Sociology Research Methods

Data
Information collected by research
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Primary data
Research information that the researcher has collected themselves
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Secondary data
Research information that has been collected for another purpose by someone else
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Qualitative data
Is in words and has lots of detail
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Quantitative data
Is in numbers and can be presented as graphs or percentages
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Census
A questionnaire given to every household in Britain every ten years by the government
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Pilot study
A trial run before the actual research
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Target population
The people the researcher aims to study
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Sample
A small group chosen from the target population
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Representative
The idea that the sample should have the same mix as the target population
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Sampling frame
The list where the sample is selected from
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Random sample
A group chosen by chance from the target population
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Systematic sample
Uses a system eg: where every tenth name on a list is chosen
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Quota sample
Where the researcher is looking for a certain number of particular groups
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*********** sample
Using a connection with one person, which leads to other members of the group being studied
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Opportunity or convenience sample
When a researcher uses the people who just happen to be available
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Questionnaire
A list of questions on a piece of paper or online for use in research
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Survey
A general term used to describe a research project usually involving questionnaires
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Respondent
A person who completes a questionnaire, or answers the questions
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Reliability
Whether research can be repeated and results compared
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Response rate
The percentage of people who take part
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Validity
Whether research actually gets close to the truth of what is happening
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Structured interviews
Interviews where the interviewer has a pre-planned list of questions
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Unstructured interviews
Interviews that are more like a conversation
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Interviewer bias
The effect that the person interviewing has on the answers given by the respondent
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Personal characteristics
Whether the person is young or old, rich or poor, black or white, or any other part of their identity
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Rapport
Means that that interviewer and respondent build trust with each other
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Overt observation
When the researcher is openly observing the group
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Covert observation
When the researcher is secretly observing a group
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Participant observation
When the observer joins in with the group they are observing
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Non-participant observation
When the observer is just watching the group and not joining in
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Outsider groups
Those people who live lifestyles on the edge of society
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Closed questions
Only allow fixed answers, such as yes or no
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Tally chart
A grid that allows the researcher to keep a record of how many time they observe something
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Open questions
Allow that respondent to answer in detail and as fully as they wish
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Confidential
Means that who take part and what they said is kept secret
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Content analysis
A method for studying closely what is in secondary data, such as the media
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Ethics
Whether research is morally right or wrong
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Subjects
The people who are being studied
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Informed consent
Subjects of research should know what the research is about and have agreed to take part
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Right of withdrawal
Subjects should be able to end their involvement at any stage if they wish to
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Participants
People who are taking part in research
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Physical harm
Injuries to a person
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Psychological harm
Harm to how a person feels including stress, fear, upset or worry
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Triangulation
Using more than one method to support results
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Research information that the researcher has collected themselves

Back

Primary data

Card 3

Front

Research information that has been collected for another purpose by someone else

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Is in words and has lots of detail

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Is in numbers and can be presented as graphs or percentages

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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