied and know what the aim of the research is about.
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What are the pros of obtrusive research?
Less ethical concerns for the researcher
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What are the cons of Obtrusive research?
Much more likely to make the study less ecological validity, and less internal validity overall.
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What is unobtrusive research?
This is where participants do not know that they are being watched, or they do know that they are being watched but do not know the study’s purpose.
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What are the pros of unobtrusive research?
Far higher ecological validity and higher internal validity.
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What are the cons of unobtrusive research?
Way higher amounts of ethical concerns and can be harder to conduct.
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What are structured studies?
This is where we have a strong enough theory to create a check sheet to allow the researcher to have a specify things to look out for.
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What are unstructured studies?
Where the researcher wants to observe everything that goes on in a location e.g. the House of Commons
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What are the pros of structured studies?
Pros: More objective than a survey and allows the research to gain accurate descriptions of events.
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What are the pros of structured studies?
Pros: can be used at an earlier stage in the study to compare and contrast and gain a better understanding of how to frame you research question.
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What are the cons of structured studies?
creates a more limited line of enquiry for the researcher, this means that the context of the DV might be reduced.
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What are the cons of unstructured studies?
Might not be focused enough to make any definitive answers to a research question.
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What is interobserver reliability?
When have more than one person (at least 3 usually) to verify results of an observation.
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List some sampling procedures.
Random, Judgmental, Convenience, Stratified, Snowball, Quota
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What is random sampling?
Every element or unit in the population has the same likelihood, a non-zero probability.
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What is Judgmental sampling?
If the event happens very little or all the time then you would need to pick a selection of the population that you and the educated community deems to be a represented sample selection.
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What is Convenience sampling?
When you pick those who are in the local area.
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What is Stratified sampling?
When you create categories (not random), and you randomly select individuals that are in these categories.
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What is Snowball sampling?
When you pick individuals that send the questionare to their friends, and their friends etc. Therefore you get exponentially more individuals for the study.
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What is systematic sampling?
Picking a numerical value and assigning it to a person, e.g. every tenth person
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What is Quota sampling?
When you have catagories and then you chose a certain amount of people to fill these categories.
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What is Cluster-area sampling?
geographies – face to face, in same area
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What is the field driven approach
No preconceptions, learn from immersion, select a generic field, realistic,
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What is a theory driven approach?
Test a theory, build on existing knowledge, select cases carefully, universalistic,
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What sort of things should one look out for when conducting an interview?
Body lang, the position of the chair from the interviewer to the interviewee.
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What are the pros of Individual interviews?
Explores a single question in depth, individual might be more comfortable talking one to one, straightforward to arrange,
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What are the pros of Focus groups?
Members can 'bounce' ideas off one another, jog memories, conversational - relaxing, lots of data, from lots of people.
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What are the cons of Individual interviews?
Run out of things to say, foucued pressure may be difficult for them to speak up,
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What are the cons of Focus Groups?
people have to deal with dominant participants, people unhappy talking in group situations, Cannot do one or two topics in depth.
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What is embodied research?
where you are directly involved with the participants. Usually come in the form of an activity to put participants at ease.
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Is embodied research inductive or deductive?
Inductive - it takes data and builds a theory from it.
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What is deductive research?
When you have a theory and so you gather data to verify it.
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What is a holistic perspective?
It seeks to understand all of the phenomenon and the complex interdependence between them, rather than reducing analysis down to a few discrete variables. Sensitivity to context.
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What is empathetic neutrality?
It is when you don’t side with anyone but keep in mind the context in which their actions take place.
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What intervening variables could there be for an interview or a focus group?
Temperature/ seasons. People might want to leave if the temp. is an extreme, or they might have a different answer depending on the time of year.
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List some types of analysis?
Authenticity, credibility, representativeness, meaning.
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What is authenticity in relation to evaluating studies?
Whether not a source the genuine – internal consistency
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What is credibility in relation to evaluating studies?
Are the documents accurate, are they reliable?
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What is representativeness in relation to evaluating studies?
Typical or untypical, what does the document exclude or include that others don’t.
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What is meaning in relation to evaluating studies?
This refers to the document’s clarity and comprehensiveness.
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What is contextualism?
Mistake that Skinner writes about which states that writers only look at the text's contents rather than the contexts in which they were constituted.
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What is Perennialism?
Arguments do not change over time, and are engaging perennial events
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What is the Myth of Doctrine?
Offhand comments by an author does not attribute to their thoughts - quote out of context
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What did Strauss say about the Good Life?
The idea of The Good Life is best explored by the ancients, because they do not engage with arguments before them.
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Why does Strauss support the Ancients over modern interpretations?
Political philosophy as a discipline would provide the knowledge for the best sort of life. Strive towards a singular answer. Pushing back against post-modernism. Modern arguments carve the text up too much.
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Who are Strauss's main enemies?
Free-value scientists, Historicism (Fight Fight Fight)
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What do Free value scientists do that make Strauss oppose them?
Because they state that they do not need political Philosophy, and that the science is important in itself.
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Why does Strauss oppose Modernists?
Historicism rejects the question of the good society because of the historical nature of society and human thought. Strauss loves the Good Life
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What does Risk of parochialism mean?
When the reference, or the intended sense of the work is wrongly described by the historian.
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What is the Mythology of Coherence?
It is when a historian ignores, statements, passages or works, that are in contradiction with the historian's message.
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What is the mythology of Prolepsis?
When the Author is influenced by a work's significance so much so that there is no analysis of the actual work.
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What is critical discourse analysis (CDA)?
Where you analysis the normative values present within a work, or the society in which the discourse is situated.
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What is economic determinism?
Where one economic discourse changes the society, or even the world. E.g. Neo-liberal policies of the 1980's.
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What does relational mean in regards to CDA?
The relationship between relationships, or pure communication.
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What does dialectical mean in regards to CDA?
The relationship between the words and the objects – relations between objects which are different but not exclusive.
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What was Norman Fairclough's theory of appropriateness?
there is a complex relationship between particular discursive events and underlying conventions or norms of language use. Language may on occasion be used “appropriately” but not always.
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What was Norman Fairclough's Orders of Discourse?
The relationships of the discursive practices (complementarity, inclusion/exclusion, opposition).
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What was Norman Fairclough's Theory of Categorization?
It is the difference between discourses and genres.
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How does Norman Fairclough define discourses?
“ways of signifying areas of experience from a particular perspective (e.g. patriarchal versus feminist discourses in sexuality”
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How does Norman Fairclough define genres?
“uses of language associated with particular socially ratified activity types such as job interview or scientific papers” (p.132)
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What is Norman Fairclough's Technologization of Discourse?
an important resource in attempts by dominant social forces to direct and control the course of major social and cultural changes which are affecting contemporary societies.
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What is ideology in relation to CDA?
Where interpretations are used to keep in place a certain framework of power, no matter how inadequate.
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Why is generation of consent so important in modern societies to Fairclough?
Power is excersied though consent, as discourses cause people to 'normalise' and thus create a hegemony which inherently creates a hierarchy.
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What would Fairclough want to educate people with?
The ability to understand that there are hegemonic forces that can control your opinions through language.
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What is Foucault's Order of Discourse?
The ordered set of discursive practises associated with a particular social demon or institutions. - In our own context, appeals to particular forms of knowledge and understanding are seen as true and correct, e.g. 'He wasn't the one for me' - fate
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Why does David Howarth not like CDA?
As CDA hails from structuralist, hermeneutic and Marxist traditions, there is too much of a focus on the ontical rather than ontological levels of analysis. Meaning that there is no real observable truth.
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What is the positivist hierarchy?
Experimental, Statistical, Comparative, Case study
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List three types of method that surveys might be used for.
Positivism, description and analytical
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List five things that survey research is used to understand.
Facts, Perception, Behaviour, Opinions, Attitudes
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What is a major misconception when reading data from a survey?
Correlation does not equal causation
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Once you have drafted your survey, what should you do next?
Pilot your survey
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How can you administer a survey?
Face to face, web, phone, email, mail.
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What is face validity?
on the face, does it measure what you think it does?
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What is construct validity?
How the survey is constructed, and does this make the survey generalisable?
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What are the pros of survey research?
Replicable, Generalizable, Facilitates statistical analysis, A step towards establishing causality
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What are the cons of survey research?
Inflexible: only as good as the research instrument, There is never a perfect questionnaire, May miss reality, Ignores subjective dimension, Doesn’t measure real behaviour, only reported behaviour.
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What does a p-value tell you?
The p value tells you the probability of observing a sample statistic further from the null hypothesis than the current statistic if the null hypothesis were true.
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What p-value usually means that you reject a null hypothesis?
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What is a confidence interval?
A confidence interval is a range that we feel is X% likely to cover the true population parameter.
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If the P-value includes 0 then can reject the null hypothesis?
If the p-value include 0 then it is greater than my threshold and we cannot reject the Null hypothesis.
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If the P-value does not include 0 then can reject the null hypothesis?
If it does not include 0, the p-value is less than my threshold then we can reject the null hypothesis.
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A real relationship is easier to detect when...
The sample size and the relationship/effect is large.
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What types of causation can we imply from a survey study?
Association - when A occurs, B occurs. Precedence - when A follows B. Isolation - A and B are caused by another variable C.
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Names types of surveys.
Cross-sectional, panel (gives us precedence), Rolling cross-sectional - tracks trace over time.
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What does theoretical population refer to in a survey?
Who do you want to generalize for?
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What does sample population refer to in a survey?
Who within the population can you get access to?
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What does a sampling Frame refer to in a survey?
Who can you access to ask to conduct the survey?
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What does sample refer to in a survey?
Who will actually answer your survey from the sampling frame?
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What are the three variables that you can input into SPSS?
Interval, Ordinal,Nomial
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What does interval mean?
the gap between one unit and another is the same between every unit of measurement
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What does Ordinal mean?
the data is ordered with differences that can be ranked from highest to lowest, but the gap between one unit and the next is not equidistant
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What does Nomial mean?
the data is ordered into categories that cannot be ranked from highest to lowest.
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What are the two views in SPSS?
Data view and variable view. Set up in data view.
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What are the strengths of experiments in the social sciences?
High internal validity, easily replicable, Able to understand individual reasoning, avoid social desirability bias.
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What are the weaknesses of experiments in the social sciences?
Lack of external validity
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List types of experiments
Wording, list, conjoint, natural, field
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What is a wording experiment?
What is the framing of the media you are studying?
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What is a list experiment?
Overcomes problems of social desirability. - See which statements on a pre approved list they agree with.
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What is a conjoint experiment?
An experiment where the researcher manipulates several IVs at the same time. The researcher can see which one is more important.
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What is a natural experiment?
Real world event where participants fall into 'control' and 'treatment' categories. Out of the control of the researcher, but they are using fortunate circumstances. The participants do not know that they are being researched.
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What is a field experiment?
Same as natural however the researcher assigns control over the 'control' and 'treatment' groups.
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How well have you survived revision?
Hopefully good?
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Well done! You have made it to the end!
Have a nice day!
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


The methods we use to find out the truth. - How do we know what is the truth?



Card 3


The determinant of a political outcome


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Card 4


The political outcome that you are investigating


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Card 5


Other variables that act on the dependent variable


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