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-Scientific study of human behaviors in/an human groups in their environments


Lay Knowledge - Weaknesses vs. Scientific Knowledge - Strengths

-Lay Knowledge Weaknesses (type of non-scientific knowledge; includes ego (= conscious and unconscious needs, desires, anxieties, etc.; ego-defense mechanisms), casual observation (=brain, senses, mind), and common sense (= lazy thinking):
-Limits ability to think, to imagine
-Limits critical thinking
-Increases vulnerability to fundamentalist thinking
-Common sense traps= premature; mystification; premature close of inquiry; wrong
-Ego traps = illogical reasoning; distorted thinking/perception
-Casual observation weaknesses= sloppy; inaccurate; biased; incomplete (⅕); overregulated; overgeneralize (making grand claims on the basis of a few observations); selective
-Common Sense + Ego = narcissistic bias; confirmatory bias; increases vulnerability to self-centered thinking and logical fallacies
-(Based on tradition and authority)
-(Lazy thinking)

Scientific Knowledge Strengths: (scientific theory includes theory and research)
-Reduces sloppiness, bias partiality
-Disciplined, conscientious purposeful activity
-Systematically collect observations on attendance and grade
-Reduces overgeneralization
-Specify a number of cases to be observed
-Collect observations on attendance and grade for a predetermined number of students
-Reduces selective perception
-Specify range and variety of cases to be observed
-Collect a representative number of students, not just those you verify hypothesis
-Every truth can be challenged
-Everything is potentially knowable
-Ego Removal:
-Logical reasoning
-Disciplined mind
-Systematic and conscious
-Specify number of cases
-Specify a range of cases
-Commitment to reason, logic, discipline
-Rejection of claims based on faith, beliefs, gut feelings, intuition, tradition, superstition, authority, prejudice, charisma, etc.
-Secular social order

-In science, for a claim to be considered true, it must be logical/make sense, and be supported by empirical observations


2 Pillars of Scientific Knowledge

-Mechanics = How to?

-Logic = When and why?
-Quality, strengths, weaknesses


4 Main Assumptions of Social Sciences Research
-aka 4 foundations of social science thinking

-(1) Theory, not Belief or Philosophy

-(2) Patterns and Regularities

-(3) Aggregates, Not Individuals

-(4) Variable Language
-Dependent and independent variables
-Positive/direct and inverse/negative relationships


Dependent and Independent Variable

-Variable - logical grouping of attributes (ex: class, education, income, age)

-DV: Variable assumed to depend on or be caused by another =

-IV: Variable with values that are not problematic in an analysis but are taken as simply given. Presumed to cause or determine a dependent variable



-Quality or characteristic of a phenomenon, person, group, or object

-Education Attributes: PhD, high school graduate
-Class Attributes: upper class, middle class, lower class
-Age Attributes: 11, 12, 31, 97, 40, 15, 21


Positive/Direct and Inverse/Negative/Indirect Relationships

-As x increases, y increases
-As x decreases, y decreases
-Ex: from left to right, gets higher
-Ex: watching violent movies and a mean-world outlook

-As x increases, y decreases
-As x decreases, y increases
-Ex: from left to right, goes lower
-Ex: Education and prejudice

-”Positive” and “negative” have nothing to do with values

-Relationship/association is not causation

-A variable language is the hallmark of quantitative sociology, not of qualitative one


Article by Judson

-”Wanted: Intelligent Aliens, for a Research Project

-Humans are good at seeing other people clearly, but not ourselves
-We rate ourselves higher on good qualities and lower on bad qualities

-Aliens would help give us objective view of humans and hopefully they have longer lifespans (practical problem - flies live much shorter lives, so we can study them effectively, but no one human can outlive other humans to study them effectively because our lifespans are long)

-Humans consistently overestimate human uniqueness and underestimate abilities of other animals
-We forget planet was without us for 2 billion years
-Constantly surprised by other animals

-”Mask of humanity”
-Tendency towards bias, flattering illusions we like to maintain -- easier to guard against problem and assess ourselves more clearly

-Only humans can deny resemblance between humans and primate cousins


Article by Pinker

-”Reason is non-negotiable”: Steven Pinker on Enlightenment


-4 themes tie everything together: reason, science, humanism, and progress -- author adds peace, gentle commerce (prosperity?)

-Focus on Age of Reason and Enlightenment

-If you praise reason, then what matters is integrity of the thoughts, not the personality of the thinkers
-The thinkers were racists, sexists, antisemites, slaveholders…

-If there’s anything the Enlightenment thinkers had in common, it was an insistence that
we energetically apply the standard of reason to understanding our world, and not fall
back on generators of delusion like faith, dogma, revelation, authority, charisma,
mysticism, divination, visions, gut feelings or the hermeneutic parsing of sacred texts.


Article by Fernbach and Sloman

-”Gray Matter”

-On their own, individuals are not well equipped to separate fact from fiction, and they never will
be. Ignorance is our natural state; it is a product of the way the mind works.

-Secret to our success: ability to jointly pursue complex goals by dividing cognitive labor

-Consequence of the fact that knowledge is distributed is that being part of a community of knowledge can
Make people feel as if they understand things they don’t

-Ex: of glowing rocks study -- but didn’t work when researchers said information was secret

-The understanding others have, or claim to have, makes us feel smarter

-Better understanding of how little is actually inside our own heads would serve us well


2 Main Areas of Ethical Violations

-Ethical violations towards research subjects

-Ethical violations towards public


Ethical Violations Towards Research Subjects - Types and Examples

-1. Social Psychological Harm
-Subsections: Methods, publication (confidentiality is important; use pseudonyms), and privacy
-Ex: Milgram, Zimbardo (related to method)
-2. Deception
-Subsections: Identity, purpose, procedure
-Ex: Humphries (gay), Rosenhan (schizophrenia) (related to identity)
-Ex: Jacobson & Rosenthal (how results affect how teacher treats students), Milgram (lied about purpose) (related to purpose)
-Ex: Waldman (FB experiment) (related to procedure)
-3. Coercion
-Subsections: Explicit, implicit
-Ex: Zimbardo (Ex: no, you can’t leave, and no food for you today) (related to explicit)
-Ex: Milgram (we have to continue emotional pressure) (related to implicit)
-4. Physical Harm
-Ex: Risen: psychologists and torture


Ethical VIolations Towards Public - Types and Examples

-1. Fraud
-Inaccurate, invented, incomplete, exaggerated, manipulated findings
-Ex: Bartlett: Michael Lacour
-Ex: Carey: Psychiatry's Giant - Robert Spitzer
-Ex: Schuessler: Alice Goffman
-Ex: Cyrril Burt (fake twin studies)
-Ex: Carlos Castanada
-Ex: Bayer pharmaceuticals: Negative cases
-Ex: Purdue Pharmaceuticals ($12 billion)

-2. Plagiarism
-Using the words or ideas of another, from the Internet or any source, without proper citation of the sources
-Stealing another person’s ideas
-Utilizing other people’s ideas, insights, observations, conclusions without giving them due credit
-Passing other people’s ideas as one’s own
-Intellectual theft
-Ex: UNLV professor

-3. Reporting
-Faulty design, methods weakness
-Ex: Carey: Psychiatry Giant
-Conflicts of interest
-Psychiatry and psycho-pharmacology (studies about illness and medication show that the pharmacies paid researchers - bias)
-Psychiatry and anti-gay organizations
-Psychologists and federal agencies

-4. Other
-Neighborhood, community
-Ex: Alice Goffman and community
-The discipline
-Ex: psychologists and torture
-Ex: Alice Goffman and sociology/ethnography
-Ex: Michael Lacour and survey research
-Society at large
-Ex: psychologists and torture
-Ex: anthropology and war


What is informed consent? How does it protect research subjects against ethical violations?

-It is a norm in which subjects base their voluntary participation in research projects on a full understanding of the possible risks involved

-1. Description of research purpose, subject’s participation, procedures
-2. Risks and discomforts
-3. Any benefit to subject or others that can be expected from research
-4. Maintenance of confidentiality
-5. Description of compensation, if any
-6. Researcher’s identity, affiliation, contact info
-7. Voluntariness of participation, right to discontinue

-It protects the subjects by providing the information of any deception (with identity, purpose, procedure, emotions)

-It is NOT enough to communicate to the subjects their rights, we need to make sure they understand them
-Individuals who do not understand the language
-Mentally impaired (schizophrenics study)


What are the ethical problems discussed in the article by Carey?

-Faulty research design, method weakness

-Unwarranted conclusions


What are the ethical problems discussed in the article by Waldman?

-Experiment subjects were not told they were participating in an experiment; deception


What are the ethical problems discussed in the article by Schuessler?

-”Alice Goffman Disputed”

-Inaccurate, invented, incomplete, exaggerated, manipulated findings

-Lied about findings to neighborhood, community, and discipline

-Misuse of professional authority (go after someone as a prosecutor on a fragment of evidence and push them to provide more evidence to defend themselves; driving getaway car


What are the ethical problems discussed in the article by Bartlett?

-”New Question is Raised about Michael Lacour: What else did he make up?

-Faking data; fabricating data (running numbers didn’t work)

-Inaccurate, invented, incomplete, exaggerated, manipulated findings

-Lied about the existence of certain television and radio shows

-Lied on CV and tried to “fix” it

-Lied to public


What are the 4 different ways that politics enter the research process?

-1. What can be known
-Promotion and suppression of knowledge
-Deviances, pathologies, negative effects
-Blum: “Controversy in the Wind”
-Bush Administration
-Evolution vs. creationism
-Banned books
-Schweder: “Anthropologists in Afghanistan”
-Murphy: “Intellectual collaboration”

-2. How and what to think
-Psychology in the USSR
-Psychiatry and mental disorders (nothing important environmentally)
-Psychiatry and homosexuality
-Quantitative and qualitative research
-Big data
-Marxism in the McCarthy era
-Marxism vs. Korea
-Sociology in El Salvador
-Critical theory in Greece
-Crtiical Race theory, LatCrit Theory, Queer theory, postcolonia theory, postcolonial methods, feminism

-3. Power in research
-Relationship with subjects/status
-Responsibilities - power of representation
-Authority to represent
-Power dynamics among researchers
-Notes: Power is not always in the hands of the researcher; power is dynamic and negotiated throughout the research process
-Ex: American Swastika study

-Purpose of knowledge
-3 kinds of research;
-(1) That which supports the status quo
-(2) That which criticizes, empowers, demystifies, questions, raises awareness, promotes social change, social justice, human rights
-(3) That which fails to make a meaningful difference
-MODE 1 Science/Knowledge
-Produced by the theoretical experimental activities of experts operating in isolation within monolithic and centralized institutions with little regard for broader social concerns
-MODE 2 Science/Knowledge (CORE)
-Produced “in the context of application” by trans-disciplinary collaborations
-Is “socially robust” (public sociology)
-Its validity is not dependent on the laboratory and has value outside of it
-Its legitimacy is achieved by an “extended group of experts” (including lay expertise)
-More likely to weather the storm of intense critique
-Is best characterized by its diversity and inclusivity


What are the political issues suggested by the article by Lichtblau?

-The Bush administration attempted to conceal research findings about racial profiling


What are the political issues suggested by the article by Murphy?

-”Note to ASA Section Chairs”

-Bush administration warms publishers may face serious legal consequences if they edit manuscripts from “disfavored” nations, including Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan

-Suppression of knowledge

-Anyone who publishes material from a country under trade embargo is trading with an enemy of the U.S.

-NO simple editing


What are the political issues suggested by the article by Shweder?

-”A True Culture War”

-How our profession [anthropology] is going to begin to play a far more significant educational role in the formulation of foreign policy, in the hope that anthropologists won’t have to answer some patriotic call late in a sad day to become an armed angel riding the shoulder of a misguided American warrior.

-Political and moral opposition to the war, to the Bush administration, to capitalism, to neo-colonialism, and to the corrupting influence of the Pentagon and the C.I.A. on professional ethics.

-Promotion of knowledge? Or suppression?

-Ethical violation against society at large


What are the political issues suggested by the article by Blum?

-”Controversy in the Wind”

-Nevada Department of Health forced epidemiologist to withdraw a presentation of the findings at scientific conference about asbestos and cancer findings and revoked her access to the state cancer registry

-Suppression of knowledge


Major differences between the deductive and inductive paths to research?

-1. Asks: Is it true that?
-2. From abstract to concrete
-3. Attempt to prove
-4. From thoughts to observations (theory to observation)
-Paradigm → Theory → Axioms/Laws → Propositions → Hypotheses → Observations
-We do not conduct research to “prove a theory” but to test hypotheses derived from it
-If it has “hypothesis” = deductive

-1. Asks: What is the truth about?
-2. From concrete to abstract
-3. Attempt to find, to discover
-4. From observations to thoughts (observation/research to theory)
-Paradigm/theory → Research/observations → Finding Patterns → Organizing Patterns
-Typically seeks to answer: What? How Why? In this order of complexity


What are the typical questions and steps guiding the deductive path?

-Is it true?

-Is it supported by empirical observations?


What are paradigms?

-Lenses through which we apprehend reality
-Perspective, mental framework

-Paradigms are neither true nor false but are more or less useful to study and understand a phenomenon

-Paradigms rest on fundamental assumptions

-All paradigms contain key components

-Paradigms generate theories. Theories are derived from paradigms

-Made up of:
-Ontology = view of reality
-Epistemology = theory of knowledge
-Ethics = relations with subjects
-Politics = purpose of research

-Types of Paradigms:
-Conflict paradigm

-Functionalist paradigm

-*All study social groups and human behaviors


What are theories?

-Statements that explain something about the world

-A systematic explanation for observations that relate to a particular aspect of life

-Statements that express the relationship between concepts
-E = MC2
-Poverty causes mental disorders
-Revolutions occur in times of economic improvement

-A good theory is elegant
-Parsimonious, economical
-Of two theories that state the same truth, the shorter one is always the better one

-Ex: Social causation/social stress theory of mental disorders
-Poverty causes mental disorders


What are axioms/laws?

-Fundamental assumptions

-Assertions believed to be true

-What a theory is grounded on

-Axiom 1:
-Poverty causes stress
-Axiom 2:
-Stress causes mental disorders
-Axiom 3:
-The stress caused by poverty is frequent, enduring, and severe


What are propositions?

-Conclusions derived from the logical relationships between axioms

-Specific conclusions, derived from axiomatic groundwork, about the relationships among concepts

-Given Axiom 1 (poverty causes stress) AND Axiom 2 (stress causes mental disorders), we can suggest that: More mental disorders among the poor than among the rich

-Given Axiom 2 (stress causes mental disorders) AND Axiom 3 (stress among poor is frequent, enduring, and severe), we can suggest (Proposition B) that: More severe mental disorders among the poor than among the rich


What are hypotheses?

-Translates propositions into expectations about concrete phenomena

-A specified testable expectation about empirical reality that follows from a more general proposition

-Specifies what should obtain in the real world
-X = Y
-X inversely related to Y
-X positively related to Y
-X causes Y
-X > Y
-X < Y
-No relation between X and Y

-Given Axiom 1 (poverty causes stress) AND Axiom 2 (stress causes mental disorders), we can suggest (proposition A) that: More mental disorders among the poor than among the rich. HYPOTHESIS 1: Inverse/indirect association between social class (x) and rates of mental disorder (y); Rates of mental disorders in lower class higher than in upper class
-X (social class) inversely related to y (rates of mental disorders)

Given Axiom 2 (stress causes mental disorders) AND Axiom 3 (stress among poor is frequent, enduring, and severe), we can suggest (Proposition B) that: More severe mental disorders among the poor than among the rich; Diagnosis of mental disorders in lower class more severe in upper class
-X (social class) inversely related to Z (rates of mental disorders)


What are observations?

-Typically refers to seeing,hearing, and (less commonly) touching

-Errors of observation:
-When we look for patterns among specific things we observe around us, and assume that a few similar events provide evidence of a general pattern; can lead to selective observation
-Selective Observations
-When we have concluded that a particular pattern exists and have developed general understanding of why it exists, we end to focus on future events and situations that fit the pattern, and we tend to ignore those that do not
-Sloppy Observations
-Mistaken observations
-Ex: guessing what professor wore on first day to class


How do the steps of paradigms → theories → axioms/laws → propositions → hypotheses → observations relate to each other?

-This is the deductive process


What are the typical questions and steps guiding the inductive path? How do these steps relate to each other?

-Typical questions: What? How? Why? (In this order)
-What is the truth about?
-What is the nature of X?
-What is the relationship between X and Y?
-In what conditions does X occur?
-How does X occur?
-How do members accomplish x?
-What is the process whereby X occurs
-With what frequency does X occur?
-What are the causes of X?
-What are the consequences of X?

-Steps: Paradigm/theory → Research/observations → Finding Patterns → Organizing Patterns

-Relation: All about analyzing/organizing/integrating the patterns we have found into a coherent explanation; help distill answers into a theoretical statement


Components of Research Design?

-General considerations
-Sociological Relevance (3 ways to establish sociological relevance of a research)

-Literature Review

-Objectives of Research

-Units of Analysis/Observation

-Foci of Analysis/Observation

-Time DImension
-Longitudinal (Trend, Cohort, Panel)

-Ecological Fallacy, Individualistic Fallacy

-General Considerations → Lit Review → Decisions on Research Questions → Why? Purpose; What? Who?; What about?; When? → How: Tools


General Considerations of Research Design?




-Sociological Relevance



-General agreements shared by researchers about what is proper and improper in the conduct of scientific inquiry

-Deals with methods employed

-Ex: Milgram violated ethics, causing harm to participants



-Tend to center on the substance and use of research

-There are no formal codes of accepted political conduct

-Ex: For milgram experiment: Obedience is not a suitable topic for study, either because we should not tinker with people’s willingness to follow orders from higher authority, or from the opposite political point of view, because the results of the research could be used to make people more obedient



-What researcher is interested in studying

-Make sure actually interested


Sociological Relevance

-”So what?” question
-Double Relevance

-Genuine interest


3 Ways to Establish the Sociological Relevance of a Research

-1. Basic/Pure Research: Research increases our sociological knowledge by:
-Documenting changing nature of society
-Documenting little known aspects of society (groups, phenomena, practices, trends, etc.)
-Developing, testing, extending refining theory, replicating existing research

-2. Applied Research: Research whose findings can be used for the development or implementation of social programs, policies, concrete applications

-3. Double-Relevance: Research that both increases our knowledge/develops theory and suggests concrete applications


Literature Review - Functions

-(1) Clarifies research questions

-(2) Stimulates new ideas

-(3) Demonstrates familiarity and establishes competence

-(4) Links between existing knowledge and current research

-(5) Confirms researcher’s interest in topic


Objectives of Research

-This is the “Why? Purpose?”

-(1) Explore
-Discover and establish parameters of a phenomenon
-Oil crisis in 1973
-UNLV campus climate
-Make sure it is really needed
-Cautious conclusions

-(2) Describe
-Provide a systematic system and detailed representation of a phenomenon, practice, process, trend, population, artifacts, etc.
-Least informed by theory

-(3) Explain
-Typically search for the causes of a phenomenon

-(4) Extend, refine, challenge, develop theory

-(5) Denounce, raise consciousness, demystify, empower, expose


Units of Analysis/Observation

-This is the “What? Who?”

-(1) People

-(2) Groups, units, communities, organizations, neighborhoods, gangs, sects, congregations, cults, rock bands, social movements, village, factory, campus

-(3) Artifacts/Texts

-(4) Behaviors, rituals, interactions, practices, events, encounters, etc.

-(5) Programs, policies, etc.

-Ex: can’t study terrorism, but can study 5 factors of terrorism -- terrorists, terrorist groups, terrorist texts, terrorist behaviors/practices, terrorist programs


Foci of Analysis/Observation

-This is the “What about?”

-(1) Characteristics
-Demographic, physical, social, etc.

-(2) Orientations
-Beliefs, values, attitudes, opinions

-(3) Effects/Actions


Time Dimension

-This is the “When?”

-Includes cross-sectional and longitudinal studies



-Research a phenomenon at one point in time, past or present



-Research a phenomenon at different points in time



-Type of longitudinal design

-Research the same phenomenon at different points in time

-No necessarily the same units

-Political orientations of top 20 rock songs in 1998, 2008, 2018
-Most frequent majors chosen by graduating seniors in 1998 and 2018
-Rates of reported domestic violence in 1958 and 2018
-Terrorist attacks in 1978, 1998, 2018



-Type of longitudinal design

-Studies the same sub-population as it ages over different points in time

-Not necessarily the same people

-Voting behaviors of individuals who were children during the depression: in 1950 (30), 1980 (60), and 2000 (80)
-Millennials (205, 2010, 2015, 2020
-Baby Boomers (1979, 1999, 2019)
-Woodstock Participants (1969, 1989, 2009, 2019)



-Studies the same phenomena units of analysis as they age over different points in time

-Mental health of 20 specific patients who have participated in therapeutic program in 1998, 2008, 2018
-Economic achievements of yale class of 1968 in 1978, 1988, 1998, 2018



-This is the “How?”

-Once we’ve answered the other questions, the “How” (which tool is most appropriate) will become self-evident


-Focus group

-Analysis of texts


-Analysis of existing statistics
-Secondary analysis

-(A) Feasibility (material, social, psychological, physical resources)
-(B) Access to data
-(C) Strategies to select, collect, and analyze the data
-(D) Strategies to validate our interpretations

-Remember: the questions we seek to answer determine the tools we choose to do, not the other way around
-Methods are tools, not chains


Ecological Fallacy

-Drawing conclusions about individuals on the basis of observations gathered about the larger aggregates (communities, groups, regions, etc.) to which they belong

-Ex: Knowing that states with large proportions of young people have larger number of pro-environmental laws does not allow me to conclude that young people are more environmentally conscious


Individualistic Fallacy

-Negating the existence of a statistically significant pattern on the basis of a few known cases that deviate from it


Article by Tromholt

-”The Facebook Experiment: Quitting Facebook Leads to Higher Levels of Well-Being”

-IV: Treatment group (no FB) vs. control group (FB); intensity of FB use; FB envy; active vs. passive FB use

-Conducted experiment

-DV: Well-being (emotions and life satisfaction)

-Deductive article

-Focused on causal analysis

-Limitations: participants voluntarily signed up (bias sample); whether participants formulated their own hypotheses about the experiment

-Future studies: longer study would be better; look at other networks too


Article by Trammell and Chenault

-”We have to take these guys out: Motivations for Assaulting Incarcerated Child Molesters”

-Examine how men describe these assaults as a way to align their own violent behavior with more conventional mores

-This work broadens understanding of verbal justification for violent action

-Conducted interviews

-Found they justify violence as a way to raise their own social status and promote cultural norms against child abuse
-Punish to provide “service” to their community and elevate status

-Inductive article



-To claim that “variable x causes variable y,” 3 criteria must be met

-Includes necessary and sufficient causes

-Includes nomothetic and idiographic

-Common errors of reasoning when attributing causality


Three Criteria Necessary to Establish Causality

-(1) Empirical association

-(2) Temporal precedence

-(3) Non-Spuriousness


Empirical Association

-When x happens, y also happens

-A change in the value of variable x is associated with a change in the value of variable y

-Ex: Revolutions (x) occur in times of improving economic opportunities (y)

-Ex: Authoritarian tendencies (s) are likely to emerge in conditions of societal instability and fear (z)

-Ex: Mental disorders (m) are associated with (occur when there is) psycho-social stress (n)


Temporal Precedence

-x happens before y

-Ex: Social causation theory says poverty (x) causes schizophrenia (y), but social drift theory says schizophrenia (y) causes poverty (x), so we can’t establish causality



-x and y not caused by z

-Ex: Watching tv (x) causes grades (y), but a third variable of parental supervision (z) also has influence


Necessary and Sufficient Causes

-Necessary causes:
-Variable x must be present for variable y to occur
-Clouds (x) must be present for rain (y) to occur -- however, the presence of clouds (x) does not guarantee rain (y); other outcomes other than rain (y) are possible

-Sufficient causes:
-The presence of x typically guarantees y
-If there is x, there will be y
-Other variables than x could have caused y
-Ex: the presence of college education (x) typically guarantees middle-class status (y); other factors other than x can cause y
-College education (x) must be present for middle class status (y) to occur

-Ex: Attendance (x) is a necessary, not sufficient cause of good grades (y)


Idiographic and Nomothetic Research

-Most comprehensive causes explaining a phenomenon
-Most complete explanation
-Few people or cases
-Ex: al the causal factors explaining the 1979 Iranian revolution

-Most important common causal factors explaining a phenomenon
-Partial explanations
-Large number of cases
-Ex: the most common factors/variables present in all cases of mass suicides in religious cults


Common Errors of Reasoning When Attributing Causality

-Questionable Cause:
-Is x a sufficient cause? What are other possible causes of y?
-Is x a necessary cause? What are other possible outcomes of x?
-What are other factors must be present for x to cause y?

-False Dilemmas:
-Simplistic “either-or” decisions

-Explaining complex phenomena by pointing at a restricted number of causes


What is the most likely error we will commit if we rely on common-sense to produce knowledge about sociological issues?

-The other options were errors of observation (overgeneralization, selective observations, sloppy observations)


The scientific approach neutralizes the risk of premature closure of inquiry by insisting that ____________

-Every truth can be challenged


According to Babbie, which of the following is not a foundation of social science thinking?

-Nomothetic and idiographic causes


Among the following, which is/are example(s) of a positive relationship?

-The higher one’s education, the higher the level of cultural tolerance.

-The lower the education, the lower the level of cultural tolerance


A researcher seeks to determine whether frequent playing of video games among teenagers increases their likelihood of committing violence acts. DV?

-Likelihood of committing violent acts



-Subjects have the right to modify the findings they feel they have been misrepresented



-Faulty research design

-Unwarranted conclusions


Which ethical violation is mentioned in Waldman’s article on the “Facebook Experiment”?

-Experiment subjects were not told they were participating in an experiment


What is the main point of Lichtblau’s article on “racial profile”?

-The Bush administration attempted to conceal research findings about racial profiling


Sociologist associated with Social Exchange Theory typically guide their research by the fundamental assertion that people seek to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. This assertion constitutes:



Third circle down deductive path?



Second circle down deductive path?



Fifth circle (last circle) down deductive path?




-Inductive Path



-Deductive Path


A researcher describes the changing targets of terrorist attacks in Europe in 1999 and 2019. Units? Focus? Time dimension?

-Units = Terrorist attacks

-Focus = Targets

-Time Dimension = Trend


The units of observation is ________ the focus is _____. Type of research?

-People, behavior/action



The table below documents the proportion of seriously mentally ill people in every state in 2005. Which research does this table illustrate?



The table below examines young people’s opinions about the ‘war on terror’. What is the focus of observation?



The table below documents how the best and worst educated states voted in the 2015 elections. The units of observation are________ and the focus of observation is:

-Best and worst educated states; voting behavior


Which of the following criteria must be met if I want to demonstrate that certain psychological tendencies cause individuals to commit terrorist acts?

-All of the above:

-There is an empirical association between “psychological tendencies” and “committing terrorist acts”.

-“Psychological tendencies” preceded the commitment of terrorist acts.

-“Psychological tendencies” and “committing terrorist acts” are not both caused by a third variable (for example, lack of democratic tradition in terrorist’s country).


Which of the following criteria refers to the idea of a “spurious relationship”?

-“Psychological tendencies” and “committing terrorist acts” are not both caused by a third variable (for example, lack of democratic tradition in terrorist’s country).


While some have suggested that playing violent video-games causes increases in mass-shootings in the US, others respond that Japanese youth play a lot of violent video games but the number of mass- shootings in Japan is close to zero. In this scenario, which criterion of causality is being challenged?

-Empirical association


Research finds that people spending much time browsing the net tend to show more depressive tendencies than people who do not. If I try to challenge this finding by pointing out that (1) I spend much time browsing the net, and (2) I am very happy, I would be committing ________

-The individualistic fallacy


If I try to explain mass shootings by pointing at the influence of violent video-games on the perpetrators, I would be committing ________

-Technological reductionism


Although there are no guarantees of success, in order to increase the likelihood that new recruits will submit to the rules of a total institution, they must first be de-socialized from their existing identity. Accordingly, we can say that de-socialization is____________________

-A necessary cause of submitting to the rules


There are many factors that cause children to develop complex mental abilities. According to research, learning a second language at a young age pretty much guarantees a faster development of those abilities. Accordingly, we can say that learning a second language is ______________ of faster development of mental abilities.

-A sufficient cause of faster development


A research seeking to identify all the common causal factors that explain the current rise of fascist movements in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the US, and Australia is:

-All of the above: