- Examples of descriptive or correlational research methods include case studies, surveys, naturalistic observation, and laboratory observation.
- correlation is not the same as causation.
- A correlation is a measure of the relationship between two variables.
The advantages and disadvantages of each method make them suitable for certain situations and not suitable for others. Researchers can use these methods to describe events, experiences, or behaviors. A psychologist uses the survey method to study the relationship between balding and length of marriage.
What are the 4 research methods?
- There are four types of research methods: surveys, field research, experiments and secondary data analysis.
- Different topics are better suited to different approaches.
A researcher wouldn’t walk into a crime-ridden neighborhood at midnight and say “Any gang members around?”
If a researcher walks into a coffee shop and tells the employees they will be observed as part of a study on work efficiency, the self-conscious baristas might not behave naturally. It is not possible for a researcher to study prison behaviors, early education or the Ku Klux Klan. It is not possible for researchers to just walk into prisons, kindergarten classrooms, or Klan meetings and observe behaviors.
Survey, field research, experiment, and secondary data analysis are some of the commonly used methods of social investigation in planning studies. Questions like, “How many hot dogs do you eat in a month?” or “Was the staff helpful?” are not usually designed as scientific research.
Polls conducted by programs such as So You Think You Can Dance represent the opinions of fans but are not scientific. The popularity of television programming is determined by the Nielsen Ratings.
It is possible to track preferences for presidential candidates, as well as individual behaviors, such as sleeping, driving, or texting. College athletes, international students, or teenagers living with type 1 diabetes are the focus of a study. If conducted as a nationwide random sampling, a Gallup Poll should be able to provide an accurate estimate of public opinion.
The researcher will ask questions and record responses after selecting subjects. Those types of questions require short essay responses and participants willing to take the time to write those answers will convey personal information about religious beliefs, political views, and morals. It is difficult to discuss topics that reflect internal thought in a public forum.
The results will prove to be unreliable if a researcher steers the subject to respond in a specific way. Field research is gathering primary data from a natural environment without doing a lab experiment. The sociologist needs to be willing to step into new environments and experience new worlds to conduct field research.
Field research takes place in the subject’s natural environment, whether it’s a coffee shop, a homeless shelter, or a hospital. The small sample size of field research makes it difficult to establish a correlation between two variables. Small groups of people who share an identity in one aspect of their lives are what sociologists study.
Scientologists, folk dancers, or members of Mensa, an organization for people with high IQs, express a specific part of their identity through their affiliation with a group. Jimmy Buffet, an American musician who built a career from his single top 10 song “Margaritaville”, has a following of devoted groupies called Parrotheads. Many sub- groups seek to challenge or even change society, but the Parrotheads do not, for the most part. Most Parrotheads hold upper-level jobs in the corporate world.
In the name of Jimmy Buffet, many Parrothead fan groups have performed good works, donating to charities and volunteering their services. After signing a sponsorship deal with a beer company, Jimmy Buffett was once again popular in the 1980s.
From the stage, he is known to tell his fans, “Just remember, I am spending your money foolish.” The two men gathered a lot of information online. They collected narrative material from fans who joined Parrothead clubs and posted their experiences on websites. In 2000, a comic writer was looking for an inside look at white-collar work.
The fascinating descriptions of the inside workings of a “dot com” company were offered in the article, and exemplified the lengths to which a sociologist will go to uncover material. A researcher might work as a waitress in a diner, live as a homeless person for several weeks, or ride along with police officers as they patrol their normal beat. The effect of industrialization and urbanization was the more relevant topic as they gathered observations.
The main advantage of covert participant observation is that it gives the researcher access to authentic, natural behaviors of a group’s members. Researchers spend months or even years pretending to be one of the people they are observing inside a group. The end results are often descriptive or interpretive because the information gathered is mostly qualitative.
For a number of months she lived and worked among people who lacked higher education and job skills. She applied for and worked minimum wage jobs as a waitress, a cleaning woman, a nursing home aide, and a retail chain employee. She described fellow employees who held two or three jobs, worked seven days a week, lived in cars, could not pay to treat chronic health conditions, and were fired.
Difficult working conditions and poor treatment are some of the things she described. The book she wrote upon her return to her real life as a well-paid writer has been used in many college classrooms. The heart of an ethnographic study is how subjects view their own social standing and how they understand themselves in relation to a community. An ethnographic study might look at a small U.S. fishing town, an Inuit community, a village in Thailand, a Buddhist monastery, or an amusement park.
An ethnographer would spend a lot of time studying the chosen place, taking in as much as possible. A sociologist studying a tribe in the Amazon might watch villagers go about their daily lives and then write a paper about it.
Social science research used to objectify women and ignore their experiences except from the male perspective. According to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, describing women, and other marginalized groups, as subordinates helps those in authority maintain their own dominant positions. In 1924, a young married couple named Robert and Helen Lynd undertook an unprecedented ethnography: to apply sociological methods to the study of one U.S. city in order to discover what “ordinary” people are in the United States. They moved to a small town in Indiana to live for eighteen months as their subject.
The Lynds didn’t sugarcoat or idealize the U.S. life. Like wealthy families, the working class was able to own radios, cars, washing machines, telephones, vacuum cleaners, and fridges.
Readers in the 1920s and 1930s were fascinated by the sociological methods and the use of scientific data to define ordinary people in the United States, even though they identified with the citizens of Muncie, Indiana. This method can be used to study a single case of a foster child, drug lord, cancer patient, criminal or rape victim. The development of a child is dependent on social contact and language.
At three years of age, a Ukranian girl named Oxana Malaya was neglected by her parents. Oxana was brought into society and cared for, but never socialized. The sociologist selects a group of people with similar characteristics. The researcher would not want to jeopardize the accomplishments of either group of students so the setting would be somewhat artificial.
Heussenstamm had a theory about police prejudice. Students who drove to and from campus along Los Angeles freeway routes and had perfect driving records were chosen. She wanted to know if the support of the Black panthers would change the way the police treat good drivers.
In order to study how women were encouraged to act and behave in the 1960s, a researcher might watch movies, tv shows, and situation comedies. A sociologist would use new interpretations of secondary data to research changes in behavior and attitudes due to the emergence of television in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the World Health Organization both publish studies that are useful to sociologists.
To guide the search through a vast library of materials and avoid wasting time reading unrelated sources, sociologists use content analysis, applying a systematic approach to record and value information gleaned from secondary data as they relate to the study at hand. Data that is unavailable in the exact form needed or that doesn’t include the exact angle the researcher is looking for is a problem. When conducting content analysis, it is important to consider the date of publication of an existing source and take into account attitudes and common cultural ideals that may have influenced the research.
The scientific method provides a system of organization that helps researchers plan and conduct the study while making sure that the data and results are valid and objective. The information gathered may be surprising, and the study design should provide a framework for analyzing predicted and unpredicted data.
Data could be focused on a purpose other than yours and you should explain how the results of your study will be relevant to the body of sociological work. A Glossary case study in-depth analysis of a single event, situation, or individual content analysis applying a systematic approach to record and value information gleaned from secondary data as it relates to the study at hand correlation when a change in one variable coincides with a change in another variable, but does not
What are the 4 main research methods?
There are four main types of data: observational, experimental, simulation and derived. In the year 2021.
What are the 4 types of research methods psychology?
Descriptive, experimental and correlational methods are used by psychologists. Descriptive methods include the case study, naturalistic observation, surveys, archival research, longitudinal research and cross-sectional research.