AQA Sociology Assignment 2

Topic 2 of the AQA Psychology Course, including qualitative and quantitive data, primary and secondary data, and social and ethical issues.


Qualitative and Quantitive Data

Qualitative data
- Deals with descriptions.
- Data can be observed but not measured.
 -Colors, textures, smells, tastes, appearance, beauty, etc.

Sample - Usually a small number of non-representative cases. Respondents selected to fulfil a given quota.

Quantitive data
- Deals with numbers.
- Data which can be measured.
 -Length, height, area, volume, weight, speed, time, temperature, humidity, sound levels, cost, members, ages, etc.

Sample - Usually a large number of cases representing the population of interest. Randomly selected respondents.

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Primary and Secondary Data

Primary source information is original material, such as a first-hand account of an event or a work of literature or art, that has not been interpreted by anyone other than its creator. Common types of primary sources are diaries, letters, autobiographies, interviews, speeches, stories, poetry, drama, sheet music, and visual art.
- Always original as it is collected by the investigator.
- Extra precautions are not required.
- Possibility of personal prejudice.

Secondary sources analyze and interpret primary sources, drawing upon them to explain events of the past or explore the meaning of works of art. Secondary sources are often produced well after the events or primary sources they comment upon, and their authors tend to be modern scholars or commentators rather than eyewitnesses of what they write about. Typical secondary sources include scholarly books, articles in journals, and textbooks.
- Secondary data lacks originality. The investigator makes use of the data collected by other agencies.
- Secondary data are usually in the shape of readymade products.
- Possibility of lesser degree of personal prejudice.

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Social Issues

Social issues are issues that occur in a community of people rather than the actions of a single individual. These usually revolve around conflicting viewpoints and tensions between people who take different stances. They can also be known as ‘community’ problems as they involve the community.
ome of the major social issues include, but are not limited to:

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Ethical Issues

Ethical issues involve right and wrong or what is considered good, and what is considered evil in a society.


Ethical Guidelines

Ethical Issues


An ethical guideline might be that all participants have to give informed consent. This would mean that the sociologist would have to explain to participants what the research was about and what taking part would involve. Participants would also be told that they had the right not to give consent or to withdraw their consent at any time. An ethical issue would arise if a researcher did not fully explain their research to participants (meaning they did not have informed consent), or if a researcher used results when consent had beenwithdrawn.


Participants in research should not be identified by name or in any other way in any articles or books about the research. An ethical issue would arise if a participant were to be identified in some way e.g. by a photograph or by name.


All participants’ information should be kept confidential. An ethical issue would arise if this information were not kept confidential.

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