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Flashcards in Research Methods Deck (86):
1

What is primary data?

Data which is collected first hand

2

Give 3 types of methods for primary data?

Interviews
Questionnaires
Observations

3

Give 2 reasons why research may not be valid?

Respondents may exaggerate or forget

Asking people about events a long time afterwards isn’t valid as people change their views or may alter their descriptions

4

What must the sample be?

Representative

5

Why is it good to have a representative sample?

The data can be generalised to the larger population

6

Give 3 types of secondary data?

Official statistics
Diaries
Tv documentaries

7

Give 3 weaknesses of collecting primary data?

Expensive
Can be unethical without consent
Researcher can be biased

8

Give a strength of primary data?

Brand new and up to date so representative of today’s views

9

What is secondary data?

Previously found and existing data

10

Give 2 strengths of secondary data?

Quick
You can compare past and present which gives a wider viewpoint

11

Give 2 weaknesses of secondary data?

Existing data may not be valid or reliable

Documents may not be authentic or credible

12

What is quantitative data?

Numbers and statistics (numerical data)

13

Give 3 advantages of qualitative data?

Easy to analyse tables, charts and graphs

Allows large samples so its representative of wider population

Compare your statistics against current ones and find trends or patterns

14

Give 2 weaknesses of quantitative data?

Can be distorted or hide reality

Don’t tell you anything about meanings or motives

15

Which theorists use quantitative data and why?

Positivists as they want to find out WHAT is happening in society

16

What is qualitative data?

Insight into opinions, meanings and motives

17

Give 2 strengths of qualitative data?

Let’s you find out meanings behind behaviours

Let’s you build up trust and a rapport

18

Give 2 weaknesses of qualitative data?

Difficult to repeat- aren’t reliable

Small scale research so not representative of wider population

19

Which theorists like qualitative data and why?

Interpretivists as they like to find out why things happen in society

20

Is quantitative micro or macro?

Macro

21

Is qualitative micro or macro?

Micro

22

What does Positivisim look at?

The institutions in society

23

What do interpretivists look at?

Individuals

24

What are the 3 things a researcher must consider before choosing a method or topic?

Practical issues

Ethics

Theoretical issues

25

Give 3 practical issues?

Cost

Time consumption

Values of society

26

Give 3 ethical issues to be considered?

Informed consent

Protection from harm

Confidentiality

27

Give the 2 theoretical issues?

Interpretivists want qualitative
Positivists want quantitative

28

What is validity?

When data presents a true or accurate picture or description

29

What is Replicability?

When different researchers were to use the same methods and would get the same results

30

What do Positivists think sociology should be?

Scientific

31

What are Positivists interested in?

Cause and effect

32

What are interpretivists interested in?

The meanings individuals give to their actions

33

What is a social survey?

Systematic collection of the same type of data from a particular population

34

What is Triangulation?

Here sociologists try to combine different methods or data to get the best result

35

Give a strength of triangulation?

Gives a more detailed picture, so your data is more valid

36

Give a weakness of triangulation?

It can be expensive and time consuming to use loads of methods

37

Why is a systematic sample?

A selection of people from a sampling frame (eg every 10th )

38

What is a stratified sample?

Reflects particular characteristics of the research population (age, gender)

39

What is a Quota sample?

A stratified sample where the selection is not random

40

What is a snowball sample?

Where members of the sample select each other

41

What is a volunteer sample?

Members are self selected

42

What is a response rate?

Percentage of sample that participates in research

43

What is a random sample?

Where every member of the target population have an equal chance of being selected

44

What type of data do questionnaires give?

Quantitative data

45

What type of questions do questionnaires usually give?

Multiple choice or closed questions

46

Give 2 things questionnaires should be?

Clear and easy to understand
Range of options

47

Give 2 advantages of questionnaires?

Quick to analyse
Representative as a large sample can be used

48

Give 2 weaknesses of questionnaires?

Respondents may lie
Low response rate

49

What is an interview?

A conversation between the researcher and an interviewer

50

What are structured interviews?

An interviewer asks the same closed questions with multi choice answers

51

What type of data do structured interviews give?

Quantitative

52

Give a strength of structured interviews?

Higher response rate

53

Give a weakness of structured interviews?

More expensive as you have to pay for the interviewer

54

What are unstructured interviews?

Informal interviews with no rigid structure

55

What type of data do unstructured interviews give?

Qualitative

56

Give a strength of unstructured interviews?

Flexible (can find out facts and opinions )

57

Give a weakness of unstructured Interviews?

Not very representative- use smaller samples

58

Give a weakness of interviews ?

Interview effects can influence answers

59

What are the 2 types of experiments?

Lab and field

60

Who uses structured interviews?

Positivists

61

Who used unstructured interviews?

Interpretivists

62

Give 2 strengths of lab experiments?

Can replicate the research
Researcher has control over variables

63

Give 2 weakness of lab experiments?

Demand characteristics
Moral and ethical issues

64

Give 2 strengths of field experiments?

More valid- done in natural settings

Show hidden meanings in everyday life

65

Give 2 weaknesses of field experiments?

Can’t control the variables

Ethical problems if they often know they’re being studied

66

Give a strength of unstructured interviews?

Flexible (can find out facts and opinions )

67

Give a weakness of unstructured Interviews?

Not very representative- use smaller samples

68

Give a weakness of interviews ?

Interview effects can influence answers

69

What are the 2 types of experiments?

Lab and field

70

Who uses structured interviews?

Positivists

71

Who used unstructured interviews?

Interpretivists

72

Give 2 strengths of lab experiments?

Can replicate the research
Researcher has control over variables

73

Give 2 weakness of lab experiments?

Demand characteristics
Moral and ethical issues

74

Give 2 strengths of field experiments?

More valid- done in natural settings

Show hidden meanings in everyday life

75

Give 2 weaknesses of field experiments?

Can’t control the variables

Ethical problems if they often know they’re being studied

76

What are longitudinal studies?

Studies that are done in regular intervals over a long period of time

77

What is ethnography?

The study of the way of life of a group of people to see their point of view (eg undercover gangster)

78

Give 3 types of documents?

Public
Personal
Historical

79

What is used to study documents?

Content analysis

80

What are the 4 criteria for assessing documents?

Authenticity
Credibility
Meaning
Representativeness

81

What are hard statistics?

Objective ones that can’t be changed (eg birth and deaths)

82

What are soft statistics?

Subjective types that can be changed (eg crime and unemployment

83

Give 3 examples of official statistics?

Government surveys
UK Census
The crime surgery for England and Wales (victims of crimes)

84

Give 2 strengths of using longitudinal studies?

Analyse changes
Study how attitudes change over time

85

Give 2 weakness of longitudinal studies?

Needs long term funding

Hard to find a committed sample who will stick with the study

86

Give 2 types of non official statistics?

Tv ratings
Surveys carried out by special interest groups