Chapter 1

  1. Selective Observation
    Choosing to look only at things that are in line with our preferences or beliefs.
  2. Inaccurate Observation
    An observation based on faulty perceptions of empirical reality.
  3. Overgeneralization
    Occurs when we unjustifiably conclude that what is true for some cases is true for all cases.
  4. Illogical Reasoning
    When we prematurely jump to conclusions or argue on the basis of invalid assumptions.
  5. Resistance to Change
    The reluctance to change our ideas in light of new information.
  6. Science
    A set of logical, systematic, documented methods for investigating nature and natural processes; the knowledge produced by these investigations.
  7. Social Science
    The use of scientific methods to investigate individuals, societies, and social processes; the knowledge produced by these investigations.
  8. Pseudoscience
    Claims presented that they appear scientific even though they lack supporting evidence and plausibility. (Shermer 1997:33)
  9. Descriptive Research
    Research in which social phenomena are defined and described.
  10. Exploratory Research
    Seeks to find out how people get along in the setting under question, what meanings they give to their actions, and what issues concern them.
  11. Explanatory Research
    Seeks to identify causes and effects of social phenomena and to predict how one phenomenon will change or vary in response to variation in some other phenomenon.
  12. Evaluation Research
    Research that describes or identifies the impact of social policies and programs.
  13. Quantitative Methods
    Methods such as surveys and experiments that record variation in social life in terms of quantities. Data that are treated as quantitative are either numbers or attributes that can be ordered in terms of magnitude.
  14. Qualitative Methods
    Methods such as participant observation, intensive interviewing, and focus groups that are designed to capture social life as participants experience it rather than in categories predetermined by the researcher. These methods rely on written or spoken words or observations that do not often have a direct numerical interpretation and typically involve exploratory research questions, an orientation to social context, and the meanings attached by participants to events and to their lives.
  15. Triangulation
    The use of multiple methods to study one research question. Also used to mean the use of two or more different measures of the same variable.
Card Set
Chapter 1
Investigating the Social World - Ch. 1 Key Terms