research methods

  • Created by: Joanaar
  • Created on: 19-05-22 20:06
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  • Research methods
    • social surveys
      • questionnaires
        • quick, easy, cheap, representativeno need to recruit or train interviewers, easy to analyse, pre coded questions avalaible online
        • informed consent not usually an issue, can ignore if dont want to complete, researches honest about intentions
          • cause and effect
        • theoretical
          • imposition problem- when choosing question, deciding what is important, closed ended q, answer has to fit. not able to express. can distort meanings and undermine validity
            • interpretivists do not like
              • detached nature, lack of close contact, no way to know if q is interpretated correctly
                • could be socially desired answers or lying, or check who is completing
                  • can suffer from being unrepresentative as certain people more likely to complete- people with more time, literate, positive self esteem
      • structured interviews
        • allow to test hypothesis, cause and effect, easy to quantify, factual information, quick and cheap training easy, higher response rates
          • lack validity, little freedome to explain, may lie or exaggerate, limited answers, impose researchers ideas, inflexible, snapchot of life
            • may feel underpressure
          • representativesame questions asked
            • informed consent, no pressure to answer
    • experiments
      • lab
        • controlled conditions- isolate variables, cause and effect, extraneous variables(get rid of undesirable variables) 'objective knowledge', 'out there' facts, good reliability easy to replicate and detachment
          • easy to attract funding, prestige science, take place in one setting
          • legal, benefits soc,informed consent for funding
        • reductionalist, people are not puppets, lack external validity, aritificial environment is far removed from real life, hawthorne effect reduce validity, act differently, small scale and unrepresentative- no study of large scale social processes
          • taking large samples will take time, cannot fit whole town or countries in small scale laboratory
            • decption, no informed consent, harm to respondents, e.g. milgram, unequal relationships, imposition problem
      • field
        • better external validity, larger scale settings, can do in large institutions
          • can be cheap measuring over time, e.g. rosenthal n jacobson
            • not possible to control variables as closely as lab, hawthorne effect, access can be problem, schools relunctant to let researchers in
              • ethical- issues of deception or lack of informed consent, issue of harm
                • cannot rule out extraneous variables
    • official statistics
      • P overview of social life, easy comparisons, establish trends, representative, mass data, detached from respondents.
        • quantitative, representative
        • freely available, easy to access and navigate
        • national interest, allow check up on performance of public bodies
      • I lack validity, not all crimes are reported, manipulated to make things look better, serve interests of elite groups, changes over time, historical comparisons can be different.
        • socially constructed
        • social harm, league tables, reflect biases and prejudices, reinforce sterotypes, surveillance and control
    • observation
      • participant
        • covert
          • gaining access, researcher does not need to seek permission, easy, no hawthorne effect if they do not know they are being researched
          • hard to take field notes as you go, Pearson had to take notes soon after matches, much info forgotten
          • cant use other methods, cannot raise suspicion, stress and pressure, two jobs, identities, going native
            • no informed consent, privacy violated, engage criminal acts
      • non-participant
        • problem gaining access to observe lessons, validity, not able to get people to explain what they do, hawthorne effect, disempowering, consent is needed
        • reliability is good, representativeness
          • structured- quick to carry out, no much training needed, funding more likely
    • unstructured interviews
      • high validity, rapport and empathy, flexibility, adapt questions
        • low representativeness
          • validity underminedo-interviwer bias
            • leading questions, researcher values, each interview unique, depends on bond of trust, not easy to repeat
      • interpretivist
      • qualitative
      • empower respondent, sensitive topics, consent, ease


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