Babbie World

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Babbie World
2014-08-21 01:09:05
Social Science research

Notes from Earl Babbie's Book: The Practice of Social Research
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  1. Epistemology
    The science of knowing
  2. Methodology
    (a subfield of epistemology) the science of finding out
  3. Errors in Inquiry
    • Inaccurate observations
    • Overgeneralization
    • Selective observation
    • Illogical reasoning
  4. Theory
    A systematic explanation for the observations that relate to a particular aspect of life
  5. Purview of scientific theory
    Scientific theory cannot settle debates about value. It can determine how a system performs, but only in terms of some set of agreed-on criteria
  6. Reference group theory
    People judge their lot in life less by objective conditions than by comparing themselves with others around them
  7. aggregate
    includes groups, organizations, collectives, an so forth. Whereas psychologists focus on what happens inside individuals, social scientists study what goes on between them
  8. Variables
    Logical sets of attributes. the variable sex is made up of the attributes male and female.
  9. Attributes
    Characteristics or qualities that describe an object
  10. Independent variable
    a variable with values that are not problematic in an analysis but are taken as simply given. An independent variable is presumed to cause or determine a dependent variable
  11. Dependent variable
    a variable assumed to depend on or be caused by another (called the independent variable). If you find that income is partly a function of amount of education, income is being treated as a dependent variable
  12. The purposes of social research
    • exploratory
    • describing
    • explanatory
  13. Idiographic explanation
    An approach to explanation in which we try to exhaust the idiosyncratic causes of a particular condition or event.
  14. Nomothetic explanation
    An approach to explanation in which we seek to identify a few causal factors that generally impact a class of conditions or events.
  15. Induction
    The logical model in which general principles are developed from specific observations.
  16. Deduction
    The logical model in which specific expectations of hypotheses are developed on the basis of general principles.
  17. Determinism versus agency
    whether humans are determined by their particular environment or whether they feel and act out of their personal choice or agency
  18. Tolerance of ambiguity
    The ability to hold conflicting ideas in your mind simultaneously, without denying or dismissing any of them
  19. Qualitative versus quantitative
    nonnumerical versus numerical. he is intelligent versus he has an IQ of 120.
  20. Informed consent
    A norm in which subjects base their voluntary participation in research projects on a full understanding of the possible risks involved
  21. Anonymity
    Anonymity is achieved in a research project when neither the researcher nor the readers of the findings can identify a given response with a given respondent
  22. Confidentiality
    A research project guarantees confidentiality when the researcher can identify a given person's responses but promises not to do so publicly
  23. Debriefing
    Interviewing subjects to learn about their experiences of participation in the project. this is especially important if there's a possibility that they have been damaged by participation.
  24. Objectivity through intersubjectivity
    Different scientists, having different subjective views, can and should arrive at the same results when they employ accepted research techniques.
  25. Paradigm
    A model or frame of reference through which to observe and understand. Paradigms provide ways of looking. They provide logical frameworks, within which theories are created.
  26. Macrotheory
    Macrotheory deals with large, aggregate entities of society or even whole societies.
  27. Mesotheory
    an intermediate level between macro and micro: studying organizations, communities, and perhaps social categories such as gender.
  28. Microtheory
    A theory aimed at understanding social life at the intimate level of individuals and their interactions. (still between, not inside individuals)
  29. Auguste Compte
    • Coined the term Sociolgie. Postulated three stages of history:
    • Theological stage
    • Metaphysical stage
    • Scientific stage
    • He called the scientific approach Positivism, in contrast to the negative elements he observed in the enlightenment.
  30. Positivism
    Introduced by Auguste Compte, this philosophical system is grounded on the rational proof/disproof of scientific assertions; assumes a knowable, objective reality
  31. Conflict paradigm
    A paradigm that views human behavior as attempts to dominate others or avoid being dominated by others
  32. Symbolic interactionism
    A paradigm that views human behavior as the creation of meaning through social interaction, with those meanings conditioning subsequent interactions.
  33. Etnomethodology
    • meaning: methodology of the people.
    • People continually construct the reality and attempt to make sense of it, like a social scientist.
  34. Structural functionalism
    a paradigm that divides social phenomena into parts, each of which serves a function for the operation of the whole.
  35. Feminist paradigms
    Paradigms that (1) view and understand society through the experiences of women and/or (2) examine the generally deprived status of women in society
  36. Critical race theory
    A paradigm grounded in race awareness and an intention to achieve racial justice
  37. interest convergence
    The thesis that majority group members will only support the interests of minorities when those actions also support the interests of the majority group
  38. Postmodernism
    A paradigm that questions the assumption of positivism and theories describing an "objective" reality
  39. Critical realism
    A paradigm that holds things are real insofar as they produce effects
  40. Law vs. theory
    Whereas a law is an observed regularity, a theory is a systematic explanation for observations that relate to a particular aspect of life
  41. Concepts
    Abstract elements representing classes of phenomena within the field of study
  42. Variables
    Made up of attributes (concepts)
  43. Axiom or postulates
    Fundamental assertions, taken to be true, on which a theory is grounded
  44. Propositions
    Specific conclusions, derived from the axiomatic groundwork, about the relationship among concepts
  45. A hypothesis
    a specified testable expectation about empirical reality that follows from a more general proposition; more generally, an expectation about the nature of things derived from a theory. It is a statement of something that ought to be if the theory is correct.
  46. Operationalization
    One step beyond conceptualization. Operationalization is the process of developing operational definitions, or specifying the exact operations involved in measuring a variable
  47. Operational definition
    The concrete and specific definition of something in terms of the operations by which observations can be categorized.
  48. Disconfirmability
    The possibility of falsification of a hypothesis. In other words, there must be a chance that the hypothesis is not true, otherwise it is a useless hypothesis
  49. X cause Y (equation)
    Social class causes delinquency
    • Y=f(X)
    • Y is a function of X
    • Delinquency is a function of social class
  50. Null hypothesis
    In connection with hypothesis testing and tests of statistical significance, that hypothesis that suggests there is no relationship among the variables under study. You may conclude that the variables are related after having statistically rejected the null hypothesis.
  51. Correlation
    An empirical relationship between two variables such that (1) changes in one are associated with changes in the other or (2) particular attributes of one variable are associated with particular attributes of the other. Correlation in and of itself does not constitute a causal relationship between the two variables, but it is one criterion of causality
  52. Spurious realtionship
    A coincidental statistical correlation between two variables, shown to be caused by some third variable
  53. False criteria for nomothetic causality
    • Complete causation: Not the only cause
    • Exceptional cases: Do not disprove the explanation
    • Majority of cases: Does not need to apply to the majority of the cases
  54. A necessary cause
    Represents a condition that must be present for the effect to follow
  55. A sufficient cause
    represents a condition that, if it is present, guarantees the effect in question (might not be the only possible cause)
  56. Units of analysis
    The what or whom being studied. In social science research, the most typical units of analysis are individual people
  57. Social Artifact
    Any product of social beings or their behavior. Can be a unit of behavior.
  58. Ecological fallacy
    Erroneously drawing conclusions about individuals solely from the observations of groups
  59. Reductionism
    A fault of some researchers: a strict limitation (reduction) of the kinds of concepts to be considered relevant to the phenomenon under study