Research Methods- Official Statistics

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 08-02-15 10:56
What are two types of statistics and the meaning/ definition of each?
Official Statistics-quantitative data gathered by the Government or other offical bodies, -Non-officialt statistics- Published by non-government organisations e.g.Churhces and trade unions
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What are two ways of collecting official statistics?
-Registratione.g. parents have to register births, -Official surveys e.g.the Census
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Who supports the use of official statisitics?
Positivists
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Who is against the use of official statistics?
Interpretivists
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What is an advantage based on the type of data you get in offical statistics?
You get quantitative data which allows sociologists to establish cause and effect relationships
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What is another advanatage of official statistics about the future and an example?
Detailed analysis of statistics makes it possible to make predicitons of future events e.g. Durkheim was able to make predictions that too much social control may lead to sucide,
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What is another advanatage based on repetition?
They are very reliable becuase of their standardised categories and collection techniques which means they can be easily replicated,
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What is another advanatge of official statistics based on its scale?
Most official statisitics are based on large data sets for a large geographical scale so provide reliable, representative and generalisable information,
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What is the last theoretical advantage of OS based on comparisons?
It is easy to make comparisons between variable and map out trends over periods of time,
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What is a practical advantage of OS based on money and time and an example?
Offiicial statisitics are readily available and cheap and quick to use. e.g. Durkheim was able to assess suicide statistics from many European countries with ease and little cost,
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Give another practical advantage of OS based on the researchers influence?
The collection of statistics is not based or influenced by the researcher, reducing bias,
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What is the last practical advantage?
They are useful to help shape social policy decision making,
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What is an ethical advantage of OS?
They are a public domain which requires no consent to be used and they preserve anonymity as no individuals are identified personally,
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How do interpretivists see offical statistics and the disadvantage of this?
They view official statistics as social constructions which means they are the product of a process of decision making by various people and not the truth. -This reduces validity,
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What methods do interpretivists use to discover how statisitcs are socially constructed?
Qualitative methods such as observation and interviews,
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What is another disadvantage of Official Statistics based on bias?
Statistics can easily be biased at the time they were recorded, lowering validity
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What is another disadvantage of OS based on what they lack and an example of Durkheim?
THey lack insight into meaning, feelings and motivations of the people being studied, e.g. Durkheims research ignores any individual motivations that people may have e.g. escape,
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What is a practical disadvantage of OS based on who gathers the data and an example of Durkheim?
The data has not been gathered by the researcher so it may not include the information required E.g. Durkheim found there were no statistics on religion of suicide victims yet this was crucial to his hypothesis,
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What is another practical disadvanatge of OS based on authentication?
Statistics cannot be verifed by the researcher and so cannot be double checked,
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What is the last practical disadvantage of OS based on developments over time?
It is difficult to make comparisons over time as when using statistics, tou must accept the way concepts are defined and measured,
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Card 2

Front

What are two ways of collecting official statistics?

Back

-Registratione.g. parents have to register births, -Official surveys e.g.the Census

Card 3

Front

Who supports the use of official statisitics?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Who is against the use of official statistics?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is an advantage based on the type of data you get in offical statistics?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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