Chapter 2: Methods of Studying Sociology Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 2: Methods of Studying Sociology Deck (25):
1

concept

an abstract system of meaning that enables us to perceive a phenomenon in a particular way. They are tools that permit us to share meanings

2

variable

A characteristic such as age, class or income that can vary from person to person; a concept that can have two or more values

3

operational definition

A definition of a concept or variable such that it can be measured.
Ex: deciding what criteria defines "happiness"

4

A statement of the relationship between two or more concepts or variables

Propisition

5

A statement about the relationship between variables that can be put to an empirical test

Hypothesis

6

Methodology

The rules and guidelines outlined and followed in social research

7

observational research

Research in which the researcher watches what is happening and makes no attempt to control or modify the activity being observed.

8

Ethnographic research

A form of descriptive research focusing on the sociology of meaning through close observation of socio-cultural phenomena

9

survey research

A quantitative research technique that involves asking people questions about the subject being studied

10

secondary analysis

the use of existing information that was gathered or exists independently of one's own research

11

experimental design

A scientific procedure in which at least two matched groups, differing only in the variable being studied, are used to collect and compare data. Used to determine cause and effect.

12

experimental group

In an experiment, the group to which an independent variable is introduced, with that variable not being introduced to the control group

13

Control group

In an experiment, the group not exposed to the independent variable that is introduced to the experimental group

14

Reliability

the extent to which repeated observations of the same phenomena yield similar results
Ex: Berlin Wall reactions = not repeatable = unreliable

15

Validity

The extent to which observations actually measure what they are supposed to.
Ex: scale can be reliable (give same weight every time) but still give an inaccurate weight, being invalid

16

Sample

A number of individuals or cases drawn from a larger population

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A sample selected in such a way that every member of a population has an equal chance of being chosen

Random Sample

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Systematic sampling

Obtaining a sample from a population by following a specific pattern of selection such as choosing every 10th person

19

Stratified sampling

Sampling in which a population is divided into groups and then subjects are chosen at random from within those groups

20

Content analysis

The procedure of systematically extracting thematic data from a wide range of communications

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Exploratory research

Research that attempts to answer the question "what" by explaining a new social phenomenon

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Descriptive research

Research that describes social reality or provides facts about the social world

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Explanatory research

Research that attempts to explain why things do or do not happen by examining the relationship between social variables

24

Evaluative research

Research that measures how well a program or project works in relation to its goals

25

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

Committees on college/university campuses and in research organizations that provide oversight of research that is conducted on human subjects