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31 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
General Components of Research Methods
1. Design
2. Measurement
3. Analysis
Social Science
-The use of scientific methods to investigate individuals, societies, and social processes
Overgeneralization
-Assumptions that what is observed in one case is true for all cases
-Drawing conclusion from interactions with a limited number of people
-Ex. All cops are bad
-Likelihood reduced when we base our conclusions on multiple observations
Selective Observation
-Choosing to look at things in accordance with our beliefs, preferences, or prejudices
-Acknowledging instances that confirm predisposition
-Ex. Violent kids are unlikely to be rehabilitated
-Risk reduced by setting aside preconceived opinions and use scientific methods when making observations
Illogical Reasoning
-Prematurely jumping to conclusions on the basis of invalid assumptions
-Ex. Violent video games and violence (Unreasonable to say that playing violent video games causes children to be violent when the majority do not become violent but also illogical to say that playing violent video games has no effect)
-Likelihood is reduced when we base conclusions on what is learned and observed about people and events rather than on our emotional reactions to people and events
Resistance to Change
-In spite of new information, reluctance to change ideas/perceptions about something
-Resistance to change is reduced when we avoid: ego-based commitments (by allowing our observations to conform to what we see and not to our needs), excessive devotion to tradition (by not allowing our perceptions to be distorted by traditional beliefs about social phenomena), and uncritical agreement (with authority by critically evaluating what authority figures tell us to be true)
Motivations for research
1. Policy motivations - assess programs and policies to determine their success and develop ways to improve outcomes and better address problems
2. Academic motivations - learn more about complex social phenomena to better understand crime and society's response to it
3. Personal motivations - improve society, solve a problem of personal interest
Descriptive Research
-Defining and describing social phenomena of interest
-Asks who, what, where, when, how many
-Ex. Has crime been declining in Tampa over the past 20 years? What is the distribution of poverty in Tampa? What is the peak age for criminal offending?
Exploratory Research
-Seeks to find out: how people get along in specific settings and situations, meanings behind people's actions, what issues concern people
-Goal is to answer the question: What is going on?
Explanatory Research
-Identifying cause and effect of a phenomena
-Predict how one phenomenon will change in response to changes in another
-Ex. Why does crime peak at 17-18 and then gradually decline? Why has crime been declining in Tampa since early 90s? Why do juveniles become delinquent?
Evaluation Research
-Determining the effects of a social program or other type of intervention
-Ex. DARE, Scared Straight, Policy changes for drunk driving or sex offender laws
Types of Research Methods
1. Experimental - used most often in evaluation research
2. Asking questions - directly (surveys and interviews) or indirectly (self-administration)
3. Participant and other field observation - Observe something in its natural environment as it happens or intensive interviews, focus groups to obtain in-depth info
4. Secondary data - content analysis, analysis of data collected for another study or purpose
Type of Data Collection
1. Cross Sectional Design - studying sample of subjects at one point, collecting data only once
2. Longitudinal Design - studying subjects over time, repeated measures
Approaches to Research
1. Quantitative - methods that record variation in social life in terms of categories that vary in amount, numbers or categories that can be ordered and/or counted
2. Qualitative - capturing social life as participants experience it, most likely captured by written or spoken data, involves interpretation
Validity
-Measurement validity: are we measuring what we think we are measuring?
-Generalizability: conclusions are supported across different groups, settings, events
-Causal Validity (Internal): A results in B
Evaluating Research ?s
1. Feasibility - time, funding, assistance, access
2. Social Importance - to the discipline, for public policy, for larger society
3. Scientific Relevance - grounded in scientific literature, What has already been learned (i.e. replication, extension, using different method for same question)
Theory
Interrelated set of propositions that can explain empirical reality
Hypothesis
-Statement about empirical reality, involving a relationship between two or more variables
-It can also be understood as a statement about what you expect your data to show, based on the theory you are testing
-It implies that a change in one variable is related to a change in other variable, not only proposes relationship but also direction
Deductive Reasoning
-Start with theory, develop hyportheses, collect data, analyze data, draw conclusions
-General to specific
Inductive Reasoning
-Collect data on something of interest, use info collected to develop theory of how some phenomenon works outside the study (generalize), test the new/refined theory
-Specific to general
-Exploratory research often inductive
Variable
-Characteristic or concept that is measured
--Attributes: values the variable can have
--Constant: characteristic or concept that is the same for everyone in study
-Ex. Variable = occupation, Attribute = plumber
--Independent = manipulated variable
--Dependent = what you want to explain
--Moderating = can affect the relationship (from the outside)
--Mediating = comes between the variables
Belmont Report Principles
1. Respect for persons: treat people as autonomous agents, protect those with diminished autonomy
2. Beneficence: minimize possible harm and maximize benefits
3. Justice: distribute benefits and risks of research fairly
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
-Federal regulations require that every institution that seeks federal funding for biomedical or behavioral research have an IRB
-Purpose is to review research proposals to ensure that studies are conducted ethically
-Comprised of members with diverse backgrounds
Ethical Principles
1. Achieving Valid Results: research serves no purpose if valid results not obtained, must be objective as possible free from prejudice and bias
2. Honesty and Openness: those who publicly and honestly report their research methods are less vulnerable to political or personal pressure to distort the results, allows other to peer review and evaluate the appropriateness of research methods
3. Protecting Research Participants: no harm to subjects, voluntary participation, informed consent, guarantee anonymity (identity unknown) or confidentiality (known but not revealed), benefits should outweigh foreseeable risks
4. Uses of Research
Positivism
-An objective reality exists apart from "empirical" reality
-Goal: to study things in a way that helps discover or understand reality
-Roots lie particularly with empiricism which works only with observable facts, seeing that beyond this is the realm of logic and math
-Founded by Cesare Lombroso (physical features indicate nature of criminality)
Postpositivism
-Empirical reality exists, but because of complexity of human behavior and associations, we may not be able to understand it completely
-Goal: to achieve intersubjective agreement because limitations in research techniques often prevent ability to perceive objective reality
-Intersubjective agreement = our views about the world are linked to ideas that have been determined by society
Interpretivism
-No single empirical reality
-People have different understandings of situations
-Research should study how people perceive reality
Constructivism
-Extends interpretivism to emphasize the importance of how different stakeholders construct their beliefs
-We build our own individual realities
Participatory Action Research
-Researcher collaborates with some of the persons studied
-Uses their insights to help develop valid definitions and conclusions
-Used most often by researchers with interpretivist or constructivist orientation, but can be used by researchers with positivist or post-positivist orientation as well
Research Activities of Positivist/Postpositivist
-Test ideas against empirical reality without becoming invested in outcome
-Entails systematic research
-Document all procedures and make them available to other researchers
-Clarify assumptions on which research is based
-Define all terms
-Replicate studies to build and refine theory
-Search for patterns in social behaviors or relationships
Research Activities of Interpretivist/Constructivist
-Identify stakeholders and asked them about their claims, concerns, issues
-Share these claims, concerns, issues with out stakeholder groups to obtain their perspectives
-Focus further investigation on areas of disagreement among stakeholder groups
-Collaborate in an attempt to reach consensus in areas of disagreement