In his experiment, Duncan Watts created a website where respondents could rate songs. His sample size was 14,341 respondents. If Watts selected a new sample of 14,341 different respondents and their average ratings of each song were significantly different than the first sample, what problem would Watts’s research suffer from?
After almost a year and half in college, you notice that lack of sleep seems to yield poorer grades. That is, when you (and your friends) don’t get enough sleep, your grades seem to go down. It makes sense, right? But if you wanted to do a little research on this and really “tell the story,” you might also notice that for some students, lower grades leads to lack of sleep – the worry over those sinking grades keeps them up at night. What kind of relationship between the two variables – lack of sleep and lower grades – are you noticing here?
Which of the following is an example of a negative relationship between an independent and a dependent variable?
Employees with more responsibility are less likely to miss work.
One of the classes you are enrolled in is not only full, but the other students seem to rave about it. It’s not due just the subject and it’s not due to the professor, and that makes you curious. You have a theory as to why this is so, and you decide to test your theory by building a hypothesis, asking other students a few questions, and then seeing if the results fit your theory. As a sociologist, you are employing what kind of research in your search for answers?
a deductive approach
Which of the following data collection methods are commonly used in social research (choose all that apply)?
historical methods, participant observation, interviews
A thermometer that consistently gives readings that are five degrees cooler than the actual temperature is
reliable but not valid.
HIV/AIDS has devastated many different populations. Efforts to reduce the spread of the disease have often focused on sexual behavior. Many studies in Africa have presumed that awareness of high HIV rates would lead to a change in sexual behavior – the higher the prevalence rate, the fewer risky sexual behaviors should be observed (the dependent variable). Following widespread educational efforts (the independent variable), the actual change in HIV rate showed little to no change. This is an example of
You’re at a friend’s house, enjoying a party with others. One of the guests strikes up a conversation about apathy in voters and claims he has a pretty good idea as to why voter apathy is so high, calling it a “well-educated hypothesis.” You point out that his idea is really nothing more than a guess (much to his annoyance). He would need to do what in order to call it a hypothesis?
propose a relationship between two variables
What three factors are needed to establish causation?
correlation, time order, and ruling out alternative explanations
A researcher observes that most women entering a café choose to sit near other occupied tables, whereas most men choose a table that is farther away from other customers. The researcher then theorizes that women like to feel part of a larger group of people, whereas men are more comfortable being alone. This is an example of which kind of research approach?
You’re a Facebook user, and are interested in investigating the extent to which users can really “say what they feel” online. You’ve recently learned that many of your family members are now online too, and you have accepted your mom and dad, your sisters and a brother, a cousin, and an uncle and aunt as your Facebook friends. You decide that it would be useful to start your investigation by interviewing all your family members. What is one of the significant factors you are likely to encounter with such an approach?
a lack of reflexivity in conjunction with interviewing family members
In the effort to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, organizations and countries have marshaled a vast number of resources, including research designed to understand how the virus is spread among a population. Often, this research involves an investigation into the nature of “having sex.” Here, one the challenges is to precisely define what exactly is meant by having sex in order to then consider the variables related to such a study and the methods needed to gather the data. This challenge is crucial to any good sociological study and is called
Comparative research usually involves studying which of the following?
two or more units of analysis that have a number of things in common but differ on a dimension (or dimensions) of interest
What is a moderating variable?
a factor that affects the relationship between the independent and dependent variables
Amber is conducting research on the negative portrayal of Hispanics in the media. She searches through newspapers to document instances of discriminatory language toward Hispanics. What type of research is Amber conducting?
Which of the following is an example of a panel survey?
a study of 1,000 high school seniors who are then contacted every 2 years for a 10-year period to participate in a follow-up survey
You have decided to conduct a study on your campus that examines sexual assault with the hope of offering recommendations to the administration for policy changes. You have selected as your sample the members of all the campus fraternities, as this is a subpopulation of the entire campus and seems to often be at the center of the cases. While this is an interesting approach, your results are quite clearly
speaking beyond your data
In an effort to understand how group dynamics change under duress, a research team gathers 100 people at a very remote mountain location, bringing them all in by helicopter. Using carefully designed interviews, the researchers begin the lengthy process of interviewing the participants. After the second day, however, there are a dozen participants who express unhappiness and want to leave. The research team reminds them that they signed an agreement agreeing to be interviewed knowing what it entailed, that leaving is not practical and that they need to continue with the process. The research team is overlooking what aspect of research?
ignoring a protected population
In an interview with the Dalton Conley, Mitchell Duneier describes his desire to conduct research that adheres to the ethical guidelines of social research. If Duneier had interviewed street vendors by secretly recording their interactions, what ethical guideline would he have violated?
Both quantitative and qualitative methods – the way sociologists can gather data about a social issue or problem – are approaches that attempt to establish a __________ between social elements.
Which of the following is the best example of a quantitative research method?
conducting a survey of how often people read
Which of the following elements describe feminist approaches to social research (choose all that apply)?
engaging in research that may bring about policy changes to help improve women’s lives, taking the role of the researcher into account, listening critically and carefully to how social scientists conceptualize and describe both women’s and men’s lives
Hypothesis: Children in families that eat dinner together at least four times per week experience fewer behavior problems in school. In this hypothesis, what is the dependent variable?
how often children misbehave in school
You would like to understand why middle-school children in an inner-city school are drawn to drug use. After thoroughly operationalizing the terms, developing well-honed variables, and identifying a sample, you must apply to an institutional review board in order to conduct the research. One of the main concerns is that
you are dealing with a protected population group
In establishing causation, it helps to know which variable precedes the other in time. If not, it is easy to make a mistake involving:
In social research, a hypothesis is a(n):
proposed relationship between two or more variables.
Rogers Brubaker (1992) studied the notions of citizenship and nationhood in both France and Germany. His method of research is known as:
The three factors needed to establish causality are:
correlation, time order, and ruling out alternative explanations.
Which approach to sociological research starts with empirical observations and then works to form a theory?
If Sandra wants to generalize the findings of her study to another (possibly larger) population, it is important that the people in her study be:
representative of the group(s) she wants to generalize to.
A sociologist studying minor children, pregnant women, or inmates must get approval, as these groups are known as:
Because they are an accessible population, sociologists sometimes use undergraduate students in their research. In relation to the concept of generalizability in science, this tendency could represent a potential defect in research because:
college undergraduates are not typical of the public at large.
A sociologist finds a strong relationship between education and income. If he only assumes that the amount of education people receive directly causes them to earn a certain income, and not that a family’s income can determine educational attainment, he is forgetting to consider:
A correlation is a:
simultaneous change in two variables.
Which of the following might be an advantage of participant observation research?
The researcher can uncover what people do rather than simply what they say they do.
When one factor is said to influence another factor, we refer to this as:
Sandra is doing research on cheating among students at Duke University. The student body at Duke will serve as her:
The extent to which a researcher can claim that his or her findings explain a larger population than was studied is known as:
Which of the following is an example of a negative relationship between individual behavior and health?
As nicotine consumption decreases, life expectancy increases.
What does reflexivity mean with regard to social research?
when researchers are aware of their role in, and their potential effect on, the behavior of the people they study
A type of longitudinal study in which the same sample of respondents is tracked over a long period of time is known as:
a panel study.
Which of the following describes the deductive approach to research?
A researcher starts with a theory, forms hypotheses, makes observations, and then analyzes the data.
What is the meaning of the term white coat effects in social research?
the impact researchers have on the people/relationships they study
There are advantages and disadvantages to different interview techniques. What might be an advantage that structured interviews have over unstructured (open-ended) interviews?
It is easier to make careful tabulations and comparisons of answers.
Although qualitative studies are rich in detail and offer an in-depth look at a particular population and/or phenomenon, due to their limited scope they sometimes suffer from low:
When a researcher is successful at measuring what he or she intends to measure, this is called:
A moderating variable is a factor that:
affects the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.
Jill wants to know more about how democratic a society is. When she begins her study, she defines the level of democracy as the number of people who are able to participate in popular elections. With this definition, Jill has ____________ the variable “level of democracy”:
Which of the following is the best example of a correlation?
People with higher levels of income tend to enjoy better overall health.