Chapter 2assignment Instructions: Please read the instructions carefully and contact me if you have any questions prior to submitting your work. After read

Instructions: Please read the instructions carefully and contact me if you have any questions prior to submitting your work.

After reading the chapter and reviewing the PowerPoint and supplemental readings on the course site, you should complete the following tasks: 

Answer the questions below. Your responses should be about one, 5 to 7 sentence, paragraph per question set (meaning numbers 1,2,3, etc. should be about one paragraph in length.) Your responses should demonstrate a clear engagement and understanding of the course material, critical application of the sociological concepts/theory and should include clear grammar and sentence structure. Please review the assignment rubric under ‘Course Resources’ for clearer indication of grading distribution and let  me know if you have any questions/concerns. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: You should cite any evidence/information from the text or other sources (this is important, if you do not cite, your work will be reported as plagiarism)


  1. How is basic research different from applied research? Use an example of a hypothetical study to illustrate your point. 
  2. Discuss and distinguish the three different, nonscientific ways of learning about the world around you (explained in the PowerPoint). Share examples of each from your own experiences and discuss one to two limitations related to learning about the world in this way.
  3. Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research (give at least four comparisons). Discuss possible strengths and limitations of each type of research (give at least three of each)

Please use this link to upload your work. 

Assignment is due on Sunday Feb. 20 by 11:59 pm. 

Worth 15 points. Late assignment will be accepted, but deducted 2 points for every 24 hours they are late. 

Note: Please only submit word docs or pdf files   


Chapter Learning Objectives:

You read these particular portions of the chapter, please click on the links below and you will be taken to that part of the book. 

Chapter Learning Objectives

2.1 Approaches to Sociological Research

  • Define and describe the scientific method
  • Explain how the scientific method is used in sociological research
  • Understand the function and importance of an interpretive framework
  • Define what reliability and validity mean in a research study

2.2 Research Methods

  • Differentiate between four kinds of research methods: surveys, field research, experiments, and secondary data analysis
  • Understand why different topics are better suited to different research approaches

2.3 Ethical Concerns

  • Understand why ethical standards exist
  • Demonstrate awareness of the American Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics
  • Define value neutrality


For this week, you should review each section in the chapter reading and complete your chapter recap assignment and/or discussion board. You should also review all supplemental readings and/or videos that are provided for you in the module. Please remember that your responses for the chapter recap assignment should be approximately 5 to 7 sentences in length per question set (not individual questions). You should only upload word or pdf files (please DO NOT upload .pages files). Additionally, your discussion board responses are due on Friday (initial response to the discussion prompt) and Sunday (respond to at least TWO of your classmates posts). Your posts should also be approximately 5 to 7 sentences in length per question set (not individual questions). Please let me know if you have any questions concerns about the assignments. 


Please find the assignments rubric under the ‘Course Resources’ module here: Link

You and also find book resources for your textbook here: Link

I am always here to help so don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns you may have. Happy learning!!! 




College Physics

Chapter # Chapter Title

PowerPoint Image Slideshow

Questions for You

Do you ever just like to watch people?

What do you look for?

What does it tell you about people?

Have you ever lied on a survey?

What’s the Point?

To investigate and provide insights into how human societies function using:

Empirical evidence (evidence collected by direct experience and/or observation) with the scientific method or an interpretive framework to deliver sound sociological research.

Empirical knowledge- something that can be objectively observed and carefully measured using the five senses (sometimes enhanced with scientific instruments)

Knowledge: There are dozens of different ways that human beings claim to acquire knowledge. A few common examples are:

Authority: Choosing to trust another source for information is the act of making that source an authority in your life. Parents, friends, the media, religious leaders, your professor, books, or web pages are all examples of secondary sources of information that some people trust for information.

Experience: People often claim to have learned something through an experience, such as a car accident or using some type of drug. Some physical skills, such as waterskiing or playing basketball, are acquired primarily through experience. On the other hand, some experiences are subjective and are not generalizable to all.

Logic: Simple deduction is often used to discern truth from falsity and is the primary way of knowing used in philosophy. I might suggest that if I fall in a swimming pool full of water, I will get wet. If that premise is true and I fall in a swimming pool, you could deduce that I got wet.

Tradition: Many people who live in societies that have not experienced industrialization decide what to do in the future by repeating what was done in the past. Even in modern societies, many people get satisfaction out of celebrating holidays the same way year after year. Fast-paced change in modern societies, however, makes traditional knowledge less and less helpful in making good choices.

Science: The scientific method combines the use of logic with controlled experience, creating a novel way of discovery that marries sensory input with careful thinking. By adopting a model of cause and effect, scientists produce knowledge that can explain certain phenomena and even predict various outcomes before they occur.

These methods of claiming to know certain things are referred to as epistemologies. An epistemology is simply a way of knowing. In Sociology, information gathered through science is privileged over all others. That is, information gleaned using other epistemologies will be rejected if it is not supported by evidence gathered using the scientific method.


Learning About the World


Traditional knowledge or “inherited knowledge” (e.g., individualism) (intuitive knowledge)

Knowledge from authority (e.g., taking an antibiotic will cure my illness)(authoritative knowledge)

Authority figures include parents, teachers, and professional figures

Experiential knowledge (e.g., touching a hot pot will cause a burn!) (logical knowledge) click on speaker iconsà

Fields That Use Social Science Research

Specific Considerations for the Social Sciences

Basic research: Research that is motivated solely by researcher interest

Sociology for sociology’s sake

Applied research: Research that is conducted for some purpose beyond or in addition to researcher interest

Public sociology: The application of sociological theories and research to matters of public interest


The Theory and Research Cycle

Deductive reasoning- investigations begin with general theories of behavior, then specific patterns are hypothesized using logical reasoning

Hypotheses- educated guesses based on theories which have not yet been empirically tested

Inductive reasoning- investigations begin with specific facts, then develops a theory to explain the facts

Inductive reasoning begins without specific hypotheses

The study does not begin with a theory about casual relationships, but the data are used to create an explanation of causality

The next step is that a generalization – a theory – would emerge from the data itself

Sociology at Three Different Levels

Micro: An analytic framework focusing on the smallest levels of interaction

For example: One-on-one interactions between couples or friends

Meso: An analytic framework focusing on group interactions

For example: Study on how norms of workplace behavior vary across professions or how children’s sporting clubs are organized

Macro: An analytic framework focusing on large-scale patterns across social structures or institutions

For example: A study of globalization that examines the interrelationships between nations


Inductive Approaches and Some Examples

Inductive approach: Collect data, analyze patterns in the data, and then theorize from the data

Used by researchers to better understand how best to meet the needs of young people who are homeless



Understanding of a topic or problem

Creation of new theories of science

Deductive Approaches and Some Examples

Deductive approach: Develop hypotheses based on some theory or theories, collect data that can be used to test the hypotheses, and assess whether the data collected support the hypotheses

Used to study the effects of different classroom environments on first graders’ mental health


Theories of science

Idea or concept

Test of this idea or concept

Approaches to Sociological Research: Deductive

The scientific method is an essential tool in research.

Hypothesis: is an assumption about how two or more variables are related

Independent Variable: are the cause of change.

Dependent Variable: is the effect, or the thing that is changed.

Science is rooted in objectivity

The methods used should not contaminate ones findings

Personal opinions and biases should be absent from research

Scientists may not distort their findings to promote their personal views

Research is conducted in a way that tests whether assumptions support OR disprove what is being tested

Scientific evidence- facts and information that are confirmed through systematic testing using the five senses

Sociologists use the scientific method in their research

Step 1: Define a topic or problem that can be investigated scientifically

Step 2: Review relevant research and theory to refine the topic and define variables

Step 3: Formulate hypotheses/research questions and operationalize variables

Step 4: Design the research method which specifies how the data will be gathered

Step 5: Select a sample of people or groups from the population

Step 6: Collect the data using appropriate research methods

Step 7: Analyze the data, figuring out exactly what the study tells us about the question(s)

Step 8: Draw conclusions and present the final report, including suggestions for future research

Spurious relationships- no real relationship exists between the independent and dependent variables, but they vary together, often due to a third variable that changes both of them


Approaches to Sociological Research

Researchers want to maximize

reliability: how likely research results are to be replicated if the study is reproduced.

Validity: how well the study measures what it was designed to measure.

Operational definition: defining a concept in terms of the physical or concrete steps it takes to objectively measure it.

Ways that two concepts can be related

Correlation- a change in one variable is associated with a change in the other

Cause and effect relationship- A change in the independent variable results in a change in the dependent variable

A scientific method or process is considered fundamental to the scientific investigation and acquisition of new knowledge based upon verifiable evidence. In addition to employing the scientific method in their research, sociologists explore the social world with several different purposes in mind. Like the physical sciences (i.e., chemistry, physics, etc.), sociologists can be and often are interested in predicting outcomes given knowledge of the variables and relationships involved. This approach to doing science is often termed positivism (though perhaps more accurately should be called empiricism). The positivist approach to social science seeks to explain and predict social phenomena, often employing a quantitative approach where aspects of social life are assigned numerical codes and subjected to in-depth analyses to uncover trends often missed by a casual observer. This approach most often makes use of deductive reasoning, which initially forms a theory and hypothesis, which are then subjected to empirical testing.

With research, one of the critical aspects of it is the rules that are followed (scientific method).

Empirical evidence + scientific method + theory = sound sociological research.

Objective measurement is hard to come by when dealing with human behaviors, there will always be some sort of measurement error, whether it be systematic or unsystematic. It is impossible to really fully measure any form of social behavior.

Reliability: consistency or precision in measurements; are the measurements repeatable. How we improve reliability is by clear conceptualization, increasing the number of items, use multiple indicators for the same construct.

Validity: does the measure accurately measure the concept it is supposed to measure. There are different types of validity: content validity, criterion validity, construct validity. “Target” construct: hitting the bull’s-eye (valid/reliable), shooting to the left (not valid/reliable), shots all over the middle (valid/not reliable), shots all over the place (not valid/not reliable).

Operational definition: Relationship between the genre of movie an individual watches and their happiness.

Interpretive Framework: is usually more descriptive or narrative in its findings. Rather than having a clear cut hypothesis and method, this method relies more on exploration.

Graph Answers: affordable housing, homeless rate; math tutoring, math grades; police patrol presence, safer neighborhood; factory lighting, productivity; observation, public awareness.

Research Method Slide:

The authors begin this section with a short anecdote about Hawthorne Works, a Chicago factory, which commissioned a study to determine whether or not lighting could increase or decrease worker productivity.


Unlike the physical sciences, sociology (and other social sciences, like anthropology) also often seek simply to understand social phenomena. Max Weber labeled this approach Verstehen, which is German for understanding. This approach, called qualitative sociology, aims to understand a culture or phenomenon on its own terms rather than trying to develop a theory that allows for prediction. Qualitative sociologists more frequently use inductive reasoning where an investigator will take time to make repeated observations of the phenomena under study, with the hope of coming to a thorough and grounded understanding of what is really going on.

Both approaches employ a scientific method as they make observations and gather data, propose hypotheses, and test or refine their hypotheses in the formulation of theories


Sociological Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research

A scientific method that does not require statistical methods for collecting and reporting data

Observation and open-ended questions are two examples.

Capture descriptive information.

Inductive Science

Gathering primary data from a natural environment.

Purpose is to observe specific behaviors in that setting.

Useful in observing how people behave, but not why they behave that way.

Correlation between variables.


Participant Observation:

Researchers join people and participate in a group’s activities.


Extended Observation of the social perspective and cultural values of an entire social setting.

Case Study

In-depth analysis of a single event, situation, or individual.

Field studies/observational methods- systematic, planned observations of social interaction

Observation- the systematic viewing and recording of interactions in natural settings

Detached/non-participant observations- the researcher does not participate in what (s)he is observing

Participant observation- the researcher participates in the activities of the group being studied

Particularly useful for illegal or deviant activities

Qualitative (vs. quantitative)

Research effects- the group may be altered by the presence of a researcher

Researchers may become too involved in the group to be objective

Researchers’ interpretations of the data is both interesting and bias-prone

Ethnography- a form of field study that includes self reflection

May be multi-method

The findings guide the observations and research


Sociological Research: Observational Research

Dimensions to any type of observation in sociology

Degree to which those being observed are aware that they are being observed

Hawthorne Effect: occurs when people change their behavior because they know they are being watched as part of a study.

Click for video

Degree to which the presence of the observer may affect those being observed

Degree to which the process is structured

Sociological Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Quantitative Research

Involves the analysis of numerical data typically obtained from the administration of surveys and experiments.

Can help us describe and understand observable social realities

Descriptive statistics are used to compare trends over time

Inferential statistics rely on data from small groups to speculate on the behavior of larger groups.

Research Methods

Population: people who are the focus of the study;

Sample: smaller sector of the population that is more manageable but still representative of the larger population.

Random Sample: everyone in the population has the same chance of being chosen

Sampling (click for video)


Research Methods


Investigation of relationships to test hypothesis (cause and effect)

Breaching Experiments

Secondary Data Analysis

Analyzing data that has already been collected

Watching T.V. shows, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, movies, etc.

Non-reactive: it does not include direct contact with subjects and will not alter or influence people’s behaviors.

Controlled experiments- control all variables except the one being studied

Control group- subjects who are not exposed to the variable the researcher wants to test

Experimental group- subjects who are exposed to the variable being tested

Controlled experiments are good because they allow for the best test of cause and effect

Controlled experiments also have drawbacks

Cannot be used for many sociological questions that focus on meso- and macro-level social forces

The laboratory setting may affect participants (research effects)

Social scientists cannot ethically introduce many variables into the laboratory


Limitations in sociological research

Human behavior is complex: making predictions maybe difficult/impossible.

Hawthorne Effect

Society is constantly changing (Sociology can change society)

It is difficult for sociologists to strive for subjectivity.

No Matter which method is used, researchers must follow a code of ethics!

Issues in Social Research: Research Ethics

Ethics is concerned with issues of right and wrong, the choices that people make, and how they justify them.

Research ethics is a balance of potential knowledge – the goal is to increase knowledge – and potential harm – the goal is to minimize or eliminate harm.

Issues in Social Research: Research Ethics

Physical and Psychological Harm

Physical harm can be an unintended consequence of sociological research.

Psychological harm can be caused merely by asking people about sensitive issues.

Illegal Acts

A researcher might witness or even become entangled in illegal acts during the course of his/her research.


Issues in Social Research: Objectivity or Value-Free Sociology

Have researchers been, or can they be, objective?

Objectivity refers to suppressing personal bias and/or value judgments from entering research

Procedural objectivity involve reporting research findings in a way that any reader will understand how the research was conducted.

Method Implementations Advantages Challenges
Survey• Questionnaires
• Interviews
• Yields many responses
• Can survey a large sample
• Quantitative data are easy to chart
• Can be time consuming
• Can be difficult to encourage participant response
• Captures what people think
and believe but not necessarily how they behave in real life
Field Work• Observation
• Participant observation
• Ethnography
• Case study
Yields detailed, accurate real-life information• Time consuming
• Data captures how people behave but not what they think and believe
• Qualitative data is difficult to organize
ExperimentDeliberate manipulation of social customs and moresTests cause and effect relationships• Hawthorne Effect
• Ethical concerns about people’s wellbeing
Secondary Data Analysis• Analysis of government data (census, health, crime statistics)
• Research of historic documents
Makes good use of previous sociological information• Data could be focused on a purpose other than yours
• Data can be hard to find

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Second level

Third level

Fourth level

Fifth level

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