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26 Cards in this Set

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analysis of existing data
type of unobtrusive research that relies on data gathered earlier by someone else for some other purpose
content analysis
form of unobtrusive research that studies the content of recorded messages, such as books, speeches, poems, songs, television, shows, websites, and advertisements
dependent variable
experimental variable that is assumed to be caused by, or to change as a result of, the independent variable
empirical research
research that operates from the ideological position that questions about human behavior can be answered only through controlled, systematic observations in the real world
experiment
research method designed to elicit some sort of behavior, typically conducted under closely controlled laboratory circumstances
field research
type of social research in which the researcher observes events as they actually occur
historical analysis
form of social research that relies on existing historical documents as a source of data
hopothesis
researchable prediction that specifies the relationship between two or more variables
incorrigible proposition
unquestioned cultural belief that cannot be proved wrong no matter what happens to dispute it
independent variable
experimental variable presumed to cause or influence the dependent variable
indicator
measurable event, characteristic, or behavior commonly thought to reflect a particular concept
moral entrepreneurs
groups that work to have their moral concerns translated into law
nonparticipant observation
form of field research in which the researcher observes people without directly interacting with them and letting them know they are being observed
participant observation
forms of field research in which the researcher interacts with subjects, sometimes hiding his or her identity
probablistic
capable of identifying only those forces that have a high likelihood but not a certainty, of influencing human action.
qualitative research
sociological research based on nonnumerical information (text, written words, phrases, symbols, observations) that describes people, actions, or events in social life
quantitative research
sociological research based on the collection of numerical data that uses precise statistical analysis
representative
typical of the whole popluation being studied
sample
subgroup chosen for a study because its characteristics approximate those of the entire population
self-fulfilling prophecy
assumption or prediction that in itself causes the expected event to occur, thus seeming to confirm the prophecy's accuracy
social construction of reality
process through which the members of a society discover, make known, reaffirm, and alter a collective version of facts, knowledge, and "truth"
survey
form of social research in which the researcher asks subjects a series of questions, either verbally or on paper
theory
set of statements or propositions that seeks to explain or predict a particular aspect of social life
unobtrusive research
research technique in which the researcher, without direct contact with the subjects, examines the evidence of social behavior that people create or leave behind
variable
any characteristic, attitude, behavior or event that can take on two or more values or attributes
visual sociology
method of studying society that uses photographs, video, and film either as means of gathering data or as sources of data about social life