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Sociological Research Methods
A quiz on Unit 2 sociology, on sociological research methods.
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almost 9 years ago
What are the advantages of a questionnaire?
Quick and cheap
Interviewee doesn't need to remain anonymous
They are reliable
What are the disadvantages of a questionnaire?
Can't be used for testing hypothesis
Give picture of reality at just one time
Can't be sure whether the questionnaire was recieved
Can't be processed easily by a computer
Who favors questionnaires?
What are the advantages of statistics?
Show trends and patterns over time
Not biased as they are produced by the government
They are representative
What are the disadvantages of statistics?
State may have different definitions/views
Small-scale studies are less representative
Not quick to compile
Not always reliable
Who favors statistics?
What are the advantages of experiments?
(Lab) Can study small areas
(Lab) No need for informed consent
(Lab) They are reliable
(Field) Can experiment a broader spectrum
(Field) In school, education isn't held back
(Field) Some can be repeated
What are the disadvantages of experiments?
(Lab) Difficult to investigate on a large scale
(Lab) Not very representative
(Field) In school, no two schools are the same and experiments are harder to repeat
(Field) Pupils can be deceived f unaware of the experiment
Who favors experiments?
What are the advantages of documents?
(Public) Free and easy to access
(Public and Personal) Always reliable
(Personal) Easy to obtain
What are the disadvantages of documents?
(Personal) Might have to pay to obtain them
(Personal) Confidentiality and informed consent with letters, diaries, etc
(Public and Personal) Doesn't always portray how everyone feels about the situation at hand (more historical)
Who favors documents?
What are the advantages of interviews?
(Structured) Less training as interviewers have to follow a set list of questions
(Structured) Can cover a lot of people
(Unstructured) Gain trust and unterstanding with interviewee
(Unstructured) No ethical issues
What are the disadvantages of interviews?
(Structured) Cost more than questionnaires
(Structured) Interviewee may feel under pressure to answer questions
(Structured) Not very valid
(Unstructured) Need informed consent and ensure anonymity
(Unstructured) Not very representative
Who favors interviews?
What are the advantages of observations?
Can be the only method for researching important areas of interest
Researcher doesn't need to be trained
They are valid
Can gain an insight in to how people live, verstehen (empathy)
Doesn't take a long amount of time
What are the disadvantages of observations?
Not valid/Hawthorne Effect
New areas can't be looked in to freely
Taking part in illegal activities can be dangerous and lead to more trouble
Personal characteristics can affect study
Who favors observations?
What are the advantages of life histories?
Researchers can't lead respondants
Provide a picture of social life over time
What are the disadvantages of life histories?
Can't provide insights or information
It is dependent on memory which can be selective
They can reflect biased opinions and attitudes
What are the advantages of case studies?
Give detail on a chosen area
Theories and hypothesis can be tested
'Case studies give useful information for a smaller research project'
What are the advantages of longitudinal studies?
Can examine developments over time
Don't take a long time
'In longitudinal studies, people can be lost due to death, failure to trace, etc..'
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