Delta State University
SOC 101: Principles of Sociology
Fall Semester 2005

Study Questions, Week 2


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(1) What is the scientific method?  Describe each step of the scientific method.


(2) Provide a brief definition of the following terms:


            Hypothesis                                    Sample

            Variable                                        Validity

            Independent Variable                 Reliability

            Dependent Variable                    Control Variable



(3) Explain what is meant by causal logic.  Describe two examples of causal logic.


(4) What is a random sample?  Under what conditions might a researcher use a random sample?  What is the advantage of using a random sample?


(5) What is the difference between quantitative and qualitative research?  Why would a researcher choose one approach over the other?


(6) What is a survey?  How do researchers carry out surveys?  What are the advantages of using a survey to do research?  What are some of the drawbacks?


(7) Some researchers rely on observation.  How can this be considered research?  Describe how a researcher might carry out a participant observation study.


(8) What is ethnography?  Under what conditions would a researcher choose to use ethnographic methods to do research?


(9) Describe the experimental method.  Why don't sociologists use experiments very much?  What is the value of experiments as a research technique?  What are some drawbacks?


(10) What is meant by the Hawthorne effect?  How does this affect research in the social sciences?


(11) What are the characteristics of secondary analysis?  What are its advantages and disadvantages as a research method?  Describe how one might carry out a content analysis.

(12) What, according to Robert Merton, is the goal of social science research?  In what ways does empirical research contribute to this general goal?