Associations or even friendships that inevitably develop or influence the conclusion of the study.
Surveys. Almost all of us have responded to surveys of one kind or another. A survey is a
study, generally in the form of an interview or a questionnaire, which provides sociologists with
information concerning how people think and act.
Each of these forms has its own advantages. An interview can obtain a high response rate
because people find it more difficult to turn down a personal request for an interview than to
throw away a written questionnaire. On the other hand, questionnaires have the advantage of
being cheaper. Also, since the questions are written, the researcher knows that there is some
guarantee of consistency, whereas five interviewers can ask the same question in five different
Unobtrusive measures. They include a variety of research techniques that have no impact
On who or what is being studied. Social scientists and students from the University of Arizona
studied people's spending and eating habits by examining household garbage left out on the
Street. This is an unconventional example of the use of unobtrusive measures in social scientific
The basic techniques of unobtrusive measures are the use of statistics and studying cultural,
Economic and political documents, including newspapers, periodicals, radio and television tapes,
Diaries, songs, folklore and legal papers, to name a few examples.
It is important to realize that research designs need not be viewed as mutually exclusive.
Two or more methods used together may be especially informative. For example, unobtrusive
Methods have proved to be valuable as a supplement to other research methods. One investigator
Wished to examine the relationship between reported and actual beer consumption. He obtained
a «front doormeasure of consumption by asking residents of houses how much beer they drank
each week. At the same time, a «backdoor» measure was developed by counting the number
Of beer cans in their garbage. This backdoor method produced a considerably higher estimate
Of beer consumption.
Ethics of research. Most sociological research uses people as sources of
Information as respondents to survey questions, participants in experiments or subjects of
Observation. That is why in conducting research sociologists must abide by the code of ethics
that puts forth the following basic principles:
Maintain objectivity and integrity in research.
2. Respect the subject's right to privacy and dignity.
Protect subjects from personal harm.
Acknowledge research collaboration and assistance.
Disclose all sources of financial support.
The ethical considerations of sociologists lie not only in the methods used, but in the way
The results are interpreted. We recognize that sociologists will be influenced by their own
Personal values in selecting questions for research but under no condition can a researcher
Date: 2015-12-24; view: 314