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Research Methods

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Alan Dobson

on 13 May 2011

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Transcript of Research Methods

Types Of Data Factors influencing choice of method Research Methods Different Types Of Method Experiments Social Surveys Questionnaires Interviews Secondary sources Observations Other types Primary/Secondary Quantitative/Qualitative Practical Issues ethical issues informed consent
confidentiality and privacy
effects on participants
vulnerable groups
covert research Theoretical Issues Reliability, validity, representativeness, methodological perspective Interpretivists
prefer qualitative data
seek meaning
reject the view that sociology is a science Positivists
prefer quantitative data
look for patterns of behaviour
see sociology as a science Choice of topic Theory
interest type of social survey
many different way fo doing them Advantages
quick, cheap, no need to train, easy to quantify, processed by a computer, reliable, test hypotheses, detached and objective, representative, few ethical issues Disadvantages
limited data, may need incentive, unreliable collection i.e. post, was it completed by the person, low response rate, not flexible, only snapshot, low in validity, interpretation issues, lying, right answerism, imposing researcher meaning Participant/non participant
Covert/Overt Getting in
Staying in
Getting out Practical and ethical issues Advantages
Validity, insight, flexibility, practical advantages Disadvantages
Practical, Ethical, Representativeness, Bias, validity issues, lack of wider structure Structured Like questionnaires- usually closed questions etc. Advantages
cheap, straightforward, large numbers, reliable (if done correctly), quantifiable, higher response rate than Q, Disadvantages
more costly than a questionnaire, validity, not flexible, feminists suggest patriarchal (interpretivists suggest we need meaining) unstructured Advantages
Rapport, sensitivity, interviewees view, understanding, flexibility, exploring the unfamiliar Disadvantages
practical, representative, reliability, quantification, validity issues 2 forms questionnaires or interviews need to be planned before you can just do a social survey This plan will be something like this... Lab experiments experimental group
control group Advantages
reliability, researcher can be detached Disadvantages
often impossible to control all the variables, doesn't replicate society, cannot study the past, not representaive as too small scale, unethical (milgram), Hawthorne effect, free will Field Experiments
Takes place in 'the field' official Statistics Advantages
allows comparison, show trends and cause and effect, representative, reliable Disadvantages
gov collects for their own purpose, definitions can be different, definitions can change over time, validity?, social construction Documents Public personal and historical Case studies Longitudinal Triangulation Choose a topic
determine aim/hypothesis
operationalise concepts
conduct a pilot study
select a sample
decide whether face to face
conduct a survey
analyse the data
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