# lesson 2 continued part

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Published on October 19, 2008

Author: thomas.procopio

Source: authorstream.com

Lesson #2 (part 2) : Lesson #2 (part 2) Approaches to Sociological Research Slide 2: The formal scientific approach Quantitative-use math as a base to ultimately prove or disprove something Correlations- a statistical relationship between two variables. Short of cause and affect. Can’t say A causes B, but can measure a change that takes place in A and B at the same time. Correlations predict 2 things happening at the same time. Every time A changes x amount-B changes x amount=a strong correlation. Slide 3: Positive correlation: Increases in one variable are associated with increases in the other; decreases are likewise associated Negative correlation: Increases in one variable are associated with decreases in the other Spurious Correlations : Spurious Correlations Correlations that do not reflect cause and effect. A third variable is causing both other variables to change. Slide 6: Shark attacks in Florida and ice cream sales in New York are correlated. What’s wrong? There is no cause and effect! A third variable is causing both of the other variables to change at the same time. What is the third variable? Positive or Negative? Correlation? : Correlation? The bigger an individuals shoe size, the better their math ability. Positive or negative? What is the third variable? Scientific Sociology : Scientific Sociology Often has a statistical focus. Quantitative research based on numbers. Data is reduced to numbers and patterns are searched for. An attempt to discover objective/unbiased truths about human behavior/activities. Descriptive StatisticsMeasures of Central Tendancy : Descriptive StatisticsMeasures of Central Tendancy Mean = the average Median = Middle number in a set of numbers Mode = the number that occurs most often 2,4,4,6,9,10,14 2,4,4,6,9,10,14 : 2,4,4,6,9,10,14 Mean : 49/7 = 7 Median: 2, 4, 4, 6, 9, 10, 14 Mode: 2, 4,4, 6, 9, 10, 14 Misusing statistics : Misusing statistics Do not apply the numbers beyond the group that you collected the numbers from. Do not apply what is true for the group to the individual = OVERGENERALIZING AND STEREOTYPING. A Second Approach : A Second Approach Interpretive Sociology More qualitative in nature - field study, observation and interviews Logically try to prove or disprove something, but numbers are not the focus Focus is on the meanings people attach to their world (symbolic interactionism – how people perceive the world around them). The Interpretive Approach : The Interpretive Approach The formal scientists simply measure what people do. The Interpretive approach is more interested in the meanings people attach to things (the world) and how they feel (harder to quantify, but may be of vital importance). Humans are unpredictable and complicated = numbers can never tell the whole story A Third Approach : A Third Approach Critical Sociology Reject objectivity Interested in social justice and social change The Three Approaches : The Three Approaches Some people mix and match the approaches. You may be taking a critical approach and use stats to point out injustices, but there is a loose fit with the 3 theories. Room in Sociology for various approaches The formal scientist, the philosopher, and the activist.

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