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Chapter 1• How do people tend to evaluate research (i.e., personal values, exceptions, etc)?• Based on personal values• What are some of the basic sources of knowledge?• Authorities: trusting the judgment of someone with special expertise • Tradition: “things that everyone knows” • And the media.• Be familiar with experiential and agreement reality? • Experiential reality – the things we know from direct experience (touching a stove)• Agreement reality – things we consider real because we have been told they are real, and everyone agrees (sun sets in West)• Be familiar with why we can’t even trust ourselves to make unscientific observations.• Inaccurate/selective observations• Overgeneralization• Illogical reasoning• Ideology and politics • Be familiar with the term probabilistic outcomes or relationships. • We assume that what we are trying to manipulate/explain is probabilistic, where the presence of x means a more likely chance of y occurring. Y does not have to occur every time there is x, so individual exceptions do not disprove the rule. • What is theory?• Theory: an attempt to develop plausible explanations of reality through organizing, classifying, explanation, and prediction. Theory helps us interpret facts.• Theory is a reasonable and informed guess about why things happen.• Theory needs to be formally testable.• Be familiar with the differences between the dependent and independent variables. How are they related? • Dependent Variable : the outcome variable. Determined or caused by something.• Independent variable : the predictor or causal variable. The cause the dependent variable depends upon.• What is a hypothesis? What relationship does a hypothesis try to explain?• Hypotheses : specific statements about the relationship between an independent and dependent variable. A null hypothesis assumes no relationship, and most statistical tests assume the null hypothesis.Chapter 2• What is an ethical dilemma in scientific inquiry? • balancing potential benefits against possibility of harm• What does voluntary participation mean? Why is this important? • Participation must be voluntary• This threatens generalizability• Be familiar with anonymity and confidentiality in scientific inquiry. • Anonymity – when researcher cannot identify a given piece of information with a given person• Confidentiality – a researcher can link information with a subject, but promises not to do so publicly• What were the problems with the Tearoom study?The research occurred in the middle 1960s before institutional review boards were in existence. The dissertation proposal was reviewed only by Humphreys' Ph.D. committee. Only after the research had been completed did the other members of the Sociology Department learn of it. A furor arose when some of those other members of the department objected that Humphreys' research had unethically invaded the privacy and threatened the social standing of the subjects, and petitioned the president of Washington University to rescind Humphreys' Ph.D. degree. The turmoil resulted in numerous other unfortunate events, including a fist fight among faculty members and the exodus of about half of the department members to positions at other universities.• What were the problems with the Stanford Prison Study?• Because of the structure of the experiment, Zimbardo found it impossible to keep traditional scientific controls in place. He was unable to remain a neutral observer, since he influenced the direction of the experiment as the prison's superintendent.• Zimbardo claimed that even if there was role-playing initially, participants internalized these roles as the experiment continued.• Many of the conditions imposed in the experiment were arbitrary and may not have correlated with actual prison conditions, including blindfolding incoming prisoners, not allowing them to wear underwear, not allowing them to look out of windows and not allowing them to use their names.Chapter 3• What is a research design? What things influence research designs? Why is the research design important?• Research design is the plan or blueprin t for a study.o Includes the who, what, when, where, and how of an investigation.• As social scientists, we seek to explain the causes of some phenomenon (e.g., crime)• Physical growth in plants is caused by a # of factors• Human behavior is much more complex; free will and deterministic constraints affect behavior• Certain factors make some more or less likely to engage in crime• What causes juvenile delinquency (example)• Deterministic constraints – lack of parental supervision, peer group association, early childhood experiences, amount/kind of education• Free will aspects – why didn’t you personally choose to hang out with troublemakers? Why didn’t you decide to slack off in school?• What is a Probabilistic Causal Model?• Probabilistic Causal Model: Certain factors make crime/delinquency more or less likely within groups of people• Be able to distinguish between idiographic and nomothetic. • Two models of explanation• Idiographic – lists the many, perhaps unique, considerations behind an action• Nomothetic – lists the most important (and fewest) considerations/variables that best explain general patterns of cause and effect• What are the criteria for causality in the scientific inquiry? • Posited by Shadish, Cook, & Campbell (2002)• Empirical relationship between variables• Temporal order (cause precedes effect) • No alternative explanations – no spurious other variable(s) affecting the initial relationship• What are units of analysis (what or who is studied)? • Individuals - (police, victims, defendants, inmates, gang members, burglars)• Groups - multiple persons with same characteristics - (gangs, police beats, patrol districts, households, city blocks, cities, counties)• Organizations - formal groups w/established leaders and rules - (prisons, police departments, courtrooms, drug treatment facilities, businesses, agencies)4• Social artifacts - products of social beings and their behavior - (stories in newspapers, posts on the Internet, photographs of crime scenes, incident reports, police/citizen interactions)• Be able to distinguish between cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Cross-Sectional Studies• Observing a single point in time

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FSU CCJ 4700 - Chapter 1

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