Senior SeriesEd\tor: leff Lasser Editorial Assistant; Erikka Adams Senior Marketing Manager: KellyMay Shernnn Production

Editor: Roberta Composition Btyer: Linda Cox Manufacturing Buyer: JoAnn e Sweeney Irrc' orul ProductionServices, and Electronic Composition: Prtlllshtrs'L)esign Editorial production Services Cover Administrator: Kristina Mose-Libon visitour online catlloq 'l[ \\ \\ \\ 'lhlttngtnan'com' titlesand supportmaterials, For related Education,Inc' Copyright a 2007 ,2004 Pearson or utilized in A1lrights resened.No part of the materialprotectedby this copr r-ightt]ottcr-mav be rcproduced information including Photo.(rF\inq, recorclinc'or bv an,v means,electronicor mechanical, for,-,ror by any an,u frpm th. !lf \ Iiiht I r\iner. rvithoutrvrittenpermission and retrievll system, storage subnrit .'.\\ rittE'nr!'qriestto Alh'n and Bacon, To obtain permission(s)to use material from this work, please to I!'.'rrc':t 617-848-7320' NlA 0ll Ib t,t f,rr \, rL:r Bostotr, Arlington Street, L)epartment,75 Permissions sitesto have for Betweenthe time Websiteinfbrmation is gatheredand then i: rlot t-tttusual some r'rrLri:.fhct'ublisherwouldappreciate closed.Also,thetranscriptionofURLscanresultintlpographical editions. irl notification where theseerrors occur so that they may be correctecl sub\!'qrtent at data unavailable presstime. Cataloging-in-Publication 0-205-48.137,9



Foundations Doing Social Research Theory and Social Research Ethics in Social Research Reviewingthe Scholarly Literature and Planninga Study Qualitative and Quantitative Measurement Qualitative and Quantitative Sampling


Conducting QuantitativeResearch
Survey Research ExperimentalResearch Nonreactive Researchand Secondary Analysis Analysisof Quantitative Data


Conductin g Qualita t iv e Re s e a rc h Field Rese a rch Historical-Comparative Research

CHAPTER Analysis Qualitative 13 of Data

PAR T FO U R Writing a Rese a rch p o rt Re cHAPTER4 1 Writing the Research Report




Ethicsand the Scientific Community 59 Ethicsand the Sponsorsof Research 61 Politicsof Research Value-Freeand Objective Research 64 63



-- -'"-'-

## Foundations

Doing SocialResearch

3 9 O



2 Alternatives SocialResearch to How ScienceWorks 7 Dimensionsof Research Conc lus ion 21 Steps in the Researchprocess .l

C H A P TE R 4

Reviewing ScholarlyLiteratureand the Planning Study a 68
Introduction Literature Review 69 69 Usingthe Internet for Social Research 80

C HA P T E R 2

Theory and SocialResearch
lntroduction What ls Theory? The Parts ofTheory 24 24 26


Qualitativeand euantitative Orientations toward Research g4 QualitativeDesignlssues QuantitativeDesignlssues C oncl usi on 106 gg 9l

The AspectsofTheory Zg The Three Major Approaches to Social Science 41 The DynamicDuo Conc lus ion 45 44

C H A P TE R 5

and Quantitative Qualitative Measurement 108
Introduction 'l 09 I 09 Why Measure?


Ethicsin SocialResearch
Introduction Why Be Ethical? 48 48


and eual i tati ve Quanti tati ve Measurement II0 Partsof the Measurement Process 1 'l 't R el i abi l i ty and V al i di ty A Guideto Quantitative Measurement I 2l

Power Relations 49 Ethicallssues InvolvingResearch Participants S0




lndex Construction Sc a l e s Conclusion 128 138


Making Results Experimental of Research: 219 C ompari sons A Word on Ethics C oncl usi on 222 221

C H A PT E R 5

Qualitativeand Quantitative S amp lin g 140
fntroduction 141 141 145 N o n p ro b a b i l i ty a m p l i ng S Pro b a b i l i ty a m p l i n g S Conclusion 164

C H A P TE R 9

and Secondary NonreactiveResearch Analysis 224
fntroduction Content Analysis 225 225 227 NonreactiveMeasurement

Existing Statistics/Documents and Analysis 236 Secondary PA R T T W O

l:i::::: Conducting Quantitative Research

lssuesof lnference and Theory Testing 244 Conclusion 245


l n tro d u c ti o n 167

155 ' r5 8 169

Analysis Quantitative of 247 Data
fntroduction Dealingwith Data 248 248 251 257 263

The Logicof SurveyResearch Constructingthe Questionnaire Typesof Surveys: Advantages and Disadvantages 1 86 lnterviewing Conclusion 190 196 197 The EthicalSurvey

R esul ts i th One V ari abl e w Results with Two Variables More Than Two Variables lnferentialStatistics C oncl usi on 272 268

C H A PT E R 8


Experimental Research
Introduction 201 2O2 Random Assignment


ii? Conducting Qualitative Research
C H A P TE R I 1

Experimental DesignLogic fnternal and External Validity PracticalConsiderations

2O4 212 219


27 5



The Logicof FieldResearch



c hoos inga s i te a n d Ga i n i n g ' ---.....D

C H A P TE R I 3


Analysis eualitative Data of
Introduction 287 296 329 ComparingMethods of Data Analysis 328 Coding and Concept Formation AnalyticStrategies Qualitative for Data 335 Other Techniques 339 Softwarefor eualitative Data Conclusion 342


Relationsin the Field


Observingand CollectingData The Field ResearchInterview Leaving the Field FocusGroups 2gg 300


EthicalDilemmasof Field Research 301 Conclusion 3OZ



Historical-comparative Research 3O4
fntroduction 3O4 The Logicof Historical-Comparative Research iO5 steps in a Historical-comparative Research Project 31 0 Data and Evidence Historical in Context 312 comparative Research 317 Equivalence Historical-Comparative in Research 322 Ethics Conclusion 325 325

PART Fo u R iti\ Writinga Research Report
C H A P TE R 1 4 \{riting the Research Report 344 344 359 36'l 377 391 3g3 343

Introduction Conclusion Glossary Bibliography Name Index Subject Index

The ResearchReport



Introduction Alternatives to Social Research Authority Tradition C o m m o n n se Se Me d i aMy th s P e rs o n a l x p eri ence E How ScienceWorks Sc i e n c e T h e S c i e n ti flCommuni ty c The Scientific Methodand Attitude Articles Science in Journal Steps in the ResearchProcess Dimensionsof Research Useof Research Pu rp o s e fa Study o T i m eD i me n s i on R esearcn in D a taC o l l e c ti o n Techni ques Conclusion



IN T R OD U C T ION is go\,Socialresearch all arounclus. Educators, ernment officials, businessmanagers,hutntrrt providers,and health care professionals service regularlyuse socialresearch methods anclfindings.Peopleusesocialresearch raisechildren, to reducecrime, irnprclve public health,sellprodof ucts,clrjust understand one'slil-e. Reports researchappearon brclaclcast ne$,sprograms,it.t popuiar magazines, nen,spapers, on the in and lnternet. Research findings can aftbct people'sdaily livesand public policies. For example,I recentll' heard a debateregrrrclirrg U.S.lederaigoverna ment program to off-erteenagers sexualabstin e n c e c o u n s e l i n g .A h i gh-l evel government official argued for sucl-r counselingancl stror"rgl,v opposed offering teensbirth control inforirati o n . A n i n d e p e n c l e n th eal th admi ni strator noted that there is no scientiflcevidence shou,ing that abstinence-only counselingrvorks.Iie saidthat 80 percentoftcens arc alreadysexually to activebythe ageof 18,thereforeit is essential provide birth control information. Hc prointed to ma n y re s e a rc hs tu c l i es shorvi ngthi rt bi rth prcsnJncv control instruction for tecnslecluce's ratesand the spreadof scrr.rallr t1i:tr'.rr.rsnrittcti e a s e sT h e g o v e rn mc n ta Lrsti ncr.tcc l r' ro. or.i .rrl catereiied on rnoral persurrsion hc Lrcc.rr.rscir.r11 no research eviclencc. lcieoloqr,iirith, .urcipoliti c s s h a p ema n \' g o v e rn n rent progranrsrather than solid research cvidcnce, br,rt good socialrcsearchcan help all of us make inlbrnred decisions. The evidence also expltrins wh,y m.ury programs fail to accornplishmr.rchor m;ry do more harm than gooc1. In This book is about socialresearch. simple tenxs, research a way of going about finding is answersto questions.Prof-essors, prof-essional researchers, practitioners, in and students many fields cor-rdr.rct research scekansr\rers questo to tions about the socialworld. You probably already have some notion clf whirt social reseal'ch entails.First,Iet me end sornepossible miscor.t-

When i askedstudentsin my classes entails,they gave ufiat they think socialreseirrch the lbllolr,ir-rg ans\\rers: r r r r r r It is basedon firctsalone; there is no theory juclgrlrent. or prersonal or Onlr.expertsu,ith a Ph.D. degree college professors read it or do it. It meansgoing to the library and finding a lot of magazine articles bookson a topic. or It is r,r,hen someonehangsaround a group and observes. It means conducting ir controlled experinlent. is Socialresearch clrawinga sampleof peoto ple and givingthem questionnaires cornplete. It is looking up lots of statistical tables from oftrcial government and intbrn-ratior-r reports. Llse To do it, onc r.r.rr-Lst computersto create charts, and graphs. stati sti cs,



are The flrst t\\'o .urs\vers wrong, and the of soothe-r's clcscribe or.rl.,.part what constitutes It to cia] r'escarch. is r-rr.rlvise confuseone part rr ith the n.hole . P eopl e conduct soci al resear cht o lear n nerv about the social world; or to sorr-rething hunches,or beliefs carefullydocunrentguesses, ofhow about it; or to refinetheir understanding combines the sociaiworld works. A researcher or tl-reories ideaslr,ith facts in a careful, systematic rvay and usescreativity. He or she learns to orgirnizeand plan carefully and to selectthe apkind of propriatetechniqr-re address specific to a A alsomust treatthe people question. rescarcher in a studi,in ethicaland moral ways.In addition, n-rust firlly ilnd clearlycommunicate a researcher the resultsofa study to others. is in Socialreseirrch ir process which people combine a set of principles,outlooks,and ideas (i.c.,methodology)rvith a collectionof specific practi ces,techni ques,and strateg ies( i. e. , a It rnethocl inquiry) to produceknorvledge. is of


position of authority saysit is true or bec.ri:.c .. is in an authoritativepublication, )'ou are relvrn:on authority as a basisfor knowledge.Relr'inc on the wisdom of authoritiesis a quick, sirtrl.]3. and cheapway to learn something.Authoi-itie. often spend time and effort to learn son.rething. and_you can benefit from their experienceand worK. There are also limitations to relying on allthority. First, it is easyto overestimate experthe tise of other people.You may assumethat thev are right when they are not. History is full of past expertswhom we now seeasbeing misinformed. For example>some "experts" of the past n-reasured intelligenceby counting bumps on the AL T E RNA T I V E S T O S OC IA L skull; other "experts" usedbloodletting to try to R E S E A RCH cure diseases. Their errors seem obvious norl,, Unlessyou are unusual, most of r,vhat you know but can you be certain that today's expertswill about the socialworld is not basedon doins sonot becometomorrow's fools?Second, authorrcial research. You probably learnedmost of i,hat ties may not agree, and all authoritiesmay not be you know using an alternativeto socialresearcl-r. equally dependable. Whom should we believeif It is basedon what your parentsand other people authorities disagree?Third, authorities may (e.g.,friends, teachers)have told you. You also speakon fields they know little about or be plaru have knowledgebasedon your personalexperiwrong. An expert who is very informed about ences,the books and magazines you have read, one area may use his or her authority in an unand the movies and televisionyou havewatched. related area. Also, using the halo effect (disYou may also useplain old "common sense." cussed later), expertisein one areamay spill over More than a collection of technioues,social illegitimatelyto be authority in a totally different research a process producing knowledge.It is for area.Have you everseentelevisioncommercials is a more structured, organized,and systematic where a movie star useshis or her fame as auprocessthan the alternativesthat most of us use thority to convinceyou to buy a car?We r.reecl tcr in daily life. Knowledge from the alternativesis ask:Who is or is not an authority? often correct, but knowledge basedon research An additionalissueis the misuseof authoris more likely to be true and have fewer errors. ity. Sometimes organizations or indii'iduals Although research doesnot alwaysproduce pergive an appearance authority so thev ciut coltof fect knowledge,compared to the alternatives is it vince others to agree to something that thel' rnuch lesslikely to be flawed. Let us review the might not otherwise agree A relatecl to. situation alternatives before examining socialresearch. occurswhen a personwith little trairringi.rnd expertiseis named as a "seniorfbllon"'or."adiunct scholar" in a private "think trrnk" r,ith .in inrAuthority pressivename, such as the Center tbr the Study You have acquired knowledge from parents, of X or the Institute on Y Research. Somethink teachers, and expertsaswell as from books, teletanks are Iegitimateresearch centers, but rnany vision, and other media. When you accept are mere fronts createdby,.rveirlthv special-intersomething as being true becausesomeone in a estgroupsto engage advocao.politics. in Think

an exciting processof discovery,but it requires persistence, personalintegrity, tolerancefor ambiguity, interaction with others,and pride in doing qualiry work. Reading this book cannot transform you into an expert researcher, it can teachyou to but be a better consumerof research results,help you to understandhow the research enterprise works, and prepareyou to conduct small research projects.After studying this book, you will be aware of what researchcan and cannot do, and why properly conductedresearch important. is

o a RT O\E



t.r1rk: a,ii t.r.,ri .it]\r)uai.t"scholar"to facilitare ti rc :r...' . r' i r..l .,r a a c p ti n q pcrsonas al t au.i the ti t!j t.i i ' .L rtt.:tt l :rL l c .l rt real i ty,the perS onmay ir(rtir.r,. .rir, l...rl!'\pertise.lAlso, too much reI :r.r:ta !)i t ,tu th ()fti c sc a n b e dangerous a de!' l tO i ]]r,.i .rti c .o c re t)' .E x p e rtsmay promote i deas il.l.rt:trr'nqthentheir own power and position. \\'ltcrt rrc'.lcCept authority of experts, the but do rr)t kuo\\' l.rolvthey arrived at their knowledge, rlc Ltrsc the ability to evaluatewhat the experts savancilosecontrol of our destiny. T ra d i ti o n Peoplesometimesrely on tradition fbr knowledge.Tradition is a specialcaseof authoritythe authority of the past. Tradition means you "it's the acceptsomethingasbeing true because \\ray things have always been." For example, my father-in-law saysthat drinking a shot of u'hiskeycures a cold. When I askedabout hrs statement,he said that he had learnedit from his father when he was a child, and it had come down from past generations.Tradition lvas the basisof the knowledge for the cure. Here is an examplefrom the socialworld: Many peoplebelieve that children who are raised at home by their mothers grow up to be better adjustedand have fewer personalproblems than those raised in other settings.People "know" this, but how did they learn it? Most acceptit because they believe (rightly or wrongly) that it rvastrue in the past or is the way things have alwaysbeen done. Sorne traditional social knowledge begins as simple prejudice.You might rely on tradition rvithor-rt being fully awareof it with a belief such as "Peoprle from that side of the trackswill never arnoLlntto anvthing" or "You never can trust that tvpe oi person"or "That's the way men (or u,omen) are." El,enif traditional knowledgewas oncetrue, it can becomedistortedas it is passed on, and soon it is no longer true. Peoplemay cling to traditional knowledgewithout real understanding;they assumethat becausesomething may haveworked or been true in the past, it rvill continueto be true.

C ommon S ense You knorv a lot about the socialworld from your everyday reasoning cornmon sense. or You rely on what everyoneknows and what "just makes sense." For example,it "just makessense"that murder rates are higher in nations that do not have a death penalty, becausepeople are less likely to kill if they face execution for doing so. This and other widely held commonsense beliefs, such as that poor youth are more likely to commit deviantactsthan thosefrom the middle classor that most Catholics do not use birth control,are false. Comrnon senseis valuable in daily living, but it irilolvslogicalfallacies slip into thinking. to For example, so-called the gambler's fallacysays: "If I hai'e a long string of losses playing a lottery, the nert tine I play, my chances winning lvill of be better."In terms of probabilityand the facts, this is Ialse.Also, cclmmon sense containscor.rtradictory ideastl-ratoften go unnoticed because people use the ideas irt different times, such as "opposites attract" and "birds of a feather flock together."Common sense can originate in tradition. It is useful and sometimescorrect,but it alsocontainserrors,misinformation,contradiction, and prejudice.

Media Myths Television shows, movies, and newspaper and magazinearticiesare important sourcesof information. For example, most people have no contactwith criminalsbut leam about crime by watching televisionshows and movies and by reading newspapers. However, the television portrayalsof crime, and of many other things, do not accuratelyreflect socialreality. The writers who create or "adapt" images from life for television sholvsand movie scripts distort reality either out of ignorance or becausethey rely on authority, tradition, and common sense. Their primary goal is to entertain,llot to repreAlthough many journalsentreality accurately. iststry to presenta realistic picture of the world,

C H AP TE R 1 /


they m us t wr it e s to ri e si n s h o rt ti m e p e ri o d s rvith limited information and within editorial eLridelines. Unfortunately, the media tend to perpetuate the mlths of a culture. For example,the media show that most people ivho receivewelfare are Black (actually, most are White), that most peoplewho are mentally ill are violent and dangerous (only a small percentage actually are), and that most peoplewho are elderlyare senile and in nur s ing ho m e s (a ti n y rn i n o ri ty a re ). AIso, massmedia "hype" can createa f-eeling that a major problem existswhen it may not (seeBox Li). People are n-risled i.isual imagesmore by easilythan other forms of "lying"; this means that storiesor stereotypes that appear on film and televisioncan havea porverful effecton people. For example,television repeatecllv shorvs low-income,inner-city, AfrictrnAntericanr.outl-r using illegal drugs. Eventuallr.,nlost peol)lg "know" that urban Blacksuse illegalclrLres a at higher rate than other groups in the Lrrritccl States, even though this notion is false. Competing interestsuse the rnedia to rvin public support.2Public relationscampaigns try to alter what the public thinks about scientific findings, making it difficult for the public to judge researchfindings. For exarnple,a large majority of scientific research supports the global rvnrrnir-rg thesis (i.e., pollutants from industrialization and massivedeforestationare raising the earth's temperatureand lvill cause drarnaticclimate changeand bring about environmental disasters). l'he scientificevidenceis growing and getsstrongereachyear.l'he media give equal attention to a few dissenterswho question global r,r,arming, creating the impressi o n in t he public n ti n c l th a t " n o o n e re a l l y knows" or that scientists are undecidedabout the issueof global warming. The rnedia sources fail to mention that the dissenters represent less th an 2 per c ento1' a l l c i c rrti s ts , th l t rn o s td i s s or sentingstudiesare paid for by heavilypolluting industries. The industries alsospendmillions of dol l ar st o public iz eth e fi n d i n g s b e c a u s e e i r th goalis to cleflect growing criticismand delayen-

ls Road Rage a Media Myth?
Americanshear a lot about road rage.Newsweek magazine, Timemagazine, and newspapers most major in c i t i e s h a v e c a r r i e d h e a d l i n e sa b o u t i t . L e a d i n gn a tional politicalofficialshave held public hearingson it, and the federalgovernmentgives millionsof dotlars in grants to law enforcementand transportation departmentsto reduceit. Today, even psychologists specialize thisdisorder. in The term road rage first appearedin I 988, and by 1997, the print mediawere carryingover 4,000 articlesper year on it. Despitemediaattention about "aggressive driving" and "anger behind the wheel," there is no scientific evidence road rage.The term for i s n o t p r e c i s e l yd e f i n e d a n d c a n r e f e r t o a n y t h i n g from gunshots from cars,use of hand gestures,running bicyclists the road,tailgating, off and evenanger o v e r a u t o r e p a i rb i l l s !A l l t h e d a t a o n c r a s h e s n d a c a c i d e n t s s h o w d e c l i n e sd u r i n g t h e p e r i o d w h e n r o a d r a g e r e a c h e da n e p i d e m i c . Perhaps mediareportsfueled perceptions road of rage. After hearingor readingabout road rage and havinga labelfor the behavior,people began to notice rude drivingbehavior and engagedinselective observation. will not know for sure until it is properry We s t u d i e d ,b u t t h e a m o u n to f s u c h b e h a v i o r a y b e u n m may turn out that the nationalepidemic of road rage is a widely held myth stimulatedby reports in the massmedia.(For more information,see Michael Fumento, "Road Rage versus Reality," AtlanticMonthly[August 1 998].)

vironrnentalregulations, to advance not knowredge. Newspapersoffer l.roroscopes, ar.rd television programsor nrovies report on supertratural (extrasensory powers, E,SP perception), LIFC)s (uni denti fi ed fl ,vi ng obj ects), ancl angel s or ghosts. Althor-rgh scientifice".icience existsfor such,betrveen and -50 2-5 percer-rt the U.S.pubof Iic accepts thern astrue, anclthe percentage with


pA RToNE ,/ F o u N D A T to N s

tive to features that confirm what we think, but ignorefeatures that contradictit. For example, I believe peopleareexcellent tall singers. This may be because stereotypes, of what mi mother told me, or whatever. observe peopleand,with_ Personal Experience I tall out awareness, particular attention to their pay If somethinghappensto you, if you personally singing. look at a chorusor top vocalistandno_ I seeit or experience you accept astrue. per_ it, it ticethosewho aretall. Withoui realizingit, I no_ sonalexperience, ..seeing te[eving,,, hasa or is tice and rememberpeople and situat[ns that strong impact and is a powerful sJurce of reinforcemy preconceived ideas.psychologists knowledge. Unfortunately,personalexperience found that people tend to out" and dirtort astray. Something you similarto an op_ their memoriesto make them more consistent tical illusion or miragecunoci.rr. What appears with what they alreadythink.a ! true.may actuallybe due to a slight oi dir_ A third error is prematureclosure. often It tortion in judgment. The powei of"r.o, immediacy operates with and reinforces first two errors. the and direct personalcontaciis very strong.Even Premature closure occurs when you feel you knowing that, people fall for illusions."Many havethe answerand do not needio listen,seek peoplebelieve what they seeor personally expe_ information, or raisequestions longer. any Un_ riencerather than what very carefullydesiened fortunately, most of us arealittJelazvor"set lit_ a research discovered. has tle sloppy.We take a few pieces of'evid"ence or The four errorsofpersonalexperience rein_ look at eventsfor a short while and then think forceeachother and canoccurin other areas, as we haveit figured oul We look for eyidence to well. They are a basis for misleading people confirm or rejectan ideaand stop when a small through propaganda, cons or fraudl magic, amount of evidence present. a word, we is In stereotyping,and some advertising.The mtst jump to conclusions. For example, want to I frequentproblemis overgeneratization;it occurs learnwhetherpeoplein my town support Mary when someevidencesupportsyour belief, but Smith or |on Van Horn for mayor.t uit ZO p.o_ you falselyassume that it appliesto many other ple; t 6 saytheyfavor Mary,2 areundecided, and situations,too. Limited generalization be only2 favorlon, soI stopthereandbelieve Mary appropriate; under certainconditions,a small will win. -uv amount of evidence can explain a larger situa_ Anothercommonerror is thehalo tion. The problem is that many peoplJgeneral_ ffict; itis yhen r1eovergeneralize from what we accept as ize far beyond limited evidence. For eiample, being highly positive or prestigiousand let its over the years,I haveknown five blind p"opl.. strong reputation or prestige..rub off' onto All of them werevery friendly. Can t conclude other areas. Thus,I pick up a report by a person that all blind people are friendly? Do the five from a prestigious univeisity,sayHan ard or peoplewith whom I happened tohave personal Cambridge University.I assume that the author experience with represent blind peopie? all is smartand talentedand that the report will be The seconderror, selective obirvition, oc_ excellent. do not makethis assumption I abouta curswhenyou takespecial noticeof somepeople reportby someone from UnknownUniversity.I or events tendto seek eviderr.e and out thut con_ form an opinion and prejudgethe report #d fir1s whal you alreadybelieveu"a ig"o." .orr_ may-not approach by considering own mer_ it its tradlctorFlnformation.peopleoften focuson or rts alone.How the variousalternatives social to observe particularcases situations, or especially research might address issueof laundry is the when they fit preconceived ideas. W. uri ,*i_ shownin Table1.1.

such beliefshas beengrowing over time as the entertainment media give the phenomenon more prominence.3


TABL E I . 1

A lt er n a ti v e s to S o c i a l Research

processes. This suggests that we examinethe and meaningof science how its works. Science suggests The term science animageof testtubes, rocketships,and peoplein white lab computers, These outwardtrappingsarea part ofscicoats. (i.e.,astronomy, natural science ence,especially biology, chemistry,geology, and physics,), that deals with the physicaland materialworld (e.g., plants, chemicals, rocks, stars,and electricity). psyThe socialsciences, such as anthropology, chology,politicalscience, sociology, and involve the study of people-their beliefs, behavior,interaction,institutions,and so forth. Fewerpeople associate thesedisciplineswith the word is Science a socialinstitution and a way science. Not everyone well into produceknowledge. is formed about science. example, 2001surFor a vey found that about only one-third of U.S. adults could correctly explain the basicsof sclence." gatherdatausingspecialized Scientists techniquesand usethe datato supportor rejecttheories. Data are the empirical evidence or information that one gatherscarefullyaccording to rules or procedures. The data can be quantitative(i.e., expressed numbers) or as qualitative(i.e., expressed words, visual imas ages,sounds,or objects).Empiricaleyidence refersto observations that peopleexperience throughthe senses-touch,sight,hearing, smell, people,because reand taste.This confuses cannotusetheir senses directly obsearchers to of servemany aspects the social world about (e.g.,intelligence, which they seekanswers attiemotions,power, autudes,opinions, feelings, have thority, etc.).Researchers manyspecialized to and indirectly measure techniques observe of suchaspects the socialworld. The Scientific Community comesto life through the operation of Science the scientificcommunity,which sustains asthe


Experts that as children, say females taught to make, are clothing select, mend, andclean focuson as part of a female physical and appearance on caringfor children othersin a or family. Women the laundry do based theirchildhood on preparation. Women havedonethe laundrv for centuries, it is a so continuation whathas of happened a longtime. for


Common Sense Menjust arenot as concerned aboutclothing muchas as women, it only makes sense so do that women the laundrv moreoften. MediaMyth Television commercials show womenoften doing laundryand enjoyingit, so they do laundry because they think it's fun. My motherand the mothersof all my friends the laundry. did My female friendsdid it for their boyfriends, neverthe other but wayaround. just feelsnatural lt for the womanto do it.

Personal Experience

HOW SCIENCEWORKS Although it builds on someaspects the alterof knowledge, science is nativewaysof developing what separates socialresearch. Socialresearch involvesthinking scientificallyabout questions about the socialworld and following scientific


sumptions,attitudes, and technioues science. of Thescientific communityisa collectionof people who practicescience a setof norms,6ehavand iors,and attitudes that bind them together. is a It professional community-a groupof interacting peoplewho shareethicalprinciples,beliefsand values, techniques training,and career and paths. For the most part, the scientificcommunity includes both thenaturalandsocial sciences.6 Many people outside the core scientific community usescientificresearch techniques. A rangeof practitionersand technicians apply research techniques that scientists developed and refined.Many usethe research (e.g., techniques a survey)without possessing deepknowledge a of scientificresearch. Yet, anyonewho usesthe techniques results or ofscience do sobetter can if they also understand the principles and processes the scientificcommunity. of Theboundaries the scientificcommunity of and its membership definedloosely. are Thereis no membershipcard or masterroster.Many peopletreata a scientificfield as in an informal "entryticket" to membership the in scientificcommunity. The ph.D., which stands for doctorate of philosophy, is an advanced graduatedegreebeyond the master'sthat prepares one to conduct independentresearch. Someresearchers not haveph.D.sand not all do thosewho receivePh.D.senter occupations in which they conduct research. They enter many occupations may haveother responsibilities and (e.g.,teaching, administration,consulting,clinical practice,advising,etc.).In fact, about onehalf of the peoplewho receivescientificph.D.s do not follow careers activeresearchers. as At the coreof the scientificcommunity are researchers who conduct studieson a firll-time or part-time basis, usuallywith the help of assistants.Many research assistants graduate are students,and someare undergraduates. Working asa research assistant the waythat most scienis tistsgain a real graspon the detailsof doing research.Colleges and universitiesemploy most membersof the scientificcommunity's core. Somescientists work for the government prior

vate industry in organizations such as the National Opinion Research Center and the Rand Corporation.Most, however,work at the approximately200 research universities and instituteslocatedin a dozenadvanced industrialized countries. Thus, the scientific community is scattered geographically, its memberstend but to work togetherin smallclusters. Howbigis the scientificcommunity? This is not an easy question answer. to Usingthe broadestdefinition (including all scientists and those in science-related professions, such as engineers), includes it about 15percent the labor'+, of force in advancedindustrialized countries. A betterway to look at the scientificcommunity is to examinethe basicunit of the largercommunity: the discipline(e.g.,sociology, biology,psychology,etc.).Scientists most familiar with a ." are particular disciplinebecause knowledgeis specialized.Compared to other fields with advanced training,the numbersarevery small.For example, eachyear,about 500 peoplereceive Ph.D.s sociology, in 16,000 receive medicaldegrees, 38,000 and receive degrees. law A disciplinesuch as sociologymay have about 8,000activeresearchers worldwide.Most researchers completeonly two or three studies in their careers, whereasa small number of highly activeresearchers conductmany dozens ofstudies.In a specialty topic area(e.g., or study of the death penalty, social movements,divorce), only about 100 researchers very acare tive and conduct most research studies. Aithough research resultsrepresent what humanity knows and it hasa major impact on the lives of many millions of people,only a small number of peopleare actuallyproducing most new scientificknowledge. The Scientific Method and Attitude You have probably heard of the scientific method,and you may be wonderinghow it fits into all this. The scientific method not one sinis glething; it refersto the ideas, rules,techniques, and approaches the scientificcommunity that


_- --:

.I C H A P T E R , / D O I N C S O C I A LR E S E A R C H

regularly reject half of the submissions. Thus, several experienced researchers screen journal a articlebased its meritsalone,and publication on represents study's the tentative acceptance the by scientificcommunity as a valid contribution to knowledge. Unlike the authorsof articles the for popular magazines found at newsstands, scientistsarenot paid for publishingin scholarly journals.In fact, they may haveto pay a small feeto just help defraycosts to havetheir papers considered. Researchers huppy to make their reare search available to their peers (i.e., other scientistsand researchers) through scholarly fournal Articles in Science journals.The articlecommunicates results the of Considerwhat happensonce a researcher . fina study that a researcher might have devoted ishes study.First,he or shewritesa detailed a yearsof his or her life to, and it is the way redescription of the study and the results as a searchers respect visibility amongtheir gain and research report or a paperusinga special professionalpeers.Likewise,the reviewersare format. Often,he or shealsogives oralpresentation an not paid for reviewing of papers, consider an but it the paper beforeother researchers a conferat honor to be asked conductthe reviews to and to enceor a meetingof a professional association carryr one of the responsibilities being in out of and seeks commentsand suggestions. Next, the the scientific community.Thescientific commuresearcher sends several copies the editor ofa to nity imparts great respectto researchers who journal. Eacheditor, a respected scholarly publish many articlesin the foremostscholarly researcher chosen otherscientists oversee journals because by to the theseresearchers directly are journal, removes title page, the which is the only advancingthe scientific community's primary and sends goal-the accumulationof carefullydeveloped the . placethe author'sname appears, articleto several reviewers. reviewers reThe knowledge. A researchergains prestige and are spected scientists who haveconducted studies in honor and a reputationas an accomplished rethe samespecialty areaor topic. The reviewers searcher through suchpublications. do not know who did the studn and the author You may neverpublishan articlein a scholof the paper doesnot know who the reviewers arly journal, but you will probably read many the scientificprinciple of sucharticles. is important to see It ' are. This reinforces how they are judging a study on its merits alone.Reviewers a vital componentin the systemof scientificreevaluate research the basedon its clarity, origisearch. Researchers actively readwhat appears in nality, standards good research of methods,and thejoumalsto learnaboutnewresearch findings advancing knowledge. Theyreturn their evalua- and the methodsusedto conducta study.Eventions to the editor,who decides rejectthe pato tually, the new knowledgeis disseminatedin per, askthe author to reviseand resubmitit, or textbooks, new reports,or public talks. accept for publication.It is a very careful,cauit tious methodto ensure quality control. The scholarlyjournals that are highly reSTEPSIN THE RESEARCH spected regularly and readby mostresearchers in PROCESS a field receive more papersthan they canpubfar lish.Theyaccept only 10to 15percent submitof Social research proceeds a sequence in ofsteps, ted manuscripts.Even lower-ranked iournals althoughvariousapproaches research to suggest

uses. The method arises from a looseconsensus within the community of scientists. includesa It way of looking at the world that placesa high valueon professionalism, craftsmanship, ethical integrity,creativity, rigorousstandards, diliand gence. alsoincludes It strongprofessional norms such as honestyand uprightness doing rein search,great candor and openness about how one conducteda study,and a focuson the merits ofthe research itselfandnot on any characteristics individualswho conducted study. of the


P A RT oNE ,/ F o u N D A T to N s

slightly different steps.Most studiesfollow the seven steps discussed here.To beginthe process, you select topic-a general a areaof study or issue,suchas domesticabuse, homelessness, or powerful corporateelites.A topic is too broad for conductinga study.This makes next step the crucial.You must then narrow down the topic, or focusthe topic into a specificresearch question for a study (e.g.,"Are peoplewho marry youngermore likely to engage physicalabuse in of a spouse under conditionsof high stress than thosewho marry older?").As you learn about a topic and narrow the focus,you should review past research, the literature,on a topic or or question. You alsowant to developa possible answer, hlpothesis,andtheorycanbe imporor tant at this stage. After specifringa research question,you have to developa highly detailedplan on how you will carry out the study.This third steprequiresthat you decideon the manypracticaldetails of doing the research (e.g., whetherto usea surveyor qualitativeobserving the field, how in many subjects use,etc.).It is only after comto pleting the design stagethat you are ready to gatherthe data or evidence (e.g.,askpeoplethe questions, recordanswers, etc.).Onceyou have very carefirllycollectedthe data,your next stepis to manipulateor analyze data.This will help the you seeany patternsin it and help you to give meaningto or interprefthe data (e.g.,"People who marry young and grew up in families with abusehave higher rates of physical domestic abusethan those with different family histories").Finally,you must inform othersbywriting a report that describes study'sbackground, the how you conducted andwhatyou discovered. it, The seven-step process shownin Figure1.1 is oversimplified. in practice, you will rarely completeone steptotally then leaveit behindto move to the next step.Rather,the process inis teractive in which the steps blend into each other.What you do in a laterstepmay stimulate you to reconsider slightlyadjustyour thinkand ing in a previousone.The process not strictly is linearandmay flow backand forth beforereach-

FIcURE t . I Steps the Research in Process

ing an end.The seven steps for one research are project;it is one cycleofgoing through the steps in a singlestudyon a specific topic. Science an ongoingenterprise is that builds on prior research buildsa larger,collectively and created body of knowledge. Any one study is a smallpart of the much largerwholeof science. A singleresearcher may be working on multiple research projectsat once,or several researcher may collaborateon one project. Likewise,one projectmay resultin onescholarly articleor several,and sometimes several smallerprojectsare reportedin a singlearticle.


Three yearsafter they graduatedfrom college. Tim and Sharon met for lunch. Tim asked "So,how is your newjob asa researche Sharon, for SocialData, Inc.? What are you doing?" "Right now I'm working on Sharonanswered, an appliedresearch projecton daycarequalityin which we'redoinga cross-sectional surveytoget descriptive datafor an evaluation study."sharon

Bnsic Research. Basicsocialresearch advances fundamentalknowledge about the socialworld. Basicresearchers focuson refuting or support_ ing theoriesthat explain how the socialworld operates, what makesthingshappen,why social relations are a certain way, and why society changes. Basic research the source is ofmost new scientificideasand waysof thinking about the world. Many nonscientists criticize basic re_ search and ash "What good is it?" and consider it to be a waste time and money.Althoughba_ of sicresearch often lacksa practicalapplicationin the short term, it provides a foundation for knowledge that advancesunderstanding in many policy areas, problems,or areas study. of Basicresearch the sourceof most of the tools, is methods,theories,and ideasabout underlying clus-es how peopleact or think usedby ap_ of plied researchers. providesthe major bieak_ It throughsthat significant advances knowledge; in it is the painstaking study of broad questions that has the potential of shifting how we think abouta wide rangeof issues. mayhavean imIt pact for the next 50 yearsor century.Often, tne applications basicresearch of appear manyyears or decades later. Practicalapplicationsmay be apparent only aftermanyaccumulated advances in basicknowledgebuild over a long time pe_ riod. For example,in 1984,Alec Jeffreys, ge_ a neticistat the Universityof Leicester England, in Use of Research wasengaged basicresearch in studyingthe evo_ For over a century science had two wings. lution ofgenes. an indirect has As , accidential efside rsom-eresearchers adopt a detached, purely scifect of a new technique he developed,he entific, and academicorientation;others are discovered wayto producewhat is now callhua more activist, pragmatic, and interventionist man DNA "fingerprints"or uniquemarkingsof oriented. This is not a rigid separation. Rethe DNA of individuals.This wasnot his inient. searchers the two wingscooperate mainin and He evensaidhe would haveneverthoughtof the tain friendly relations.Someindividuals move teghlique if DNA fingerprintshadbeenhis goal. from one wing to anotherat different stages in Within 10 yearsapplied usesof the technique their careers. simpleterms,someresearchers weredeveloped. In Today,DNA analysis a widiiv is concentrateon advancinggeneralknowledge used technique criminalinvestigations. in over the long term, whereasothers conduct studiesto solvespecific,immediateproblems. Applieil Research, Applied socialresearchis deThosewho concentrate examiningthe funon signedto address specificconcernor to ofi[er a damentalnature of socialreality are engaged in solutionsto a problem identified by an embasicresearch. ployer,club,agenry, socialmovement, orgaor

touchedon four dimensions socialresearch of as shedescribed research daycare. her on Socialresearch comesin several shapes and sizes. Beforeyou begina study,you will needto makeseyeral decisions aboutthe specific typeof research you are going to conduct.Researihers need to understandthe advantages disadand vantagesof each type, although most end up specializing doing one tFpe.We can think of in the typesasfitting into one of the categories in eachof four dimensions research. of The first dimensionis a distinction in how research used, between is or appliedandbasic research. nextis the purpose The ofdoing research, or its goal,to explore,describe, explain.The or nexttwo dimensions morespecifiqhow time are is incorporated into the study design,and the specific datacollectiontechnique used. The dimensions overlap,in that certaindimensions often found together(e.g., goal are the of a studyanda datacollectiontechnique). Once you learn the dimensions, you will beginto see how the particularresearch questions might you want to investigate tend to be more compatible with certainwaysof designing study and cola lectingdata.In addition, being awareof the dimensions of researchwill make it easier to understand research the reportsby others.


P A RT oNE / F o u N D AT Io N s

nization.Applied socialresearchers rarely are concerned with building, testing,or connecting to a largertheory, developing long-term gena eralunderstanding, carryingout a large-scale or investigation might spanyears. that Instead, they usuallyconduct a quick, small-scale study that providespracticalresultsfor use in the short term (i.e.,next month or next year).For example, the student government of University X wantsto know whetherthe number of UniversityX students who arearrested drivingwhile for intoxicated involvedin autoaccidents deor will clineifit sponsors alcohol-free partiesnextyear. Applied research would be most applicable for this situation. People employed businesses, in government offices,healthcarefacilities,socialservice agencies,political organizations, educational inand stitutionsoften conduct appliedresearch and usethe resultsin decisionmaking.Applied researchaffectsdecisionssuch as the following: Shouldan agency starta newprogramto reduce the wait time before a client receives benefits? Shoulda policeforce adopt a new tlpe of response reducespousal to abuse? Shoulda political candidate emphasize or her standon the his environmentinsteadof the economy? Shoulda companymarket a skin careproduct to mature adultsinsteadof teenagers? The scientific community is the primary consumerof basicresearch. The consumers of appliedresearch findings are practitionerssuch as teachers, counselors, and socialworkers, or decisionmakerssuch as managers, agencyadministrators,and public officials.Often, someone other than the researcher who conducted the studyuses results. the Applied research results less likely to enare ter the public domain in publicationsand may be available only to few decision makersor practitioners.This meansthat appliedresearch findings often are not widely disseminated that and well-qualifiedresearchers rarelygetto judgethe quality of appliedstudies. The decisionmakerswho usethe resultsof an applied study may or may not use them

problems wisely. Sometimes despite serious with methodology cautions and from the rea study's politiciansuseresults justiSrcutting searchers, to programsthey dislike or to advance programs they favor. Because applied research often has immediateimplications or involyescontroversial issues, it often generatesconflict. One famousresearcher, William Whyte (1984),encounteredconflict over findings in his applied researchon a factory in Oklahoma and on restaurants Chicago.In the first case,the in management more interested defeating was in a union than in learningabout employmentrelations; in the other, restaurantowners really soughtto makethe industry look good and did not want findingson the nitty-gritty of its operationsmadepublic. Applied and basicresearchers adopt different orientationstoward research methodology (see Table1.2).Basic researchers high emphasize methodological standards and try to conduct near-perfect research. Applied researchers must make more tradeoffs.They may compromise scientificrigor to get quick, usableresults,but compromiseis never an excusefor sloppy research. Applied researchers to squeeze try reinto the constraints search ofan appliedsetting and balancerigor againstpracticalneeds.Such balancing requires in-depth knowledge rean of search and an awareness ofthe consequences of compromisingstandards.

Typesof Applied Research. There are many specific typesof appliedresearch. Here,you will learn about three major types:evaluation,action, and socialimpact assessment.

Evaluation Research Study. Evaluation researc study is applied researchdesignedto find out whethera program, a new way of doing something, a marketing campaign,a policy, and so forth, is effective-in other words, "Does it work?"The most widelyusedtlpe of appliedresearchis evaluationresearch.T This type of researchis widely used in large bureaucratic (e.9.,businesses, organizations schools, hospi-




Basicand Applied SocialResearch Compared

l. Research intrinsically is satisfying and judgments by other sociologists. are 2. Research problems and subjects selected are with a great dealof freedom. 3. Research judgedby absolute is norms of scientific rigor,and the higheststandards of scholarship sought. are 4. The primaryconcernis with the internallogic and rigor of research design. 5. The drivinggoal is to contributeto basic, theoretical knowledge. 5. Success comes whenresults appear a in journal scholarly and havean impact others on in the scientific community.


. Research part of a job and isjudgedby is sponsors who areoutside discipline the of sociology.

2. Research problems "narrowly are constrained" to the demands employerc ,ponro.r. of or. 3. The rigorand standards ofscholarship depend on the usesof results. Research be ,,quick can and dirty" or may matchhighscientific standards. 4. The primaryconcernis with the abilityto generalize findings areasof interestto to sponsors. 5. The drivinggoal is to havepractical payoffsor usesfor results. 5. Success comeswhenresultsare usedbv sponsors decision in making.

Source: Adapted Freeman Rossi from (1984:572-573\. and

tals, government, large nonprofit agencies) to demonstrate the effectivenessof what they are doing. An evaluation researcherdoes noi use techniques different from those of other social researchers.The difFerencelies in the fact that decision makers, who may not be researchers themselves,define the scope and purpose of the research.Also, their objective is to use results in a practical situation.S Evaluation research questions might include: Does a Socratic teaching technique improve learning over lecturing? Does a law-enforcement program of mandatory arrest reduce spouseabuse?Does a flextime program increase employee productivity? Evaluation researchers measure the effectivenessof a program, policy, or way of doing something and often use several researchtechniques (e.g.,survey and field). Ifit can be used, the experimental technique is usually preferred. Practitioners involved with a pol-

lcy or program may conduct evaluation research for their own information or at the recuest of outside decision makers. The decision Luk.., may place limits on the research by fixing boundaries on what can be studied and by determining the outcome of interest. This often createsethical dilemmas for a researcher. Ethical and political conflicts often arise in evaluation researchbecausepeople can have opposing interests in the findings. The findings of researchcan affect who getsor keepsa job, it can build political popularity, or it may help promote an alternative program. people who are personally displeasedwith the findings may attack the researcheror his or her methods. Evaluation research has severallimitations: The reports ofresearch rarely go through a peer review process,raw data are rarely publicly available, and the focus is narrowed to select inputs and outputs more than the full processbvwhich


P A RT E ,/ F o u N D A T to N s oN

a programaffects people's lives.In addition,decisionmakers may selectively or ignoreevaluse uation findings. Action Research Study. Action research apis plied research treatsknowledge a form of that as power and abolishes divisionbetween the creating knowledge usingknowledge engage and to in political action.Thereareseveral typesofaction research, most sharefive characteristics: but ( 1) the peoplebeing studiedactivelyparticipatein the research process; the research (2) incorporatesordinaryor popularknowledge; the re(3) searchfocuseson issuesof power; ( ) the research seeks raiseconsciousness increase to or awareness ofissues;and (5) the research tied is directlyto a plan or programof political action. Action research tendsto be associated a sowith cial movement,political cause, advocacy or for an issue. canbe conducted advance range It to a of political positions.Someaction research has an insurgentorientationwith goals empowerof ing the powerless, fighting oppression injusand tice, and reducing inequality. Wealthy and powerfrrlgroups or organizations also sponsor and conductactionresearch defendtheir stato tus,position,and privileges society. in Most actionresearchers explicitlypolitiare cal,not valueneutral.Because primary goal the is to affectsociopolitical conditions,publishing results formal reports,articles, booksis secin or ondary.Most actionresearchers believe also that knowledge develops from directexperience, particularly the experience engaging sociopoof in litical action. For example,most feminist research acis tion research. hasa dual mission:to create It socialchange bytransforminggender relations and to contributeto the advancement ofknowledge. A feministresearcher studies who sexual harassment might recommendpolicy changes reto duceit aswell asto inform potentiaivictims so they can protect themselveiand defendtheir rights. At times, researchers explain study will resultsin a public hearingto try to modi$, new policiesor laws.The authorsof a study on do-

mesticviolencethat will be discussed shortly as an explanatory study example(Cherlin et al., 2004)testifiedin the United States Senate. The studyfindingsand the testimonyhelpedto alter marriagepromotion provisionsin a 2005welfarereform law.e

Social ImpactAssessment Research Study. A researcher who conductssocialimpactassessme (S1A) estimatesthe likely consequences a of planned intervention or intentional changeto occurin the future.It may be part of a largerenvironmentalimpact statement requiredby gov-I ernment agencies and usedfor planning and making choicesamong alternativepolicies.He or sheforecasts how aspects the socialenviof ronment may change suggests and waysto mitigatechanges likely to be adverse from the point ofview of an affected population.Impactsarethe difference between forecastof the future with a the project or policy and without the project or policy. For example, SIA might estimate the the ability of a localhospitalto respondto an earthquake,determinehow housing availabilityfor the elderlywiil change a major new highwayis if built, or assess impact on college the admissions if students receive interest-freeloans. Researchers who conduct SIAs often examine a rangeof socialoutcomesand work in an interdisciplinaryresearch team to estimate social the outcomes.The outcomesinclude measuring "quality oflife" issues, such as access health to care,illegal drug and alcohol use,employment opportunities, schooling quality,teenpregnancy rates,commuting time and traffic congestion, availability of parks and recreationfacilities, shoppingchoices, viablecultural institutions, crime rates,interracialtensions, socialisolaor tion. Thereis an internationalprofessional association for SIA researchthat advances SIA techniques and promotesSIA by governments, corporations, and other organizations. Social impact assessments rarely reare quired, but a few governments mandatethem. For example, New South Wales,Australia,a in registeredclub or hotel cannot increasethe

CHAPTER1 , / D o I N c s o c I A L R E S E A R c H


number of poker machines unlessthe Liquor AdministrationBoardin the DepartmentGaming and Racingapproves SIA for the club or an hotel. The SIA enables board to assess the the likely local community impact from increasing the number of poker machines. The format includesa matrix that allowsthe board to identify the socialand economicimpacts,positive and negative, financialor nonfinancial, quantifiedor qualitative. In New Zealand,the Gambling Act of 2003requiresan SIA beforeexpandinggambling. In one2004studyin New Zealandfor the AucklandCity Council,it noted that 90 percent of New Zealand's adultsgamble, percent 10 gamble regularly(oncea week or more often), and about 1 percentareproblemgamblers, although this variesby age,income, and ethnicity. The SIA recommended limiting the locationsof new gamblingvenues, monitoring their usage, and tracing the amount of gambling revenues that are returnedto the community in variousways (e.g.,clubs,trusts,etc.).It contained matrix a with social (e.g,arrests, divorce,domesticvio-

lence), economic (e.g., unemployment, banliruptcy, tourism expansion), and cultural impacts (e.g.,time awayfrom other leisure activin') listed by their effect on all gamblers, problem gamblers, the local community, and the region.lo

Purpose ofa Study

If you asksomeone why he or sheis conducting a study,you might geta rangeof responses: "My bosstold me to"; "It wasa class "I assignment"; wascurious"; "My roommatethought it would be a good idea." Thereare almostasmany reasonsto do research thereareresearchers. as Yet, the purposes socialresearch of maybe organize into threegroupsbased whatthe researcher on is trying to accomplish-explore a new topic, describea socialphenomenon,or explain why somethingoccurs.Studies may havemultiple (e.g., purposes both to explore andto describe but oneof threemajor purposes usuallydomis inant (see Box 1.2).

Exploratory r Become familiar with the basic facts,setting, and concerns, Createa general mental pictureof conditions. Formulate focus and questions futureresearch. for Cenerate newideas, conjectures, hypotheses. or Determine feasibilitv the of conducting research. Develop techniques for measuring locating and future data.

Descriptive I r r r I r Provide detailed, a highly picture. accurate Locate newdatathat past data. contradict Createa set ofcategories or classify types. Clarifya sequence stepsor of stages. Document causal process a or mechanism. Reporton the background or contextofa situation.

Explanatory r r r r r I Test a theory'spredictions or principle.

r r t r r

Elaborate enricha and theory'sexplanation. Extend theoryto newissues a or topics. Supportor refutean explanation prediction. or Linkissues tooicswitha or general principle. Determine whichof several explanations best. is



a you Exploration. Perhaps haveexplored new to learnaboutit. If the isin topic or issue order had suewasnew or no researchers written about rebeginning.In exploratory it, you beganat the a examines new areato fora search. researcher mulate precisequestionsthat he or she can Exploratoryresearch in address future research. A of in stage a sequence studies' maybe the first needto conductan exploratory may researcher and exstudyin orderto know enoughto design and extensive more systematic ecutea second, the study.It addresses "what?"question:"What is this socialactivityreallyabout?" Many higher-educationofficials are concerned about college students' low retention studentsfrom minority-disadrates,especially vantagedsocialbackgrounds.For example,of Latinoswho enroll in college,80 percentleave to Officialsseekways a without receiving degree. that increase chances the reducedropouts and studentswho begin collegewill stay until they earn a degree.Garzaand Landeck(2004)conductedan exploratorystudy of over 500 Latino studentsat a collegealong the Texas-Mexico border who had dropped out. They wanted to learn the influencing factors and rationalesin making.Theauthorsdiscovered studentdecision wereunthat the primary factorsand rationales quallty or universityservices. relatedto teaching who droppedout hadbeen the Instead, students problemsor had seripersonal by overwhelmed with familyor job responsibilities. ousdifficulties Suchfactorswere a major reasongivenby over who droppedout. 80 percentofthe students tend Exploratoryresearchers to usequalitatheory tive dataand not be weddedto a specific rarely research question. Exploratory or research you conduct an exIf yieldsdefinitive answers. ploratory study, you may get frustrated and feel to therearefew guidelines it is rlifficult because potentially important, the fdlow. Everything is step6are mt wdl defined, and the direction of fteqrn$y. You needto be creirffi.h'.GF -:&d, rd f-r'k; edoPt an inon-;c srra's of rcffrure"dqbcJ

you havea more highly Description, Perhaps ideaabout a socialphenomenonand developed presents research it. want to describe Descriptive detailsof a situation,soa picture of the specific on it cial setting,or relationship; focuses "how?" "How did it happen?" and "who?" questions: "Who is involved?"A greatdeal of socialreuse researchers Descriptive is search descriptive. field techniques-surveys, most data-gathering and historical-comcontent analysis, research, is research Only experimental parativeresearch. research iess often used.Much of the social found in scholarlyjournals or usedfor makin$ is policy decisions descriPtive' often Descriptiveand exploratoryresearch research, blur togetherin practice'In descriptive beginswith a well-definedsubject a researcher and conductsa study to describeit accurately pictureof the subandthe outcomeis a detailed of ject. The resultsmay indicatethe percentage in peoplewho hold a particularview or engage percent that 8 specificbehaviors-for example, their chilabuse or physically sexually of parents dren. A descriptivestudy presentsa picture of typesofpeople or ofsocial activities. and Kern (2004)conWasserman, Stack, study on pornographyuse ducteda descriptive on the Internet by peoplein the United States. They found that the greatestuserswere those the with weak socialbonds' More specifically, ofpornogtypesofpeoplewho wereadult users raphy tended to be maleswith unhappy marriages and weak ties to organizedreligion. werealsomore likely to have users Pornography sexualbehavior in engaged nonconventional in (i.e.,had an extramaritalaffair or engaged such paid sex)but not other forms of deviance, asillegaldrug use.


Explanation When you encounter an issue and that is well recognized havea descriptionof it, you might beginto wonderwhy thingsarethe identifiesthe research way they are.Explanatory beliefs,conditions, of sources socialbehaviors, teststheories it and events: documentscauses' It and providesreasons. builds on exploratory



and descriptive research. example, exFor an ploratory studydiscovers new typeofabuseby a parents; descriptive a researcher documents that 10percentofparentsabuse their childrenin this new way and describes kinds of parentsand the conditionsfor which it is most frequent;the explanatoryresearcher focuses why certainparon ents are abusingtheir children in this manner. Cherlin, Burton, Hurt, and Purvin (2004) explained instability in marriageor cohabitation using a woman'spast experience with sexualor physicalabuse.They testedthe hypothesis that women with a history of abuse would be less likely marry than thosewithout such histories. The authors reasonedthat those who were abused havefewersocialsupportsand resources to resistor avoid abusive partners,and they are more likely to harbor feelingsof self-blame, guilt, and low self-esteem inhibit the formathat tion of healthyromantic relationships. abuAn sive experience also createsgreateremotional distanceand a hesitancyto make long-term commitments.Using quantitativeand qualitative datagathered low-incomeneighborhoods in in threecities-Boston, Chicago, and SanAntonio-they found that adult womenwho had experiencedpast abusewere less likely to be married,and thosewith multiple forms of abuse weremost likely to remainsingle. appears It that women without a past history of abusewho found themselves an abusiverelationshipas in adult were likely to withdraw from it, but ,an 'womenwho had beenabusedaschildren were lesslikely to leaveand tendedto enterinto a seriesof unstable, transitoryrelations.

over several time points (longitudinal).euantitative studiesgenerally look at many cases, people, or units, and measure limited features about them in the form of numbers.By contrast,a qualitative study usually involves qualitative data and examinesmany diversefeaturesof a small number of cases acrosseither a short or long time period(see Figure1.2). Cross-Sectional Research. Most social research studiesarecross-sectional; examine they a singlepoint in time or takea one-timesnapshot approach. Cross-sectional research usuallythe is simplestand leastcostly alternative.Its disadvantage that it cannotcapturesocialprocesses is or change. Cross-sectional research be excan ploratory, descriptive, explanatory but it is or most consistent with a descriptiveapproachto research.The descriptive study by Stack, Wasserman, and Kern (2004) on pornography usewascross-sectional, on a nationalU.S. based surveyconductedin 2000. Longitudinal Reseqrch. Researchersusing longitudinalresearch examinefeatures people of or otherunits at morethan onetime. It is usually more complexand costlythan cross-sectional research, it is alsomore powerful and inforbut mative.Descriptive and explanatory researchers uselongitudinalapproaches. us now look at Let the three main types of longitudinal research: panel,and cohort. time series,

Time-Series Study. A time-series studyislongitudinal research which a researcher in gathers the same typeof information across or more two time periods.Researchers observestability can Time Dimensionin Research or change the features in ofthe units or cantrack An awareness how a study usesthe time diof conditions over time. The specificindividuals mensionwill helpyou reador conductresearch. may change the overallpattern is clear.For but This is because differentresearch questions isor example, therehasbeena nationwidesuweyof a suesincorporatetime difFerently. Somestudies large sampleof incoming freshmanstudents givea snapshot a single,fixed time point and of since1966. Sinceit began, over 11 million stuallowyou to analyzeit detail(cross-sectional). dentsat more than 1,800colleges in participated. Other studies provide a moving picturethat lets The fall 2003surveyof276,449 studentsfound you follow events, people,or socialrelations manyfactsandtrends,suchasonly 34percentof




Flc U RE 1 .2

in The Time Dimension SocialResearch

of CROSS-SECTIONAL: Observea collection peopleat one time.


February 2007

z. E@ # F

a l . R P - ^@

#dei #= EE=


times' peopleat multiple TIME SERIES: Observedifferent

*e%[w"MIMK wffililwwwwl& wffil#wwffilwff
1950 1970 1990 2010 PANEL: Observe the exact same people at two or more times 1986 1996 2006 at COHORT: Observepeoplewho sharedan experience two or moretimes' Married in 1967 1987 acrosstime. CASE STUDY: Observea small set intensely

F+ F +# E
G #nE H r - E g E EEFFtr
+2007 2005


G. €








enteringfreshmen studiedsix or more hoursper week.This was the lowestlevel sincethe question wasasked 1987(when itwas47 percint). in Yet, alcohol consumptionwas down. In 2003, 44.8percentreporteddrinking beer,which rep_ resenteda steadydecline from73.7 percentin 7982.In2003, freshmen weremore inierested in keepingup with politics. The 33.9percentwho saidit wasvery important to staypolitically in_ formed was up from a low of 2g.l percentin 2O00, 22.5 percentsaidthey discussed and poli_ tics regularl/, up from 19.4 percent in )OOZ (whighhad beenthe highestsincea low point in 1993).Thesefiguresare still far lower than the 60.3percentwho expressed interest politics an in in 1966, the one-third who discussed or politics regularlyin 1968.The importanceof familyhas steadilyincreased over the years, with 74.gper_ cent of studentscalling it essential ,,"ry1-_ o, portant.This is up from the low point oi SS.g percentin 1977when the questionwas first asked. However, religiousinvolvement declined. The percentage studentswho attendedreli_ of giousserrices regularlywasat its lowestlevelin 35 years. In addition, the percent claiming "none" asa religious preference reached record a high of 17.6 percent, compared a recordlow of to 6.6percentin 1966. Another trend overthe past two decades beena steady has growthin opposition to the deathpenalty. Nearlyonein thiee incoming students advocated ending capital punishment.This is the highestscoresincei9g0 , I (w!g" itwas 33.2percent), althoughthe percent withholding an opinion wasfar higherejrher in time; it exceeded percentin the tgZO.ll 60

term panel studiescan clearlyshowthe impact of a particularlife event.For example, Oesterle, fohnson,and Mortimer (2004)examined panel data from a longitudinal study that began in 1988with 1,000ninth-gradestudentsenrolled in the St.Paul,Minnesota, public schooldistria and lookedat volunteeringactivities during late adolescence and young adulthood, covering nine yearsfrom age l}-t9 (1992)to age26_27 (2000).They found that volunteeringat an ear_ lier stagestrongly affectedwhether one volun_ teeredat a later stage. Also, peoplewho devoted full time to working or parenting at an earlier (18-19yearsold) werelesslikelv to volun_ stage teerat a later stage (26-27 yearsold) than those whosemajor activitywasattendingschool.

CohortStudy. A cohortstudy is similar to a panelstudy,but ratherthan observing exact the samepeople,the study focuses a category on of peoplewho sharea similar life experieniein a specified time period. Researchers examinethe category a whole for important features as and focuson the cohort,or categorynot on specific individuals.Commonlyusedcohortsincludeall peopleborn in the sameyear (called birth co_ horts),all peoplehired at the sametime, and all people who graduatein a given year. Unlike panelstudies, researchers not haveto find the do exactsamepeoplefor cohort studies;rather, theyneedonly to identifythosewho experienced a commonlife event.In a studyof Generation X in the United States, AndolinaandMaye e003) r focusedon the cohort ofpeople born between 1967and 197 They compared birth cohorts 4. t0 at different time periods over severaldecades, PanelStudy. Thepanelstudyis apowerfirltyp. tracing questionsacross24 years.The authors of longitudinalresearch which the researciier found that White Xers in are distinct in their observes exactlythe samepeople,group, or orsupport for school racial integration and for ganization acrossmultiple time points. It is government actionto enforcesuchefforts,com_ more difficult to conductthan time-series re_ paredto other birth cohorts,but not in their at_ search. Panelresearch formidableto conduct is titudes toward employment opportunities or and very costly.Trackingpeopleovertime is ofaffirmativeaction. Despitegreatergeneralsup_ ten difficult because somepeopledie or cannot port than other cohortsfor equalitythrough in_ be located. Nevertheless, results a well-dethe of tegration, doesnot extendto issues it beyondthe signed panelstudyareveryvaluable. Evenshort_ schoolyard.


P A Rr oNE ,/ F o U N D AT T o N S

CsseStudies. In cross-sectionaland longitudinal research. a researcher examines features on many people or units, either at one time period or across time periods, and measures several common features on them, often using numbers. In case-studyresearch,a researcher examines, in depth, many features of a few casesover a duration of time with very detailed, varied, and extensive data, often in a qualitative form. The researchercarefirlly selectsa few key casesto iilustrate an issue and study it (or them) in detail and considers the specific context of each case. This contrasts with other longitudinal studies in which the researchergathersdata on many units or cases,then looks for general patterns in the massof numbers. For example, Snow and Anderson (1992) conducted a case study on homeless people in Austin, Texas. It provided a wealth of details about the lives and conditions of homeless people, identified severaltypes of homeless people, outlined the paths by which they became homeless, and discussedseveralprocesses that kept them homeless.This casestudy used many Qpes of detailed qualitative and quantitative data, with exploratory descriptive, and explanatory phasesto reveal a great amount of unexpected and new information.12 Data Collection Techniques Social researchers collect data using one or more specific techniques. This section givesyou a brief overview of the major techniques. In later chapters, you will read about these techniques in detail and learn how to use them. Some techniques are more effective when addressing specific kinds of questions or topics. It takes skill, practice, and creativity to match a researchquestion to an appropriate data collection technique. The techniques fall into two categories based on whether the data being gathered are quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative Data Collection Techniques, Techniques for quantitative data collection in-

clude experiments, surveys, content analyses, and existing statistics. Experiments. Experimental research closely follows the logic and principles found in natural science research;researcherscreate situations and examine their efFects participants. A reon searcherconducts experiments in laboratories or in real life with a relatively small number of people and a well-focused researchquestion. Experiments are most effective for explanatory research. In the tlpical experiment, the researcher divides the people being studied intol two or more groups. He or she then treats both groups identicallS except that one group but not the other is given a condition he or she is interested in: the "treatment." The researcher measures the reactions ofboth groups precisely. By controlling the setting for both groups and giving only one group the treatment, the researcher can conclude that any differenees in the reactions of the groups are due to the treatment alone. Surveys. A survey researcher asks people questions in a written questionnaire (mailed or handed to people) or during an interview and then records answers. The researcher maniprrlates no situation or condition; he or she simply asksmanypeople numerous questions in a short time period. Typically, he or she then summarizes answersto questions in percentages,tables, or graphs. Researchers use survey techniques in descriptive or explanatory research.Surveysgive the researchera picture of what many people think or report doing. Survey researchersoften use a sample or a smaller group of selectedpeople (e.g., 150 students),but generalize resultsto a larger group (e.g., 5,000 students) from which the smaller group was selected.Survey research is very widely used in many fields. analysis is a techContent Analyses. A contenLt nique for examining information, or content, in written or symbolic material (e.g., pictures, movies, song lyrics, etc.). In content analysis, a

c HAPTER 1 , / D O I N C S O C T A L E S E A R C H R


an overview ofsocial re_ search.You saw how social researchdiffers from Qualitative Data Collection Techniques. the ordinary ways of learning-knowing about Techniques qualitativedata collectioi in_ for the social world, how doing researchis basedon clude fi eld research and historical-comparative scienceand the scientific community, and about research. several tlpes of social research based on its dimensions (e.g.,its purpose, the technique used FieldResearch.Most field researchers conduct to gather data, etc.).The dimensions of research casestudieslooking at a small group of people loosely overlap with each other. The dimensions oyer a length of time (e.g.,weeki, mbnt^hs, of social research are a kind of ..road map', to years). Afield researcher beginswith a looseiy help you make your way through the terrain of formulatedidea or topic, selects socialgroup a social research. In the next chapter, we turn to or natural setting for study, gains accesiand social theory. You read about it a little in this adoptsa socialrole in the setting,and observes chapter. In the next chapter, you will learn how

Historical-Comparative Research. Historical_ comparative researchers examjne aspects social of life in a pasthistoricaletuo. u.ros differentcul_ tures.Researchers usethis techniquemay who focus on one historicalperiod o., .o-_ ExistingStatistics. In existingstatistics research, pareone or more cultures,or mix historicalpe_ a researcher locatespreviouslycollectedinfor_ riods and cultures. Like field research.^ u mation,often in the form of government reports researcher combines theory building/testing or previouslyconductedsuryeys, then reorga_ with data collection and beginswith a loose$ nizesor combinesthe information in new ways formulated question that is iefined during the to address research a question.Locatingsources research process. Researchers often gatlier a canbe time consuming,so the researcher needs wide arrayof evidence, including existiig statis_ to considercarefullythe meaningof what he or tics and documents(e.g., novels, officialieports. she finds. Frequently,a rer"arih", does not books,newspapers, diaries,photographs, and know whether the information of interest is maps)for study.In addition,theymav makedi_ available when he or shebeginsa study.Some_ rect observations and conduct interviews.His_ times,the existingquantitative informaiion con_ torical-comparative research be exploratory can sists of stored surveys or other data that a descriptive, explanatoryandcanblend types. or researcher reexamines using various statistical procedures. Existingstatistics research be can usedfor exploratory descriptive, explanatory or purposes, it is most frequentlyusedfor de_ C ON C L U S ION but scriptiveresearch. This chapter gave you

researcher first identifiesa body of material to (e.g., a-nalyze books,.t.*rpup"rr, films, etc.)and then creates systemfor-reiording specificas_ a pectsof it. The systemmight include counting how often certain words or themesoccur. Fi_ nalln the researcher recordswhat wasfound in the material.He or sheoften measures informa_ tion in the contentasnumbersandpresents as it tables graphs. or This technique a researcher lets discover features the contentoflargeamounts in of materialthat might otherwisego unnoticed. Researchers use content analysis can for ex_ ploratoryand explanatory research, primar_ tut ily it is usedfor descriptive research.

in detail.The researcher to know personally gets the_people being studied,may condlct open_ ended and informal interviews,and takesde_ tailed notes on a daily basis.After leaving the field site, the researcher carefully rereadi the notes and prepares written reports.Field re_ search usedmost oftenfor expioratory de_ is and scriptivestudies; is rarelyusedfor explanatory it research.


P A RT oNE / F o u N D A T ro N s study social impact assessment social research suwey research time-series study

methodswork togetherand theoryand research typesof theory. aboutseveral

Key Terms
action research study applied social research basic social research casestudy cohort study cross-sectional research data descriptive research empirical evidence evaluation research study existing statistics research experimental research explanatory research exploratory research field research halo effect historical comparative research longitudinal research overgeneralization panel study premature closure qualitative data quantitative data scientific community scientific method selective observation

E n dn o t e s
1. See Rampton and Stauber (200I:247-277 and


and on Best(2001:15) advocates media. 2. See Board(2002:735-739). National Science 3. See (2001)providesa summaryof memoryl 4. Schacter issues. Board(2002:739). 5. NationalScience of 6, Discussions the scientificcommunity can be found in Coleand Gordon (1995),Crane(1972), (1965), Mulkay(1991), Merton(1973), Hagstrom andZiman(1999). Patton(2001)and Weiss(1997)for a more 7. See in of detaileddiscussion recentadvances evaluation research. provides usefuloverview' a 8. Beck( 1995) Herringand Ebner(2005)on the useofdo9. See studyfindings. mesticviolence Adams Q004) for more information on the 10. See Auckland City study. ll. Seethe websiteat html. 12. AIsoseeSnowandAnderson(1991)for a discusmethod in their study of sion of the case-study . homeless people.Also seeGeorgeand Bennett (2005)on the case-study methodgenerally.

Theory andSocialResearc

Introduction What ls Theory? Blame Analysis The Parts of Theory Conceots Assumptions Relationshios The Aspects ofTheory Direction Theorizing of Range ofTheory Levels Theory of Forms Explanation of The Three Major Approaches to Social Science Positivist Approach Interpretive Approach CriticalApproach The Dynamic Duo Conclusion




in mind threethings about how socialscientific theorieswork. First, socialtheoriesexplain renot curringpatterns, uniqueor one-timeevents. you of Suppose want to makesense the hostility For example,they are not good for explaining peopleof differentraces. Trying to unbetween why terrorists decided to attack New York's it, who responds: derstand you aska teacher, 11, but on World TradeCenter September 2001, suchasthe conditions they canexplainpatterns, prejudiced people learnnegaMost racially levelsoffear and leadto increased that generally racialgroup aboutanother tive stereotlpes social of feelings patriotism in a people.Second, in from their families, friends. others and not for are theories explanations aggregates, parIf surroundings. theylack their immediate of are ticular individuals.Aggregates collections intimatesocial with memsufficient contact or many individuals,cases, other units (e.g., bersof the groupor intense informationthat families,clubs,cities,na't schools, businesses, they contradicts thosestereotypes, remain tions, etc.).A socialtheory rarely can explain prejudiced. why fosephinedecidedto major in nursing but it This makes to sense you because is consis- rather than engineering, it can explainwhy nurschoose more than malesin general tent with what you know about how the social females of world works.This is an example a small-scale ing over engineeringas a major. Third, social or theoriesstatea probabiliry chance, tendency use socialtheory, a tpe that researchers when for eventsto occur, rather than statethat one conductinga study. follow another.For exameventmust absolutely What do you think of when you hear the ple, insteadof stating that when someoneis Theory is one of the leastwell unword theory? abusedas a child, that personwill alwayslater derstoodterms for students learningsocialsciMy ence. students' eyelids droop if I begina class abusehis or her own children, a theory might abuse durexperiences statethat whensomeone by saying,"Today we are going to examinethe theoryof . . ." The mentalpicturemanystudents ing his or her childhood,that personwill tendto parent or is morelikely to becomean abusive have of theory is something that floats high it when an adult.Likewise, might statethat peohavecalledit "a amongthe clouds.My students ple who did not experiencechildhood abuse that tangled mazeof jargon" and "abstractions parents, they areless but might becomeabusive areirrelevantto the realworld." likely to than someonewho has experience Contrary to theseviews,theory has an imabuse a child. as ally portant role in research and is an essential for the researcher. Researchers theorydifferuse but ently in varioustypesof research, sometl?e It of theory is presentin most socialresearch. is than in balessevidentin appliedor descriptive WHAT IS THEORY? research. simpleterms,reIn sic or explanatory interweave storyaboutthe operation In Chapter L, socialtheorywasdefinedasa sysa searchers or tem ofinterconnectedabstractions ideasthat of the socialworld (the theory) with what they knowledgeabout the (the and condenses organizes when they examineit systematically observe socialworld. It is a compactway to think of the data). socialworld. Peopleare constantlydeveloping for who seek absolute, fixed answers People a specificindividual or a particular one-time newtheoriesabouthow the world works. the Somepeopleconfuse history of socia and social eventmay be frustratedwith science theories. avoid frustration,it is wiseto keep thought, or what greatthinkerssaid,with social To INTRODUCTION



theory. The classicalsocial theorists (e.g., Durkheim, Weber,Marx, and Tonnies) played an important role in generating innovative ideas. They developedoriginal theoriesthat laid the foundationfor subsequent generations social of thinkers.Peoplestudythe classical theoristsbecause they providedmany creativeand interrelated ideasat once.They radicallychanged the waypeople understood and sawthe social world. We study them because geniuses who generate many original, insightfirl ideasand fundamentally shift how pdoplesaw the socialworld are rare. At timespeopleconfuse theorywith a hunch or speculative guessing. Theymay say,"It's only a theory" or ask,"What'syour theoryabout it?" This lax useof the term theorycauses confusion. Suchguessing difi[ers from a serioussocialtheory that has been carefullybuilt and debated over many yearsby dozensof researchers who found support for the theory'skey parts in repeatedempiricaltests.A relatedconfusionis when what peopleconsiderto be a "fact" (i.e., light a matchin a gasoline-filled room and it will explode)is what scientists a theory (i.e.,a call theory of how combining certain quantitiesof particular chemicals with oxygenand a level of heat is likely to producethe outcomeof explosiveforce). Peopleuse simple theorieswithout making them explicit or labelingthem as such. For example, newspaper articles television or reports on socialissues usuallyhaveunstatedsocial theoriesembedded within them. A news reporton the difficultyof implementing school a desegregation will contain an implicit theplan ory aboutracerelations. Likewise, politicalleadersfrequentlyexpress socialtheorieswhen they public issues. discuss Politicianswho claim that inadequateeducationcauses poverty or that a declinein traditional moral values causes higher crime ratesare expressing theories.Compared to the theoriesof socialscientists, such laypersons'theoriesare lesssystematic, well forless mulated, and harder to test with empirical evidence.

Almost all research involvessometheon',so the questionislesswhether you shouldusetheory than how you should use it. Being explicit aboutthe theorymakes easier readsomeone it to else'sresearchor to conduct your own. An awareness how theory fits into the research of process producesbetter designed, easier unto derstand, betterconducted and studies. Most researchersdisparageatheoretical or "crude empiricist"research. BlameAnalysis Blameanalysis a type of counterfeitargument is presented if it werea theoreticalexplanation. as It substitutes attributing blame for a causalexplanationthat is backed supportingempirical by evidence. Blamebelongs the realmof making to moral, legal,or ideological claims.It implies an intention, negligence, responsibility an or for eventor situation (usuallyan unfavorable one). It shifts the focus from Why did it occur?to Who is responsible? Blame analysis assumes there is a party or source to which a fixed amount of responsibilitycan be attached.The goalof inquiry is to identifi a responsible party. Often, somesources exemptedor shielded. are This may be the injured party, membersof a sympatheticaudience,or a sacredvalue or principle. Blameanalysis cloudsdiscussion because it confuses blame with cause; givesan account it (or story) insteadof a logical explanationwith intervening causalmechanisms; and it fails to exploreempirical evidence and againstsevfor eral alternativecauses. Blameanalysis first presents unfavorable an eventor situation.It could be a bank is robbed, a group is systematically paid lessin the labor force,or traffic congestion is terriblein an urban area.It next identifiesone or more responsible parties,then it providesselectiveevidence that shieldscertainpartiesor sources (e.g., employrnent conditions, the choices available the underpaidgroup,transto portation poliry, and land cost).l




heightor compareit. A heightof zerois measure or possible, and height can increase decreas overtime. As with manywords,we usethe word Concepts Height is usedin the expression ways. in several the heightof the battle,the heightof thesummer are and concepts All theoriescontain concepts, andtheheightoffashion. is the building blocks of theory.2A concept an The word heightrefersto an abstractidea. as ideaexpressed a symbolor in words.Natural its in concepts often expressed syrnbolic We associate soundand its written form with are science forms,suchasGreekletters(..g., 6) or formulas that idea. There is nothing inherent in the soundsthat make up the word and the idea it (e.g., = d/t; s= speed, = distance, = time). f d s The represents. connectionis arbitrary' but it is as are concepts expressed Most socialscience the words. The exotic symbolsof natural science still useful.Peoplecan express abstractidea makemany peoplenervous,asthe use to one anotherusingthe symbolalone. concepts havetwo parts:a symbol(word or Concepts socialscience words in specialized of everyday term) and a definition.We learn definitions in confusion. concepts create can I manyways. learnedthe word heightandits dethe I do not want to exaggerate distinction it finition frqm myparents.I learned asI learned as expressed words and conbetweenconcepts to to speakand was socialized the culture. My as Words, after all, are ceptsexpressed symbols. parentsnevergaveme a dictionarydefinition. I symbols,too; they are symbolswe learn with informal nonverbal, learnedit through a diffrrse, Heightis a concept with which you are language. me process. Myparentsshowed manyexamples I familiar.For example, cansaythe word already and I observed listenedto othersusethe word; I heightor write it down; the spokensoundsand written words are part of the Englishlanguage. usedthe word incorrectlyand was corrected The combinationof lettersin the soundsyrnbol- and I used it correctly and was understood the I Eventually, mastered concept. or Chinese for, izes, stands the ideaof a height. or This exampleshowshow peoplelearn conthe Arabic characters, Frenchwordhauteur, t]":'e ceptsin everydaylanguageand how we share word alturaGermanword h1he,the Spanish my Suppose parentshad isolatedme concepts. a all symbolizethe sameidea. In a sense, lanideas from televisionand other people,then taught guage merelyan agreement represent is to I that people me that the word for the ideaheightwaszdged. by sounds or written characters learnedat somepoint in their lives.Learning would havehad difficulty communicatingwith the People must share termsfor concepts and concepts theoryis like learninga language.3 others. and their definitionsif they areto be of value. are andyou usethem Concepts everywhere, Everydaylife is filled with concepts,but all the time. Height is a simple conceptfrom many havevagueand uncleardefinitions.LikeWhat doesit mean?It is everyday experience. and easytousethe conceptofheight,but describing wise,the values,misconceptions, experiof ences peoplein a culture may limit evgryday an the conceptitselfis difficult. It represents abfrom borrow concepts scientists Social concepts. stractideaaboutphysicalrelations.How would culture,but they refinetheseconcepts you describe to a very young child or a crea- everyday it and add new ones. Many conceptssuch as ture from a distantplanetwho wastotally unfapeergroup, urban sprawl, and life-style, miliar with it? A new concept from a social sexism, technicalconcepts beganas precise, socialclass theory may seemjust as alien when you eninto the larger counterit for the first time. Height is a charac- in socialtheorybut havediffrrsed less cu]tureand become precise. from top object,the distance teristicofa physical We createconceptsfrom personalexperito bottom. All people,buildings, trees,mounThe thought,or observation. clascreative ence, tains,books,and so forth havea height.We can


Z /



ClassificationConcepts. Someconcepts are simple;they haveone dimensionandvary along a singlecontinuum. Others are complex;the| have multiple dimension, o, You can break complex conceptsinto a iet of -urryiubparts. simple,or single-dimension, .orr..ptr. For ex_ ample,Rueschemeyer associatis and (1992:43_ 44) stated that democraryhasthreedimensions: (1) regular, freeelections with universal suftage; (2) an elected legislative body that controlssov_ ernmenqand (3) freedomof expression ur_ *J sociation.The authors recognized that each dimensionvariesby degree. Tiey combinedthe dimensionsto createa set of typesof regimes. Regimes verylow on all threedimensions to_ ir. talitarian,thosehigh on all three are democra_ cies, and ones with other mixes are either authoritarianor liberaloligarchies. Classificationr partwaybetween single, are a simpleconceptand a theory.a Theyhelpto oriu_ nizeabstract, complexconcepts. create n"ew To a classification, researcher a logicallyspecifies and combinesthe characteristics of'simpler con_ ConceptClusters. Concepts rarelyusedin arc cepts. You canbestgraspthis ideaby looking at isolation. Rather, they form interconnected some examples. groups,ot concept clusters. This is true for con_ The idealtypeis awelJ.-known classification. cepts everydaylanguage well asfor thosein in as Idealtypesarepure, abstract modelsthat define socialtheory.Theories containcollections as_ the essence the phenomenon of of in question. sociated concepts that areconsistent mutu_ and They arementalpicturesthat definethe central ally reinforcing. Together,they form a web of aspects concept. ofa Idealtypesarenot explana_ meaning. example, I want to discuss con_ tions For if a because they do not tell why or how^som._ ceptsuchasurbandecay,Iwillneeda setofas_ thing occurs. Theyaresmallerthan theories, and sociated concepts (e.g., urban expansion, researchers usethem to build a theory.They are economic growth, urbanization,suburbs, center broader,more abstractconcepts thai brini to_ city, revitalization,masstransit, and,racial mi_ gether severalnarrower, more concretecon_ norities). cepts. Qualitative researchers often use ideal Someconcepts take on a rangeof values, typesto seehow well observable phenomena quantities, amounts. or Examples oithis kind of matchup to the idealmodel.For eximple, Max

sicaltheoristsoriginatedmany concepts. Exam_ ple concepts includefamily system, genderrole, so cinlizatio self-worth,frustration, aid.disptaced n, aggression. Someconcepts, especially simple,concrete concepts suchas bookor height,can be defined through a simplenonverbalprocess. Most social science concepts more complexand abstract. are They ared1fin9dby formal, diitionary_typede_ finitions that build on other .orr..pir.'ti may seemodd to useconcepts define other con_ to cepts, we do this all the time. For example, but I definedheighf a distance as between u.rdbot_ top tom. Top,bottom,anddistance alfconcepts. are We often combine simple,concreteconceprs from ordinary experience createmore ab_ to stractconcepts. Heightis more abstractthantop or bottom.Abstractconcepts refer to uspect,of the world we do not directly experience. They orga.nize thinking and extendunderstanding of reality. Researchers definescientificconcepts more preciselythan thosewe use in daily discourse. Socialtheory requires well-definedconcepts. Thedefinitionhelpsto link theorywith research. A valuablegoal ofexploratory research, and of most good research, to clarify and refinecon_ is cepts.Weak,contradictory, uncleardefini_ oi tions of concepts restrict the advance of knowledge.

conceptareamountof income, tunperatare, delr_ sity,of population, years schooling of anddesrec of violence. Theseare calledvariablis, and,"r", *ilf read about them in a later chapter.Other con_ ceptsexpress typesof nonvariablephenomena (e.q., \lyeaucracy,family, rwolution, homeles, andcold).Theories both kinds ofconcepts. use



Weber developedan ideal type of the concept bureaucracy. Many peopleuseWeber's idealtype (seeBox 2.I). lt distinguishes bureaucracy a from other organizational forms (e.g.,social movements, kingdoms,etc.).It alsoclarifies criticalfeatures kind oforganizationthat people ofa once found nebulousand hard to think about. No real-life organizationperfectlymatchesthe ideal type, but the model helps us think about and studybureaucracy. Scope. Conceptsvary by scope. Some are highly abstract, someareat a middle levelof abstraction,and some areat a concretelevel (i.e., they are easyto directly experiencewith the senses such as sight or touch). More abstract concepts havewider scope; that is, they can be

r r r

lt is a continuous organization governed a sysby tem of rules. Conductis governedby detached, impersonal rules. There is divisionof labor,in which differentoffices are assigned different spheresof competence. Hierarchical authorityrelations prevail; that is, loweroffices undercontrolofhigherones. are

used for a much broader range of specific time points and situations. More concrete concepts are easy to recognize but apply to fewer situations. The concepts skin pigmentation, casting a ballot in an election,and agebasedon the date on a birth certificateare lessabstract and more concrete than the concepts racial group, democracy and maturity. Theories that use many abstract concepts can apply to a wider range of social phenomena than those with concrete concepts. An example of a theoretical relationship is: Increasedsize createscentralization, which in turn createsgreater formalization . Size,centralizatioi; and formalization are very abstract concepts. They can refer to features of a group, organization, or society. We can translate this to say that as anorganization or group getsbigger, authority and power relations within it become centralized and concentrated in a small elite. The elite will tend to rely more on written policies, rules, or laws to control and organize others in the group or organization. When you think explicitly about the scope of concepts, you make a theory stronger and will be able to communicate it more clearly to others.


I r

Administrative actions,rules,and so on are in writingand maintained files. in r Individuals not own and cannotbuy or sell do their offices. r Officials receive salaries ratherthan receiving direct payment from clientsin orderto ensure loyalty to the organization. Property the organization separate of fromperis sonalpropertyof officeholders.


Source: Adapted Chafetz from (197872).

Conceptscontain built-in assumptions, statementsaboutthe natureof thingsthat arenot observable or testable. We accept them as a necessary startingpoint. Concepts and theories build on assumptions about the nature of human beings,socialreality, or a particular phenomenon.Assumptions often remainhiddenor Onewayfor a researcher deepen to his unstated. her understanding a conceptis to identifr of or the assumptions which it is based. on For example, conceptbookassumes the a writing, peoplewho can read,and the system of of existence paper.Without such assumptions little sense. socialscithe ideaof abook makes A enceconcept,sueh as racialprejudice, restson several assumptions. Theseinclude peoplewho make distinctionsamong individualsbasedon attachspecificmotivations their racialheritage,



and characteristics membershipin a racial to group,and makejudgmentsaboutthe goodness of specificmotivationsand characteristics. If racebecameirrelevant,peoplewould cease to distinguish among individuals on the basisof race,to attachspecificcharacteristics a racial to group,and to makejudgmentsaboutcharacteristics.Ifthat occurred, conceptof racialprejthe udicewould cease be usefulfor research. to All concepts containassumptions aboutsocialrelations or how peoplebehave. Relationships Theories containconcepts, their definitions,and assumptions. More significantly, theories specify how concepts relateto one another.Theories tell us whether concepts relatedor not. If they are are related,the theory states how they relateto eachother.In addition,theories givereasons for why the relationshipdoesor doesnot exist.It is a relationship, suchastEconomicdistress among theWhite populationcaused increase mob an in violenceagainst African Americans. When a researcher empiricallytestsor evaluates such a relationship, is calledahypothesis. it After many carefirltestsof a hypothesis with data confirm the hypothesis, is treated as a proposition. it A propositionis a relationship a theoryin which in the scientificcommunity startsto gain greater confidence feelsit is likely to be truthful. and

Direction of Theorizing Researchers approach building andtestingof the theoryfrom two directions. Some beginwith abstractthinking. They logicallyconnectthe ideas in theory to concreteevidence, then test the ideas againstthe evidence.Others begin with specificobservations empiricalevidence. of On the basisof the evidence, they generalize and build towardincreasingly abstract ideas. pracIn tice, most researchers flexibleand useboth are approaches various points in a study (see at Figure 2.1). Deductive. In a deductive approach, you begin with an abstract,logical relationship among concepts, then movetoward concrete empirical evidence. You may haveideasabout how tne world operatesand want to test theseideas "hard data." against Weitzerand Tuch (2004,2005) useda deductiveapproachin a study ofperceptionsof police misconduct.They began with Group Position theory (a middle-rangetheory discussed later) within the conflict theory framework (see Range Theorylaterin this chapter). of Group position theorystates that dominant and subordinate racial-ethnicgroupsarein competition for resources and statusin a multiethnic society that hasa racialhierachy, and suchcompetition af[ects racialbeliefs and attitudes. Dominant groups believe they are entitled to privileges a position of superiority,and they and fear losing their privileges. Subordinate groups believetheir position can be enhancedif they challengethe existing order. The authors deduced that group competition extendsbeyond attitudes perceptions to ofsocialinstitutions,especiallyinstitutions of socialcontrol such as policing. They arguedthat subordinategroup members (i.e., Blacksand Latino/Hispanics) would preceive policemisconduct(measured as unjustified stops of citizens,verbal abuseby police,an excessive offorce, and policecoruse ruption) differentlythan members the domiof nant group (Whites).The authorsthought that perceptionsoperatedvia three mechanisms:

THE ASPECTSOF THEORY Theory can be baffling because comesin so it many forms. To simplify, we can categorize a theory by (1) the direction of its reasoning, (2) the levelof socialrealitythat it explains, the (3) forms of explanationit employs,and (4) the overallframeworkof assumptions concepts and in which it is embedded. Fortunately,all logically possiblecombinationsof direction, level, explanation, and frameworkare not equallyviable.Thereare only about half a dozenserious contenders.




Deductiveand InductiveTheorizing
InductiveApProach o iheoreticat

DeductiveApproach o fheoretical

Middle-Range Theory

Middle-Range Theory

Hypothesis Testing

Grounded Hypothesis, Generalization Theorizing Empirical

Formation, Concept Generalization Empirical

EmpiricalSocial Reality

EmpiricalSocial RealitY

with the police; reports of personalencounters by police encounters friends,family, or neighbors;and noticingand interpretingnewsreports they about police activity. In thesethree areas, negpredictedthat non-Whiteswould interpret ofserior ativeevents reportsasstrongevidence ous and systematicpolice misconduct. By Whites would tend to ignore or disconstrast, miss such eventsor reports or seethem as isolated incidents.Data from a national surveyof populaU.S. metropolitan areas(over 100,000 tion) supportedpredictionsof the theory. Inductive. ifyou use an inductiveapproach, you begin with detailed observationsof the generalworld and move toward more abstract izations and ideas.When you begin, you may As haveonly a topic and a few vagueconcepts. you refine the concepts,develop you observe, and empirical generalizations, identifr prelimiYou build the theory from nary relationships. the ground up.

Duneier (1999)usedan inductiveapproach He in his studyof life on the sidewalk. notedthat both quantitativesecin much of socialscience, and research qualitativefield reondaryanalysis search, a researcher develops a theoretical understandingonly after datahave been collected.He stated,"I beganto get ideasfrom the and thingsI wasseeing hearingon the street"(p. who 341).Many researchers adopt an inductive theory use approach groundedtheory.Grounded is part of an inductive approachin which a rebuilds ideasand theoreticalgenetaliza searcher tions basedon closelyexaminingand creatively thinking about the data (seeBox 2'2). A tesearchercreatesgrounded theory out of a process trying to explain,interpret, and renof from trying to der meaningfrom data.It arises of'the or accountfor, understand, "make sense that has Duneier(1999:342) suggested evidence. many symptoms is the process similar to seeing (i.e.,a storythat and later arriving at a diagnosis the explains sourceof the symptoms).





in usedapproach qualtheoryis a widely Crounded and lt itativeresearch. is not the only approach it is Crounded theresearchers. not usedby all qualitative a research method that uses sysoryis"aqualitative to tematicset of procedures developan inductively and (Strauss derived theoryabouta phenomenon" theof Corbin,1990:24\. The purpose grounded ory is to build a theory that is faithful to the evinew is a methodfor discovering theory.In phenomena a with it, the researcher unlike compares He viewtowardlearning similarities. or sheseesmifor cro-level events the foundation a moremacroas several levelexplanation. Crounded theory shares goalswith more positivist-oriented theory. lt seeks that is theorythat is comparable the evidence with p r ec is e a and r igoro u sc a p a b l e f re p l i c a ti o n , n d , o pursues generalizable. A grounded theoryapproach

by across sogeneralizations making comparisons cialsituations. use alternativesto Qualitative researchers theory.Somequalitative researchers offer grounded an in-depthdepictionthat is true to an informant's They excavate single socialsituation to worldview. a processes sustain stable the that social elucidate micro The is interaction. goalofother researchersto provide depiction events a setting. They a veryexacting of or specific events settings orderto gaininin analyze or sightinto the larger dynamics a society. other of Still apply researchers anexisting theoryto analyze specific that they haveplaced a macro-level in historsettings ical context.They show connections amongmicroleveleventsand betweenmicro-level situations and forcesfor the purpose reconstructing larger social of social action. the theoryandinforming

Range ofTheory Social theories operate with varying ranges.One source of the confusion about theories involves At the range at which a theory operates. one end are highly specific theories with concrete concepts of limited scope.At the opposite end are whole systems with many theories that are extremely abstract. As part of the task of theory building, veri$'ing, and testing, a researcher connects theoretical statements of different ranges together, like a seriesof different-sized boxes that fit into one another or a set ofRussian dolls. Empirical Generalizqtion. An empirical generalization is the least abstract theoretical statement and has a very narrow range. It is a simple statement about a pattern or generalization among two or more concrete concepts that are very close to empirical reality. For example, "More men than women choose engineering as a collegemajor." This summarizesa pattern between gender and choice of college major. It is

easyto test or observe. is calleda generalizaIt tion because pattern operates the acrossmany time periodsand socialcontexts. The finding in the study on Internet pornographydiscussed in ChapterI that unhappilymarriedmen aremore likely than happily married men to useInternet porn is an empiricalgeneralization. Midille-RangeTheory. Middle-rangetheories areslightlymore abstract than empiricalgeneralizationsor a specifichypothesis. middleA rangetheory focuses a specificsubstantive on topic area (e.g., domestic violence,military coups,studentvolunteering),includesa multiple empiricalgeneralization, builds a theoand reticalexplanation(seeForms of Explanation later in this chapter).As Merton (1967:39) "Middle-range stated, theoryis principallyused in sociology guideempiricalinquiry." A midto theory usedin a study discussed dle-range in Chapter I saidthat girls who sufferphysicalor sexualabuseexperience self-blameand guilt feelingsthat inhibits them from developinga healthy social networkor formingstable romantic


P A Rr oN E / F o U N D AT T o N S

relationships, that these and factorsleadto them marital instayingsingleor experiencing greater stabilitywhen they becomeadults. Theoretical Framewoflcs, A theoretical framework (alsocalleda paradigmor theoreticalsystem) is more abstract than a middle-range theory.Figure2.1showsthe levels and how they

areusedin inductiveand deductiveapproaches makeprecise disto theorizing.Fewresearchers tinctions amongthe rangesof theorizing.They rarely use a theoretical framework directly in A may test parts empirical research. researcher contrast of a theory on a topic and occasionally partsof the theoriesfrom differentframeworks. the of Box2.3illustrates variousdegrees abstrac-

Theoretical Framework Kalmijn. Structuralfunctionalism holds that the processes industrialization urbanization of and change form.In human society froma traditional a modern to and this process modemization, of social institutions practices This evolve. evolution includes thosethat fill people culto the social system's basic needs, socialize Institutions turalvalues, regulate and social behavior. in that filledneeds maintained social and system a the traditional society(suchas religion) superseded are by modern ones(such formalschooling). as Weitzer Tuch. Conflicttheory holdsthat estaband political, protect lishedsocial, and legalinstitutions the dominantor privileged groupsof a society.Major institutions operatein waysthat containor suppress the activitiesof nondominantgroups in if society, especially they challenge threatenthe or established social-economic Thus, conflict hierarchy. groups between dominant subordinate the and social espeis reflected how majorinstitutions in operate, ciallyinstitutions that are charged with maintaining order and engaged formalsocialcontrol,suchas in lawenforcement. Middle-Range SubstantiveTheory Kalmijn. A theory of intermarriage patternsnotes that youngadultsin modernsocietyspendlesstime in small, localsettings, wherefamily,religion, and communityall have a strong influence. Instead, youngadultsspendincreasing of amounts time in In in schoolsettings. these settings, especially col-

to lege,they haveopportunities meetother unmarried people.ln modernsociety,educationhas beagent. lt affectsfuture come a major socialization and leisure intermoralbeliefs and values, earnings, partners youngadultsselectmarriage less Thus, ests. religious localtiesand more or of on the basis shared educational levels. of on the basis common

group theory uses andTuch. Group-position WeiEer power,and status competitionover materialrewards, Each intergroup attitudesand behaviors. to explain and experiences or imagined real group perceives Members a of threatsto its socialpositiondifferently. orgovemment acgrouptendto viewpolice dominant tions takento defendits interestsas beingfair or fagroups whereas members subodorinate of vorable, actionsnegatively. tend to seethe same EmpiricalGeneralization once married otherswith simiKalmijn. Americans Thispractice beis beliefs affiliation. and lar religious levels by to ing replaced marriage otherswith similar of education. more Weitzer and Tuch. Non-Whitesexperience encounters with police and negativeinterpersonal tend to interpret mediareports about police misprobof and conductasevidence serious systematic lems with the police. By contrast,Whites have or differentpoliceencounters interprettheir encountersand mediareportsabout policeactions morefavorably.



tion with Kalmijn's study of changing marriage partner selection(seealso page40). Sociology and other social sciences have several major theoretical frameworks.s The frameworks are orientations or sweeping ways of looking at the social world. They provide collections of assumptions, concepts, and forms of explanation. Frameworks include theories for many substantiveareas(e.g.,theories of crime, theories of the family, etc.). Thus, there can be a structural functional theory, an exchange theory and a conflict theory of the family. Theories within the same framework share assumptions and major concepts. Some frameworks are oriented more to the micro level; others focus more on macro-level phenomena (seeLevelsof Theorynext). Box2.4 shows four major frameworks

in sociologyand briefly describes key conthe cepts and assumptions each. of Levelsof Theory Socialtheoriescan be divided into three broad groupings the levelof social by realitywith which they deal.Most of us devotethe majority of our time to thinking aboutthe micro leveloireality, the individuals see interactwith on a daywe and by-daybasis. Micro-level theorydeals with small slices time, space, numbers people. of or of The concepts usuallynot very abstract. are Brase and fuchmond(2004)useda microleveltheory about doctor-patientinteractions and perceptions. theorystated The that physican attire affects doctor-patientinteractions. sugIt

Structural Functionalism MajorConcepts. System, equilibrium, dysfunction, division labor of KeyAssumptions. Societyis a systemof interdependent partsthat is in equilibrium balance. or Over time,societyhasevolved from a simple a complex to type,whichhashighlyspecialized parts.The partsof society fulfilldifferent needs functions the social or of system. basic A consensus values a value on or svstem holdssocietytogether. Exchange Theory (also RationalChoice) MajorConcepts. Opportunities, rewards, approval, balance, credit Key Assumptions.Human interactions similar are to economic transactions. People give and receive resources (symbolic, socialapproval, material) or and try to maximize their rewards whileavoiding pain,expense, and embarrassment. Exchange relations tend to be balanced. lfthey areunbalanced, persons with creditcandominate others. Symboliclnteractionism MajorConcepts. Sell reference group,role-playing, perception Key Assumptions.People transmitand receive svmb o l i cc o mmuni cati onhenthey soci al l ynteract. w i People createperceptions eachotherand social of settings. Peoplelargelyact on their perceptions. How peoplethink about themselves othersis and based theirinteractions. on Conflict Theory Major Concepts. Power, exploitation, struggle, inequality, alienation Assumptions.Society madeup of groupsthat Key is haveopposinginterests. Coercionand attemptsto gainpowerareever-present aspects human of relations.Thosein powerattemptto hold on to their powerby spreading mythsor by usingviolence if necessary.


P A RT oNE ,/ F o u N D A T to N s

otherworkersand would producegainsbecause gested that a patient makesjudgmentsabout a authoritieswould supporttheir acgovernment physican's based attire and that a paon abilities tions. is toward a physican alsoaftient'strust-openness the concerns operationof Macro-lweltheory fected. It said that perceptions of physican such with traditionalprofessional larger aggregates associalinstitutions,enauthorityincreased It and tire cultural systems, wholesocieties. uses formal attire over informal attire, but that trustthat areabstract. more concepts was openness influencedin the oppositedirection Marx's study (1998)on racein the United asauthority. Thirty-eight male and 40 femalereand SouthA.frica, Braziluseda macro-leve States, searchparticipants rated their perceptionsof theory.He wantedto explainthe conditionsthat models who were same- and opposite-gender in led Blackpeopleto engage protestto gain firll butwho were identifiedasbeingmedical doctors, of rightsandheexaminedpatterns na-. citizenship wearing different attire. Findings showedthat a two { tional racialpoliticsin threecountiesacross white coatandformal attire areclearlysuperiorto in His centuries. theorysaidthat protestresulted physicanauthority, casualattire in establishing political as trust-openness expected. an interaction between(1) race-based but it did not reduce polimobilizationand (2) nationalgovernment and Meso-lweltheorylinksmacro micro levin ciesof racialdomination(i.e.,apartheid South level.Theoat elsand operates an intermediate Africa, Jim Crow lawsin southernUnited States, and socialmovements, ries of organizations, and no legalized race-baseddomination in communitiesareoften at this level. and Danaher(2001)usedmeso- Brazil).Policiesof racial domination developed Roscigno of from practices slavery exploitation,and disleveltheoryin a studyon the i930slabor movecrimination that justified White superiority. The ment among southern textile workers. The that policiesreinforcedspecificracialideologies researchers useda theory of movementsubculnational developmentduring the twentishaped ture and political opportunity to explaingrowing labor movement strength and increased eth century. A critical causalfactor was how dominanationalpolitical elitesusedthe legalized strikeactivityamongworkersin one industryin amongWhites. divisions to years. tion of Blacks reduce several a regionofthe United States across In nationsthat had largeregionalor classdivistrike activity to grow asthe result They expected sions among Whites, national elites tried to of a strongmovementsubculturethat carrieda White backingfor the nationalgovernincrease message injusticeand a "political opportuof ment by creatinglegalizedforms of racial domiamongpeoplethat colnity" or the expectation lectiveactionat a particulartime would produce nation. Over time, such legalizeddomination of froze racialdivisions,which promoted a sense positiveresults. that a techTheir studyshowed amongBlacks. racialidentity and consciousness of nologicalinnovation (i.e.,the spread new raa of The strongsense racialidentity became key of dio stations with songs and discussions mobilizedpoliticallyto dewhenBlacks resource working conditionsand unfair treatment)conracialdomrights.Legalized mand full citizenship tributed to the growth of a subcultureof moveination also intensifiedthe Blacks'protest and ment solidarity among the textile workers and the directedit against national governmentasthe fostered self-identityasa worker who had comsocietalinstitution that reinforcedtheir experiThe with the othertextileworkers. mon interests enceof racialinequality. in innovationand events thepolittechnological and ical environment (i.e., union organizers speeches the Presidentof the United States) by Forms of Explanation a alsocreated politicalopportunity for theworkPrediction and Explanation. A theory's priers.The workersbelievedthat collectionaction justiceand mary purposeis to explain.Many peoplecon(i.e.,strike)wasnecessary achieve to




fusepredictionwith explanation. Therearetwo probablyacceptinvolvesa theory about the ro_ meaningsor usesof the term explanation.Re_ tation of the earth and the position of the sun, searchers focuson theoretical explanation, alogthe star of our solarsystem.lnthis explanation, icalargumentthat tellswhysornething occurs. It the sun only appears rise. The sun doesnot to refersto a generalrule or principle. ih"r. u." u move; its apparentmovement dependson the researcher's theoretical urgum.rrt or connec_ earth'srotation. We are on a planet that both tionsamongconcepts. second The typeof expla_ spinson its axisand orbitsaround a starmillions nation, ordina-ry explanation, makessomething of miles away in space. All three explanations clearor describes somethingin a way that illusl make the sameprediction: The sun'riseseach tratesit and makesit intelligible.Forexample,a morning.As you cansee, weakexplanation a can good teacher"explains,,in the ordinury *rrr". produce an accurate prediction.A good expla_ *r typesof explanation blendtogether. nation can depends a well_developeJtheory Ilr: on and This occurswhen a researcher explaini (i.e., is confirmed in research empirical by observa_ intelligible)his or her explanation(ire.,a tions. 3e: logicalargumentinvolving tr.ory). Prediction is a statement that something CausalExplanation. Causalexplanation, the will occur.It is easier predict than to explain, to most commontypeof explanation, used is when andan explanation more logicalpowei than has the relationshipis one o].u.rr" and effect. We predictionbecause good explariations pre_ useit all the time also in everyday language, which dlct. An explanation rarelypredictsmore than tendsto be sloppyand ambiguous."wf,ui do _. one outcome,but the sameoutcomemay be meanwhen we say cause? Foiexample,you may predictedby opposingexplanations. Although saythat povertycauses crimeor thailooseness in it-is lesspowerfirl than explanation, many peo_ moralsciluses increase divorce. an in This does ple areentrancedby the dramaticvisibility of a not tellhow or why the causalprocessworks. prediction. Researchers to be more preciseand try exact A gambling exampleillustratesthe differ_ when discussing causal relations. encebetweenexplanationand prediction. If I Philosophers havelong debated idea of the enter a casinoand consistentlyand accurately cause. Somepeoplearguethat causalityoccurs predictthe next cardto appear the next or num_ in theempirical world, but it cannotbe'proved. ber on a roulettewheel,if mt U. ,.rrrutiorr"i. t Causality "out there" in objective,.uliry is arrd maywin a lot of money,at leastuntil the casino researchers only try to find evidence can for it. officials realizeI am alwayswinning urra."pel Othersarguethat causalityis only an idea that me.Yet,my methodof makingthepiedictions is existsin the human mind, a mental construc_ mo-reinterestingthan the faci thaf I can do so. tion, not something ..real,,in the world. ihis Tellingyou what I do to predict the next cardis secondposition holds that causality only is a more_fascinating beingableto predict. than way of thinking about ihe rvorta. _convenient Hereis anotherexample. you know that the Without enteringinto the lengthyphilosophical sun "rises" eachmorning. you can predict that debate, manyresearchers pursuecausal relation_ at some everymorning, wheiher or not ships. -time, cloudsobscure the sun will rise.But why it, is You needthreethingsto establish causality: this so?One explanation that the Great is irl f" temporalorder,association, the eliminatiln and carriesthe sun acrossthe sky on its back. an_ of plausible alternatiyes.An implicit fourth other explanationis that a god setshis arrow condition is an assumptionthat u .uur"t-..tu_ ablaze,.which appears ui as the sun, and to tionship makes re.tseo, fits with U.ouj", snoots across rt y. Fewpeople ur_ rt ,!. todaybelieve sumptions or a theoretical framework. Let us these ancientexplanations. explanaiion The you examine threebasicconditions. the


pA RToN E ,/ F o u N D AT to N s

The temporal order condition means that a cause must come before an effect. This commonsense assumption establishesthe direction of causality: from the cause toward the effect. You may ask, How can the cause come after what it is to affect?It cannot, but temporal order is only one of the conditions needed for causality. Temporal order is necessarybut not sufficient to infer causality. Sometimes people make the mistake of talking about "cause" on the basis of temporal order alone. For example, a professional baseballplayer pitches no-hit gameswhen he kisseshis wife just before a game. The kissing occurred before the no-hit games. Does that mean the kissing is the causeof the pitching performance? It is very unlikely. As another example, race riots occurred in four separatecities in 1968, one day after an intense wave of sunspots. The temporal ordering does not establish a causal link between sunspots and race riots. After all, all prior human history occurred before some specific event. The temporal order condition simply eliminates from consideration potential causesthat occurred later in time. It is not always easy to establish temporal order. With cross-sectional research,temporal order is triclcF. For example, a researcher finds that people who have a lot ofeducation are also less prejudiced than others. Does more education causea reduction in prejudice? Or do highly prejudiced people avoid education or lack the motivation, self-discipline, and intelligence needed to succeedin school?Here is another example. The students who get high grades in my classsay I am an excellent teacher. Does getting high gradesmake them happy, so theyreturn the favor by saylng that I am an excellent teacher (i.e., high gradescausea positive evaluation)? Or am I doing a great job, so students study hard and learn a lot, which the grades reflect (i.e., their learning causes them to get high grades)?It is a chicken-or-egg problem. To resolve it, a researcher needs to bring in other information or design researchto test for the temporal order. Simple causal relations are unidirectional. operating in a single direction from the causeto

the effect. Most studies examine unidirectional relations. More complex theories speci$r reciprocal-effect causal relations-that is, a mutual causal relationship or simultaneous causality. For example, studying a lot causesa student to get good grades, but getting good grades also motivates the student to continue to study. Theories often have reciprocal or feedback relationships, but these are difficult to test. Some researcherscall unidirectional relations nonrecursive and reciprocal-effect relations recursive. A researcher also needs an association for causality. Two phenomena are associatedif thei. occur together in a patterned way or appear to act together. People sometimes confuse correlation with association. Correlation has a specific technical meaning, whereasassociation a more is generalidea. A correlation coefficient is a statistical measure that indicates the amount of association, but there are many ways to measure association. Figure 2.2 shows 38 people from a lower-income neighborhood and 35 people from an upper-income neighborhood. Canyou seean associationbetween race and income level? More people mistake associationfor causality than confuse it with temporal order. For example, when I was in college,I got high gradeson the exams I took on Fridays but low grades on those I took on Mondays. There was an association between the day of the week and the exam grade, but it did not mean that the day of the week causedthe exam grade. Instead, the reason was that I worked 20 hours each weekend and was very tired on Mondays. As another example, the number of children born in India increased until the late 1960s, then slowed in the 1970s. The number of U.S.-made cars driven in the United Statesincreaseduntil the late 1960s,then slowed in the 1970s.The number of Indian children born and the number of U.S. cars driven are associated:They vary together or increaseand decrease at the same time. Yet there is no causal connection. By coincidence, the Indian government instituted a birth control program that slowed the number of births at the same time that Americans were buying more imported cars.



FIG U R E 2 .2

Association of Income and Race UpperIncome

Lower Income OO


io o o

0 AI rC (-) \ I J rJl
O ffi,t
/l IV

? ?*$ m3


Qr T.

.l iii lt t?


o' i:njH i*i\q;i l{l nfi^q.B"qfr flqi fifi
v'fifr f,fl
ognized cause is called a spurious relationship, in which is discussed Chapter 4 (seeBox 2.5). can Researchers observetemporal order and associations.They cannot observe the elimination of alternatives. They can only demonstrate it indirectly. Eliminating alternatives is an ideal because eliminating all possible alternatives is impossible. A researchertries to eliminate major alternative explanations in two ways: through built-in design controls and by measuring potential hidden causes.Experimental researchers build controls into the study design itself to eliminate alternative causes.They isolate an experimental situation from the influence of all variables except the main causalvariable. also tryto eliminate alternatives Researchers by measuring possible alternative causes.This is common in survey research and is called use controlling for another variable. Researchers statistical techniques to learn whether the causal variable or something elseoperateson the effect variable. Causal explanations are usually in a linear form or state causeand effect in a straight line: A causesB B causesC C causesD. The study by Braseand Richmond (2004) on doctor-patient interactions discussedearlier

fifi ffA fii fi.H,

Ifa researchercannot find an association, a causal relationship is unlikely. This is why researchersattempt to find correlations and other measuresof association.Yet, a researchercan often find an associationwithout causality.The asthat are not sociation eliminates potential causes definitely identify a associated, but it cannot cause.It is a necessarybut not a sufficient condition. In other words, you need it for causality, but it is not enough alone. An association does not have to be perfect (i.e., every time one variable is present, the other also is) to show causality. In the example involving exam gradesand days of the week, there is an association if on 10 Fridays I got 7 As, 2 Bs, and 1 C, whereas my exam grades on 10 Mondays were 6 Ds, 2 Cs, and 2 Bs. An association exists' but the days ofthe week and the exam gradesare not perfectly associated.The race and incomelevel association shown in Figure 2.2 is also an imperfect association. Eliminating alternatives means that a researcher interested in causality needs to show that the effect is due to the causal variable and not to something else. It is also called no spuribecausean apparent causal relationship ousness that is actually due to an alternative but unrec-




As I wasdrivinghomefrom the university day, I one hearda radio newsreport about genderand racial biasin standardized tests.A person who claimed that biaswasa majorproblemsaidthat the tests should be changed. Since workin the fieldof education I and disdainracialor genderbias,the report caughtmy attention.Yet, as a socialscientist, critically I evaluated the newsstory.The evidence a biascharge for wasthe consistent patternofhigherscores mathin ematicsfor malehigh schoolseniors versusfemale high schoolseniors, and for European-background students versus African American students. Wasthe causeof the pattern of differenttest scoresa bias built into the tests? When questionedby someonewho had designedthe tests,the personcharging bias lackeda crucial pieceof evidence supporta claimof test to

bi as:the educati onal experi ence students. t of l turnsout that girlsand boystakedifferentnumbers and types of mathematics courses high school in Cirls tend to take fewer math courses. Amongthe girlswho complete samemathematics the curricu lum as boys,the genderdifference dissolves. Likewise, a large percentageof African American attend raciallysegregated, poor-qualityschoolsin i nner ci ti es or i n i mpoveri shed rural areas.For African Americans who attend high-quality suburbanschools and complete same the courses, racia differences test scoresdisappear. in This evidence suggests that inequality education in causes test score differences. Although the tests may have problems, identifying the real causeimpliesthat changing testswithoutfirst improving equalthe or izingeducation couldbe a mistake.

useda causal explanation; saidphysican it attire causes certaintypesofpatient perceptions. The studybyWeitzer and Tuch (2004, 2005)on police misconduct cited earlier used a causalexplanation. The causewas a person's group position and competitivepressure with other groups.Theseare causally linked to police encounters, eitherdirectlyor indirectly,and interpretionsof newsreports,which differ by group position.The policeencounters and the interpretationsofnews reports causevery different perceptions police misconduct. of We can restatethe logic in a deductivecausal form: If the proposition is true, then we observecertain things in the empirical evidence. Good causal explanations identift a causalrelationshipand specifi'acausal mechanism. simplecausal A explanationis: X causes Yor Yoccursbecause of X, whereX and Yare concepts (e.g., earlymarriage and divorce). Some researchers state causalityin a predictiveform: If X occurs,then Yfollows.Causality be statedin manyways: can

Xleadsto Y,Xproducesy, XinfluencesY,Xis relatedto Y, the greaterXthe higher Y. Here is a simplecausal theory:A risein unemploymentcauses increase child abuse. an in The subjectto be explained an increase the is in occurrence child abuse. of What explainsit is a rise in unemployment.We "explain" the increase child abuse identifring its cause. in by A completeexplanationalso requireselaborating the causal mechanism. theorysays when My that peoplelosetheir jobs, they feel a loss of selfworth. Once they lose self-worth,they become easilyfrustrated, upset, and angry. Frustrated peopleoften express their angerby directingviolencetoward thosewith whom they haveclose personal contact(e.g.,friends,spouse, children, etc.).This is especially if they do not undertrue standthe sourceof the angeror cannotdirect it (e.g., employer, towardits true cause an government policy,or "economic forces"). The unemployment child abuse and example illustratesa chain of causes and a causal




immigrants from the Philippines,Korea, Taiwan, and China in Los Angelesand found that socialnetworksmatchedand sortedimmigrants with jobs. New immigrants with limited languageand job skills soughtemploymenteither with a co-ethnicemployeror through informal social ties (i.e., they consulted experienced fiiends, relatives, and acquaintances asked and them to be intermediaries). Network usersexpandedjob opportunitiesbeyondemployers in their own ethnic group. Thus, ethnic network tieswere"bridgeties" (i.e.,they helpedimmigrantsgetjobs beyondtheir ethnic community by usingco-ethnics who alreadymadethe transition to mainstreamemplo;rment). Over time, as language and job skills improved, theseimjobs. Immimigrantsmoved on to mainstream grantslackingsocialties,in limited networks,or who worked for co-ethnicsfound it difficult to job. Thus, a person'snetwork get a mainstream location,access alarge and diversenetwork, to and use of network ties is what facilitatedobjob. taining a mainstream Structural Explanation. A structuralexplanaStructuralexplanations alsousedin seare rlonis usedwith threetypesof theories: network, quence theory. The panel study on volunsequential, and functional theories.Unlike a teerismby Oesterle, |ohnson, and Mortimer causal effectchain,which is similar to a stringof (2004) discussed Chapter 1 employs sein ballslined up that hit one anothercausingeach quencetheory.The authorsuseda "life course" to bouncein turn, it is more similar to a wheel perspective which the impact of an event in with spokes from a centralidea or a spiderweb happeningat one phase a person'slife differs of in which eachstrandforms part of the whole.A what it would havebeenif the same happened at researcher making a structuralexplanationuses other phases, and early eventsgenerallyshape a set of interconnected assumptions, concepts, eventsin later phases. The authors noted that and relationships. Insteadof causalstatements, the transition to adulthood is a critical stage he or sheuses metaphors analogies that reor so when a personlearnsnew socialrolesand adult lationships"make sense." The concepts and reexpectations. They found that the amountsand lations within a theory form a mutually typesofvolunteer activity in the last stage they reinforcingsystem. structuralexplanations, In a observed(age 26-27) was strongly influenced researcher specifies sequence a ofphases idenor by suchactivities prior stages person's at ofa life tifies essential parts that form an interlocked (age18-19).People who volunteered an early at whole. stagetendedto volunteer at later stages. Those Structuralexplanations usedin network are who did not volunteerat an earlystage who or theory. Sanders, Nee, and Sernau(2002) exdevoted full time to working or parenting at plainedAsian immigrant job seeking (18-19 yearsold) were less with netother prior stages work theory. They used interview data on likely to volunteer at a later stage (26-27 years

mechanism. Researchers testdifferentparts can of the chain. They might test whetherunemployment ratesand child abuseoccur together, yiolent toor whetherfrustratedpeoplebecome ward the peopleclose them.A typicalresearch to strategy to dividea largertheoryinto partsand is testvariousrelationships against data. the Relationships between variables be poscan itive or negative. Researchers imply a positiverelationship if they say nothing. A positive relationshipmeansthat a higher value on the causal variablegoeswith a higher value on the effectvariable. example, more education For the a personhas,the longerhis or her life expectancF is. A negative relationship meansthat a higher value on the causalvariablegoeswith a lower value on the effect variable. For example,the more frequentlya couple attendsreligiousservices,the lower the chances their divorcing of eachother.In diagrams, plus sign (+) signifies a a positiverelationshipand a negativesign (-) signifies negative a relationship.



old). Thus, later eventsflowed from an interconnectedprocess which earlier stages a in set course or direction that pointed to specific events a later stage. in Additionally, structural explanationsare usedin functionaltheory.6 Functional theorists explain an eventby locating it within a larger, ongoing,balanced socialsystem. They often use biologicalmetaphors. These explain researchers somethingby identifying its function within a larger systemor the need it firlfills for the system.Functionalexplanations in this form: "I are occursbecause serves it M." needs the system in Theoristsassume that a systemwill operateto stayin equilibrium and to continueovertime. A functionaltheoryof socialchange says that, over time, a socialsystem, society, or movesthrough developmental stages, becoming increasingly differentiatedand more complex. It evolvesa specialized divisionoflabor anddevelops greater individualism. These developments create greater efficiency the system a whole.Spefor as cializationand individualism createtemporary disruptions. Thetraditionalwaysof doingthings weaken,but new social relations emerge.The generates system newwaysto fulfill functionsor satisfyits needs. Kalmijn (1991)useda functionalexplanation to explain a shift in how people in the United States select marriagepartners. relied He on secularization theory, which holds that ongoing historicalprocesses industrialization of and urbanizationshape development sothe of ciety. During thesemodernizationprocesses, peoplerely lesson traditional ways of doing things. Religiousbeliefs and local community ties weaken,as doesthe family's control over young adults.Peopleno longer live their entire lives in small, homogeneouscommunities. Young adultsbecomemore independentfrom their parentsand from the religious organizations that formerly playeda critical role in selectingmarriage partners. has Society a basicneedto organize way the peopleselectmarriagepartnersand find partnerswith whom they sharefundamentalvalues.

In modern society,people spend time away from small local settingsin school settings.In in they theseschoolsettings,especially college, meet other unmarried people.Educationis a agentin modern society major socialization Increasingly,it affectsa person'sfuture earnings, moral beliefs and values,and ways of spendingleisuretime. This explainswhy there for hasbeena trend in the United States people to marry lesswithin the samereligion and increasingly marry personswith a similar level to of education.In traditional societies, family the and religious organizationservedthe function peopleto moral values and linkof socializing ing them to potential marriagepartnerswho held similar values.In modern society,educational institutions largelyfulfill this function for the socialsystem.

Interpretive Explanation The purposeof an explanation to fosterunderstandis interpretive ing. The interpretive theorist attempts to discoverthe meaningof an eventor practiceby placingit within a specificsocialcontext.He or shetries to comprehendor mentally graspthe operationof the socialworld, aswell asgeta feel for something to see world asanotherperor the Becauseeach person's subjective son does. how he or she acts,the reworldview shapes searcher attemptsto discernothers' reasoning and view of things. The process similar to is decodinga text or work of literature.Meaning comesfrom the context of a cultural symbol system. Duneier's(1999)study of sidewalk in life earlierin this chapter New York City discussed explanation. interpretive An usedan interpretive explanation is also illustrated by Edelman, Fuller, and Mara-Drita's(2001)study of how companies adoptedpoliciesrelatedto diversity issues the early1990s-that is, affirmativeacin tion and equalopportunity. The authorsexaminedwhat managers said,or their rhetoric,about Rhetoricincludedvarious diversityconcerns. aboutdiversitymadeby professiona statements business schoolprofessors, conand managers,



sultants in professional workshops, meetings, T HE TH R E E MA ' OR A P P R OA C H E S specializedmagazines,and electronic forums. T O S OC IA L S C IE N C E Edelman and colleagues(2001) found that managerstook legal ideas,terms, and concepts We began this chapter by looking at small-scale and converted them into ones that fit into their parts of a theory (i.e., ideas or concepts). We or ganizational setting. Professional managers moved toward larger aspectsof social theory, converted vague legal mandates and terms that and arrived at major theoretical frameworks in were basedon ideasabout racial discrimination the last section. Now, we move to an even a and ending injustice. They interjected their broader, more abstract level of the linkage beown views, values, training, and interests and tween theory and research-fundamental approduced slightly different ideas and proceproaches to social science. It involves issues dures. Management rhetoric changed legal sometimes called m etq - m ethodological (i. e., beideas from taking specific actions to end yond or supersizedmethodological concerns) racial-ethnic or gender discrimination and and blurs into areasofphilosophy that studies changed them into a "new idea" for effective what science means. We only brieflv touch on corporate management. The "new idea" was the issueshere, but we cannot ignore them bethat corporations benefit from a culturally dicausethey affect how people do social research verse workforce. Simply put, diversity is good studies. for company profits. They consolidated various About 45 years ago, a now famous philosostudiesand discussions how to improve coron pher of science,Thomas Kuhn, argued that the porate operations around the new idea-a soway science develops in a specific field across cially heterogeneous workforce is more time is based on researchers sharing a general creative, productive, and profitable. approach, or paradigm. A paradigm is an inteThe authors created a theory of "managerigrated set of assumptions, beliefs, models of doalization of law" from their data. This theory ing good research,and techniques for gathering statesthat professional managers operate in a and analyzing data.It organizescore ideas,theocorporate environment. They will not simply retical frameworks, and researchmethods. Kuhn take ideas and mandates created in a governobserved that scientific fields tend to be held toment-legal environment and impose them digether around a paradigm for a long period of rectly onto a corporation's internal operations. time. Very few researchersquestion the paraIn fact, on the issue of affirmative action, many digm, and most focus on operating within its corporate officials saw the legal ideas and regeneral boundaries to accumulate new knowlqirirements as hostile or alien. So the managers edge. On rare occasions in history, intellectual converted, or translated, the legal ideas into an difficulties increase,unexpected issuesgrow, and acceptable fslm-6ns acceptable from a mantroubling concerns over proper methods multiagerial point of view. They used new forms to ply. Slowly, the members of a scientific field shift move their corporations in a direction that in how they seethings and switch to a new parawould comply with the legal requirements. This digm. Once the new paradigm becomesfirlly esis an interpretive explanation because the autablished and widely adopted, the process of thors explained a social event (i.e., corporations accumulating knowledge begins anew. embracing programs and rhetoric to favor Kuhn's explanation covered how most scicultural diversity) by examining how the manencesoperate most of the time, but some fields agerssubjectively constructed new ways oflookoperate with multiple or competing paradigms. ing at, thinking about, and talking about the This is the casein severalofthe social sciences. diversity issue (i.e., they constructed a new This greatly bothers some social scientists, and interpretation). they believe having multiple paradigms hinders

I'A I( I ()N L



II( ) N5

Theysee multiple parthe growth ofknowledge. adigmsasa signof the immaturity or underdevelopmentof the "science" the socialsciences. in Some believe all social scienceresearchers shouldembrace singleparadigmand stop usa ing alternatives it. to Other social scientists accept coexistence the of multiple paradigms. They recognize that this canbe confusing and often makes communicating difficult amongthosewho usea different approach.Despitethis, they arguethat eachsocial paradigmprovidesimportant kinds of science knowledgeand insights,so to drop one would limit what we can learn about the socialworld. These notethat no one definitely socialscientists whether cansaywhichapproach "best"or even is it is necessary highly desirable haveonly one or to paradigm.Soinsteadof closingoff an approach that offersinnovativewaysto study sociallife and gain insight into human behavior,they arguefor keepinga diversityofapproaches. In this section, will look at three fundawe mental paradigmsor approaches usedin social science. Eachapproach beenaroundfor over has 150yearsand is usedby many highly respected professional researchers. are Theseapproaches unequal in terms of the number of followers, quantity ofnew studies, and typesofissuesacrdressed. Often, peoplewho strongly adhereto one approach disagree with researchers use who another,or see otherapproaches beingless the as valuable less"scientific"than their approach. or Although adherents eachapproachmay use to variousresearch techniques, and theotheories, retical frameworks,researchers who adopt one approachtend to favor certainresearch techniques,theories, theoretical or over frameworks others.The threeapproaches positivism,inare terpretive,and critical; eachhas internal divisions,offshoots, and extensions, theseare but the coreideasof the threemajor approaches. Positivist Approach Positivism themostwidelypracticed is social science approach,especially North America. in

research fundaas sees socialscience Positiyism research; it mentallythe sameasnatural science that assumes socialreality is madeup of objecresearchers precisely can tive factsthat value-free theories. to measure usestatistics testcausal and companies bureaucratic agencies, Large-scale and many peoplein the generalpublic favor a getit positivist approachbecause emphasizes of ting objectivemeasures "hard facts" in the form of numbers. put Positivists a greatvalueon the principle are evenif only a fewstudies repliof replication, or cated.Replicqtionoccurswhen researchers ofa study and get idenothersrepeatthe basics tical or very similar findings. Positivists emphasizereplication and the ultimate test of This is because theybelieve that difknowledge. factswill get looking at the same ferentobservers the sameresults if they carefully speci!' their precisely measure facts,and follow the the ideas, When many of standards objectiveresearch. yield similar researchers by studies independent findings, confidencegrows that we accurately realityandtherethe captured workingsof social increases. fore scientificknowledge repeats studyand doesnot Ifa researcher a getsimilarfindings,oneor more of five possibilities may be occurring:(1) the initial studywas an unusualfluke or basedon a misguidedunderstandingof the socialworld; (2) important conditionswerepresentin the initial study,but so no one was awareof their significance they were not specified;(3) the initial study, or the repeatof it, wassloppy-it did not includevery (4) precise measures; the initial study,or carefi.rl, the repeatof it, wasimproperlyconducted-refailed to closely follow the highest searchers or for and techniques, standards procedures failed to be completelyobjective;or (5) the repeatedstudywasan unusualfluke. it The positivist approachis nomothetic; use meansexplanations law or law-like principles.Positivists may useinductiveand deductive inquiry, but the ideal is to develop a general causallaw or principle then uselogical deducin situation to specifrhow it operates concrete



tions. Next, the researcher empiricallytestsoutcomes predicted the principlein concrete by settings usingvery precise measures. this way, a In general or principlecovers law manyspecific situations.For example, general a principle says that when two socialgroupsare unequaland competefor scarce resources, in-group feelings and hostility toward the other groupsintensify, and the competinggroupsarelikely to engage in conflict. The principle appliesto sportsteams, countries,ethnicgroups,families,and other social groupings.A researcher might deducethat in citieswith high levels interracialinequality, of when jobs becomemore scarce and therebyincrease economic competition, eachgroup will express greaterhostility about the other racial groups, and intergroup conflict (e.g., riots, demonstrations, violent attacks) will increase. The vast majority of positivist studiesare quantitative, and positivists generally the exsee periment as the idealway to do research. positivist researchers also use other quantitative research techniques, suchassurveys existing or statistics, tend to seethem as approximabut tions of the experimentfor situationswherean experimentis impossible. Positivistresearchers advocate value-free science, precise seek quantitative measures, causaltheorieswith statistest tics,and believe the importanceof replicating in studies. Interpretive Approach The interpretiveapproachis alsoscientific,but its sees idea of "scientific" differently from the positivism.Unlike thepositivistapproach, interpretive researchers that human sociallife is say qualitatively differentfrom other thingsstudied by science. This means that socialscientists cannot just borrow the principlesof science from the natural sciences. Instead, they believeit is necessary createa special to type ofscience,one based the uniqueness humansandonethat on of canreallycapturehuman sociallife. Most researchers who use an interpretive approachadopt a versionofthe constructionist

view of social reality. This view holds that human social life is based less on objective, hard, factual reality than on the ideas,beliefs, and perceptions that people hold about reality. In other words, people socially interact and respond basedas much, if not more, on what theybilieve to be real than what is objectively real. This means that social scientistswill be able to understand social life only if they study how people go about constructing social reality. As people grow up, interact, and live their daily lives, they continuously create ideas, relationships, symbols, and roles that they consider to be meaningful or important. Theseinclude things such as intimate emotional attachments, religious or moral ideals,beliefs in patriotic values,racial-ethnic or gender differences, and artistic expressions. Rarely do people relate to the objective facts of reality directly; instead, they do so through the filter of these socially constructed beliefs and perceptions. What positivists and many people view to be objective facts (e.g., a person's height), interpretive researcherssay are only at the trivial surface level of social iife. Or, the "facts" are images/categoriesthat humans created (i.e., I am two meters tall) and we "forget,' that people originated the images/categories but now treat them as being separate from people and objectively real. Interpretive researchersare skeptical ofthe positivist attempts to produce precise quantitative measures of objective facts. This is because they view social reality as very fluid. For most humans, social reality is largely the shifting perceptions that they are constantly constructing, testing, reinforcing, or changing and that have become embedded in social traditions or institutions. For this reason, interpretive researchers tend to trust and favor qualitative data. Theybelieve that qualitative data can more accurately capture the fluid processes social reality. In of addition, they favor interpretive over causal forms of theory (see discussion earlier in this chapter). Interpretive researchersare not likely to adopt a nomothetic approach,but insteadfavor


P A RT oNE ,/ F o u N D A T ro N s because it profoundly shapes much of human action. The critical approach has an activist orientation and favors action research. Praxis is the ultimate test of how good an explanation is in the critical approach. It is a blending of theory and concrete action; theory informs one about the specific real-world actions one should take to advancesocial change,and one usesthe experiencesofengaging in action for social changeto reformulate the theory. All the approachesseea mutual relationship between abstract theory and concrete empirical evidence, but the critical approach goesfurther and tries to dissolve the gap between abstract theory and the empirical experiences of using the theory to make changes in the world.

an idiographic form of explanation and use inductive reasoning. Idiographic literally means specific description and refers to explaining an aspectof the social world by offering a highly detailed picture or description of a specific social setting, process, or t'?e of relationship. For exdo ample, qualitative researchers not seereplication as the ultimate test of knowledge. Instead, they emphasize verstehenor empathetic understanding. Verstehenis the desire of a researcher to get inside the worldview of those he or she is studying and accurately represent how the people being studied seethe world, feel about it, and act. In other words, the best test of good social knowledge is not replication but whether the researcher can demonstrate that he or she really captured the inner world and personal perspective of the people studied.

Critical Approach with many features The critical approach shares but an interpretiveapproach, it blendsan objecview of sowith a constructionist tive/materialist cial reality. The key feature of the critical approachis a desireto put knowledgeinto acis tion and a beliefthat research not valuefree. is Research the creationofknowledge,and peopoliticalple regularlyuseknowledge advance to a moral ends.This givesdoing socialresearch The strongconnectionto political-moralissues. researcher decideto ignore and help those can or with power and authority in society, advance socialjusticeand empowerthe powerless. the Critical approachemphasizes multilaylevel, erednatureofsocialreality.On the surface thereis oftenillusion,m1th,anddistortedthinking. The critical approachnotesthat peopleare often misled, are subjectto manipulatedmessages, hold falseideas.Yet, beneaththe suror face level at a deeper,often hidden level lies "real" objective reality.Part ofthe taskofsocial layerof illuis research to strip awaythe surface wants Although a researcher sion or falsehood. to seebeyondthis layer,he or shedoesnot entirely ignoreit. Suchan outer layeris important


are You haveseenthat theory and research inmisOnly the naive,new researcher terrelated. takenly believes that theory is irrelevant to just collectsthe or research that a researcher withwho data.Researchers attemptto proceed out theory may wastetime collectinguseless data.They easilyfall into the trap of hazy and vaguethinking, faulty logic, and impreciseconcepts.They find it difficult to convergeonto a a issueor to generate lucid accrisp research count of their study'spurpose.They also find adrift as they attempt to designor themselves conductempiricalresearch. howwe is Thereason simple.Theoryframes look at and think about a topic. It givesus condirectsus to cepts,providesbasicassumptions, waysfor and suggests the important questions, us of us to make sense data.Theory enables to connecta singlestudy to the immensebaseof conknowledgeto which other researchers tribute. To use an analogy,theory helps a resee searcher the forestinsteadofjust a single awareness a tree. Theory increases researcher's and of the broader signifiof interconnections Table2.1). ofdata (see cance




TABLE 2.'l

MajorAspectsandTypes of SocialTheory

Direction Level

lnductive deductive or Micro,meso, macro or Empirical generalization, middle range, framework, paradigm or

Explanation Causal, interpretive, structural or Abstraction

Theory hasa placein virtually all research, but its prominence varies. is generallyless It central in applied-descriptive research than in basic-explanatory research. role in appliedand Its descriptiveresearch may be indirect. The concepts often moreconcrete, the goalis not are and to creategeneral knowledge. Nevertheless, researchers theory in descriptiveresearch use to refine concepts, evaluate assumptions a theof ory, and indirectlytesthypotheses. Theorydoes remainfixedovertime; it is not provisionaland opento revision.Theories grow into more accurate comprehensive and explanations about the make-up and operation of the socialworld in two ways.They advance theoas rists toil to think clearlyand logically,bur this effort haslimits. The way a theorymakessignificant progress by interactingwith research is findings. The scientificcommunity expandsand alters theoriesbasedon empirical results.Researchers adopta more deductive who approach usetheoryto guidethe designof a studyand the interpretationof results. They refute,extend,or modify the theory on the basisof results.As researchers continueto conductempiricalresearchin testing a theory, they developconfidencethat somepartsof it aretrue. Researchers may modify somepropositions a theoryor reof ject them ifseveralwell-conducted studieshave negativefindings.A theory's core propositions

and central tenets are more difficult to test and are refuted less often. In a slow process, researchersmay decide to abandon or change a theory as the evidence against it mounts over time and cannot be logically reconciled. Researchers adopting an inductive approach follow a slightly different process.Inductive theorizing begins with a few assumptions and broad orienting concepts. Theory develops from the ground up as the researchersgather and analyze the data. Theory emerges slowly, conceptby conceptand proposition by proposition in a specific area. The processis similar to a long pregnancy. Over time, the concepts and empirical generalizationsemerge and mature. Soon, relationships become visible, and researchers weavetogether knowledge from dif[erent studies into more abstract theory.

CONCLUSION In this chapter,you learnedabout socialtheory-its parts, purposes,and t1pes.The dichotomy betweentheory and research an is artificial one.The valueof theory andits necessity for conductinggood research should be clear.Researchers proceedwithout theory who rarely conduct top-quality research and frequentlyfind themselves a quandary. in Likewise, theorists who proceed without linking theoryro research anchoringit to empiricalreality are or in jeopardyof floatingoffinto incomprehensible speculation and conjecture. You arenow familiar with the scientificcommunity,the dimensions research, social of and theory.

Key Terms
association assumption blame analysis causalexplanation classificationconcept concept cluster





deductive approach empirical generalization functionaltheory grounded theory ideal type idiographic inductive approach macro-level theory meso-leveltheory micro-level theory negative relationship nomothetic paradigm positive relationship praxis prediction proposition replication verstehen

E n dn o t e s

(1993)' and (1991), Felson Felson and Felson 1. See of Logan(1991)for a discussion blameanalysis. see of 2. For more detaileddiscussions concepts, 2:9 (197 8:45-61),Hage(197 -85)' Kaplan Chafetz (1964'34-80), Mullins (197l:7-18), Reynolds (1968,1973)' (I97I), and Stinchcombe explahow sociological 3. Turner (1980)discussed as nation and theorizingcan be conceptualized translation. in are 4. Classifications discussed Chafetz(1978: 63-73) andHage(1972). 5. Introductions to alternativetheoreticalframe- & works and socialtheoriesare providedin Craib and Skidmore (1984), Phillips (1985:44-59),

can 6. An introductionto functionalexplanation be found in Chafea (I97 8:22-25).


Ethics SocialResearch in

Introduction Why Be Ethical? Scientific Misconduct Unethical Legal but Power Relations Ethical lssues Involving Research Participants Originsof Research Participant Protection Physical Harm,Psychological Abuse, and LegalJeopardy Other Harmto Participants Deception Informed Consent Special Populations New Inequalities and Privacy, Anonymity,and Confidentiality Mandated Protections Research of Participants Ethics and the Scientific Community Ethics and the Sponsors of Research Whistle-Blowing Arriving Particular at Findings Suppressing Findings Concealing TrueSponsor the Politics of Research Value-Free and Objective Research Conclusion




INTRODUCTION dilemmas'and conEthicsincludethe concerns, over the proper way to conduct flicts that arise Ethicshelp to definewhat is or is not research. prolegitimateto do, or what "moral" research This is not as simple asit may cedureinvolves. there are few ethical absolutes appear,because broad principles.These and only agreed-upon judgment to apply and some principlesrequire Many ethrmay conflict with othersin practice. the two to balance values: puraskyou calissues knowledgeand the rights of research suit of participantsor of othersin society.Socialrebalancepotential benefits-such as searchers of the advancing understanding sociallife, immaking, or helping research proving decision a5 participants-against potential 6s515-5u6}r privacy,or democraself-esteem, lossof dignity, tic freedoms. confront many ethical Socialresearchers must decidehow to act. They dilemmas and obligationto be havea moral and professional participants unaware are ifresearch ethical,even about ethics. ofor unconcerned practicehave Many areasof professional journalists, (e.g., policedepartethicalstandards corporations, etc.),but the ethments,business are for ical standards doing socialresearch often you professional socialresearch, stricter.To do techniques proper research must both know the to (e.g., and be sensitive ethicalconsampling) easy.For centuries, cerns.This is not always debated moral, legal,and political philosophers face. regularly researchers the issues fully the ethical It is difficult to appreciate until you by dilemmasexperienced researchers waiting until but actuallybegin to do research, the middle of a studyis too late.You needto preof pareyourselfahead time and considerethical concernsasyou designa study so that you can into a study'sdebuild sound ethicalpractices to sensitivity sign.In addition,by developing potentialethiyou ethicalissues, will be alertto that calconcerns canariseasyou makedecisions rthile conducting a study.Also, an ethicalaware-

the will help you better understand overall ness process. research Ethicsbeginand end with you, the individA ual socialresearcher. strong personalmoral against is codeby the researcher the bestdefense unethicalbehavior.Before,during, and after has conductinga study,a researcher opportunireflecton the ethicsof reties to, andshould, actionsand consulthis or her conscience search on depends the inUltimately, ethicalresearch tegrity of an individual researcher.


Given that most peoplewho conduct socialreabout others, searchare genuinelyconcerned ever you might ask,Why would any researcher manner?Most act in an ethicallyirresponsible unethicalbehavioris due to a lack of awarenes to on and pressures researchers take ethical to face shortcuts.Researchers pressures build a career,publish new findings, advanceknowlimpressfamily and friends, edge,gain prestige, hold on to a job, and so forth. Ethicalresearch will take longerto complete,costmore money' and be lesslikely to probe more complicated, Plus,therearemany results. duceunambiguous to opportunitiesin research act unethically'the odds of gettingcaughtare small,and written are ethicalstandards in the form ofvague,loose principles. gets The ethicalresearcher few rewardsand if wins no praise.The unethical researcher' publichumiliation, a ruinedcareer faces caught, and possiblelegalaction. The best preparation for ethicalbehavioris to internalizea sensitivity to ethical concerns,to adopt a seriousprofessionalrole, and to interact regularlywith other community Moreover,the scientific researchers. ethicalbehaviorwithout exceptions. demands Scientific Misconduct

that community and agencies fund Theresearch opposea type of unethicalbehavio research


49 r

calledscientificmisconduct; includesresearch it fraud and plagiarism.Scientific misconductoc_ curs when a researcher falsifiesor distorts the dataor the methodsof datacollection, plagia_ or rizesthe work of others.It alsoincludessienifi_ cant, unjustified departures from the genlraily accepted scientificpractices doing and re_ for porting on research. Research fraud occurswhen a researcher fakesor inventsdatathat he or she did not really collect, or fails to honestly and firllyreport howhe or sheconducted study.Al_ a thoughrare,it is considered veryserious a violation. The most famouscaseof research fraud was that of Sir Cyril Burt, the father of British educational psychology. Burt died in I97I asan esteemed researcher who was famous for his studies with twins that showed genetic a basisof intelligence. 1976,it was discovered In that he had falsifieddata and the namesof coauthors. Unfortunately,the scientificcommunity had beenmisledfor nearly30years. More recently, a socialpsychologist discovered havefabri_ was to cateddata for severalexperimentson sexbias conductedat Harvard Universityin the tg9Os. Plagiarism occurswhen, ..steals,' the ideasor writings of anotheror usesthem with_ out citing the source.plagiarismalso includes stealing work of anotherresearcher, assis_ the an tant, or a student,and misrepresenting as it one'sown. Theseareserious breaches ethical of standards.l Unethicalbut Legal Behaviormay be unethicalbut legal (i.e.,not breakany law). A plagiarismcase illustrates the distinction betweenlegal and ethicalbehavior. The AmericanSociological Association docu_ mentedthat a 1988book without any footnotes by a deanfrom Eastern New Mexico University containedlarge sectionsof a 197gdissertation that a sociology professorat Tufts University Copyingthe dissertarion asnot illegal; y9t.. w it did not violatecopyrightlaw because sJciothe ogist'sdissertation not havea copyrightfiled did with the U.S. government.Neverthii.ri it *u,

FIcURE 3.1

TypoloryofLegaland MoralActionsin Social Research


Moral and Legal lllegal but Moral

No Legal lmmoral but
lmmoral and lllegal

clearly unethical according to standards ofpro_ fessional behavior.2 (SeeFigure 3.1 for relations between legal and moral actions.)

POWER RELATIONS A professional researcher the research and par_ ticipantsor employee-assistants in a rela_ are tionship of unequal power and trust. An experimenter, survey director,or research inves_ tigator haspower over participantsand assis_ tants,and in turn, theytrust his or herjudgment and authority. The researcher,s credeitials, training, professional role, and the placeofsci_ encein modernsociety legitimatethepowerand make it into a form of expert authoiity. Some ethical issues involve an abuseof power and trust. A researcher's authority to conductsocial research and to earn the trust of othersis ac_ companiedalwaysby an unyielding ethical re_ sponsibility guide,protect,and oversee to the interests the peoplebeingstudied. of When looking for ethical guidance,re_ searchers not alone.Theycanturn to a num_ are ber of resources: professional colleagues, ethical advisory committees, institutionalreviewboards or human subjects committees a college in_ at or stitution (discussed later), codesof ethicsbv professional associations (discussed later in this chapter), and writings on ethicsin research. The largerresearch community firmly supportsand upholds ethicalbehavior,evenif an-individual




to is researcher ultimatelyresponsible do what is situations. ethicalin specific

others in Nazi Germany,and similar "medical experiments"to test biological weaponsby terrible experiments, In |apanin the 1940s. these tortures were committed. For example,people wereplacedin freezingwaterto seehow long it ETHICAL ISSUESINVOLVING took them to die,peoplewerepurposelystarved RESEARCHPARTICIPANTS to death,peoplewereintentionallyinfectedwith from and Have you everbeen a participant in a research horrible diseases, limbs were severed onto others.3 childrenand transplanted More attenIf study? so,how wereyou treated? of Suchhuman rightsviolationsdid not occur efflects negative on tion is focused the possible of only long ago.In a famouscase unethicalreon research thosebeing studiedthan any other Slphilis Study,alsoknown the search, Tuskegee ethical issue,beginningwith concernsabout of Acting ethicallyrequires asBadBlood,thePresident the United States! biomedicalresearch. the balance valueofadvancing admitted wrongdoing and formally apologized that a researcher knowledgeagainstthe valueof noninterference in 1997to the participant-victims. Until the a reportcaused scanwhen a newspaper in the lives of others. Either extreme causes 1970s, participantsabsolute dal to erupt, the U.S. Public Health Service problems.Giving research sponsoreda study in which poor, uneducated could makeempirical rights of noninterference and abAfrican Americanmen in Alabamasuffered but giving researchers impossible, research died of untreatedsyphilis,while researcher solute rights of inquiry could nullifr Participhysicaldisabilitiesthat appants'basichuman rights. The moral question studiedthe severe The justified ofthe disease. unstages pear in advanced When, if ever,areresearchers becomes: in ethicalstudybegan l929,beforepenicillinwas harm or injury to thosebeing in riskingphysical but or availableto treat the disease, it continued studied,causingthem greatembarrassment Despitetheir long aftertreatmentwasavailable. violating their privary, or frightinconvenience, unethical treatment of the people, the rethem? ening for wereableto publishtheir results 40 some searchers of The law and codes ethicsrecognize or years.The study ended in 1972,but a formal prohibitions: Never causeunnecessarF clear apologytook another25 Yeats." secureprior volirreversibleharm to subjects; is Unfortunately,the BadBlood scandal not whenpossible; neverunnecand consent untary harmfirl unique.During the Cold War era,the U.S.govor humiliate, degrade, release essarily ethicalrecompromised ernmentperiodically information about specificindividualsthat was principlesfor military and political goals. search purposes. other words, In for research collected that the goYernment for showrespect the research In 1995,reports revealed you shouldalways authorizedinjectingunknowingpeoplewith raparticipant. Theseare minimal standardsand In materialin the late 1940s. the 1950s' are subjectto interpretation(e.g.,What does dioactive the governmentwarned EastmanKodak and situation?)' meanin a specific unnecessary about nuclearfallout other film manufacturers from atomic teststo preventfoggedfilm, but it Origins of ResearchPafticipant did not warn nearbycitizensof health hazards Protection the in the 1960s, U.S. army gaveunsuspecting sedrug),causing LSD (a hallucinogenic soldiers particiConcernover the treatmentof research widely recogrious trauma. Today,researchers grossviolapants aroseafter the revelationof nize theseto be violations of two fundamental tions of basic human rights in the name of ethicalprinciples:Avoid physicalharm and obwere The most notorious violations science. tain informed consent.s and "medical experiments" conductedon Iews



Physical Harm,Psychological Abuse, and Legal feopardy
Socialresearch harm a research can participant in several ways: physical, psychological, legal and harm, aswell asharm to a person's career) reputation, or income. Different typesof harm are morelikely in othertypesof research (e.g., exin perimentsversus field research). is a reIt searcher's responsibility be awareof all types to ofpotential harm and to takespecificactionsto minimize the risk to participantsat all times. PhysicalHarm. Physical harm is rare.Evenin biomedical research, wherethe interventioninto a person's is much greater,3 to 5 percentof life studiesinvolved any person who sufferedany harm.6 straightforward A ethicalprincipleis that researchers should never causephysicalharm. An ethicalresearcher anticipates risksbeforebeginning a study,including basicsafetyconcerns (e.g.,safebuildings,furniture, and equipment). This meansthat he or shescreens high-risk out (thosewith heart conditions,mental subjects breakdown,seizures, etc.) if great stressis involvedand anticipates possible sources ofinjury or physicalattackson research participantsor assistants. researcher The accepts moral and legal responsibility injury due to participation for in research terminates projectimmediately and a if he or she can no longer fully guaranteethe physicalsafetyof the people involved (seethe Zimbardostudyin Box 3.1). PsychologicalAbuse, Stress,or Lossof SelfEsteem, The risk of physicalharm is rare,but socialresearchers place peoplein highly can stressful,embarrassing, anxiety-producing,or unpleasant situations. Researchers to learn want about people'sresponses real-life,high-anxiin ety-producing situations,so they might place peoplein realistic situations psychological of discomfort or stress. it unethicalto cause Is discomfort? The ethics of the famous Milgram obedience studyarestill debated (seeBox 3.1). Some say that the precautionstaken and the knowledge gainedoutweighed stress pothe and

tential psychological harm that research participants experienced. Others believethat the extreme stress and the risk of permanentharm weretoo great.Suchan experiment could not be conducted todaybecause heightened of sensitivity to the ethicalissues involved. Social researchers created have high levels of anxietyor discomfort.They haveexposed participantsto gruesome photos; fuk"ly told male students that they havestrongfemininepersonality traits; falselytold studentsthat they have failed; createda situation of high fear (e.g., smokeenteringa room in which the door is locked); asked participantsto harm others; placed peoplein situations wheretheyfacesocial pressure denytheir convictions; to and had participantslie, cheat,or steal.T Researchers who study helpingbehavioroften placeparticipants in emergency situationsto seewhetherthey will lend assistance. example, For Piliavin and associates(1969)studiedhelpingbehaviorin subways by faking someone'scollapseonto the floor. In the field experiment,the riders in the subway wereunaware the experiment car of and did not volunteerto participatein it. The only researchers might evenconwho siderconductinga studythat purposelyinduces great stressor anxiety in research participants arevery experienced take all necessary and precautionsbeforeinducing anxietyor discomfort. The researchers shouldconsultwith otherswho have conducted similar studies and mental healthprofessionals theyplan the studn They as should screen out high-riskpopulations(e.g., thosewith emotionalproblemsor weakhearts), and arrange emergenry for interventions teror mination of the research dangerous if situations arise. Theymust always obtainwritten informed consent(to be discussed) beforethe research and debrief the people immediatelyafterward (i.e.,explainany deceptionand what actually happenedin the study). Researchers should nevercreateunnecessary stress(i.e.,beyondthe minimal amountneeded create desired to the effect) or stress that lacksa very clear,legitimate researchpurpose. Knowing what "minimal




1963' study(Milgram, obedience Milgram's Stanley how the horto 1 965, 1 974) attempted discover couldhaveocunderthe Nazis rorsof the Holocaust the curredby examining strengthof socialpressure to obey authority.After signing"informedconsent in wereassigned, riggedrandomseforms,"subjects "teacher" was whilea confederate the lection, be a to memory "pupil." was The teacher to test the pupil's the of word lists and increase electricshocklevelif in The the pupilmademistakes. pupilwaslocated a nearbyroom,so the teachercouldhearbut not see labeled was the pupil.The shockapparatus clearly As voltage. the pupil mademistakes with increasing she turnedswitches, or he alsomade andthe teacher present pain. Theresearcherwas noises ifin severe as suchas "You must go on" to and madecomments the teacher.Milgramreported,"subjectswere observedto sweat,tremble,stutter, bite their lips, into groanand dig theirfingernails their flesh'These rerather than exceptional were characteristic (Milgram1963:375). sponses the experiment" to , to whowouldshock danof The percentage subjects higherthan expected. gerouslevels dramatically was and arose overthe useof deception Ethical concerns the extreme emotional stress experiencedby subjects. 1975) tea' (Humphreys, In LaudHumphreys's enroomtradestudy(a study of malehomosexual about 100 menwere in counters publicrestrooms), prein actsas Humphreys engaging sexual observed "watchqueen" voyeur and look(a tended to be a werefollowedto their cars,and their out). Subjects and Names weresecretlyrecorded. numbers license when wereobtainedfrom policeregisters addresses One posedas a marketresearcher. year Humphreys

story useda deceptive Humphreys later,in disguise, interview the subjectsin about a health surveyto to was Humphreys careful keepnames their homes. with subject and identifiers in safetydepositboxes, knowladvanced He wereburned. significantly names and who edgeof homosexuals frequent"tearooms" about them.There previous falsebeliefs overturned over the study:The subjects has beencontroversy and was deception used; the names consented; never to subjects, end could havebeenusedto blackmail prosecution. criminal to initiate or marriages, (Zimbardo' ln the Zimbardoprison experiment et 1972, 1973; Zimbardo al.,1973, 1974), nale groups: weredividedinto two role-playing students volunthe Before experiment, and prisoners. guards tests,and only weregivenpersonality teer students Volunteers werechosen. range thosein the "normal" weretold that and up signed for two weeks, prisoners and they would be undersurveillance would have but civil rightssuspended, that no physical some prison the basein ln was abuse allowed. a simulated prisoners building, ment of a StanfordUniversity uniforms in (dressed standard weredeindividualized were and only by their numbers) guards and called and nightsticks, reflective (with uniforms, militarized a weretold to maintain reasonGuards sunglasses). while and served8-hour shifts, abledegreeof order prisoners were lockedup 24 hoursper day. Unextoo caughtup in became pectedly, volunteers the passive and disorgabecame their roles.Prisoners and arbitrary, aggressive, became whileguards nized, off called By dehumanizing. the sixthday,Zimbardo The risk of perfor the experiment ethicalreasons. harm, harm, evenphysical and psychological manent wastoo great.

amount" means comeswith experience.It is best to begin with too little stress,risking a finding of no effect, than to create too much. It is always wise to work in collaboration with other researcherswhen the risk to participants is high, becausethe involvement of severalethically sen-

sitive researchersreducesthe chancesof making an ethical misjudgment. Researchthat induces great stressand anxiety in participants also carries the danger that experimenters will develop a callous or manipulative attitude toward others. Researchers




havereportedfeeling guilt and regretafterconducting experiments that caused psychological harm to people.Experiments that placesubjectsin anxiety-producing situations may produce significantpersonaldiscomfort for the ethicalresearcher. LegalHarm. A researcher responsible is for protectingresearch participantsfrom increased risk of arrest.If participationin research increases risk of arrest,few individualswill the trust researchers be willing to participatein or future research. Potentiallegalharm is one criticismof Humphreys's 1975 tearoom tradestudy (see 3.1). Box A related ethical issueariseswhen a researcher learnsof illegalactivitywhen collecting data.A researcher must weighthe valueof protecting the researcher-subject relationshipand the benefitsto future researchers against potential seriousharm to innocent people.The researcher bearsthe cost of his or her judgment. For example, his field research police,Van in on Maanen(1982:114-115) reportedseeing police beatpeopleand witnessing illegalactsand irregular procedures, said,"On and following but thesetroublesome incidentsI followedpolice custom:I kept my mouth shut." Field researchers particular can face in difficult ethicaldecisions. example, For when studying mentalinstitution, a Taylor(19S7) discoveredthe mistreatmentand abuse inmates of by the staff.He had two choices: Abandon the studyand callfor an immediateinvestigation, or keepquiet and continuewith the study for several months, publicizethe findings afterwards, and then becomean advocate end the abuse. to After weighingthe situation,he followedthe latter courseand is now an activistfor the rightsof mentalinstitution inmates.
In some studies,observing illegal behavior may be central to the researchproject. If a researcher covertly observes and records illegal behavior,thensuppliestheinformationtolaw-enforcementauthorities,heorsheisviolatingethical standards regarding researchparticipants and is

undermining future social research.At the same time, a researcher who fails to report illegalbehavior is indirectly permitting criminal behavior. He or shecouldbe chargedasan accessorytoa crime. Cooperation with law-enforcement offi cialsraises the question, Is the researchera professionalscientist who protects research participants in the processof seekingknowledge, or a free-lanceundercover informant who is really working for the police trying to "catch" criminals? Other Harm to Participants Researchparticipants may face other types of harm. For example, a survey interview may create anxiety and discomfort if it askspeople to recall unpleasant or traumatic events. An ethical researchermust be sensitiveto any harm to participants, consider precautions, and weigh potential harm against potential benefits. Another type of harm is a negative impact on the careers,reputations, or incomes of research participants. For example, a researcher conducts a survey of employees and concludes that the supervisor's performance is poor. As a consequence, supervisorlosesher job. Or, a the researcherstudies homelesspeople living on the street. The findings show that many engage in petty illegal acts to get food. As a consequence,a city government "cracks down" on the petty illegal acts and the homeless people can no longer eat. What is the researcher'sresponsibility? The ethical researcher considersthe consecuences of research for those being studied. The general goal is not to cause any harm simply because someone was a researchparticipant. However, there is no set answer to such questions.A researcher must evaluate eachcase, iveighpotential harm against potential benefits, and bear the responsibility for the decision. h-_^_r:^uecePtlon Has anyone ever told you a half-truth or lie to get you to do something? How did you feel about it? Social researchersfollow the ethical principle of wluntary consent:Never force any-


P A Rr oNE / F o u N D A T ro N s

one to participate in research,and do not lie to and the only way to anyone unless it is necessary accomplish a legitimate research purpose. The people who participate in social researchshould explicitly agree to participate. A person's right not to participate can be a critical issue whenever the researcherusesdeception, disguisesthe research.or usescovert researchmethods. Social researcherssometimes deceive or lie to participants in field and experimental research. A researcher might misrepresent his or her actions or true intentions for legitimate methodological reasons.For example, if participants knewthe true purpose, theywould modifr their behavior, making it impossible to learn of their real behavior. Another situation occurs to when access a researchsite would be impossible if the researchertold the truth. Deception is never preferable if the researchercan accomplish the same thing without using deception. Experimental researchers often deceivesubjects to prevent them from learning the hypothesisbeing tested and to reduce "reactive effects" (seeChapter 8). Deception is acceptableonly if a researcher can show that it has a clear, specific methodological purpose, and even then, the researcher should use it only to the minimal degree necessary.Researcherswho use deception should always obtain informed consent, never misrepresent risks, and always explain the actual conditions to participants afterwards.You might ask, How can a researcherobtain prior informed consent and still use deception? He or she can describe the basic procedures involved and conceal only specific information about hlpotheses being tested. Sometimes field researchersuse covert observation to gain entry to field researchsettings. In studies of cults, small extremist political sects, illegal or deviant behavior, or behavior in a large public area, it may be impossible to conduct research if a researcher announces and discloses her or his true purpose. Ifa covert stance is not essential,a researchershould not use it. If he or is she does not know whether covert access necgradual disclosure may essary then a strategy of

be best.When in doubt,it is bestto err in the dione'strue identity and purrectionof disclosing and pose. remainscontroversial, Covertresearch is feel many researchers that all covertresearch covertresearch Eventhosewho accept unethical. asethicalin certainsituationssaythat it should is be usedonlywhen overt observation impossishould ble. Wheneverpossible,the researcher immediinform participantsof the observation and give them an opportunity ately afterwards concerns. to express may increase and covertresearch Deception mistrustand qfnicismaswell asdiminish public in Misrepresentation respect socialresearch. for is to field research analogous being an undercoveragentor governmentinformer in nondeThe use of deceptionhas a mocratic societies. distrust long-term negativeeffect.It increases among peoplewho are frequentlystudied and research more difficult in the makes doing social long term. lnformed Consent A fundamentalethicalprinciple of socialresearchis: Never coerceanyoneinto participating; participationmustbevoluntary at all times. Permission aloneis not enough;peopleneedto to know what they arebeingasked participatein Parsothat theycanmakean informeddecision. ticipants can becomeawareof their rights and what theyaregettinginvolvedin whenthey read and sign a statementgiwng informedconsentan agreementby participants stating they are willing to be in a study and they know someprocedure inwill thing aboutwhat the research volve. Governmentsvary in the requirement for The U.S.federalgovernment informed consent. doesnot require informed consentin all reNevertheless, involving human subjects. search shouldgetwritten informed consent researchers for unless therearegoodreasons not obtainingit (e.g., use data, covertfield research, ofsecondary etc.) asjudgedby an institutional reviewboard (IRB) (see laterdiscussion IRBs). of the




Informed consent statements provide spe_ cific information (seeBox 3.2). A generalstaie_ ment about the kinds ofprocedures or questions involved and the uses of the data are sufficient for informed consent. Studies suggestthat par_ ticipants who receive a full informed conienr statement do not respond differently from those who do not. If anlthing, people who refused to sign such a statement were more likely to guess or answer"no response"to questions. It is unethical to coerce people to partici_ pate,,including offering them special benefits that they cannot otherwise attain. For example, it is unethical for a commanding officer to orider a soldier to participate in a stud|, for a professor to require a student to be a research zubiect in order to passa course, or for an employer to ex_ pect an employee to complete u ,urr.y'u, u .or_

Informed consentstatements containthe following: 1. A brief description the purposeand proce_ of dureofthe research, including expected the du_ rationofthe study 2. A statementof any risksor discomfortassoci_ atedwith participation 3. A guarantee anonymity of and the confidential_ ity of records 4. The identification the researcher of and of whereto receive information about subiects' rights questions or aboutthe study 5. A statement that participation completely is vol_ untaryandcanbe terminated anvtimewith_ at out penalty

dition of continued employment. It is unethical even if someoneother than the researcher (e.g., an employer) coerces people (e.g.,employees) to participate in research. Full disclosurewith the researcher,s identifi_ cation helps to protect research participants againstfraudulent researchand to protectiegit_ imate researchers. Informed consentlessens the chance that a con artist in the guise of a re_ searcherwill defraud or abusepeople. It also re_ duces the chance that someone will use a boeus researcheridentity to market products or obtlin personal information on people for unethical purposes. Legally, a signed informed consent state_ ment is optional for most survey, field, and sec_ ondary data research,but it is often mandat<1ry for experimental research. Informed consent is impossible to obtain in existing statistics and documentary research.The general rule is: The greater the risk of potential harm to research participants, the greater the need to obtain a written informed consent statement from them. In sum, there are many sound reasonsto get in_ formed consent and few reasonsnot to gei it. Special Populations and New


Somepopulationsor groupsof research partici_ pantsarenot capable givingtrue voluniaryin_ of formed ent. Sp ecialp opulations peopie are -cols who lack the necessary cognitivecompet;ito givevalid informed consentor peoplein a weak position who might castasidetheir freedomto refuse participate a study.Students, to in prison inmates, employees, military p..ron.r.i, th" homeless, welfarerecipients, children,and the developmentally disablid may not be fully capa_ 6. A statement alternative of procedures that mav ble of makinga decision, they be used or ugr." ao participate only because see -uyparticipa_ they their Z. A statementof any benefitsor compensation tion asa wayto obtaina desired provided subjects the number good_suchas to and ofsubiects highergrades, earlyparol., prorrroliorrs, addi_ involved or tionalservices. is unethical involve,.incom_ It to 8. An offerto providea summary findings of pet:nt people (e.g., children, mentally disabled, etc.)in research unless researcher a meetstwo






minimal conditions:(1) a legalguardiangrants folwritten permissionand (2) the researcher lows all standardethicalprinciplesto protect participantsfrom harm. For example,a researcherwants to conduct a survey of high schoolstudentsto learn about their sexualbeuse.Ifthe surveyisconhaviorand drug/alcohol ductedon schoolproperty,schoolofficialsmust particFor giveofficialpermission. anyresearch ipant who is a legalminor (usuallyunder 18 years old), written parental permission is from each It needed. is bestto askpermission student,aswell. The useof coercionto participatecan be a of on and it depends the specifics a tricky issue, situation. For example,a convictedcriminal of faces alternative imprisonmentor particithe rehabilitationpropation in an experimental in criminal may not believe gram.The convicted the benefitsof the program,but the researcher that it will help the criminal. This is may believe must honestly a caseof coercion.A researcher judgewhetherthebenefits the criminal andto to societygreatlyoutweighthe ethicalprohibition on coercion.This is risky. History showsmany believedhe or she in cases which a researcher "for the goodof' someone wasdoing something prisoners, students, position(e.g., in a powerless but homosexuals), it turned out that the "good" or actuallywasfor the researcher a powerful orand ganizationinsociety, it did more harm than participant. goodto the research class You may havebeenin a socialscience requiredyou to participateas in which a teacher project.This is a special a subjectin a research ofcoercion and is usuallyethical.Teachers case in havemadethreearguments favor of requiring student participation: (1) it would be difficult to and prohibitively expensive get participants otherwise,(2) the knowledgecreatedfrom rebenefits serringassubjects with students search will and and future students society, (3) students it by learnmore aboutresearch experiencing disetting.Of the three rectly in a realisticresearch only the third justifieslimited coerarguments, only as cion. This limited coercionis acceptable

to threeconditions:it is attached long asit meets havea students the obiective, a cleareducational or experience an alternative choiceof research principles of reactivity, and all other ethical are search followed. Avoid Creating New Inequalities. Another when onegroupof peopleis typeof harm occurs or denieda service benefitasa resultof participroject. For example,a repating in a research might havea new treatmentfor people searcher immune suchasacquired with a terribledisease, (AIDS). To determinethe syndrome deficiency effectsof the new treatment, half the group is the to randomlychosen receive treatment,while othersreceivenothing. The designmay clearly but showwhetherthe treatmentis effective, parno receive treatment ticipantsin the group who thosereceivingthe treatmay die. Of course, ment may also die, until more is known about Is whetherit is effective. it ethicalto denypeople to who have been randomly assigned a study treatment? group the potentially life-saving What if a clear,definitivetestofwhether a treatment is effectiverequiresthat one study group no receive treatment? can A researcher reducecreatinga new inparticipantswhen the equalityamong research outcomehasa major impact on their survivalor First,the peoplewho qualityof life in threeways. do not receivethe "new, improved" treatment continue to receivethe best previouslyacceptabletreatment.In other words,insteadof denythey get the best treatment ing all assistance, This prior to the new one beingtested. available that peoplewill not suffer in absolute ensures terms,evenif theytemporarilyfall behindin relcan use a ative terms. Second,researchers which is when a study group design, crossover that getsno treatmentin the first phaseof the the experimentbecomes group with the treatFinally, phase, viceversa. and ment in the second continuouslymonitors results.If the researcher earlyin the study that the new treatit appears should ment is highly effective,the researcher offer it to those in the control group. Also, in




Anonymity, Researchers protect privacy by not disclosinga participant'sidentity after information is gathered. This takestwo forms, both ofwhich requireseparating individual,s an Privacy,Anonymity, and identity from his or her responses: anonymity Confidentiality and confidentiality. Anonymity meansthat people remain anonymousor nameless. examFor How would you feelif privatedetailsaboutyour ple, a field researcher providesa social picture of personal wereshared life with the publicwithout a particular individual, but givesa fictitious your knowledge? Because social researchers nameand location,and alterssomecharacterissometimestransgress privacy of people in the tics. The subject's identity is protected,and the order to study socialbehavior,they must take individual remainsunknown or anon)rynous. several precautionsto protect research particiSurvey and experimental researchers discardthe pants'privacy. names addresses subjects soonaspossior of as Privacy. Surveyresearchers invadea person's ble and refer to participantsby a codenumber privacy when they probe into beliefs, backonly to protect anonymity.If a researcher a uses grounds,and behaviors a way that reveals in inmail surveyand includesa codeon the cuestimate private details.Experimental researchers tionnaireto determine which respondents failed sometimes two-way mirrors or hidden miuse to respond, or sheis not keepingrespondents he crophones "spy" on subjects. to Evenifpeople anonymousduring that phaseof the study. In know theyarebeingstudied, theyareunaware panelstudies, of researchers track the sameindiwhat the experimenter looking for. Field reis vidualsovertime, sothey do not uphold particsearchers may observe privateaspects behav- ipant anonymity within the study. Likewise, of ior or eavesdrop conversations. on historicalresearchers specificnamesin hisuse In field research, privacy may be violated torical or documentaryresearch. They may do without advancewarning. When Humphreys so if the original information was from public (1975)served a "watchqueen" a public restas in sources; the sources if were not publicly availroom wherehomosexual contacts tookplace,he able,a researcher must obtain written permisobserved very privatebehaviorwithout informsion from the owner of the documentsto use ing subjects.When Piliavin and colleagues specificnames. on to It is difficult to protect research participant \I?69) had peoplecollapse subways siudy tfulping behavior,those in the subwaycar had anongnity. In one studyabouta fictitioustown, the privacy of their ride violated. people have "Springdale," in Small Town in Mass Sociery beenstudiedin public places(e.g.,in waiting (Vidich andBensman, 1968), waseasy idenit to rooms, walking down the street,in classrooms, tifythe town and specific individualsin it. Town etc.),but some"public" places more private are residentsbecame upset about how the rethan others (consider,for example,the use of searchers portrayed them and stageda parade periscopes observe to peoplewho thought they mockingthe researchers. People often recognize werealonein a public toilet stall). yet, the townsstudiedin communityresearch. if Eavesdropping conversations on and oba researcher protectsthe identitiesof individuals servingpeoplein quasi-private areas raises ethiwith fictitious information, the gap between cal concerns. be ethical,a researcher To violates what wasstudiedand what is reportedto others privacy only to the minimum degree necessary raises questions aboutwhat wasfound and what and only for legitimateresearch purposes. adIn wasmadeup. A researcher maybreach apromise dition, he or shetakessteps protectthe inforto of anonymity unknowingly in smallsamples. For mation on participants from public disclosure. example, us sayyou conducta surveyof 100 let

high-risk experiments with medicaltreatments or possiblephysicalharm, researchers may use animalor other surrogates humans. for

collegestudentsand ask many questionson a including age'sex' religion, and questlonnaire, containsone22-year-old Thesample hometown. Ontario.With this maleborn in Stratford, Jewish information,you could find out who the specific very individualis and how he answered personal thoughhis namewasnot directly even questions, on recorded thequestionnaire.

obligated them to destroy the records rather officials. than givethem to government protect reConfidentiality can sometimes participantsfrom legalor physicalharm' search In a study of illegal drug usersin rural Ohio, (2005)took greatcareto Drausand associates participants'They conprotect the research ducted interviewsin large multiuse buildings' to avoided references illegal drugs in written did documents, not mention of namesof drug cannot Confiilentiality. Even if a researcher and locations,and did not affiliatewith dealers shouldprohe protectanonyrnity, or shealways which had ties to drug rehabilitation services, tect participant confidentiality. Anonymity Theynoted,"We intentionally law enforcement. individprotectingthe identityof specific means avoidedcontactwith local police, prosecutors, uals from being known. Confidentiality can ofthe proor paroleofficers"and "surveillance namesatinclude information with participant was a sourceof holdsit in confidence leci by local law enforcement but tached. the researcher concern" (p. 169). In other situations,other The from public disclosure. reit or keeps secret over protecting principlesmay take precedence not perdata releases in a waythat do€s searcher participant confidentiality.For examresearch and mit linking specificindividuals to responses ple,when studyingpatientsin a mentalhospital, form presentsit publicly only in an aggregate that discovers a patientis preparing i researcher etc.)' means, statistical (e.g., percentages, as must weigh to kill an attendant.The researcher withcan A researcher provide anonymity the benefit of confidentialityagainstthe potenthey out confidentiality,or vice versa,although tial harm to the attendant. usuallygo together.Anonymity without confiSocial researcherscan pay high personal dentiality occursif all the detailsabout a specific costsfor being ethical.Although he was never individual aremadepublic, but the individual's or accused convictedofbreakinganylaw and he name is withheld. Confidentiality without closely followed the ethical principles of the is not anonymityoccursif detailedinformation Professor Association, American Sociological privatelylinks inmadepublic, but a researcher jail spent 16 weeksin a Spokane for Rik Scarce responses. to dividual names specific to testify he Attempts to protect the identity of subjects contemptof court because refused beforea grandjury andbreakthe confidentiality has from public disclosure resultedin elaborate had data.Scarce beenstudying ofsocialresearch usresponses' eliciting anonyrnous procedures: radicalanimalliberationgroupsandhad akeady to who holdsthe key ing a third-party custodian publishedone book on the subject.He had intechcodedlists,or usingthe random-response participant who was susthat such measures tervieweda research suggest nique. Pastabuses pectedof leadinga group that broke into animal For may be necessary. example,Diener and iacilities and caused$150,000damage.Two Crandall (1978:70)reported that during the the judgesrefused acknowledge confidentialto reDepartmentandthe FBI 1950s, U.S.State the data.E ity ofsocial research who had on records individuals quested research concernwith anonymityand conA special 6een involved in the famousKinsey sexstudy' fidentiality arises when a researcherstudies to The KinseySexInstitute refused complywith prisoners, "captive"populations(e.g.,students, to The institutethreatened dethe government. Gatekeepers patients,and soldiers). employees, any. ratherthan release Eventustroyall records ot thote in positionsof authority, may restrict down.The backed agencies ally,the government unlessthey receiveinformation on submoral duty and ethicalcode of the researchers access



jects.9 Forexample, researcher a studies drug use and sexual activityamonghigh schoolstudents. Schoolauthoritiesagree cooperate to under two conditions:(1) students needparental permis_ sionto participate and (Z) schoolofiiciali getthe namesof all drug usersand sexually acti,iestu_ dentsin order to assist students the with coun_ selingand to inform the students'parents.An ethicalresearcher refuseto contlinue will rather than meet the secondcondition. Even though the officialsclaim to havethe participants, best interests mind, the privary ofparticipantswill in be violatedand they could be in legaliur- u, u result ofdisclosure.Ifthe schoolofficialsreally want to assistthe studentsand not ,r" ,"_ searchers spies,they could developan out_ as reachprogramoftheir own. Mandated Protections of Research Participants Many governments haveregulations lawsto and protectresearch participants and their rights.In the United States, legalrestraintis found i-nrules and regulationsissuedby the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services Office for the Protectionfrom Research Risks. Althoughthis is only one federal agency, most researchers and other governmentagencies look to it for guid_ ance.The National Research (1974) eitab_ Act lished the National Commission for the in frotection of Human Subjects Biomedical and Behavioral Research, which significantly ex_ pandedregulations requiredinformed ton_ and sentin most socialresearch. The responsibility for safegrrarding ethicalstandards wasassigned to research institutesand universities. The De_ partment of Health and Human Services issued regulations i981, which arestill in force.Fed_ in eral regulations follow a biomedicalmodel and protectsubjects from physical harm. Other rules requireinstitutional reviewboards(IRBs)at all research institutes,colleges, and universities to review all use of human subjects. IRB is a An committeeof researchers communitymem_ and bersthat oversees, monitors,and reviewrih. i-_

pact of research procedures human partici_ on pantsand applies ethicalguidelines byrwiewing research procedures a preliminarystage at when first proposed.Someforms of researchleduca_ tional tests,normal educationalpractice,most norrsensitive surveys, most observation public of behavior,and studiesof existingdata in which individuals cannot be identifiid are exemDr from institutional review boards.

ETHICS AND THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY Physicians, attorneys,family counselors, social workers,and other professionals havea codeof ethicsandpeerreviewboardsor licensingregu'_ lations. The codesformalizeprofessionj stan_ dards_ and provide guidancJ when questions arisein practice.Socialresearchers not pro_ do vide a service a fee,they receive for timited ettri_ cal training, and rarely are they licensed. Thev incorporate ethical concernsinto research be'_ cause is morally and sociallyresponsible, it and to protectsocialresearch from charges ofinsen_ professional sitivity or abusing people. socialsci_ ence associations have codes of ethics that identif, proper and improper behavior. They represent consensus a ofprofessionals ethics. on All researchers may not agreeon all ethical is_ sues, and ethicalrulesare subjectto interpreta_ tion, but researchers expected uphotd are to ethicalstandards part of thiir members'hip as in a professional community. Codes ofresearch ethicscanbe tracedto the Nuremberg code adopted during the Nurem_ bergMilitary Tribunal on Nazi wir crimesheld by the Allied Powersimmediatelyafter World War IL The code,developed a response the as to crueltyof concentration campexperiments, out_ linesethicalprinciplesand rightsof human sub_ jects.These includethe following: r The principle of voluntaryconsent r Avoidance of unnecessary physical and mentalsufFering




r Avoidanceof any experimentwhere death or disablinginjury is likelY if r Termination of research its continuation injury, disability,or death is likely to cause r The principle that experimentsshould be conductedby highly qualifiedpeopleusing of the highestlevels skill and care r The principle that the resultsshouldbe for by the goodof societyand unattainable any other method The principlesin the Nurembergcodedealt with thelreatment of human subjectsand fobut cusedon medicalexperimentation, theybecamethe basisfor the ethicalcodesin social Similarcodesof human rights,suchas research. the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rightsbythe United Nationsand the l964Declaration of Helsinki, alsohaveimplicationsfor Box socialresearchers. 3.3listssomeof the basic principlesof ethicalsocialresearch. have associations socialscience Professional and hear that reviewcodesof ethics committees violations,but thereis no formal aboutpossible The policingof the codes. penaltyfor a minor vibeyonda letter of complaint' olation rarelygoes If lawshavenot beenviolated,the most extreme publicity surrounding a penaltyis the negative and seriousethicalviolation' well-documented The publicity may resultin the lossof employfindment, a refusalto publish the researcher's journals,and a prohibition from ingsin scholarly funding for research-in other words, receiving from the communityof professional banishment researchers. Codesof ethicsdo more than codify thinkwith ing and provide individual researchers other goidutt..; they also help universitiesand institutions defend ethical research'against For abuses. example,after interviewing24 staff a membersand conductingobservations, rethat the staffatthe in searcher 1994documented Milwaukee Public DefendersOffice were seriproand could not effectively ouslyoverworked for vide legaldefense poor people'Learningof the findings,top officialsat the officecontacted

rerestswith the individual responsibility Ethical searcher. for or Do not exploitsubjects students personal gain. consentis highlyrecomSomeform of informed or mended required. confidentiality, of Honor all guarantees privacy, and anonymity. r subjects. or humiliate Do not coerce accomand only if needed, always Usedeception panyit with debriefing.



to methodthat is appropriate a Usethe research topic. to consequences undesirable r Detectand remove subjects. research or of repercussions the research publir Anticipate cationof results. r who fundedthe research' ldentifythe sponsor whendoingcomparwith host nations r Cooperate ativeresearch. the r Release detailsof the study designwith the results. of r Make interpretations resultsconsistentwith the data. r I and standards strivefor Usehighmethodological accuracy. Do not conductsecretresearch.

the universityand demandedto know who on with imtheir staffhadtalkedto the researcher, The plicationsthat theremight be reprisals. university administration defendedthe researcher the and refusedto release information, citing codesthat protecthuman rewidely accepted IU participants. search



it is bestto consider ethicalissues earlyin a relationshipwith a sponsorand to express concerns up front. Wistle-blowinginvolves researcher the who sees ethicalwrongdoing,and who canan not stop it after informing superiorsand exhausting internal avenues resolvethe issue. to He or shethen turns to outsiders informs an and external audience,agency,or the media. The whistle-blowingresearcher must be convinced that the breachof ethicsis serious and approved of in the organization. is risky. The outsiders It may or may not be interested the problem or in ableto help.Outsiders often havetheir own priorities(makingan organization look bad,sensationalizingtheproblem,etc.)that differ from the researcher's primary concern(endingthe unethical behavior).Supervisors managers or may try to discreditor punishanyone who exposes problemsand actsdisloyal.Under the bestof conditions, the issuemay take a long time to resolve and create greatemotionalstrain.By doingwhat is moral, a whistle-blower needsto be prepared to make sacrifices-lossof a iob or no promo-

tions, lowered pay, an undesirable transfer, abandonment by friends at work, or incurring legal costs.There is no guarantee that doing the ethical-moral thing will stop the unethical be_ Whistle-Blowing havior or protect the honest researcher from You might find a job whereyou do research for retaliation. a sponsor-an employer,a governmentagency, Applied social researchers sponsoredre_ in or a privatefirm that contracts with a researcher search settings need to think seriously about to conduct research. Special ethicalproblems their professionalroles.They may want to main_ arise whena sponsor paysfor research, especially tain some independence from an employer and applied research. Researchers be uik.d to may affirm their membership in a community of compromiseethical or professional research dedicated professionals. Many find a defense standards a condition for receiving contract as a against sponsor pressures by participating in or for continuedemplognent.Researchers need professional organizations (e.g., the Bvaluaiion to setethicalboundaries beyondwhich thevwill ResearchSociety), maintaining regular contacts refuse sponsor's the demands. When confronted with researchersoutside the sponsoring organiwith an illegitimatedemandfrom a sponsor,a zation, and staying current with the best re_ researcher threebasicchoices: has loyaltvto an search practices. The researcherleast likely to organizationor larger group, exiting from the uphold ethical standards in a sponsored setiing I situation,or voicingopposition. 1These present is someone who is isolated and professionallv in_ themselves cavingin to the sponsor, as quitting, secure.Whatever the situation, unethical belavor becominga whistle-blower. The researcher ior is never justified by the argument that ..If I must choose or her own course action,but his of didn't do it, someone elsewould have.,'


Arriving at Particular Findings What should you do if a sponsor tells you, directly or indirectly, what results you should come up with before you do a study? An ethical researcherwill refuse to participate if he or she is told to arrive at specific results as a precondition for doing research.Legitimate researchis conducted without restrictions on the possible findings that a study might yield. An example of pressure to arrive at particu_ lar findings is in the areaof educationaltesting. Standardizedtests to measure achievementby U.S. school children have come under criticism. For example, children in about 90 percent of school districtsin the United States score..above average" on such tests. This was called the Lake Wobegonffict after the mythical town of Lake Wobegon, where, according to radio show host Garrison Keillor, "all the children are above average."The main reason for this finding was that the researchers compared scoresofcuirent stu-



dents with those of studentsmany yearsago. schoolprincipals,superintenMany teachers, for dents,and schoolboardspressured a tFpeof result that would allow them to report to parents and voters that their school district was "aboveaverage."rz

Limits on How to Conduct Studies. Is it ethiby for to callyacceptable a sponsor limit research can definingwhat a researcher studyor by limitcan legitiused? Sponsors ing the techniques mately set some conditions on research experiment) used(e.g., survey versus techniques However,the reand limit costsfor research. research accepted mustfollow generally searcher must give a realisticapmethods.Researchers for praisalof what canbe accomplished a given levelof funding. The issueof limits is common whena firm or government in contractresearch, agencyasksfor work on a particular research quality project.Thereis often a tradeoffbetween begins,a reand cost.Plus,oncethe research Findings Suppressing the may needto redesign project,or searcher costsmay be higher. The contractprocedure What happensif you conduct a study and the difficult. A researcher findings make the sponsorlook bad, then the makes midstreamchanges the sponsordoesnot want to release results? may find that he or sheis forcedby the contract This is a common situationfor manyappliedreprocedures methodsthat are to useresearch or conducted a For searchers. example, sociologist then confionts a lessthan ideal.The researcher a study for a stategovernmentlottery commisdilemma:completethe contract and do lowsion on the effectsof stategovernment-sponqualityresearch, fail to firlfill the contractand or the soredgambling.After shecompleted report, losemoneyand future jobs. it but beforereleasing to the public,the commisA researcher should refuseto continue a that outlined sion askedher to removesections study if he or she cannot uphold generallyacof socialeffects gamblingand the manynegative of If ceptedstandards research. a sponsordesoto mands a biased sample or leading survey to eliminateher recommendations create of to cial services help the anticipatedincrease to questions, ethicalresearcher shouldrefuse the found herThe gamblers. researcher compulsive If cooperate. a legitimatestudy showsa sponselfin a difficult position and facedtwo conflicta sor's pet idea or project to be disaster, reand searcher may anticipatethe end of employrnent ing values:do what the sponsorrequested paid for, or revealthe truth to the public but stanresearch to or pressure violateprofessional then sufferthe consequences?l3 dards. In the long run, the sponsor,the rescienmay suppress Governmentagencies the searcher, scientificcommunity, and society tific information that contradictsofficial policy are in general harmedby the violation of sound high practice.The researcher to decide or embarrasses officials.Retaliationagains has research whetherhe or sheis a "hired hand" who always social researchersemployed by government

theywant, evenif it whatever givesthe sponsors is or is ethicallywrong, aprofessionalwho obligin atedto teach,guide,or evenopposesponsors of the service highermoral principles. shouldask Why would sponA researcher conductedif they sorswant the socialresearch in arenot interested usingthe findingsor in the are truth? The answeris that somesponsors not in interested the truth and haveno respectfor They seesocialresearch the scientificprocess. or a only as"a cover"to legitimate decision practice that they plan to carry out, but useresearch to justifr their action or deflectcriticism. They professional statusand abusethe researcher's their to undermineintegrity of science advance own narrow goals.They are being deceitfulby reputatrying to "cashin" on socialresearch's When sucha situationoccurs, tion for honesty. has an ethicalresearcher a moral responsibility and stopthe abuse. to expose



agencies who makethe information public also sponsor's criticism and hostility and release the occurs.In 2004,leading scientists, Nobel laure_ findingsover the sponsor,s objections. Most re_ ates,leading medical experts,former federal searchers preferthe first choice, sincethe second agency directors, and universitychairsandpres_ onemayscare awayfirturesponsors. identssigneda statement voicing .orr..r.r'orr., Socialresearchers sometimes self_censor or the misuseof science bythe George Bushad_ delaythe release findings. W. of Theydo this to pro_ ministration.Major accusationi included su_ tect the identity of informants,to maintain ac_ pressing research findingsand stacking scientific cess a research to hold on to their to site, iobs.or advisory committees with ideologicallicommit_ to protect the pe.rconal safetyof themselves or ted adyocates rather than impaitial scientists. family members.15 This is a lessdisturbingtype Other complaintsincluded limiting the public "bv of censorship because is not imposed an it release studies auto-saftey on data,negative data orrtside power. It is done by someone who is about pharmaceuticals, studiesin pollu_ and and ^major closeto the research who is knowledgeable tion. Theseinvolvedindustriesthat were aboutpossible jroul_ consequences. Researchers political campaign supporters the administra_ de-r ultimateresponsibility of the for their research. tion. Additional criticismsappeared over re_ Often, they can draw on many different re_ moving a goyernmentfact sheetciting studies sources but they facemany competing pressures, that showedno relationshipbetweenabortions as well. and breastcancer, removingstudyresultsabout positiveeffects condomusein pregnancypre_ of Concealing the True Sponsor vention, holding back information on poritirr. aspects stem cell research, of and requiring re_ Is it ethicalto keepthe identity of a sponsorse_ searchers revisetheir study findings on iurr_ to cret?For example,an abortion clinic funds a gersofarctic oil drilling and endangeied species study on membersof religiousgroupswho op_ so they would conform to the administraiion's pose abortion, but it tells the researcher to not political agenda. independent An 2005surveyof revealto participantswfro is funding the study. 460 biologistswho worked for Fisheries Seryice Theresearcher must balance ethilal rule that the found that about one-third said they were di_ it is usuallybestto reveala sponsor,s identity to rectedto suppress findingsfor nonscientific rea_ participants against both the sponsor,s desirefor sons or to inappropriately exclude or alter confidentialityand reduced cooperation par_ by technicalinformation from an official scientific ticipants in the study.In generil, an ethiJ re_ document.In fune 2005,it wasdiscovered a that searcher will t€ll subjectswho is sponsoringa political appointeewithout scientific training study unlessthere is a strong methodologilal who hadpreviously beenan oil industrvlobbvist for not doingso.When reportingor ,t.1r.o" iub_ wascharged with editingofficialgovernment re_ lishing results,the ethicalmandateisvlrv de-, ports to play down the researchfindings that A researcher must always reveal sponsorwho the documentedlinkagesbetweensuch emlssions provides fundsfor a study. and In sponsored research, researcher ne_ a can gotiateconditionsfor releasing findings prior to POLITIC S OF R E S E A R C H beginning study and sign a contraitio that the effect.It may be unwise to conduct the study Ethics largely addressmoral concerns and stan_ without sucha guarantee, althoughcompeting dards ofprofessional conduct in research that researchers havefewerethicalscruples who may are under the researcher'scontrol. political con_ do so.Alternatively,a researcher aicept the can cerns also afi[ectsocial research, but many are be_


P A RT oNE / F o u N D AT ro N s

yond the control of researchers. politics of The research usuallyinvolveactions organizedadby vocacygroups,powerful interestsin society, governments, politicianstrying to restrictor or control the direction of socialresearch. Historically,the political influenceover socialresearch has included preventingresearchers from conducting a study,cutting off or redirectingfunds for research, harassing individual researchers, censoringthe release research of findings, and using socialresearch a cover or guisefor as covertgovernment intelligence/military actions. For example,U.S. Congress memberstargeted and eliminatedfunding for research projects panelsof scientists that independent recommended because Congress not like the topics did that would be studied,and politicallyappointed officialsshiftedresearch funds to suppoft more studieson topics consistent with their political viewswhile endingsupportfor studies topics on that might contradicttheir views.A largecompanythreatened individual researcher an with a lawsuitfor deliveringexperttestimonyin public aboutresearch findingsthat revealed pastbad its conduct.Until about a decade ago,socialresearchers appeared be independent who to were actuallyconductingcovertU.S.government inl6 telligence activities. Most usesof political or financialinfluence to control socialresearch sharea desireto limit knowledgecreationor restrictthe autonomous scientific investigationof controversialtopics. Attempts at control seemmotivated by a fear that researchers might discover damsomething aging if they have freedom of inquiry. This shows that freescientificinquiry is connected to fundamentalpolitical idealsof open public debate,democracy, freedomof expression. and The attemptsto block and steersocialresearch havethreemain reasons. First,somepeople defendor advance positionsand knowledge that originatein deeplyheld ideological, political, or religiousbeliefs,and fear that socialresearchersmight produce knowledge that contradictsthem. Second,powerful interests

want to protect or advancetheir politicalfinancialposition, and fear socialresearcher might yield findings showingthat their actions are harmful to the public or some sectorsof And third, somepeoplein society not society. do respectthe idealsof science pursue truth/ to knowledgeand insteadview scientificresearch (see privateintereists only ascoverfor advancing Box3.4).



You haveundoubtedlyheardabout"value-free" research and the importanceof being "objecThis is not assimpleat it might tive" in research. first appearfor several reasons. First, there are different meaningsof the terms valuefree and different approaches social objective. Second, to (positivism,interpretative, critical) hold science different viewson the issue.And last. evenrewho agree that socialresearch searchers should be valuefreeand objectivedo not believe that it needs be totally devoidof all values. to Therearetwo basicwaysthe term value free is used:research that is free from any prior assumptions,theoreticalstand,or valueposition, and research that is conductedfree ofinfluence personalprejrrfrom an individual researcher's Likewise, objective meanfocuscan dices/beliefs. ing only on what is externalor visible,or it can mean following clearand publicly accepted reprocedures personal and not haphazard, search ones. The three approaches socialscience to that you readaboutin Chapter2 hold differentpositions on the importanceof value-free, objective Positivismputs a high value on such research. An research. interpretiveapproachseriously questions whetherit is possible, sincehuman pervadeall aspects human acvalues/beliefs of Insteadof eliminattivities,including research. ing values subjective and dimension, suggests it a relativiststance-no singlevaluepositionis bet-





Mi ch aelB ur awoy( 200 4 , 2 OO5 ) d i s ti n g u i s h e d among four idealtypesof social research: polLy,pro_ fessional, critical, public. and The aimof public sociology (or social science, moregenerally) to enrich is publicdebateovermoraland political issues inby fusingsuchdebatewith socialtheory and r""r".r.n. Public sociology frequently overlaps with action-orientedresearch. Burawoy argued that the place so_ of cial research societycenterson how one answers in two questions: Knowledge whom?and Knowr_ for edgefor what?The first questionfocuses the on sources research of questions and how results are used. Thesecond question looks the source at ofre_ search goals. Are they handeddown by someexter_ nal sponsor agency are they concerned or or witn debates over largersocietal political-moral issues? Public social science to generate conversation tries a or debatebetween researchers public. conand By strast, policysocial science focuses finding on solu_ tionsto specific problems definedby sponiorsor. as

clients.Both rely on professional socialscience for theories, bodiesof knowledge, techniques and for gathering and analyzing data.Criticalsocialscience, as wasdiscussed Chapter emphasizes in 2, demysti_ fyingandraising questioning aboutbasic condittns. The primary audience professional criticar for and social science members the scientific are of commu_ nity,whereas main the audience public for andpolicy research nonexperts practitioners. are and Bothcrit_ icaland public social science seekto infuse morar, a value dimension social into research they trv to and generate debates profes_ overmoral-political values. sional and policysocial science lessconcerneo are about debates over moralor valueissues and may avoidthem.Instead, theirfocusis moreon being ef_ fectivein providing advances basicknowled;eor to specific solutions practical to problems. Both public and policysocialscience appliedresearch are ano havea relevance beyondthe communitv scientific of researcners.

ter than any other. A critical approach also ques_ tions value-free research,but seesit often as a sham. Value free means free of everyone's values except those of science,and objectivemeans following establishedrules or procedures that some people created, without considering who they represent and how they created the rules. In other words, a critical approach seesall research ascontaining somevalues,so thosewho claim to be value free are just hiding theirs. Those who follow an interpretive and critical approach and reject value-free researchdo not embrace sloppy and haphazard research, research procedures that follow a particular researcher's .hi-r, o, u study that has a foregone conclusion and automatically supports a specific value position. They believe that a researcher should make his

or her own value position explicit, reflect care_ fully on reasonsfor doing a study and the proce_ dures used,and communicate in a candid, clear manner exactly how the study was conducted. In this way, other researchers the role of a re_ see searcher's values and judge for themselves whether the values unfairly influenced a studv's findings. Even highly positivist researchers who ad_ vocate value-free and objective studies admit a limited place for some personal, moral values. Many hold that a researcher's personal, moral position can enter when it comes to decidine what topic to study and how to disseminati findings. Being value free and obiectir.e oniv refers to actually conducting the studr.. This means that you can study the issues vou believe to be important and after completing a study




you can sharethe resultswith specificinterest to groupsin addition to making them available the scientifi community. c

E n dn o t e s

CONCLUSION In Chapter 1, we discussed distinctiveconthe to tribution ofscience society and how socialresearch a sourceofknowledgeaboutthe social is of and world. The perspectives techniques social research be powerfirl tools for understandcan ing the world. Nevertheless, with that power to discovercomesresponsibility-a responsibility a to yourself,a responsibility your sponsors, to to responsibility the community of scientificresearchers, a responsibility the largersociand to responsibilities conflict with each ety.These can to must decide other.Ultimately,you personally in conduct research an ethical manner, to uphold and defendthe principlesof the socialsciyou enceapproach adopt,andto demandethical conduct by others.The truthfulnessof knowland its useor edgeproducedby socialresearch like misusedependson individual researchers you, reflectingon their actionsand on the seriIn in ous role ofsocial research society. the next chapter,we examinebasicdesignapproaches that appearin both qualitative and and issues quantitativeresearch.

1. For a discussion of researchfraud, seeBroad and Wade (1982), Diener and Crandall (1978), and Weinstein (1979). Hearnshaw (1979) andWade (1976) discuss the Cy'ril Burt case, and see Holden (2000) on the social psychologist case. the Kusserow (1989) discusses concept ofscientific misconduct. 2. SeeBlum ( 1989)and D'Antonio ( 1989) for details Also seeGoldner (1998) on legal veron this case. sus scientific views of misconduct. Gibelman (2001) discussesseveral casesand the changinq definition of misconduct 3. See Lifton (1986) on Nazi experiments, and Williams andWallace (1989) discussfapaneseexperiments. Harris (2002) arguesthat the |apanese experiments were more horrific, but the United Statesdid not prosecute the fapanesescientistsas the Germans were because the U.S. military wanted the results to develop its own biological warfare program. 4. Seelones (1981) and Mitchell (1997) on "Bad Blood." 5. Diener and Crandall (1978:L28) discussexamples. 6. A discussion ofphysical harm to researchparticipants can be found in Kelman (1982), Reynolds (1979,1982), and Warwick (1982). 7. For a discussion, see Diener and Crandall (1978:21-22) and Kidder and ludd (1986:481-

484). 8. SeeMonaghan (1993a, 1993b, 1993c). 9. Broadhead and Rist (1976) discussgatekeepers. 10. See"UW Protects Dissertation Sources," Capital Times (Madrson, Wisconsin), December 19, 1994, p.4. I 1. SeeHirschman ( 1970) on loyalty, exit, or voice. 12. See Edward Fiske, "The Misleading Concept of 'Average' on Reading Test Changes, More Students Fall Below It," New York Times (Iuly 12, 1989).Also seeKoretz (1988)andWeissand Gruber (1987). 13. See"State Sought, Got Author's ChangesofLottery Report," Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin), fuly 28, 1989,p. 21. 14. Andrew Revkin, "Bush Aide Edited Climate Reports," New York Times (Iune 8, 2005). "White House Calls Editing Climate Files Part of Usual Review," New YorkTimes (1we9,2005). Union of Concerned Scientists,"Politics Trumps Scienceat

Key Terms
anonymity confidentiality crossoverdesign informed consent institutional review board (IRB) plagiarism principle of voluntary consent public sociology research fraud scientific misconduct specialpopulations whistle-blower



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service" (February 9, ber 10, 2004).famesGlanz,"scientistsSayAd2005)."Specific Examples theAbuseof Science of ministration Distorts Facts,"New York Tima (February 19,2004). DylanO. Krider,"Thepolitim?pagelD=1398, downloaded August 3, 2005. cizationof Science the "Summaryof National Oceanic& Atmospheric SkepticYol.11,Number 2 (2004)at www. SkepAdministration Fisheries Service Scientist Survey" Orstein,"PoliticsTrumps Science in by Union ofConcerned (|une 2005).E. Scientists CondomFactSheet"NewYorkTimes (December "Researchers Shogren, Accuse Bushof Manipulat27, 2002) "Scientist . Says OfficialsIgnoredAdvice ing Science,"osAngeles (luIy 9, 2004).IefI Times on Water Levels,"Washington (October29, Posf frey McCracker,"GovernmentBansRelease of 2002). Auto-Safety Data,"DetroitFreePress (August19, 1 5 . See AdlerandAdler(1993). 2004).GarddinerHarris, "LawmakerSaysFDA t6. See Neuman(2003,Chapter16) for a discussion Held BackDrug Data,"NewYorkTimes (Septemofpolitical issues socialresearch. in

the Reviewing Scholarly and Planning Literature a Study

lntroduction Literature Review Literature Whereto FindResearch LiteratureReview How to Conduct a Systematic TakingNotes Writing the Review LooksLike What a Cood Review Using the Internet for Social Research Qualitative and Quantitative Orientations toward Research Paths Linear and Nonlinear Research and Preplanned Emergent Questions Qualitative Design lssues ofCasesand Contexts The Language CroundedTheory The Context ls Critical The Caseand Process Interpretation Quantitative Design lssues and Hypotheses ofVariables The Language Theoryand Hypotheses Causal Aspectsof Explanation Fromthe Research Questionto Hypotheses Conclusion




In the past three chapters, you have learned aboutthe main principlesand typesof socialresearch, discovered how researchers theoryin use a study,and examinedthe placeof ethicsin so_ cial research. You are now readyto get into the of how to go about designinga study. pecifc-s Recallfrom Chapteri that a researchirusualiy beginswith a generaltopic, then narrows the topic down into a specific research question, and then makesdecisions about the specifics de_ of signinga study that will address research the question. Wheredo topicsfor studycomefrom?They comefrom many sources: previousstudies, tele_ vision or film, personal experiences, discussions with friendsand family, or somethingyou read about in a book, magazine, newspaper. or A topic often beginsas somethingthai, your curiosity,aboutwhich you hold deepcom_ mitments or strongfeelings, that you Leheve or is reallywrongand want to change. applysoTo cial research, topic must be about soiial'pat_ a terns that operate in aggregates and be empiricallymeasurable observable. rules or This out topicsabout oneunique situation(e.g., why your boy/girlfrienddumpedyou yesterdJy, why your friend's little sister hates her school teacher), one individual case(e.g.,your own or family), or somethingone can neverobserve, with su_ ,evenindirectly(e.g.,unicorns,ghosts 'pernatural powers, etc.). Thismayruleout some interestingtopics,but many tens of thousands remainto be investigated. How you proceed differsslightlydepending on whetheryou adopt an inductiveo, u d"drr._ tive approach. Compared to an inductive researcher, thosewho choosea deductiveap_ proachand gatherquantitativedatawill devote much more time to specifying research the ques_ tion very precisely planningmany detailsof and a studyin advance. will takeyou a while to de_ It velopthejudgmentskillsfor decidinewhetherit might be better to conduct a moreteductivequantitativeor an inductive-qualitative studyto

address topic and research a question.Three thingscanhelp you learnwhat iithe most effec_ tive type of studyto pursuefor a question: 1. Reading studies that othershaveconducted on a topic 2. Graspingissues that operatein qualitative and quantitativeapproaches reiearch to 3. Understanding how to usevariousresearch techniquesas well as their strengthsand limitations This chapterintroducesyou to the first two of the^se, whereas many of the remainingchap_ tersof the book discuss third item in the liit. the LITERATUREREVIEW Readingthe "literature," or the collectionof studies alreadypublished a topic, serves on sev_ eralvery important functions.First,it helpsyou narrow down a broadtopic by showingyou how others conductedtheir studies.The studiesby others give you a model of how narrowly fo_ cuseda research questionshouldbe,what kinds ofstudy designs othershave used,and how to measure variables analryze Second, in_ or data. it forms you about the "stateof knowledge,, a on topic. From the studies others,you cin learn by the key ideas, terms,and issues that surround a topic. You should considerreplicating,testing, or extendingwhat othersalreadyfound. Third. the literatureoftenstimulates your creativitvanj curiosity.Last,evenifyou nevergetto co;duct or publishyour own research studn a published studyoffersyou an example what the final re_ of port on a study looks like, its major parts,its form, and its sryleof writing. Anotirerieasonis morepractical. Justasattentively readinga lot of top-quality writing can help you improve your own writing skills, reading many reports of good-qualitysocial research enables to grasp you betterthe elements go into conductinga re_ that search study. It is bestto be organized not haphazard and asyou locateand readthe scholarly aiademic or




research Iiterature on a topic and associated preparea questions. Also, it is wise to plan to written literature review.There are many specialized types of reviews, but in general a literature reviewis a carefrrlly crafted sunmary ofthe recentstudiesconductedon a topic that includes key findings and methods researchers used while making sure to document the For most pulposes,you must first losources. next, read thoroughly catethe relevantstudies; to discoverthe major findings, central issues, and take conscienand methodsof the studies, tious noteson what you read.While the reading is still freshin your mind and with the notesin whatyou have front ofyou, you needto organize learnedand write clearlyabout the studiesin a way that builds a context around a specificrequestionthat is of interestto you. search A literaturereviewis basedon the assumpand tion that knowledgeaccumulates that people learn from and build on what othershave is done. Scientificresearch a collectiveeffort of who sharetheir resultswith many researchers one another and who pursue knowledgeas a community.Although somestudiesmay be especially important and individual researchers project may becomefamous,a specificresearch just a tiny part of the overallprocess creatof is Today'sstudies build on thoseof ing knowledge. read yesterday. Researchers studiesto compare, or replicate, criticizethem for weaknesses. vary in scopeand depth. Different Reviews kinds of reviewsare strongerat f,rlfilling one or Box 4.1).It may takea anotherof four goals(see over a year to completean extensive researcher professional summaryreviewof all the literature might The sameresearcher on a broad question. reviewin a veryspecialcompletea highly focused Whenbeginninga revieq izedareain a fewweeks. on a researcher decides a topic, how much depth to go into, and the kind of reviewto conduct. Where to Find ResearchLiterature presentreports of their research Researchers written forms: periodicals, projectsin several

a 1. To demonstratefaniliaity witha bodyof knowledgeand establishcredibility.A review tells a in the knows research that the researcher reader A the majorissues. good rean areaand knows in confidence the rea view increases reader's ability,and competence, professional searcher's background. and the 2. To show path of prior research howa curoutlinesthe dito is rentproject linked it. A review the and shows on rectionof research a question developmentof knowledge.A good review project in a context and placesa research connecby its demonstrates relevance making tionsto a body of knowledge. what is knownin an and summarize 3. To integrate area.A reviewpulls together and synthesizes pointsout areas A differentresults. good review wherethey disagree, agree, whereprior studies and wheremajor collects whatis knownup to a point in timeandindicates for the direction futureresearch. A new and 4. To leamfrom others stimulate ideas. reviewtells what othershavefound so that a recan searcher benefitfrom the effortsof others. A good reviewidentifiesblind alleysand sugprolt for gestshypotheses replication. divulges worth designs and techniques, research cedures, can copyingso that a researcher better focus and hypotheses gainnewinsights.

or government documents, books,dissertations, them aspapers policy reports.They alsopresent but societies, for of at the meetings professional most part, you can find them only in a colthe briefly disThis section legeor universitylibrary. each type and givesyou a simple road cusses them. map on how to access Periodicals. You can find the resultsof social in in research newspapers, popular magazines'




on television radiobroadcasts, in Internet or and It is harder to recognize seriousopinion newssummaries, these not the full, com_ magazines but are (e.g., Americanprospect, Commen_ plete reports of research required to preparea tary, Dissent,andpublic Interesi).Largerbook_ literature review.They are silected,condiensed stores in major citiessellthem. Leadingscholars summaries prepared journalistsfor a general often write articles by for opinion magaziiesabout audience,and they lack many essential"details topics onwhich theymay alsoconductempirical neededfor a seriousevaluationof the studv. research (e.g., welfarereform,prison expansion, Textbooksand enryclopedias presentcon_ voter also turnout). Theydiffer in purpose, look, and densedsummariesas introductions to readers scopefrom scholarlyjournals of socialscience who are new to a topic, but, again,thesearein_ research findings.The publicationsarean arena adequatefor preparing a liteiature review be_ where intellectuals debatecurrent issues, not cause many essential detailsabout the studyare whereresearchers presentfindingsoftheir stud_ absent. iesto the broaderscientificcommunity. It is easy someone for preparinga first liter_ ature review to be confused about the manv Scholarly lournals. Theprimary typeofperiod_ typesof periodicals. With skill, you will be able ical to usefor a literaturereviewis ihe scholarly to distinguishamong (1) massmarket newspa_ journal filled with peer-reviewed reports of re_ persald magazines written for the general pub_ (e.g., search AmericanSociological Reilew,Social lic, (2) popularized socialscience *igurirrer, 1l; Problems, Ameican lournal if Sociology, Crimi_ opinion magazines which intellectuals in debate nology, andSocial Science euarterly).5ne rarely and express their views,and ( ) scholarly acade_ finds them outsideof collegeand university li_ mic journals in which researchers preient the braries.Recallfrom Chapter I that researchers findings of studiesor provide other communi_ disseminate findingsof new studiesin scholarly cation to the scientificcommunity. peer_re_ journals. viewedempirical research findings appear a in Somescholarly journalsare specialized. In_ c.ompl9t9 form only in the last type of publica_ steadof reports of researchstudies,they have tion, articlesin the other tlpes occa_ onlybook reviews that providecommentary -although and sionallytalk aboutfindingspublishedeisewhere. evaluations on a book (e.g.,Contemporary Soci_ Mass market publications (e.g.,McCleans, ology), they or containonly literature..rri"* .r_ Time,Newsweek, Economist, Nation,Ameri_ says(e.g., The Annual Review Sociology, of Annual canSpectator, Atlantic Monthty) are sold at and. Review Psychology, Annual Riiew of An_ of and newsstands designed provide the general thropologlt) and to in which researchers a ,.state give of public with news,opinion, and entertaiiment. thefield" essay others.publicationsthat spe_ for A researcher might occasionally them as a use cializein literature reviewscan be helpfrrl iian sourceon current events, but they do not pro_ articlewasrecentlypublished a speiific topic on vide full reportsof research studiesin the iorm of interest. Many other scholarly journalshavea needed preparea literaturereview. to mix of articlesthat areliteraturereviews, books Popularized socialscience magazines and reviews,reports on research studies,and theo_ professionalpublications (e.g., Society and retical essays. Psychology Today)aresometimes peerreyiewed. simple solution or ..seal approval" of Their purposeis to provide the interested, edu_ distinguishes journals,thekini ofp"U_ scholarly catedlay public a simplified versionof findings lications on which to build a seriousliterature or a commentary, but not to be an outlet for reviewfrom other periodicals, instantly dis_ or original research findings.At best,popularized tinguishes report on a the research study from social sciencemagazinescu., s.rpplement to other typesof articles.One needsto develoo other sources a literaturereview in judgmentor askexperienced researcherc pro'_ o,


pA RToN E ,/ F o u N D AT to N s

fessional librarians.Nonetheless, distinguishing amongtypesof publicationsis essential builJ to on a body of research. One of the bestwaysto learnto distinguishamongrypes publicaiions of is to readmany articlesin scholarlylournals. The number ofjournals variesbyfield. psv_ chologyhas over 400 journals, wheieassociol_ ogy has about 250 scholarlyjournals, political science and communicationhaveslightlyfewer than sociology,anthropology-archaJology and socialwork haveabout 100,urban stud[s and women studieshave about 50, and there are about-adozenjournals in criminology.Each publishes from a few dozento over tOO articles a year. M*y, but not all, scholarly journalsmay be viewedvia the Internet. Usually,this is limited to selected yearsand to librariesthat paid special subscription fees. fewInternetservices A provide full, exact copies of scholarly iournal articles overthe Internet.For example, iStOR provides exact copies,but only for a small number of journalsand only for pastyears. scholarly Other Internet sewices, suchasEBSCbUbSt, offer a frrll-text versionof recentarticlesfor a limited numberof scholarly journals,but thevarenot in the sameformat asa print versionof an article. This can make it impossibleto find a specific pagenumber or see exactcopyof a chart.It is an best.tovisit the library and see what a firll_print version of the scholarly article looks like-.An addedbenefitis that it makesit easyfor vou to browsethe Tableof Contentsof the iournals. canbe very usefulfor generating new llowslng ideasfor research topics, seeingan establ"ished topic in creative ways, learninghow to expand or an idea into new areas. Only alinv handful of new Internet-only scholarlyjournals, callede_ j ournals, presentpeer-reviewed research studies (e.g.,Sociological Research Online, Current Re, search SocialPsychology, fournal of World in and Systems Research). Eventually,the Internet for_ mat may replace print versions. for now, 99 But percentof scholarlyjournals are available in print form and aboutone-third ofthesearealso available a full-text versionover the Interner in

and only then if a library paysfor a specialon_ line subscription service. Onceyou locatea scholarly journal that re_ ports on social science research you studies, need to makesurethat a particulararticlepresents the resultsof a study, sincethe journal may have other types of articles.It is easierto identifi. quantitativestudiesbecause they usuallyhavea methods or data sectionand charts,statistical formulas,and tablesof numbers.eualitative re_ search articlesaremore difficult to identifu and manystudents confuse them with theoretical es_ says,literature review articles,idea-discussionI essays, policy recommendations, book reviews, and legal caseanalyses. distinguish among To these epes requiresa good graspoithe varieties of research well asexperiencein as many articles. Your college library hasa sectionfor scholarly journals and.magazines, in somecases, or, theymay be mixedwith books.Look at a map of library facilitiesor aska librarian to find this iec_ tion. Themostrecentissues, which look like thin paperbacks thick magazines, often physi_ or are callyseparate a "current periodicals"section. in This is doneto storethem temporarilyand make them available until the libraryreceives the is_ all sues a volume.Most oIten,librariesbind all is_ of suesof a volume together as a book before addingthem to their permanentcollections. Scholarly journals from many different fields are placed togetherwith popular magazines.All areperiodicals, serials the jargon or in of librarians.Thus,you will find popular ma=ga_ zines(e.g., Time, RoadandTrack, Cosmopoliin, andAtlantic Monthty) next to journals-forastronomy, chemistry, mathematics,literature, and philosophyaswell associology, psychology, socialwork, and education.Somefields have more scholarly journalsthan others.The ,,pure" academic fieldsusuallyhavemore than the ..ap_ plied" or practicalfieldssuchasmarketingor sL_ cialwork. Thejournalsarelistedby title in a card catalogor a computerized catalogsystem. Librariescanprovideyou with a list of the periodicalsto which they subscribe.



journalsarepublishedasrarelyas Scholarly oncea-year asfrequentlyasweekly.Most ap_ or pear four to six times a year. For exampL, Sociological four times uyiur. Quarterlyappears To assistin locating articles,librarians and scholarshave developeda systemfor tracking journalsand the articles them. Each scholarly in issueis assigned date,volume number,and isa suenumber.This information makes easier it to locatean article.Suchinformation-along with detailssuchasauthor,title, and pug.,rurrrteris calledan article'scitationand is usedin bibliographies. When a journal is first published,it beginswith volume l, number l, and continues increasingthe numbers thereafter. Although most journals follow a similar system, thereare enoughexceptions you haveto paycloseatthat tention to citation information. For most iour_ nals,each volumeis oneyear.If you see journal a issuewith volume 52, for example,it probably meansthat the journal hasbeenin existence for 52 years. Most, but not all, journals begintheir publishingcyclein lanuary. Most journalsnumberpages volume,not by by issue.The first issueof a volume usuallybeginswith page1,andpagenumberingcontinues throughoutthe entirevolume.For example, tne first pageofvolume 52,issue maybepige 547. 4, Most journals have an index for eachvolume anda tableof contents eachissue for that liststhe title, the author'sor authors'names,and the pageon which the articlebegins.Issues contain asfew as I or 2 articlesor asmany as 50. Most have8 to 18articles, which may be 5 to 50 pages long. The articles often have abstracts, ihort summarieson the first pageof the article or groupedtogetherat the beginningof the issue. Many librariesdo not retainphysical, paper copies ofolderjournals. save To space costs, and they retain only microfilm versions. Thereare hundredsof scholarly journalsin most academic fields,with eachcosting$50 to $2,500per year. Only the largeresearch librariessubscribe all to of them. You may haveto borrow a iournal or photocopy of an article from a distant library through an inteilibraryloan seryice, system a by

which librarieslend booksor materials other to libraries.Fewlibrariesallowpeopleto checkout recentissues scholarlyjournals. you should of plan to use thesein the library. Some,not all, scholarlyjournals available the Internet. are via Onceyou find the periodicals section, wan_ der down the aislesand skim what is on the shelves. You will seevolumescontainingmany research reports.Eachtitle ofa scholarly iournal has a call number like that of a regular'library book. Libraries often arrangethem alphabeti_ cally by title. Because journals changetitles, it may createconfusionif the journal is shelved underits originaltitle. Citation Formats. An article,scitation is the key to locatingit. Suppose want to readthe you study by Weitzer and Tuch (2005) on percep_ tions of policemisconductdiscussed Chapter in 2. Its citationis asfollows: Weitzer,Ronald,and Steven Tuch. 2005. "RaciallyBiased Policing:Determinants of CitizenPerceptions.So Forces " cial 83:1009-1030. This tellsyou that you canfind the articlein an issueof Social Forces publishedin 2005.The citationdoesnot providethe issue month, but or it givesthe volume number, g3, and the page numbers, 1009 1030. to There are many waysto cite the literature. Formats for citing literature in the text itself vary with the internal citation format of using an author'slastnameand dateof publicationin parentheses beingverypopular.Thefrrll citarion appears a separate in bibliographyor reference section. Therearemanystyles frrll citationsof for journal articles,with books and other types of works eachhlving a separate style.When citing articles,it is best to checkwith an instructor, journal, or other outlet for the desiredformat. Almost all include the namesof authors,article iitle, journal name,and volume and pagenumbers.Beyondthesebasicelements, thire is sreat variety.Someinclude the authors' first ,ruL.r,




includeall authors, othersuseinitialsonly. Some othersgive only the first one. Someinclude information on the issueor month of publication, Figure4.1). do others not (see Citation formatscangetcomplex.Two major reference tools on the topic in socialscience Manual of Style, which hasnearly80 areChicago formats, pages bibliographies and reference on Publicachological Association andAmericanPsy pagesto tion Manual, which devotesabout 60 Sociobgical the the topic. In sociology, American of Review style,with 2pages sryleinstructions,is widely followed. manytypesof inBooks. Bookscommunicate formation, provoke thought, and entertain. There are many t)?es of book: picture books, popularfictextbooks, shortstorybooks,novels, tion or nonfiction, religious books, children's books. and others.Our concernhere is with thosebooks containing reports of original rearticles.Lisearchor collectionsof research braries shelve these books and assign call numbersto them, asthey do with other typesof books.You can find citation information on them (e.g.,title, author, publisher)in the lisystem. brary'scatalog It is not easyto distinguisha book that reports on research from other books.You are more likely to find such books in a collegeor suchasuniuniversitylibrary.Somepublishers, in specialize publishingthem. versitypresses, methodfor thereis no guaranteed Nevertheless, identifuingonewithout readingit. are Sometypesof socialresearch morelikely to appearin book form than others.For examare ple,studies anthropologists historians and by more likely to appearin book-lengthreports or than are those of economists psychologists. and Yet,someanthropological historicalstudies and someeconomicand psychologarearticles, social ical studiesappear books.In education, as the and work, sociology, political science, results both in two may appear of long, complexstudies that or three articlesand in book form. Studies involve detailedclinical or ethnographicde-

scriptionsand complex theoreticalor philoas usuallyappear books.Fidiscussions sophical nally, an author who wantsto communicateto public may scholarlypeersand to the educated academic the write a book that bridges scholarly, styleand a popularnonfiction style. articlesin books Locatingoriginal research thereis no singlesource canbe difficult because listing them. Threetypesof books contain colThefirst is reports. lectionsofarticlesor research Such books, for designed teachingpurposes. remay includeoriginal research readers, calTed ports.Usually,articleson a topic from scholarly for journalsaregathered and editedto be easier to nonspecialists readand understand. for typeof collectionis designed The second and may gatherjournal articlesor may scholars on essays or containoriginalresearch theoretical containarticles topic. Somecollections a specific from journals that are difficult to locate.They reports organized may includeoriginal research topic. The tableofcontents arounda specialized these liststhe titles and authors.Librariesshelve with other books,and somelibrary collections includethem. systems catalog to Citationsor references booksareshorter than articlecitations.They includethe author's name,book title, year and placeof publication, name. and publisher's

Dissertations, All graduatestudentswho reare ceivethe Ph.D. degree requiredto complete which they write up a work of original research, is The dissertation bound thesis. asa dissertation in and shelved the library of the universitythat grantedthe Ph.D.About half of all dissertations Beas areeventuallypublished booksor articles. report on original research, causedissertations they can be valuable sourcesof information. who receivethe master'sdegree Somestudents and write a master's conduct original research involve serious but fewermaster'stheses thesis, and research, theyaremuch more difficult to locatethan unpublisheddissertations. comindexeslist dissertations Specialized For universities. at pletedby students accredited



F lc U R E 4. I

Different Reference Citations for a fournal Article

The oldestjournalof sociologyin the UnitedStatesAmerican , lournalof Sociolog,reportson a study of viron lt BUckner. appeared pages859 to 913 of theJanuary and ginity pledges PeterBearman Hannah by l tw asi nvol umel 05,orthe 2 00 1 issue(n um ber 4) of t he j o u rn a l ,w h i c h b e g i n s c o u n ti ngi ssuesi nMarch. Sociopopularstylesare thoseof American journal's1 O6th year.Hereare waysto cite the article.Two very (APA). Association Psychological (ASR)and American logicalReview ASR Style Pledges FirstIntercourse." Virginity and the 200.| . "Promising Future: Biickner. Peterand Hannah Bearman, 1 of Sociologlr05:859-91 2. American Journal APA Style pledges first intercourse. and Ameican Virginity the H. Bearman, and Biickner, (2001). Promising future: P., 1 of Joumal Sociolog;r05, 859-912. Other Styles A and "Promising Future: VirginityPledges FirstIntercourse,"merican the Journal Bearman, and H. Bi.ickner. P., 1 06 of Sociologlr (2001 ), 859-912. 200.l . Bilckner, Peter Bearman, and Hannah Am. 106:859- 912. "Promising future: pledges first Intercourse." J. of Sociol. and Virginity the Pledges FirstIntercourse."Anreriand Future:Virginity P. H. Bearman, and Bijckner, (2001). "Promisingthe 859-91 2. 1 canJournal Sociolog 06 (January): of 200,|. Biickner. Peterand Hannah Bearman, 106 American "Promisingthe future:Virginity pledgesand first Intercourse." Journalof Sociology $ ):8 59-9 12. pledges firstintercourse." and American Virginity the (2001 ). "Promising future: P. Bearman, and H. Bijckner. of Journal Sociolog1 06, 859 -91 2. A and "Promising Future: VirginityPledges FirstIntercourse,"merican the Btickner, and PeterBearman Hannah 'l 06, no. 4 (2001): 859-912. of Journal Sociolog

example, Dissertation AbstractsInternationallists dissertations with their authors, titles, and universities. This index is organized by topic and contains an abstract of each dissertation. You can borrow most dissertations via interlibrary loan from the degree-granting university if the university permits this. Government Documents. The federal goyernment of the United States,the governments of other nations, state- or provincial-level governments, the United Nations, and other international agencies such as the World Bank, all sponsor studies and publish reports of the re-

Many collegeand universitylibraries search. in havethesedocuments their holdings,usually in a special"governmentdocuments"section. sysreportsarerarelyfound in the catalog These lists of publicatem. You must use specialized tions and indexes,usuallywith the help of a librarian, to locate thesereports. Most college and universitylibrarieshold only the most fredocuments and reports. quentlyrequested Policy Reports and PresentedPapers. A reconductinga thoroughreviewofthe litsearcher which eraturewill examinethesetwo sources, to are difficult for all but the trained specialist




reobtain. Research institutesand policy centers Designa Search. After choosinga focused (e.g.,BrookingsInstitute,Institute for Research search questionfor the review,the next stepis to plan a search The strategy. reviewer needs deto on Poverty,RandCorporation,etc.)publishpapersand reports.Somemajor research and libraries cideon the type of review,its extensiveness, purchase to these and shelve the tlpes of materials include.The keyis to be them with books.The and organized. parameSet only wayto be sureof what hasbeenpublishedis careful,systematic, how much time you will deto write directlyto the instituteor centerand reterson your search: questa list of reports. voteto it, how far backin time you will look, the Eachyear, the professional minimum number of research reportsyou will in associations how many librariesyou will visit, and academic fields(e.g., sociology, politicalscience, examine, psychology)hold annual meetings. Thousands so forth. Also,decide how to recordthebibliographic of researchers assemble give,listento, or disto you cussoral reports of recentresearch. Most of citation for eachreference find and how to ? in in theseoral reportsareavailable written papers takenotes(e.g., a notebook,on 3 X 5 cards, as to thoseattendingthe meeting.Peoplewho do a computerfile). Developa schedule, becbuse not attendthe meetings who aremembers visits are usuallynecessary. should You several but of the association receive programof the meeting, begina file folder or computerfile in which you a listing eachpaperto be presented can placepossiblesources and ideasfor new with its title, author,and author'splaceof employment. sources. the reviewproceeds, shouldbeAs it They can write directly to the author and requesta comemore focused. copy of the paper.Many, but not all, of the papers are later publishedas articles.The papers Locate ResearchReports. Locating research (to may be listed in indexesor abstractservices reportsdepends the type ofreport or "outlet" on be discussed). beingsearched. a general As rule,use ofresearch in multiple search strategies order to counteract method. the limitations of a singlesearch How to Conduct a Systematic Literature Review Articlesin Scholarly earlournals. As discussed Define and Refinea Topic. Justasa researcher lier, most socialresearch publishedin scholis must plan and clearlydefinea topic and research arlyjournals.Therearedozens ofjournals,many question goingbackdecades, whenbeginninga research project,you eachcontainingmany arti needto begin a literature reviewwith a clearly cles. The taskofsearching articles be forfor can publicationsmake defined,well-focusedresearchquestion and a midable.Luckily, specialized plan. A good reviewtopic shouldbe asfocused the taskeasier. question.For example,"divorce" as a research You may have used an index for general publications stch asReader's or "crime" is much too broad. A more approGuideto Periodical , priate review topic might be "the stability of Literature. Many academic fields have "abfamilieswith stepchildren"or "economicinstracts"or "indexes"for the scholarlyliterature (e.g.,Psychological equalityand crime ratesacross Abstracts, InSocialSciences nations."If you project, gical Abstracts,and Gerontolo gical conducta contextreyiewfor a research dex, Sociolo it shouldbe slightlybroaderthan the specific For reAbstracts). education-related topics,the Edquestion search beingtested. Information Center(ERIC) Often,a researcher ucationalResources Thereareover 100 will not finalizea specific questionfor a system especiallyvaluable. is research studyuntil he or shehasreviewed literature. suchpublications. You canusuallyfind them in the The reviewhelpsbring greaterfocus to the resectionof a library. Many abthe reference question. search as stracts indexservices well asERICareavailor



able via computer access, which speedsthe process. search Abstracts indexes publishedon a regor are ular basis(monthly, six times ayear, etc.) and allowa reader look up articles authorname to by or subject. The journalscovered the abstract by or index arelistedin it, often in the front. An index, such as the SocialSciences Index, lists only the citation, whereas an abstract, such as Sociological Abstracts, the citation and hasa lists copy of the article'sabstract.Abstractsdo not giveyou all the findingsand detailsofa research project.Researchers abstracts screen use to articlesfor relevance, then locatethe more relevant articles. Abstracts may alsoinclude paperspresented professional at meetings. It may sound asif all you haveto do is to go find the index in the reference sectionof the iibraryor on the Internetandlook up a topic.Unfortunately,things are more complicatedthan that. In order to coverthe studiesacross many years, mayhaveto lookthrough manyissues you ofthe abstracts indexes. or AIso,the subjects or topicslistedarebroad.Thespecific research question that interests you may fit into several subject areas. You shouldcheckeachone.For example, for the topic of illegal drugs in high schools, you might look up thesesubjects:drug addiction, drug abuse,substance abuse,drug laws,illegal drugs, highschools, secondary and schools. Many of the articlesunder a subjectareawill not be relevantfor your literaturereyiew.Also, thereis a 3to l2-month time lagbetween publicationof the an article and its appearance the abstractsor in indexes.Unlessyou are at a major research library the most usefrrlarticlemay not be available in your library. You canobtain it only by usingan interlibrary loan service, it may be in a foreign or language that you do not read. The computerizedliterature searchworks on the same principle asan abstract an index. or Researchers organize computerizedsearches in several ways-by author,by articletitle, by subject, or by keyword.A keyword an important is term for a topic that is likely to be found in a title. You will want to usesix to eightkeywords in

most computer-based searchesand consider several synonyms. The computer's searching method can vary and most only look for a keyword in a title or abstract. If you choosetoo few words or very narrow terms, you will miss a lot of relevant articles. If you choose too many words or very broad terms, you will get a huge number of irrelevant articles. The best way to learn the appropriate breadth and number of keyr,vordsis by trial and error. In a study I conducted on how college students definesexualharassmen(Neuman,1992), f I used the following keywords: sexual harassment, sexual assault, harassment,gender equity, genderfaimess, and sexdiscrimination.I later discovered a few important studies that lacked any of these keywords in their titles. I also tried the keywords collegestudent and rape, but got huge numbers of unrelated articles that I could not even skim. There are numerous computer-assisted search databasesor systems.A person with a computer and an Internet hook-up can search some article index collections, the catalogsof libraries, and other information sources around the globe if they are available on the Internet. All computerized searchingmethods share a similar logic, but eachhas its own method of operation to learn. In my study, I looked for sourcesin the previous sevenyears and used five computerized databasesof scholarly literature: Social ScienceIndex, CARL (Colorado Area ResearchLibrary), Sociofile,Social ScienceCitation Index, andPsychlit. Often, the same articles will appear in multiple scholarly literature databases,but each database may identifi' a few new articles not found in the others. For example, I discovered seyeralexcellent sources not listed in any ofthe computerized databases that had been published in earlier years by studying the bibliographies of the relevant articles. The process in my study was fairly typical. Basedon mykeyword search,I quickly skimmed or scanned the titles or abstracts of over 200 sources.From these, I selectedabout 80 articles,



reports,and booksto read.I found about 49 of valuable,and they appearin the the 80 sources bibliographyof the publishedarticle. Books. Finding scholarlybooks on a Scholarly subjectcanbe difficult. The subjecttopicsof liand systems usuallyincomplete are brary catalog list only too broad to be usefirl.Moreover,they albooksthat arein a particularlibrary system, libraries other thoughyou maybe ableto search for interlibrary loan books. Libraries organize booksby call numbersbasedon subjectmatter. may matterclassifications not Again,the subject you or all the of reflectthe subjects interestto in subjects discussed a book. Onceyou learnthe systemfor your library, you will find that most bookson a topic will share main partsof the the callnumber.In addition,librarianscanhelpyou locatebooksfrom other libraries.For example, National Union Catalog the Library of Congress Lilistsall booksin the U.S.Libraryof Congress. to that list booksat brarianshaveaccess sources other libraries,or you can use the Internet. There is no sure-fire way to locate relevant includinga methods, books.Usemultiple search journalsthat havebook reviewsand the look at of bibliographies articles. Taking Notes literature, it is As you gatherthe relevantresearch easyto feel overwhelmedby the quantity of infor formation,soyou needa system takingnotes. The old-fashionedapproachis to write notes You thenshift andsortthenote onto indexcards. cards,placethem in piles, and so forth as you an amongthem or develop look for connections outline for a report or paper.This method still works. Today,however,most peopleusewordprocessing softwareand gatherphotocopiesor printed versions manyarticles. of As you discoversources, is a good ideato it createtvvokinds of files for your note cardsor computer documents: a Source File and a File.Recordall the bibliographicinforContent mation for eachsourcein the SourceFile, even

though you may not use someand later erase bibthem. Do not forgetanythingin a complete number or the liographiccitation,suchasa page name of the secondauthor; you will regret it you do not to a later.It is far easier erase source usethan to try to locatebibliographicinformayou discover that you need tion laterfor a source or from which you forgot one detail. I recommendcreatingtwo kinds of Source Files, dividea masterfile into two parts:Hatte or File and Potential File. The Have File is for that you havefound and for which you sources havealreadytakencontentnotes.The Potentiaf File is for leadsand possiblenew sourcesthat you haveyet to track down or read.You canadd a to the PotentialFile anytimeyou comeacross new sourceor in the bibliographyof something you read.Towardthe end ofwriting a report,the while the HaveFile PotentialFile will disappear your bibliography. will become go Your note cardsor computerdocuments into the ContentFile.This file containssubstantive information of interestfrom a source'usually its major findings, detailsof methodology, definitionsofconcepts,or interestingquotes.If you directlyquotefrom a sourceor want to take some specificinformation from a source'you needto record the specificpagenumber(s) on which the quote appears.Link the files by putting key sourceinformation, suchasauthor and date,on eachcontentfile.

What to Record. You will find it much easier to takeall noteson the sametlpe and sizeof paper or card, rather than having somenoteson ofpapers,otherson cards,and so on. Resheets what to recordaboutan have searchers to decide It article,book, or othersource. is betterto err in the directionof recordingtoo much ratherthan too little. In general,record the hlpotheses the weremeasured, tested,how major concepts main findings,the basicdesignof the research the group or sampleused,and ideasfor future the Box4.2).It is wiseto examine restudy(see port's bibliography and note sourcesthat you canadd to your search.



takegood notes,you may haveto rereadthe en_ tire articlelater.
1. Readwith a clearpurposeor goal in mind.Are you reading basic for knowledge to applyit to or a specific question? 2. Skimthe articlebeforereadingit all.What can you learnfrom the title, abstract, summarv and conclusions, headings? and What arethe lopic, majorfindings, method,and mainconclusion? 3. Consider your own orientation. What is your biastowardthe topic,the method, publica_ the tion source, and so on, that may color your reading? 4. Marshalexternalknowledge. What do you al_ ready know about the topic and the methods used?Howcredible the publication is source? 5. Evaluate you readthe article. as Whaterrorsare present? findings Do followthe data?ls the ar_ ticle consistent with assumptions the ap_ of proachit takes? 6. Summarize information an abstractwith the as topic, the methodsused,and the findings. As_ sessthe factualaccuracyof findingsand cite questions about the article. Source: Adapted Katzer, from (l Cook, Crouch 99-|: and 199-207\.

OrganizeNotes. After gatheringa largenum_ ber ofreferencesand notes,you need in o.gu_ nizing scheme. One approach is to group studiesor specificfindings by skimming-notes and creatinga mental map of how they"fit to_ gether.Try severalorganizingschemes before settlingon a final one. Organiiing is a skill that improves with practice. For example,place notesinto piles representing common themes, or draw charts comparingwhat different re_ ports state about the same question,noting agreements disagreements. and In the process organizingnotes,you will of find that somereferences and notes do not fit and shouldbe discarded irrelevant.Also,you as may discovergapsor areasand topics that are relevantbut that you did not examine. This ne_ cessitates return visitsto the library. There are many organizingschemes. The bestone depends the p.rrpor. of the review. on Usually,it is best to organize reports around a specificresearch questionor around core com_ mon findingsof a field and the main hlpotheses tested. Writing the Review A literaturereviewrequiresplanning and good, clearwriting, which requiresa lot o?rewrlting. This stepis often mergedwith organizingnotes. All the rules of good writing (e.g.,clearirgani_ zationalstructure,an introduction and coiclu_ sion,transitionsbetween sections, etc.)applyto writing a literaturereview.Keepyour p.r.por", in mind when you write, and communlicate clearlyand effectively. To preparea good review,readarticlesand other literaturecritically.Recallthat skepticism is a norm of science. meansthat you should It not accept what is written simply on the basisof the authorityof its havingbeen published. eues_ tion what you read, and evaluateit. The first hurdle to overcome thinking something is must beperfectjust because hasbeenpublish"ed. it

Photocopying relevantarticles reports all or .,. will saveyou time recordingnotesand will en_ sure that you will have an entire report. Also, you canmakenoteson the photocopy. Thereare several warningsabout this practici. First, pho_ tocoppng canbe expensive a largeliterature for search. Second, awareofand obeycopyright be l^aws. U.S. copyrightlaws permit photocobt'ng for personalresearch use.Third, rememberto r.1o1d pfotocopy the entirearricle,including 9r all citation information. Fourth, organizingen_ tire articles be cumbersome, can especially iisev_ eral-differentparts of a singlearticle are being used.Finally, unlessyou highlight carefullyor




Critically readingresearch reports requires skillsthat taketime and practiceto develop. Despitea peer-review procedure and high rejection rates,errorsand sloppylogic slip in. Readcarefi.rIly see whetherthe introduction andtitle reto ally fit with the rest of the article. Sometimes, titles,abstracts, the introduction aremisleador ing. Theymaynot fully explainthe research project's method and results.An article shouldbe logically tight, and all the parts should fit together.Stronglogicallinks shouldexistbetween partsof the argument. Weakarticlesmakeleaps in logic or omit transitionalsteps. Likewise, articles do not alwaysmake their theory or approachto research explicit.Be preparedto read the article more than once. (SeeFigure 4.2 on taking noteson an article.) What a Good Review Looks Like An author should communicatea revier,r/s purposeto the reader its organization.The by wrong way to write a reviewis to list a series research of reportswith a summaryof the findingsof each. This failsto communicate sense purpose.It a of readsas a set of notesstrungtogether.Perhaps the reviewer sloppyand skippedoverthe imgot portant organizingstep in writing the review. The right way to write a review is to organize commonfindingsor arguments Awelltogether. accepted approach to address mostimporis the tant ideasfirst, to logically link statements or findings,andto notediscrepancies weaknesses or (see in the research Box 4.3for an example).

sources. The Internet continuesto expandand rate. change an explosive at The Internet hasbeena mixed blessing for socialresearch, it has not proved to be the but panaceathat somepeoplefirst thought it might be. It providesnew and important waysto find information,but it remainsonetool amongothers.It can quickly make somespecificpieces of information accessible. example,from my For homecomputer,I wasableto go to the U.S.Federal Bureauof Prisonsand in lessthan three minuteslocatea tableshowingme that in 1980, per 139people 100,000 wereincarcerated the' in 1n2004(the most recent United States, whereas data available), was 486 per 100,000. it The Internet is bestthought of asa supplement rather than asa replacement traditional library refor search, Thereare "up" and "down" sidesto using the Internet for socialresearch: TheUp Siile

1. The Internet is easy, fast,and cheap. is It widelyaccessible canbe usedfrom manyloand This near-free resource cations. allowspeopleto find source materialfrom almostanywhere-local public libraries,homes,labs or classrooms or anlwherea computeris connected the Into Also, the Internet doesnot close; ternet system. it operates hours a day, sevendaysa week. 24 With minimal training,most peoplecanquickly perform searches get information on their and computer screens that would have required them to take a major trip to large research librariesa fewyears ago.Searching vastquantity a of information electronicallyhas alwaysbeen easier and fasterthan a manual search, and the USING THE INTERNET FOR Internetgreatlyexpands amount andvariety the SOCIAL RESEARCH of sourcematerial.More and more information (e.g.,Statistical Abstractof the United Sitates) is The Internet (seeBox 4.4) has revolutionized available the Internet. In addition, oncethe on how socialresearchers work. A meredecade ago, information is located,a researcher often can it wasrarelyused;today,most socialresearchers storeit electronically print it at a local site. or usethe Internet regularlyto help them review the literature, to communicatewith other re2. The Internethas"links" that provideadsearchers, to searchfor other information and ditional waysto find and connectto many other



FI G URE 4.2

Example Notes on an Article of

Bearman, Peter, Hannah and Biickner. 2001. "Promising Future: the Virginity Pledges and Firstlntercourse."mericaJournal SociologSr 5 :8 5 9 - 9 12. (Ja ry, issue A n of 10 nua no.4).

NOTECARD(CONTENT F|LE) Bearman Biickner and 200.1 Topics: Teenpregnancy sexuality, & pledges,/promises, virginity, rst sexual fi intercourse, Baptists, S. identitymovement

SinceI 993, the Southern Baptist Church sponsored movement a amongteens whereby teensmake public the a pledge remain to virgins untilmarriage. Over2.5 million teenshavemadethe pledge. Thisstudyexamines whether pledge the affectedthe timingof sexual intercourse whetherpledging and teensdifferfrom nonpledging teens.Criticsof the movement uncomfortable are with it because pledgesupporters often rejectsexeducation, hold an overlyromanticized viewof marriage, adhere traditional and to gender roles. Hypothesis Adolescents engage behavior will in that adultsenjoy but that is forbiddento thembased the amount social on of controls that constrain opportunities ento gagein forbidden behavior. Teens nontraditional in families greater with freedom and less supervision morelikely engage forbidden are to in behavior (sex). Teens in traditional families who are closer their parents delaysexual and to will activity. Teens closely tied to "identitymovements" outside family modifybethe will haviorbased normsthe movements on teach. Method Dataarefroma national health survey U.S. of teensin grades 7-12 whowerein pu bl i cor pr iv at e c hools 1 9 9 4 -1 9 9 5 . A to ta l o f 9 0 ,0 00 studentsn ' l 4l s in i schools completed questionnaires. secondquestionnaire completed A was by 20,000 of the 90,000 students. The questionnaire asked about a pledge, importanceof religion, and sexual activity. Findings The study found a substantial delay in the timing of first intercourse amont pledgers. Yet, the effectof pledging varies the age of the teen.In addition, by pledging onlyworksin some social contexts (i.e., it where is at leastpartially soa cialnorm).Pledgers tend to be morereligious, developed less physically, from and moretraditional social andfamily backgrounds.



Exampleof Bad Review Sexual harassment manyconsequences. has Adams, Kottke,and Padgitt(1 983) foundthat some women students saidthey avoided takinga class working or with certainprofessors because ofthe riskof harassment. Theyalsofoundthat menandwomen students reacteddifferently. Their research was a surveyof I ,000 menandwomen graduate undergraduate and students.Bensonand Thomson's study in Social Problems 982) lists many problems (1 createdby sexual harassment. their excellent In book,TheLecherousProfessor, Dziechand Weiner ('l 990) give a long list of difficulties that victimshavesuffered. Researchers study the topic in different ways. Hunterand McClelland 991) conducted study (1 a of undergraduates a small at liberal artscollege. They had a sampleof 300 studentsand studentswere givenmultiple vignettes that varied the reaction by of the victim and the situation.Jaschik and Fretz (l 991 ) showed womenstudents a mideastern 90 at university videotape a with a classic example sexof ualharassment a teaching by assistant. Before was it labeledas sexual harassment, women called it few that. Whenasked whetherit wassexual harassment, 98 percent agreed. Weber-Burdin Rossi 982) and (1 replicateda previousstudy on sexualharassment, only they usedstudents the University Massaat of chusetts. They had 59 studentsrate 40 hypothetical situations. Reilley, Carpenter, Dull,and Bartlett (1 982) conducted studyof250 female a and 1 50 maleundergraduates the University California at of at SantaBarbara. Theyalsohad a sample 52 facof ulty. Both samples completeda questionnaire in whichrespondents werepresented vignettes ofsexual-harassing situationsthat they were to rate. Popovich and Colleagues 985) createda nine(1 item scaleof sexual harassment. Thev studied209

undergraduates a medium-sized at universityin groupsof I 5 to 25. They foun{ disagreement and confusion amongstudents. Exampleof Better Review

The victimsof sexualharassment suffera rangeof consequences, lowered from self-esteem lossof and self-confidence withdrawal to fromsocial interaction changed careergoals,and depression (Adams, Kot-, tke, and P adgi tt,1983; B ensonand Thomson 1982; Dziechand Weiner,1990). For example Adams, Kottke,and Padgitt(1 983) noted that I 3 percentofwomenstudents saidthey avoided taking a class working or with certainprofessors because of the riskof harassment. Research into campussexualharassment has taken several approaches. additionto surveyre: In search, many haveexperimented with vignettesor presented hypothetical scenarios (Hunterand McClelland,991 ;Jaschik Fretz, 991 ; Popovich 1 and 1 et al., 1987; Reilley, Carpenter,Dull, and Barlett, 'l 982; Rossi andAnderson,1982; Valentine-Fren andRadtke, 989;Weber-Burdin Rossi, 982). I and 1 Victimverbalresponses situational and factors.appearto affectwhetherobservers labela behavior as harassment. Thereis confusion overthe application ofa sexual harassment for inappropriate label behavior.Forexample,Jaschikand (1 99.1 foundthat Fretz ) only 3 percentof the womenstudentsshown,a videotapewith a classic example sexualharassof ment by a teaching assistant initiallylabeled as it sexual harassmer,rt. Instead,they called it "sexist," "rude," "unprofessional," "demeaning." or When asked whetherit wassexual harassment, percent 98 agreed. Roscoe and colleagues 987) reported (1 similar labeling difficulties.

sources of information. Many websites, home pages, and other Internet resource pages have "hot links" that can call up information from related sites or sources simply by clicking on the

link indicator (usuallya button or a highlighted word or phrase).This connects peopleto more information and provides"instant" access to cross-referenced material. Links make embed-




ficulty publishingor disseminating their materialscannow do sowith ease.
The Internetis not a single thingin one place. Rather, the Internetis a systemor interconnected web of computers aroundthe world. lt is changing very rapidly. cannotdescribe I everything the Internet; on manylargebooksattemptto do that. Plus, evenif I tried,it wouldbe out of date in sixmonths. The Internetis changing, a powerful in way,how manypeoplecommunicate share and information. The Internet provideslow-cost (often free), worldwide, communication fast amongpeoplewith computers betweenpeoplewith computers or and information the computers organizations in of (e.g., universities, governmentagencies,businesses). Thereare special hardware and software requirements, the Internetpotentially transmit but can electronicversions text material, to entirebooks, of up as wellas photos, music, video, andotherinformation. To get onto the Internet, person a needs acan countin a computer that is connected the Interto net. Most college mainframecomputers are connected, manybusiness government or computers areconnected, individuals modems purand with can chase connection a from an Internetservice orovider that provides access over telephone lines, special DSL lines, cable or television lines. addition a miIn to crocomputer, personneedsonly a little knowlthe edgeaboutusing computers.

4. The Internet is the provider of a very wide rangeof information sources, somein formats that are more dynamic and interesting. It can send and be a resourcefor more than straight black and white text, as in traditional journals and sources. transmitsinacademic It formation in the form of bright colors,graphics, "action" images,audio (e.g., music, voices, photos,and video clips.Authors and sounds), other creators information canbe creative of in their presentations. TheDownSide 1. Thereis no qualitycontrol overwhat gets on the Internet.Unlike standardacademic publications,thereis no peer-review process any or review.Anyone can put almost ani,thing on a website. maybe poor quality,undocumented, It highly biased, totally madeup, or plain fraudulent. Thereis a lot of real"trash" out there!Once a personfinds material,the real work is to distinguish the "trash" from valid information. Oneneeds treat a webpage to with the same caution that one appliesto a paper flyer someone handsout on the street; could containthe driit vel of a "nut" or be reallyvaluableinformation. problemis that the "glitz" ofbright A less serious colors,music, or moving imagesfound in sites can distract unsophisticated users.The " glitz" may attract them more than seriouscontent, and they may confuseglitz for high-caliberinformation. The Internet is better designed a for quick look and short attentionspans ratherthan the slow,deliberative, carefulreadingand stuoy ofcontent. 2. Many excellent sources and someof the most important resourcematerials(research studiesand data) for social researchare not available the Internet (e.g.,Sociofile, on GSS datafiles, and recentjournal articles). Much information is available only through special subscription services that can be expensive.

ding one source within a network of related sourceseasy. 3. The Internet speedsthe flow of information around the globe and has a "democratizing" effect. It provides rapid transmission of information (e.g.,text, news, data, and photos) across long distances and international borders. Instead of waiting a week for a report or having to send offfor a foreign publication and wait for a month, the information is often availablein seconds at no cost. There are virtually no restrictions on who can put material on the Internet or what appearson it, so many people who had dif-



Contrary to popular belief, the Internet has not made all information free and accessible to everyone. Often, what is free is limited, and firller information is available only to those who pay. In fact, because some libraries redirected funds to buy computers for the Internet and cut the purchasesfor books and paper copies ofdocuments, the Internet's overall impact may have actually reduced what is availablefor some users. 3. Finding sources on the Internet can be very difficult and time consuming. It is not easy to locate specific source materials. Also, different "search engines" can produce very different results. It is wise to use multiple search engines (e.g., Yahoo, Excite, and Google), since they work differently. Most search engines simply look for specific words in a short description of the webpage.This description maynot revealthe fiJl content of the source, just as a title does not frrlly tell what a book or article is about. In addition, search engines often come up with tens of thousands of sources,far too many for anyone to examine. The ones at the "top" may be there becausethey were recently added to the Internet or becausetheir short description had severalversions of the searchword. The "best" or most relevant source might be buried as the 150th item found in a search. Also, one must often wade through a lot of commercials and advertisements to locate "real" information. 4. Internet sources can be "unstable" and difficult to document. After one conducts a searchon the Internet and locateswebpageswith information, it is important to note the specific "address" (usually it starts http:i/) where it resides.This addressrefers to an electronic file sitting in a computer somewhere. If the computer file is moved, it may not be at the same address two months later. Unlike a journal article that will be stored on a shelf or on microfiche in hundreds of libraries for many decadesto come and available for anyone to read, webpages can quickly vanish. This means it may not be possible to check someone's web referenceseasily, verifr a quote in a document, or go back to orig-

inal materials and read them for ideasor to build on them. Also, it is easyto copy, modifr, or distort, then reproduce copies ofa source. For example, a person could alter a text passageor a photo image then create a new webpage to disseminate the falseinformation. This raisesissues about coplright protection and the authenticity of source material. There are few rules for locating the best sites on the Internet-ones that have useful and truthful information. Sources that originate at universities, research institutes, or government agencies usually are more trustworthy for research purposes than ones that are individual home pagesof unspecified origin or location, or that a commercialorganization or a politicalisocial issue advocacy group sponsors. In addition to moving or disappearing, many webpages or sourcesfail to provide complete information to make citation easy.Better sourcesprovide fuller or more complete information about the author, date, location, and so on. As you prepare a review of the scholarly literature and more narrowly focus a topic, you should be thinking about how to design a study. The specifics of design can vary somewhat depending on whether your study will primarily employ a quantitative-deductive-positivist approach or a qualitative-inductive-interpretive/ critical approach. The two approacheshave a great deal in common and mutually complement one another, but there severalplaceswhere "branches in the path" of designing a study diverge depending on the approach you adopt.


differ in Qualitative and quantitative research manyways, they complementeachother,as but systematically collect well. All socialresearchers and anallze empirical data and carefirlly examine the patternsin them to understandand exbefiveen plain sociallife. One of the differences




the two stylescomes from the nature of the data. Soft data, in the form of impressions,words, sentences, photos, symbols, and so forth, dictate different research strategies and data collection techniques thanhard data, inthe form of numbers. Another difference is that qualitative and quantitative researchersoften hold different assumptions about social life and have different objectives. These differences can make tools used by the other sryle inappropriate or irrelevant. People who judge qualitative research by standards ofquantitative researchare often disappointed, and vice versa.It is best to appreciate the strengths each style offers. To appreciatethe strengths ofeach style, it is important to understand the distinct orientations of researchers.Qualitative researchersoften rely on interpretive or critical social science, follow a nonlinear researchpath, and speak a language of "casesand contexts." They emphasize conducting detailed examinations of cases that arise in the natural flow of social life. They usually try to present authentic interpretations that are sensitive to specific social-historical contexts. Almost all quantitative researchersrely on a positivist approach to social science.They follow a linear researchpath, speaka language of"variables and hypotheses," and emphasize precisely measuring variables and testing hypothesesthat are linked to general causalexplanations. Researchers who use one style alone do not always communicate well with those using the other, but the languagesand orientations ofthe styles are mutually intelligible. It takes time and effort to understand both srylesand to seehow they can be complementary. Linear and Nonlinear Paths follow a path when conducting reResearchers search.The path is a metaphor for the sequence of things to do: what is finished first or where a researcherhas been, and what comes next or where he or she is going. The path may be well worn and marked with signposts where many

have trod. Alternatively, it may other researchers be a new path into unknown territory where few others have gone, and without signsmarking the direction forward. In general, quantitative researchersfollow a more linear path than do qualitative researchers. path follows a fixed sequenceof Alinear research steps;it is like a staircaseleading in one clear direction. It is a way of thinking and a way of looking at issues-the direct, narrow, straight path that is most common in western European and North American culture. Qualitative research is more nonlinear and cyclical. Rather than moving in a straight line, a path makes successivepasses nonlineqr research through steps,sometimes movingbackward and sidewaysbefore moving on. It is more of a spiral, moving slowly upward but not directly. With eachcycle or repetition, a researchercollectsnew data and gains new insights. People who are used to the direct, linear approach maybe impatient with a lessdirect cyclical path. From a strict linear perspective, a cyclical path looks inefficient and sloppy. But the diffuse cyclical approach is not merely disorganized, undefined chaos.It can be highly effective for creating a feeling for the whole, for grasping subtle shades of meaning, for pulling together divergent information, and for switching perspectives.It is not an excuse for doing poorquality research,and it has its own discipline and rigor. It borrows devicesfrom the humanities (e.g., metaphor, analogy, theme, motif, and irony) and is oriented toward constructing meaning. A cyclical path is suited for tasks such astranslating languages,where delicate shadesof meaning, subtle connotations, or contextual distinctions can be important. Preplanned and Emergent Research

Questions Your first stepwhen beginninga research project is to selecta topic. There is no formula for this task.Whetheryou are an experienced researcher just beginning, bestguideis to or the




on conductresearch somethingthat interests you. with a topic but a topic is begins All research must naronly a startingpoint that researchers question.Qualitarow into a focusedresearch tend to adopt tive and quantitativeresearchers to differentapproaches turn a topic to a focused questionfor a specificstudy. Qualitaresearch often begin with vagueor untive researchers clear researchquestions.The topic emerges often slowly during the study. The researchers with the question on combinefocusing a specific processof decidingthe detailsof study design that occurs while they are gathering data. By narrow a topic researchers quantitative contrast, into a focusedquestion as a discreteplanning Theyuseit studydesign. stepbeforeth ey finalize a of asa stepin the process developing testable later) and to guide hypothesis(to be discussed beforethey collectany data' the studydesign The qualitative researchstyle is flexible and the slowlyfocusing topic throughout encourages only a study.In contrastto quantitativeresearch, a smallamount of topic narrowingoccursin an planning stage,and most of the early research has narrowingoccursaftera researcher begunto collectdata. beginsdatagathThe qualitativeresearcher ering with a generaltopic and notions of what will be relevant.Focusingand refining continsomeof the data uesafterhe or shehasgathered Qualitativereand startedpreliminaryanalysis. use searchers earlydatacollectionto guidehow question(s) the theyadjustand sharpen research they rarelyknow the most important isbecause suesor questionsuntil after they becomefully a immersedin the data.Developing focusedresearchquestionis a part of the data collection reactively during which the researcher process, flects on and developspreliminary interpretais tions. The qualitative researcher open to unanticipateddata and constantlyreevaluates the focusearlyin a study.He or sheis prepared and follow to changethe direction of research newlinesof evidence.

Typical researchquestionsfor qualitative include:How did a certaincondition researchers How is the condisituation originate? or social maintainedover time?What are tion/situation by the processes which a condition/situation type A or develops, operates? difFerent changes, or beliefs astriesto confirm existing ofquestion sumptions.A last type of questiontries to discovernew ideas. around reprojectsare designed Research a designing Before problemsor questions. search focuson a speproject,quantitativeresearchers problemwithin a broad topic. For cific research might sugyour personalexperience example, gestlabor unions asa topic. "Labor unions" is a questionor a problem. In topic, not a research large library, you will find hundreds of any written by sociof booksand thousands articles management historians,economists, ologists, political scientists, and others on officials, focuson different unions.Thebooksand articles of the topic and adoptmanyperspectives aspects to o.r it. B.fot" proceeding designa research project, you must narrow and focus the topic. question is, "How much An exampleresearch U.S.labor unions contributeto racial indid equalityby creatingbarriers to skilled jobs for African Americansin the post-World War II period?" on When startingresearch a topic, askyouris it aboutthe topic that is of greatest self:What For interest? a topic aboutwhich you know little, get background knowledge by reading first questionsrefer to the relaabout it. Research among a small number of variables. tionships and Identify a limited number of variables specamongthem' relationships ifi' the has question oneor a smallnumA research Box 4.5 lists some relationships. ber of causal question. focus a topic into a research waysto dithe question,"What causes For example' A question. better not a goodresearch vorce?"is questionis, "Is ageat marriageassociresearch ated with divorce?"The secondquestion sugage gests variables: of marriageand divorce. two



Another technique for focusing a research question is to specify the uniyerseto which the answer to the question can be generalized.All re_ search questions, hypotheses,and studies apply published 1. Examine literature. the articlesare an to some group or category of people, orgunbu_ excellent source ideas research of for questions. tions, or other units. The universeis the set of alt areusually an appropriate at levei speci_ units of ]hey that the researchcovers, or to which it can ficity and suggest research questions that focus be generalized.For example,your researchques_ on the following: tion is about the ef[ectsof a new attendance ool_ a. Replicate previous a research projectexactly icy on learning by high school students.The or with slightvariations. universe, in this case,is all high school students. b. Exploreunexpected findingsdiscovered in \Mhen refining a topic into a researchques_ previous research. tion-and designing a research project, yor-ralso c. Follow suggestions authorgives future an for need to consider practical limitations. Designing research the end of an article. at a perfect researchproject is an interestingicad_ d. Extend existing an emic€xercise, but if you expect to carry out a re_ explanation theoryto a or newtopic or setting. searchproject, practical limitations wijl have an impact on its design. e. Challenge findings attemptto refutea re_ or lationship. Major limitations include time, costs,access to resources, approval by authorities, ethical f. Specify intervening the process consider and concerns, and expertise. Ifyou have 10 hours a linkingrelations. week for five weeks to conduct a research Droi_ 2. Talkoverideas withothers. ect, but the answer to a research question will a. Ask peoplewho are knowledgeable about take five years,reformulate the researchquestion the topic for questions about it that thev more narrowly. Estimating the amount of time havethought of. required to answer a research question is difE_ b. Seek thosewho hold opinions out that differ cult.'The research question spicified, the re_ fromyourson the topic anddiscuss possible search technique used, and the type of data research questions with them. collected all play significant roles. ixperienced 3. Applyto a specific context. researchers the best source ofgood estimates. are a. Focus topic onto a specific the pe_ historical Cost is another limitation. As with time, riod or time period. there are inventive ways to answer a question b. Narrowthe topic to a specific within limitations, but it may be impoisible to societyor ge_ ographic unit. answ€r some questions because of the expense involved. For example, a research question c. Consider whichsubgroups categories or of people,/units involved whether about the attitudesof all sports fans toward their are and there are differences team mascot can be answered only with a great amongthem. investment of time and money. Narrowin! the 4. Define aimor desired the outcome thestudy. of researchquestion to how students at two dfuer_ a. Will the research questionbe for an ex_ ent collegesfeel about their mascotsmight make ploratory, expla natory,or descriptive study? it more manageable. b. Will the study involve appliedor basicre_ Accessto resourcesis a common limitation. search? Resources can include the expertise of others, specialequipment, or information. For example, a research question about burglary rates and

family income in many different nations is almost impossible answerbecause to information on burglaryandincomeis not collected availor ablefor most countries. Somequestions require the approvalof authorities(e.g.,to seemedical records)or involveviolatingbasicethicalprinciples(e.g., causing serious physical harm to a person to seethe person'sreaction).The expertise or backgroundof the researcher alsoa limitais tion. Answeringsome research questionsinvolvesthe use of data collectiontechniques, statistical methods,knowledgeof a foreignlanguage, skillsthat the researcher not have. or may Unlessthe researcher acquirethe necessary can training or canpayfor anotherperson's services, the research questionmay not be practical. In summary styles qualitativeand quanof titative researchers havemuch in common, but the researchers often differ on designissues, suchastakinga linearor nonlinearresearch path and developinga research question (seeTable

4.1).In addition,researchers to adopta diftend ferent language and approachto study design, which we will considernext.

QUALITATIVE DESIGN ISSUES The Languageof Casesand Contexts

use of Qualitativeresearchers a language cases and contexts, examine social processes cases and in their socialcontext, and look at interpretations or the creationof meaningin specificsettings. They try look at sociallife from multiple points ofview and explainhow peopleconstruct identities.Only rarely do they usevariablesor testhypotheses, try to convertsociallife into or numbers. see Qualitativeresearchers most areasand activities sociallife asbeingintrinsicallyqualof itative.To them, qualitativedataarenot imprecise or deficient; they are highly meaningful.

TA B T E 4. ' I

versusQualitativeResearch QuantitativeReasearch

Test hypothesis that the researcher beginswith. Concepts in the form of distinctvariables. are Measures systematically are createdbeforedata collection arestandardized. and Dataare in the form of numbers from precise measuremenL Theoryis largelycausal and is deductive. Procedures standard, are and replication is assumeo. Analysis proceeds usingstatistics, by tables,or chartsand discussing what they showrelates how to hypotheses.

Captureand discover meaning oncethe researcher becomes immersed the data. in Concepts in the form of themes, are motifs, generalizations, taxonomies. and Measures created an ad hoc manner are are in and often specific the individual to settingor researcher. Dataare in the form of wordsand images from documents, observations, transcripts. and Theorycan be causal noncausal is often or and inductive. procedures particular, replication Research are and is very rare. proceeds extracting Analysis by themesor generalizations evidence organizing from and data to presenta coherent, picture. consistent



contextfor understanding social the world. They hold that the meaningof a socialactionor state_ ment depends, an important way,on the conin text in which it appears. When a researcher removesan event,socialaction, answerto a question,or conversation from the socialcon_ text in which it appears, ignoresthe context, or socialmeaningand significance distorted. are Attention to socialcontext meansthat a qualitative researcher noteswhat camebeforeor what surroundsthe focus of study. It also im_ pliesthat the sameevents behaviors have or can Grounded Theory different meaningsin different culturesor his_ A qualitativeresearcher develops theory during torical eras. example, For insteadof ignoringthe the datacollectionprocess. This more inductive context and counting votesacross time or cul_ method meansthat theory is built from dataor tures)a qualitativeresearcher asks:What does groundedin the data.Moreover,conceptualiza- voting meanin the context? He or shemay treat tion and operationalization occur simultane- the same behavior(e.g., voting for a presidential ouslywith datacollectionand preliminarv dara candidate)differently depending on the social analysis.It makesqualitative iesearchflexible context in which it occurs. eualitative reand letsdataand theoryinteract.eualitative researchers placeparts of sociallife into a larger searchers remain open to the unexpected, are whole. Otherwise, meaningof the part niay the willing to change direction or focusof a rethe be lost. For example, is hard to understand it search project, and may abandontheir original what a baseball gloveis without knowins someresearch questionin the middle of a project. thing about the gameof baseball. the r.,ihole of A qualitativeresearcher builds theory by the game-innings, bats,curveballs,hits-gives making comparisons. example, For when a remeaningto eachpart, and eachpart without the searcher observes event(e.g.,a police officer an wholehaslittle meaninc. confronting speeding a motorist),he or sheimmediatelypondersquestions and looks for simThe Case and Process ilaritiesand differences. When watchinga police officer stop a speeder, qualitative researcher In quantitativeresearch, a cases usuallythe are asksjDoesthe police officer always radio in the sameasa unit of analysis, the unit on which or

Insteadof trying to convertsociallife into variables numbers, or qualitative researchers borrow ideas from the peoplethey studyand placethem within the contextof a natural setting.They examinemotifs,themes, distinctions, and ideas insteadofvariables,and they adopt the inductive approach grounded of theory. Some peoplebelieve that qualitative dataare "soft," intangible,and immaterial.Suchdataare so fuzzy and elusive that researchers cannot really capturethem. This is not necessarily the case. Qualitativedata are empirical.They involve documentingreal events, recordingwhat people (with words,gestures, tone),obsay and servingspecific behaviors, studyingwritten doc_ uments,or examiningvisual images. Theseare all concreteaspects the world. For example, of some qualitativeresearchers take and cloiely scrutinize photosor videotapes ofpeopleor social events. This evidence just as "hird,, and is physicalasthat usedby quaniitativeresearchers to measureattitudes,social pressure, intelli_ gence, the like. and

car's license number before proceeding?After radioing the car's location, does the officer ask the motorist to get out of the car sometimes, but in others casually walk up to the car and talk to the seateddriver? When data collection and the_ orizing are interspersed, theoretical questions arise that suggestfuture observations, so new data are tailored to answer theoretical questions that came from thinking about previorri dutu.

The Context ls Critical researchers Qualitative emphasize social the

(discussed later). Quanare variables measured of variables typicallymeasure titativeresearchers For many cases. examacross their hypotheses a conducts surveyof450 indiple,ifa researcher individual is a caseor unit on viduals. each variables. which he or shemeasures Qualitative apto use a "case-oriented tend researchers center places not cases, variables, proach [that] a stage"(Ragin ,1992:5).They examine wide vaTheir analyofone or a fewcases. riety ofaspects in contingencies "messy''natural sesemphasize (i.e.,the co-occurrence manyspecific of settings in oneplaceandtime). Explafactorsand events are nationsor interpretations complexand may unfoldingplot or a narrative be in the form of an story about particularpeopleor specificevents. reRich detail and astuteinsight into the cases ofpreanalysis statistical placethe sophisticated across huge number of units or a cisemeasures found in quantitativeresearch. cases of The passage time is integralto qualitative look at the seresearch. Qualitativeresearchers pay attentionto what hapquence ofeventsand pens first, second,third, and so on. Because examinethe samecaseor qualitative researchers over time, they can seean issue set of cases or a evolve, conflict emerge, a socialrelationship and can develop.The researcher detectprocess relations. causal of the In historicalresearch, passage time In field research' may involveyearsor decades. in of the passage time is shorter.Nevertheless, at difnoteswhat is occurring both, a researcher that when ferent points in time and recognizes important. somethingoccursis often

givesmeaningby rearranging, tative researcher textualor visualdata examining,and discussing an in a way that conveys authenticvoice,or that of remainstrue to the original understandings that he or shestudied. the peopleand situations and Insteadof relying on charts,statistics, put of displays numbers,qualitativeresearchers a greater emphasison interpreting the data. Their data are often "richer" or more complex and full of meaning.The qualitativeresearcher interpretsto "translate"or make the originally to gathereddata understandable other people. th" of qualitativeinterpretationmoves ' or through threestages levels. beginswith the point of view A researcher of the peoplehe or sheis studying,and the rewants to graspfully how they seethe searcher world, how they define situations,or what thingsmeanto them.Aflrst-orderinterpretation containsthe inner motives,personalreasons and point of view of the peoplewho are being studiedin the originalcontext.As the researcher and documentsthis first-order interdiscovers pretation, he or sheremainsone stepremoved inoffersasecond-order from it. The researcher that which is an acknowledgment terpretation, tries to get very howevermuch a researcher closeand "under the skin" of thosehe or sheis is studying,a researcher still "on the outside interpretation lookingin." In the second-order tries to elicit an underlying cothe researcher of or herence sense overallmeaningin the data. To reach an understandingof what he or she the often places data or sees hears,a researcher into a context of the larger flow of eventsand will often A behaviors. qualitativeresearcher moveto the third stepand link the understandInterpretation to ing that he or sheachieved larger concepts can or generalizations, theories.The researcher or a meansto assign significance Interpretation sharethis broader interpretationwith other coherentmeaning to something.Quantitative both interpret data, peoplewho are unfamiliar with the original and qualitativeresearchers studied,or the social but they do so in differentways.A quantitative data,the peopleand events This by situationsobserved the researcher. level examgivesmeaningby rearranging, researcher uno$ryI the of meaningtranslates researcher's by using the numbers ining, and discussing communicain derstanding a waythat facilitates patternsin to chartsand statistics explainhow tion with peoplewho aremore distantfrom the A question. qualithe datarelateto the research

L'\ T /

^ E V IEWII\.,



original source, and it represents a third_order interpretation.

QUANTITATIVE DESIGN ISSUES The Languageof Variables and Hypotheses Variation and Variables. The variable is a centralideain quantitativeresearch. Simplyde_ fined,a variableis a conceptthat varies. Cj"anti_ tative research usesa language ofvariablesand relationships amongvariablei. In Chapter2,you learnedabouttwo types . of concepts: thosethat refer to a fixed phenlm_ enon (e.g.,the idealtype ofbureaucracy)and thosethat vary in quantity,intensity,or amount (e.g., amountof education). second The tl,peof conceptand measures the concepts vari_ of are ables.Variablestake on two o, values. Once you begin to look for them, you will see -or" variableseverywhere. example,genderis a For variable;it can take on two values:male or fe_ male.Marital statusis a variable;it can take on the valuesof nevermarried single,married,di_ vorced,or widowed.Typeof crimecommittedis a variable;it cantakeon valuesofrobbery, bur_ glary theft,murder,and soforth. Familyincome is a variable;it can take on valuesfrom zero to billions of dollars.A person'sattitude toward abortion is a variable; canrangefrom strongly it favoling legalabortion to stronglybelieving"in antiabortion. Thevalues the categories variableare or ofa its attributes. is easy confuse It to variables with attributes.Variablesand attributesare related, but they havedistinct purposes. The confusion arises because attribute of one variablecan the itself becomea separate variablewith a slight change definition. The distinction is betwJen in concepts themselves vary and conditions that within concepts that vary. For example,..male,' is not a variable; describes category it a ofgender and is an attribute of the variable;,gendei,'yet, a relatedidea,"degree masculiniw,"is a vari_ of

able. It describesthe intensity or strength ofat_ tachment to attitudes, beliefs, and beha=viors as_ sociated with the concept of masculinewithin a culture. "Married" is not a variablq it is an at_ tribute of the variable .,marital status.,' Related ideas such as "number of years married" or "depth of commitment to a marriage,' are vari_ ables. Likewise, "robbery', is not a vlariable;it is an attribute of the variable ..type of crime.,, "Number of robberies,,' ,,-^bbaay rate,,, .,type "amount taken during a robbery', anj of robbery" are all variables because thev varv or take on a range ofvalues. Quantitative researchersredefine concepts of interest into the language of variables. As the examples of variables and attributes illustrate, slight changesin definition changea nonvariable into a variable concept. As you siw in Chapter 2, concepts are the building blocks of theory; thev organize thinking about the social world. Cleai concepts with careful definitions are essentialin theory. Types of Variables. Researchers who focus on causalrelations usuallybegin with an efi[ect,then searchfor its causes. Variables are classifiedinto three basic types, depending on their location in a causal relationship. The causevariable, or the one that identifies forces or conditions that act on something else, is the independent variable. The variable that is the effect or is the result or outcome of another variable is the de\endenr variable. The independent variable is ..indepen_ dent of'prior causes that act on it, whereasthe dependent variable "depends on,, the cause. It is not always easyto determine whether a variable is independent or dependent. Two questions help you identifr the independent variable. First, does it come before otlier vari_ ables in time? Independent variables come be_ fore any other tipe. Second, if the variables occur at the same time, does the author suggest that one variablehas an impact on unoth.rilr,_ able?Independent variablesaffect or have an im_ pact on other variables.Researchtopics are often phrased in terms of the dependent variables be_




causedependent variables are the phenomenon to be explained. For example, suppose a researcherexamines the reasonsfor an increasein the crime rate in Dallas, Texas; the dependent variable is the crime rate. A basic causal relationship requires only an independent and a dependent variable. A third tlpe of variable, the intervening variabla appears in more complex causal relations. It comes between the independent and dependent variables and shows the link or mechanism between them. Advancesin knowledge depend not only on documenting cause-and-effect relationships but also on specifring the mechanisms that account the for the causalrelation. In a sense, intervening variable acts asa dependent variable with respect to the independent variable and acts as an independent variable toward the dependent variable. For example, French sociologist Emile Durkheim developed a theory of suicide that specified a causal relationship between marital status and suicide rates. Durkheim found evidence that married people are lesslikely to commit suicide than single people. He believed that married people have greater social integration (i.e., feelings of belonging to a group or family). He thought that a major causeof one type of suicide was that people lacked a senseof belonging to a group. Thus, his theory can be restated as a three-variable relationship: marital status (independent variable) causesthe degree of social integration (intervening variable), which affects suicide (dependent variable). Specifying the chain of causality makes the linkages in a theory clearer and helps a researcher test complex explanations.l Simple theories have one dependent and one independent variable, whereascomplex theories can contain dozens ofvariables with multiple independent, intervening, and dependent variables. For example, a theory of criminal behavior (dependent variable) identifies four independent variables: an individual's economic hardship, opportunities to commit crime easily, membership in a deviant subgroup of society that does not disapprove of crime, and lack of

punishmentfor criminal acts.A multicauseexvarithe planationusuallyspecifies independent effect. causal ablethat hasthe greatest contains explanation A complextheoretical that variables are stringof multiple intervening a linked together.For example'family disruption amongchildren,which lower self-esteem causes in poor grades which causes depression, causes for reducedprospects a school,which causes a good job, which causes lower adult income. is: The chain of variables family disruption (in(intervenchildhood self-esteem dependent), in (intervening),grades school! ing), depression (intervening)'adult job (intervening), prospects income(dependent). Two theorieson the sametopic may have or variables predictdifferdifferentindependent independentvariablesto be important. In ent aboutthe indepenaddition,theoriesmay agree but differ on the variables and dependent dent variableor causalmechanism.For intervening two example, theoriessaythat family disruption lower adult income,but for differentreacauses sons.One theory holds that disruption encourchildrento join deviantpeergroupsthat are ages not socializedto norms of work and thrift. the Another emphasizes impact of the disrupand poor acadeon childhood depression tion performance, which directly affect job mic performance. projectusuallytestsonly a A singleresearch part of a causalchain.For example,a resmall may take project examiningsix variables search from a large,complex theory with two the six Explicit links to a largertheory dozenvariables. project. This and clarifr a research strengthen basicresearch especia\ for explanatory, applies which is the model for most quantitative research. CausalTheory and HYPotheses

is TheHypothesisanil Causality. A h'ltpothesis to be testedor a tentative statea proposition ment of a relationshipbetweentwo variables about how the social Hypothesesare guesses



picture of the research process focusingon a by singleresearch projectthat testsonehpothesis. Knowledgedevelopsover time as researchers throughout the scientificcommunity test many I . lt hasat leasttwo variables. hlpotheses. growsfrom shiftingand winnowIt 2. lt expressescausal a orcause-effect relationship ing through many hypotheses. Eachhlpothesis between variables. the represents explanationof a dependent an vari3. lt can be expressed a predictionor an exable.If the evidencefails to support somehyas pectedfutureoutcome. potheses,they are gradually eliminated from consideration. Thosethat receivesupport re4. lt is logically linked a research to question anda main in contention. Theoristsand researchers theory. constantlycreatenew hypotheses challenge to 5. lt is falsifiable; that is, it is capableof being thosethat havereceived support.Figure4.3 reptestedagainst empirical evidence shownto and resents exampleof the process shifting an of be true or false. through hypotheses overtime. Scientists a skeptical are group. Supportfor a hypothesis one research in projectis not sufficientfor them to accept Theprincipleof repliit. world works; they are statedin a value-neutral cation says that a hypothesis needsseveral tests form. with consistent and repeated support to gain A causalhypothesis five characteristics broad acceptance. has Another way to strengthen (see Box 4.6).Thefirst two characteristics define confidencein a hlpothesis is to test related the minimum elementsof a hypothesis. The causal linkages in the theory from which it third restates hypothesis. the Foi example,the comes. hlpothesis that attendingreligiousservices reducesthe probability ofdivorce can be restated Typesof Hypotheses. Hlpothesesarelinks in a as a prediction:Coupleswho attendreligious theoretical causalchain and can take several servicesfrequently haye a lower divorce rate forms.Researchers them to testthe direction use than do couples who rarelyattendreligiousserand strengthof a relationship between variables. vices.The prediction can be testedagainstem\tVhen hypothesis a defeats competitors, ofits or pirical evidence. The fourth characteristic states fersalternative explanations a causal for relation, that the hlpothesisshould be logicallytied to a it indirectlylendssupportto the researcher's exresearch questionand to a theory. Researchers planation.A curiousaspect hypothesis of testing test hypotheses answerthe research to question is that researchers evidence treat that supportsa or to find empirical support for a theory. The hypothesisdifferently from evidencethat oplast characteristic requiresthat a researcher use posesit. They give negative evidence more imempiricaldatato testthe hypothesis. Statements portance.The idea that negativeevidenceis that are necessarily true as a result of logic, or critical when evaluating a hypothesis comes questions that areimpossible answer to through from the logicof disconfirming h1,potheses.2 It is empirical obseniation(e.g.,What is the "good associated Karl Popper's with ideaof falsification life"? Is there a God?)cannot be scientifichyand with the useof null hypotheses later in (see potheses. this section). A hypothesis neverproved,but it can be is Testingand Refining Hypothesis. Knowledge disproved.A researcher with supportingevirarelyadvances the basisofone testofa sinon dencecansayonly that the hypothesis remainsa glehypothesis. fact,it is easy geta distorted possibilityor that it is still in the running. NegaIn to



Ftc u RE 4.3

Testingoperates over Time of How the Process Hypotheses
1966 Thereare tive possiblehypotheses. 1976

"",*, / @ under Remain \Consideration

under Remain

Twoof the originalfive hypotheses are rejected. A newone is develoPed.


*";"., ,@

"";"., /



tr nt {
under Remain under Remain

are Twohypotheses rejected. Twonew onesare developed.

1996 are Threehypotheses reiected. A new one is developed.

,";"., @



2006 is One hypothesis rejected. Twonew onesare develoPed.




t1]l trt1ei

and were considered, ovel but are In 2006,3 hypotheses in contention, from 1966 to 2006, 1t hypotheses time,8 of themwere reiectedin one or moretests.

the is tive evidence more significantbecause hy"tarnished"or "soiled" if the pothesisbecomes a fails evidence to supportit. This is because hypothesismakespredictions.Negativeand disshowsthat the predictions confirming evidence for arewrong.Positiveor confirming evidence a hyalternative is hypothesis lesscriticalbecause potheses may make the sameprediction' A rewho finds confirming evidencefor a searcher over one predictionmay not elevate explanation its alternatives.

a For example, man standson a streetcorumbrella and claims that his umner with an His brella protectshim from falling elephants. the umbrella provides protechypothesisthat He tion hassupportingevidence. hasnot had a fall on him in all the time he has singleelephant had his umbrellaopen.Yet, suchsupportiveevwith an alteridenceis weak;it alsois consistent elephantsdo not fall native hypothesis-that from the sky.Both predict that the man will be safefrom falling elephants.Negativeevidence



for the hypothesis-the one elephantthat falls on him andhis umbrella,crushing both-would destroythe hypothesis good. for Researchers hypotheses two ways:a test in straightforward way and a null hypothesis way. Many quantitativeresearchers, especially experimenters, framehlpotheses termsof a null hyin pothesis basedon the logic of the disconfirming hypotheses. Theytesthypotheses looking for by evidence that will allow them to acceptor reiect the null hypothesis. Most peopletalk ibout a hypothesisas a way to predict a relationship.The null hypothesis doesthe opposite. predictsno It relationship. For example, Sarahbelieves that students who live on campusin dormitoriesget highergrades than students who live offcampus and commuteto college. null hlpothesis Her is that there is no relationshipbetweenresidence and grades. Researchers the null hypothesis use with a correspondingalternativehypothesis or experimental hypothesis.The alternative hypothesissaysthat a relationshipexists.Sarah's alternative hypothesis that students'on-camis pus residence a positiveeffecton grades. has For most people,the null hypothesis approachis a backwardway of hlpothesistesting. Null hypothesisthinking restson the assumption that researchers to discovera relationtry ship,sohlpothesistestingshouldbe designed to makefinding a relationship more demanding. A researcher who usesthe null hypothesisapproachonly directlyteststhe null hlpothesis.If evidence supportsor leadsthe researcher acto ceptthe null hypothesis, or sheconcludes he that the testedrelationshipdoesnot exist.This implies that the alternative hlpothesisis false.On the other hand, if the researcher find evican denceto rejectthe null hypothesis, then the alternativehlpothesesremain a possibility. The researcher cannotprove the alternative; rather, by testingthe null hypotheses, or shekeeps he the alternative hypotheses contention.When in null hypothesistesting is addedto confirming evidence, argumentfor an alterative the hypothesis growstronger can overtime.

Many people find the null hypothesis to be confusing. Another way to think of it is that the scientific community is extremely cautious. It prefers to consider a causal relationship to be false until mountains of evidence show it to be true. This is similar to the Anglo-American legal idea of innocent until proved guilty. A researcherassumes,or acts as if, the null hlpothesis is correct until reasonable doubt suggests otherwise. Researchers who use null hlpotheses generally use it with specific statistical tests (e.g., t-test or F-test). Thus, a researchermay saythere is reasonabledoubt in a null hypotheiis ii a statistical test suggests that the odds ofit being false are 99 in 100. This is what a researcher means when he or she says that statistical tests allow him or her to "reject the null hypothesis at the .01 level of significance." Aspects of Explanation Clarity ahout Units and Levels of Analysis. It is easy to become confused at first about the ideas of units and levels of analysis. Nevertheless, they are important for clearly thinking through and planning a research project. All studies have both units and levels of analysis,but few researchersexplicitly identiSr them as such. The levels and units of analysis are restricted by the topic and the researchquestion. A levelof analysisis the level of social reality to which theoretical explanations refer. The level of social realityvaries on a continuum from micro level (e.g., small groups or individual processes) macro level (e.g., civilizations or to structural aspectsofsociety). The level includes a mix of the number of people, the amount of space,the scope of the activity, and the lengh of time. For example, an extreme micro-level analysiscan involve a few secondsofinteraction between two people in the same small room. An extreme macro-level analysiscan involve billions ofpeople on severalcontinents acrosscenturies. Most social researchusesa level of analysis that lies between these extremes.

The level of analysisdelimits the kinds of concepts, and theoriesthat a reassumptions, For example,I want to study the searcher uses. I students. usea topic of datingamongcollege and developan explanamicro-levelanalysis tion that usesconceptssuch as interpersonal and common incontact,mutual friendships, terests.I think that studentsare likely to date with whom they havehad personal someone contact in a class,sharefriends in common, The commoninterests. topic and foand share cus fit with a micro-level explanationbecause inat they aretargeted the levelofface-to-face teraction amongindividuals.Another example the topic is how inequalityaffects forms of vioa Here,I havechosen in Ientbehavior a society. of explanationbecause the more macro-level topic and the level of socialreality at which it in operates. am interested the degreeof inI the equality(e.g., distributionof wealth,propthroughout erty,income,and other resources) a societyand in patternsof societalviolence (e.g.,aggression sexual againstother societies, The topic and families). feudsbetween assault, concepts question macro-level research suggest and theories. refersto the type of unit The unit of analysis Common useswhen measuring. a researcher are units in sociology the individual, the group (e.g., family,friendshipgroup),the organization (e.g.,corporation,university),the socialcategender, gory (e.8.,socialclass, race),the social the institution (e.g., religion,education, family), a and the society(e.g., nation,a tribe). Although the individual is the most commonly usedunit it of analysis, is by no meansthe only one.Differenttheories emphasize or anotherunit of one and different research techniquesare analysis, For with units of analysis. exassociated specific ample,the individualis usuallytheunit of analyresearch. sisin surveyand experimental As an example, individual is the unit of the analysisin a surveyin which 150 studentsare askedto rate their favorite football player.The each individual individual is the unit because is student'sresponse recorded.On the other

the hand,a studythat compares amountsdifferspendon their football programs ent colleges would usethe organization(the college)asthe by the because spending colleges unit of analysis is spending and eachcollege's is beingcompared recorded. other than use Researchers units of analysis social cateindividuals, groups,or ganizations, a For gories, institutions,and societies. example, researcherwants to determine whether the ofthe for oftwo candidates president speeches United Statescontain specificthemes.The rethe and usescontentanalysis measures searcher Here, of themesin eachspeech the candidates. Geographic is the speech the unit of analysis. inare units of analysis alsoused.A researcher in terested determiningwhethercitiesthat have also a high number of teenagers havea high rate of vandalismwould use the city as the unit of measures the This is because researcher analysis. in ofteenagers eachcity and the the percentage for amount of vandalism eachcity. The units of analysisdeterminehow a reTheyalso variables themes. or measures searcher in looselyto the levelof analysis an correspond or Thus,social-psychological micro explanation. fitwith the individual asa unit of levels analysis of fit macro levelsof analysis with whereas analysis, or the socialcategory institution asa unit. Theoat ries and explanations the micro level generally refer to featuresof individuais or interactions Thoseat the macrolevelrefer amongindividuals. or across society relaa operating to socialforces as tionsamongmajor partsof a society a whole. use Researchers levelsand units of analysis projects,and being awareof to designresearch avoid logicalerrors.For them helpsresearchers whethercolleges a example, studythat examines in the North spendmore on their football proin gramsthan do colleges the Southirnpliesthat gathers information on spendingby a researcher The and college the locationof eachcollege. unit the or, of analysis-the organization specifically, problem and college-flows from the research to tells the researcher collectdata from each college.



Researchers havecriticizedthe famous studvSuicide ([1.897] I 95 t) by Emile Durkheim the eco'togi_ for groupdataasthoughthey were :allal|1c{?ftr:ating individual-level data.In the study,Ouitt"i#-r_ paredthe suicideratesof protestant and Catiolic districtsin nineteenth_century westernfu.op" ana explained observed differences due to differences as between people's beliefs practices th"i*o r"_ and in ligions. saidthat protestants a He had frigher suicide rate than Catholics because they wererniru iiJiuia_ Failo:y, The ecological fallacy arises ualisticand had lower socialiniegration.Durkheim lcological trom a mismatchof units of analysis. refers It andearlyresearchers hadartl Oy to only airtriJ iin.u a poor fit between the units for which peopletendedto reside a re_ with othersof th" ,rru ."_ has empirical evidenceand the units ligion,Durkheim usederoup_levelart, :.ut.Jr:rfi."., ,"gL.) tor whlch he or shewantsto makestatements. for individuals It is due to imprecisereasoningurrag.rr"rJiri.rg Laterresearchers (van poppel and Day,1996) beyondwhat the evidence nineteenth_century warrants.Ecological reexamined suicide ratesonly fallacyoccurswhen a researcher with individual-level data thatihey air.ou"r"Jfo, gathersi^io u, a higher or an aggregated someareas. They compared death records unit o? urrulvri, but the and wants to make a statementabout a I'ower tookedat the officialreasonof death and religion, or disaggregated but their resultsdifferedfrom,uirt. unit. It is a fallacybe.arrr" ,hat np"prr_ ently,localofficials that time recorded happens one unit of analysis in at ioes deaths'dif_ ut_uy, ferently.for people of different ,"ligi;;;. hold for a differentunit of analysis. "oi Th;r, ii;;. i;y r"-.or+d "unspecified" a reason ae-atfr searcher gathersdata for large aggregates as for far more (eg., often for Catholics because a strongrnorriproii_ organizations,entire countries, of il." bition againstsuicideamongCatholil. "i..iu"a drawsconclusionsabout the behavioroi Ou.kheim,s i"ii_ largertheory may be correct,yet the viduals from those data, he or she i, .o--it_ evidence he hadto test it wasweakbecause used ting the can avoid he dataaesre_ this gated at the group levelwhiletrying to error by ensuringthat the unit of analySis vou actionsof individuals. "*pt"iilti" usein

Researchers chooseamong different units or levels analysis of foruimila, tlpics orl"r.ur.f, questions. example, ,.r."rih., could For u con_ drrcta pioject on thJ topic of patriarcty ana ,ri_ olence with society the unit of arralysis the as fo. researchquestion, ..Are patriarchai societies more violent?"He or shewould collect d.ata on societies classi$' and eachsociety its degree by of patriarchyand its levelof violence. On the"other hand,if the research questionwas,.Isthe degree of patriarchywithin u fu-ity urro.iutJ*iin rri_ ol.::: againsta spouse?,' unit of ihe anatysis couldbe the group or the family,u"a u rno.. _i_ cro level of analysis would be appropriate.The researcher could collectdataon Amiliesbymea_ suring the degree patriarchywithin diif"r.rrt of families and the level of violence ;;;;.." spouses thesefamilies.The sametopic in canbe addressedwith different levels urrd .rrrit, of because patriarchycanbe a variable that descrlbes entiresociety, it can describe an or so_ cial relationswithin one family. f*ewis., ,rio_ lencecanbe definedasgeneral behavioracross a society,or as the interpersonalactions of one spouse toward the other.

to the unit on which you collect data (see Box
A A\

Eymple. Tomsville and foansvilleeach have about,45,000 peopleliving in tn.-. io_*itf. u percentage upper_income of people. lur 1tql Over half of the households tn" to*"-i'uu. in family incomesof over $200,000. to*, ffr" Jro mgtgr-ry. clelregisteredin it than any 3: ::_.: of othertown its size. The town ofJoansville has many poor people.Half its households live be_

an explanation the sameu, or rr.*.i*. is


P A Rr oNE / F o u N D A rl o N S

low the poverty line. It also has fewer motorcycles registered in it than any other town its size. But it is a fallacy to say,on the basis of this information alone, that rich people are more likely to own motorcycles or that the evidence shows a relationship between family income and motorcycle ownership. The reason is that we do not know which families in Tomsville or Joansville own motorcycles. We only know about the two variables-average incorne and number of motorcycles-for the towns as a whole. The unit of analysis for observing variables is the town as a whole. Perhaps all of the low- and middle-income families in Tomsville belong to a motorcycle club, and not a single upper-income family belongs. Or perhaps one rich family and five poor ones in Joansville each own motorcycles. In order to make a statement about the relationship between famrly ownership of motorcycles and family income, we have to collect information on families, not on towns as a wholeReductionism. Another problem involving mismatched units of analysisand imprecise reasoning about evidence is reductionism, also (seeBox 4.8)' calledthefallacy of nonequivalence This error occurs when a researcher explains macro-level events but has evidence only about specific individuals. It occurs when a researcher unit of analysis observesalower or disaggregated but makes statements about the operations of higher or aggregatedanits.It is a mirror image of the mismatch error in the ecological fallary. A researcherwho has data on how individuals behave but makes statements about the dynamics of macro-level units is committing the error of reductionism. It occurs becauseit is often easier to get data on concrete individuals. Also, the operition of macro-level units is more abstract and nebulous. As with the ecological fallacy, you can avoid this error by ensuring that the unit of analysis in your explanation is very close to the one for which you have evidence. Researchers who fail to think precisely about the units of analysisand those who do not couple data with the theory are likely to commit

the ecological fallacy or reductionism. :Ihey for makea mistakeaboutthe dataappropriate a question,or they may seriouslyoverresearch from the data. generalize about units of You can make assumptions than the onesyou study empiriother analysis on cally.Thus, research individualsrestson asthat individuals act within a set of sumptions on socialinstitutions.Research socialinstituabout individual on assumptions tions is based We know that many micro-levelunits behavior. units. The dangeris that it is form macro-level or into usingthe causes behaviorof to easy slide such as individuals,to explainthe micro units, actions of macro units, such as social institutions. What happensamong units at one level hold for different units of doesnot necessarily is a disciplinethat restson Sociology analysis. beliefthat a distinctlevelof sothe fundamental cial reality existsbeyond the individual. Explanationsofthis levelrequiredataand theorythat go beyond the individual alone. The causes that or forces,structures, processes existamong cannot be reduced to individual macro units behavior.

Example. Why did World War I occur?You a may have heard that it was because Serbian in the AustroHungarianEmshot an archduke Yes,the asThis is reductionism. pire in 1914. a factor,but the macro-political was sassination event between nations-w41-snnn6f be reduced to a specificact of one individual. If it could, we could also saythat the war occurred alarm clock worked and the because assassin's morning. If it had not worked, wokehim up that so there would havebeen no assassination, the the war! The event,World alarm clock caused War I, wasmuch more complexand wasdue to many social,political, and economicforcesthat cametogetherat a point in history' The actions individualshad a role' but only a miof specific nor one comparedto thesemacro forces'Individuals affect events, which eventually, in socialforcesand combinationwith larger-scale others and move nations, affect organizations,



Suppose you pickup a book and readthe following: American relations race changed dramatically duingthe Civil Rights of the 19 G7s.Attitudes Era arirg themo_ jority, whitepopulation shiftedto greatertoliranceas lawsand courtrulings changed aiss the nation.Op_ portunities hadbeen that legally officiallyclosed and to all.butthe white population_intheorro, of houring, jobs, schooling, votingrights, so on_were opened and to people all races. of From Brown Boardof Ed_ the vs. ucationdecision 1955, to the Civit Rights in Actof 1954, to theWaron poverty from I 965 lo I 96g, a new,dramaticoutlook sweptthe country.Thiswasthe resultofthe vision, dedication, actions Ameica,s and of civil foremost rightsleader, MartinLuthir KngJr. Dr. says:dependent variable: major changein . ^This U.S.race relationsover a I O_to 1 3'_year p"iioa; independent.variable = King,svisionand actions. lf you know muchabout the civil rightsera,you seea problem. The entirecivilrightsmivement"and its successes attributedto a single are yes, individual. one individual doesmake differenie a andhelpsbuild and guidea movement, the movementis but missing. The idea of a social-political movement a causal as torceis reduced its majorleader. to The distinctso_ cialphenomenon-a movement_isobscured. Losr are the actionsof hundreds thousands of of people (marches, court cases, speeches, prayer meetings, sit-ins,rioting,petitions,beatings, eti.) involvedin advancing shared a goal and the responses them. to

The movement's ideology, popularmobilization, pol_ itics,organization, strategyare absent. and Reiated macro-level historicaleventsand trends that may have influenced the movement(e.g.,VietnamWar protest, mood shift with the kiliing of John F. Kennedy, AfricanAmerican separatist politi.r, lf.i..n American migration urbanNorth) aie alsoignored. to Thiserroris not unique histoiical to ., Manypeoplethinkonly in termsof individual ""plrn"rtionr. actions and have an individualist bias,sometimes called methodological individualism. is especially This true in the extremely individualistic culture. U.S. fhe erro. is that it disregards unitsof analysis forcesb"vona or the individual.The errorof redictionism shifts e'"pla_ nationto a muchlowerunit of analysis. One could continueto reducefrom an individual,s behavior to biological processes a person, micro_level in to neu_ rochemical activities, the subatomic to level. Most peoplelivein ,,social worlds" focused lo_ on cal,immediate settingsand their interactions with a small ofothers,so theireveryday set sense rerlitv of encourages seeing social trendsor events individ_ as psychotogicat processes. Often,they :i!fi"1r:."1 becomeblind to more abstract, macro_level enti_ ties-socia I forces, processes, nizations, orga institu_ tions, movements, structures. or The idea that all social actions cannotbe reduced individuals to alone of sociotogy. his ctassic In *orf. SuiJa", ! 11"^-1". Emile.Durkheim foughtmethodological individualism and demonstrated that larger,unrecognized social forcesexplain evenhighlyindividual, prluate r.iionr.

but individual actionsalone are not the cause. Thus, it is likely that a war would havebroken out at about that time evenif the assassination had not occurred. Spuriousness. To call a relationshipbetween uariables spurious means that it is false, mirage. a Researcfuers excitedif they think they hie get found a spuriousrelationshipbecause tfr.y.u" show that what appearc ih" surfaceis false on

and amore complexrelation exists. Any associ_ ation between two yariables might be spurious, so researchers cautiouswhen they iiscover are that two variablesare associated; upor, fu.ih., investigation, may not be the basisfor a it real causalrelationship.It may be an illusion, iusr like themiragethat resembies pool of*ut"i a o., a road during a hot day. Spuiousness occurswhen two variables ap_ pearto be associated arenot causally but relatid

rA K t

u Nc


r ( JUt\tr AttL/t\)

you tell whether a relationshipis spurious,and third how do you find out what the mysterious factor is?You will need to use statisticaltechlater in this book) to test niques (discussed a To Formanyyears, researchers observed strongpostis whetheran association spurious. usethem, and between useof a night-light the tive association aboutpossiyou needa theoryor at leasta guess childrenwho were nearsighted. Many thought that is ble third factors.Actually,spuriousness based to wassomehow causing children the the night-light use.For logic that you already on commonsense developvisionproblems(illustrated a below). example, as you already know that thereis an assofor Other researchers could think of no reason a the ciation between useof air conditionersand causallink betweennight-lightuse and developing ice cream cone consurnption.If you measured the nearsightedness. 999 studyprovided answer. A1 the number of air conditionersin use and the parentsare more likelyto It found that nearsighted day,you soldfor each numberofice creamcones pass usenight-lights; alsogenetically on theirvithey with more cones would find a strongcorrelation, siondeficiency their children. to The studyfound no are sold on the dayswhen more air conditioners link betweennight-lightuse and nearsightedness in use.But you know that eatingicecreamcones once parentalvisionwas addedto the explanation peopleto turn on air conditiondoesnot cause (seeb below). Thusthe initialcausal was mislink are by both variables caused a third ers.Instead, May 22, leading spurious(from NewYo* Times, or thing You couldverify the same factor:hot days. 2 001) . the by throughstatistics measuring dailytempera. Initialrelationship ature aswell as ice creamconsumptionand air theresearch, opposing conditioneruse.In social orieshelp peoplefigure out which third factors of POS|TTVE ASSOCTATTON are relevantfor many topics (e.g.,the causes for crimeor the reasons war or child abuse).
b. Additionof the missingtrue causalfactor


becausean unseen third factor is the real cause (seeBox 4.9). The unseen third or other variable is the causeof both the independent and the dependent variable in the apparent but illusionary relationship and accounts for the observed association. In terms of conditions for causaliry the unseen factor is a more powerful alternative explanation. You now understand that you should be but how can wary ofcorrelations or associations,

Example1. Somepeoplesaythat taking illegal suicide,schooldropouts,and viodrugscauses of lent acts.Advocates "drugs are the problem" beposition point to the positivecorrelations tweentaking drugsand beingsuicidal,dropping Theyarin out ofschool,and engaging violence. guethat endingdrug usewill greatlyreducesuicide,dropouts,and violence.Othersarguethat of manypeopleturn to drugsbecause their emoof tional problemsor high levels disorderof their unstacommunities(e.g.,high unemployrnent, high crime,fewcommunityservices ble families, with emotionalproblackof cifity). Thepeople communitiesare lemsor who live in disordered drop out, and alsomorelikelyto commit suicide, in engage violence.This meansthat reducing emotional problems and community disorder illegaldrug use,droppingout, suicide will cause drug greatly. Reducing all andviolence to decline taking alonewill have only a limited effectbe-



causeit ignores the root causes.The "drugs are the problem" argument is spurious becausethe initial relationship between taking illegal drugs and the problems is misleading. The emotional problems and community disorder are the true and often unseen causalvariables. Example 2. In the United States and Canada, we observe an empirical association between students classifiedasbeing in a non-White racial category and scoring lower academic tests (compared to students classifedas in a White categor/). The relationship between racial classification and test scores is illusionary, becausea powerful and little-recognized variable is the true cause of both the racial classification and the test scores(seeFigure 4.4).In this case,the true causeoperates directly on the independent variable (racial classification) but indirectly through an intervening process on the dependent variable (test scores).A beliefsystem that is basedon classifyingpeople asbelonging to racial groups and assigninggreat significanceto superficial physical appearance,such as skin color, is the basis of what people call "race." Such a belief system also is the basis for prejudice and discriminatorybehavior. In such a situation, people are seen as belonging to different races and

treated differently because of it, such as having different job opportunities and housing choices. Discriminated-against people who are in some racial categories find limits in their housing choices. This means they get separated or grouped together in undesirable areas. Poor housing gets combined with unequal schooling, such that the lowest-quality schools are located in areas with the least desirable housing. Since the relationship between school quality and test scoresis very strong, students from families living in lessdesirablehousing areaswith low-quality schools get lower test scores. We can now turn from the errors in causal explanation to avoid and more to other issues involving hlpotheses. Table 4.2 provides a review of the major errors. From the Research Question to

Hypotheses It is difficult to move from a broad topic to hypotheses, the leap from a well-formulated but research questionto hypotheses a short one. is Hints about hlpothesesare embedded within a goodresearch question.In addition,hlpotheses questions(see are tentativeanswers research to Box4.10).

F I G UR E 4 .4

Example a SpuriousRelationship of betweenBelonging a Nonto White "Race" and Getting LowAcademicTest Scores

Students treatedas belonging to a racialsocialcaiegory("White" or "Non-White") basedon superf physical icial appearance

Discrimination against non-Whites jobs in and housing

Real Cause
Societywideracist beliefs and treatment of social categories as if they had an inherent-biological basis

Real Cause

I Y Segregated housing I Y
Non-Whites attend lower-quality schools

Real Cause



Summaryof Errorsin Exptanation

Ecological Fallacy

The empirical observations at too are higha levelfor the causal relationship that is stated. The empirical observations at too are low a levelfor the causal relationship that is stated. An unseen third variable the actual is cause ofboth the independent and dependent variable.

NewYork hasa highcrimerate.Joan livesin NewYork.Therefore, she probablystole my watch. Because Steven lost hisjob and did not buy a newcar,the countryentereda long economic recession. Hair lengthis associated with TV programs. People with short hair prefer watching football;peoplewith long hair preferromance stories.(lJnseen: Cender)



Bad Research Questions Not Enpirically Testable,N onscientifi c euestions r Should abortionbe legal? r ls it rightto havecapitalpunishment? General Topics, Research Not euestions I Treatment alcohol of and drugabuse r Sexuality aging and Setof Variables, Not euestions r Capitalpunishment racial and discrimination r Urbandecayandgangs Too Vague, Ambiguous r Do policeaffectdelinquency? r What canbe doneto preventchildabuse? Needto Be StillMoreSpecific r Hasthe incidence childabuse of risen? r How does poverty affect children? r What problemsdo childrenwho grow up in poveftyexperience othersdo not? that

Good Research Questions Exploratory Questions I Hasthe actual incidence childabuse of changed in Wisconsin the past l0 years? in Desciptive Questions r ls childabuse, violentor sexual, morecommonin families that haveexperienced divorcethan in a intact,never-divorced ilies? fam I Are the childrenraisedin poverty households more likelyto havemedical, learning, social_ and emotional adjustment difficulties thannonpoverty children? Explanatory Questions l Doesthe emotional instability createdby experi_ encinga divorceincrease chances the that di_ vorced parents will physically abuse their children? r ls a lackof sufficent funds for preventive treat_ menta majorcause moreserious of medical prob_ lemsamongchildren raised families poverty? in in




Consideran exampleresearch question:,.Is ageat marriage associated with divorce?',The ..age questioncontainstwo variables: at marriage"and "divorce."To develop hfrothesis, a a researcher "Which is the independent asks, vari_ able?"The independent variableis-..aqe mar_ at riage" because marriagemust logicaliyprecede divorce.The researcher alsoasks]..WLai is the direction of the relationship?', The hypothesis couldbe:"The lower the ageat time of marriage, the greaterthe chances that the marriase will end in divorce."This hypothesis answe.s ,._ ihe search questionand makesa prediction.Notice that the research question.un b. reformulated and better focusednow: ..Are coupleswho marry youngermore likely to divorce?" Several hypotheses be developed one can for research question. Another hypothesis from the sameresearch questionis: ..Thesmallerthe dif_ ferencebetweenthe agesof the marriagepart_ ners at the time of mairiage,the lessfif.".fftfr* the marriagewill end in divorce.,'In this case, the variable "age at marriage" is specified differently. , , can specifythat a relationship holdsunder someconditionsbut not others.For a hlpothesisstates: "The lower the age "YTpl., of the partnersat time of marriage,the greater

the chancesthat the marriage will end in divorce, unless it is a marriage between members of a tight-knit traditional religious communitv in ' which early marriage is the norm.', Formulating a research question and, ahy_ pothesis do not have to proceed in fixed stases. A researcher can formulate a tentative reslarch question, then develop possible hypotheses; the hypothesesthen help the researchei state the re_ search question more precisely. The process is interactive and involves creativitv. You may be wondering, does theory ^ fit into the process of moving from a topic to a hypothesis I can test?Recall from Chapter Z that ft1oy takes many forms. Researcheri use gen_ eral theoretical issuesas a source oftopics. ihe_ ories provide concepts that researchers*turn into variables as well as the reasoning or mechanism that helps researchersconnect variables into a researchquestion. A hypothesis can both answer a researchquestion and be an untested proposi_ tion from a theory. Researchers .urr.*pr.r, u hlr_ pothesis at an abstract, conceptuai level o. restateit in a more concrete,meaiurable form. Examples of specfic studies mayhelp to il_ lustrate the parts ofthe researchprocess.For."_ amples of three quantitative st;dies, see Table 4.3; for two qualitative studies, seeTable 4.4.

Examples QuantitativeStudies of
Study Citation (using ASA format style) Coar,Carla andJane Sell. 2005. "Using Task Definition Modify to Racial Inequality Within TaskCroups" SociologicaQuarterly I 46: 5 2 5 -5 4 3 . Musick, Mark, John Wilson, William and B y n u m.2000. R ace " and Formal Volunteering: The DifferentialEffectsof Class and Religion" SocialForces 78: 1 5 3 9 -7 0 . Survey Lauzen, MarthaM. and D avi d D ozi er.20O5. M. "Maintaining Double the Standard: Portrayals of Age and Genderin PopularFilms." Ro/es Sex 52:437-446.

Methodological Technique


ContentAnalysis (continued)

1 04



Mixedracegroup workingon a task.A test of "expectation statestheory" lf a group is presented with a task that is complex and requires does manydiverse skills, this resultin greater equalityin padicipation groups racial across because peoplebelieve groups differentracial possess differentskills? to Croupsexposed instructions that suggest and complex diverse skillsare required completea to taskwill showlessracial inequality their in operations complete to a taskthan groups withoutsuch instructions. Whethergroupswere told they wereto a completea complex taskthat requires diverse skillsor not. The amount of time/involvement by peopleof different races resolve group a to task. by Rates volunteering of adults Whiteand Black Age and Gender in Stereotypes U.S. MassMedia films Do contemporary showa doublestandard, acquire in whichmales greaterstatusand leadership they age, as are whilefemales not permitttedto gain statusand leadership age? with increased

Research Question

Do differentkindsof to available resources and Whites Blacks are why Blacks explain lesslikelyto volunteer?

Main Hypothesis Tested

and Blacks, ForWhites and religion class social affectwhethera person in volunteers different wavs.

As with pastpopular U.S. filmsand in other popular mass media, a still doublestandard exists.

Main Independent Variable(s)

religious class, Social race. attendance,

The ageand genderof majorfilm characters.

Main Dependent Variable(s)

Whethera personsaid he or shevolunteered for any of five (religious, organizations politicalor education, or citizen, labor, senior local). adult Individual

has Whethera character role, a leadership high occupational status, and goals.

Unit of Analysis


The movie



SpecificUnits in the Study

90 undergraduate females 5-oerson in groupscomprised of one Black andtwo Whitestudents. All taskgroups that havea diverse of set members.

Random sample of 2 ,8 6 7 U.S adul ts . interviewed twice (p a n e l i)n 1 985 and 19 8 9 . All adultWhites and Blacks the United in States.

100 top-grossing domestic films U.S. in 2002.



Study Citation (usingASA format style)

Lu,ShunandCaryFine. 995. 1 "ThePresentation Ethnic of Authenticity: Chinese Foodas a Social Accomplishment" Sociological rterly Qua 3 6 :5 3 5 -5 3 .

Molotch, Harvey, William paulsen. Freudenburg, Krista and 2000. "HistoryRepeats ltself, but How?City Character, Urban Tradition, the and Accomplishment place." of American Sociological Review 65:791-823. Historical-Comparative Research The wayscitiesdevelopa distinct urban"character."

MethodologicalTechnique Topic

FieldResearch Thewaysethniccultures are displayed withinthe boundaries of beingacceptable the United in Statesand how they deploy cultural resources. Howdo Chinese restaurants present food to balance, giving a feeling cultural of authenticity andyet satisfying non-Chinese U.S. customers?

Research Question

Why did the California citiesof Santa Barbara Ventura, and which appear verysimilar the on surface, developvery different characters? (continued)

r0 5


TAB LE 4. 4

( Co n ti n u e d ) Americanize Ethnicrestaurants their food to fit localtastesbut of alsoconstructan imPression lt authenticity. is a negotiated the of process meeting expectations,/taste customer's and conventions the desirefor an exoticand authenticeating experience. The authorsusedtwo concepts-"lash up" (interaction of manyfactors)and structure (pasteventscreateconstraints ones)-to on subsequent and on elaborate character political, Economic, tradition. and socialfactors cultural, to combine createdistinct places. Similar cultural-economic forcescan haveoppositeresults on depending context. in Conditions the two cities contributedto two different development economic to responses the oil industryand The development. city highway formedan industrialof Ventura basearoundthe oil employment new industryand encouraged The highways. city of Santa limitedboth the oil Barbara industryand highway insteadfocusedon creatinga strongtourismindustry. The middlepart of California's .l coastoverthe past 00 Pacific years.

Grounded Theory


cations makemodifi Restaurants their ingredients, to fit available and the cultural niche, market and food tastesof local customers.

SocialContext or Field Site

esPeciallY restaurants, Chinese Georgia. four in Athens,

the you encountered groundIn this chapter, work to begina study.You sawhow differences in the qualitative and quantitative stylesor apto direct a researcher proaches socialresearch to prepare for a study differently. All social renarrowtheir topic into a more specific, searchers of question. The sryles research research focused of a suggest different form and sequence decito sions,and differentanswers when and how to

The srylethat a researcher focus the research. useswill dependon the topic he or sheselects, purposeand intendeduse of the researcher's study results,the orientation toward socialsciand the individual reencethat he or sheadopts, and own assumptions beliefs. searcher's take a linear path Quantitativeresearchers objectivity.They tend to useexand emphasize exand plicit, standardizedprocedures a causal planation. Their language of variables and of many other areas is hypotheses found across



science.The processis often deductive with a sequence ofdiscrete stepsthat precede data collection: Narrow the topic to a more focused question, transform nebulous theoretical concepts into more exact variables, and develop one or more hlpotheses to test. In actual practice, researchersmove back and forth, but the general processflows in a single, linear direction. In addition, quantitative researchers take specialcare

strengths and limitations of each. The ultimate goal is to develop a better understanding and explanation of events in the social world. This comes from an appreciation of the value that each style has to offer.



to avoid logicalerrorsin hypothesis development and causal explanation.
Qualitative researchers follow a nonlinear path and emphasizebecoming intimate with the details of a natural setting or a particular cultural-historical context. They use fewer standardized procedures or explicit steps,and often devise on-the-spot techniques for one situation or study. Their language of casesand contexts directs them to conduct detailed investigations ofparticular cases processes their searchfor or in authenticity. They rarely separateplanning and design decisions into a distinct pre-data collection stage,but continue to develop the studydesign throughout early data collection. The inductive qualitative sryle encourages a slow, flexible evolution toward a specific focus based on a researcher's ongoing learning from the data. Grounded theory emerges from the researcher'scontinuous reflections on the data. Too often, the qualitative and quantitative distinction is overdrawn and presented as a rigid dichotomy. Adherents of one style of social researchfrequently judge the other style on the basis of the assumptions and standards of their own style.The quantitative researcher demands to know the variables used and the hlpothesis tested. The qualitative researcherbalks at turning humanity into cold numbers. The challenge for the well-versed,prudent social researcher is to understand and appreciate each sryle or approach on its own terms, and to recognize the

abstract alternative hypothesis attributes citation dependentvariable ecologicalfallacy first-order interpretation hypothesis independentvariable interveningvariable level of analysis linear researchpath literature review nonlinearresearchpath null hypothesis reductionism second-orderinterpretation spuriousness third-order interpretation unitof analysis universe variable

Endnotes 1. For a discussion the "logic of the disconfirmof itg hypothesis,"see Singleton and associates (1988:456-460). 2. See Bailey(1987:43) a discussion. for


' lr

and Qualitative rement QuantitativeMeasu

lntroduction Why Measure? Quantitative and Qualitative Measurement Parts of the Measurement Process and QuantitativeConceptualization Operationalization Conceptualization Operationalization and Qualitative Reliability and Validity and Research Reliability Validityin Quantitative Research Reliability Validityin Qualitative and Relationship between Reliability Validity and and Other Usesof the TermsReliable Valid A Guide to Quantitative Measurement Levels Measurement of Measures: Scales Indexes and Specialized lndex Construction The Puroose Weighting Missing Data Rates and Standardization Scales The Purpose Logicof Scaling UsedScales Commonly Conclusion




I NT R ODUCT I O N You may have heard of the Stanford Binet IQ test to measureintelligence,the Index of Dissimilarity to measure racial segregation, the Poverty Line to measurewhether one is poor, or Uniform Crime Reports to measure the amount of crime. When social researcherstest a hypothesis, evaluate an explanation, provide empirical support for a theory or systematically study an applied issue or some area of the social world, they measureconcepts and variables.How social researchers measure the nlunerous aspectsof the social worldsuch as intelligence, segregation,poverty, crime, self-esteem,political power, alienation, or racial prejudice-is the focus of this chapter. Quantitative researchers are far more concerned about measurement issuesthan are qualitative researchers.They treat measurement as a distinct step in the research process that occurs prior to data collection, and have developed special terminology and techniques for it. Using a deductive approach, they begin with a concept then create empirical measures that precisely and accurately capture it in a form that can be expressedin numbers. Qualitative researchersapproach measurement very differently. They develop ways to capture and express variable and nonvariable concepts using various alternatives to numbers. They often take an inductive approach, so they measurefeatures of social life aspart of a process that integrates creating new concepts or theories with measurement. How people conceptualize and operationalize variables can significantly affect social issues beyond concernsofresearch methodology. For example, psychologists debate the meaning and measurement of intelligence. Most intelligence tests that people use in schools, on job applications, and in making statements about racial or other inherited superiority measure only analytic reasoning (i.e., one's capacity to think abstractly and to infer logically). Yet, many argue that there are other types of intelligence in addition to analytic. Some say there is practical and

creative intelligence. Others suggestmore types, such as social-interpersonal,emotional, bodykinesthetic, musical, or spatial. Ifthere are many forms of intelligence but people narrowly limit measurement to one type, it seriously restricts how schools identift and nurture learning; how larger society evaluates,promotes, and recognizesthe contributions of people;and how a society values diverse human abilities. Likewise, different policymakers and researchers conceptualZe and operationalize poverty differently. How people measure poverty will determine whether people get assistance from numerous social programs (e.g., subsidized housing, food aid, health care, child care, etc.). For example, some say that people are poor oniy if they cannot afford the food required to prevent malnutrition. Others say that people are poor if they have an annual income that is less than one-half of the ayerage (median) income. Still others say that people are poor ifthey earn below a "living wage" based on a judgment about the income needed to meet minimal community standards of health, safery and decency in hygiene, housing, clothing, diet, transportation, and so forth. Decisions about how to conceptualize and measure a variable-povertycan greatly influence the daily living conditions of millions of people.

W H Y M EA S U R E ? We use manymeasures in our dailylives. For example, this morning I woke up and hopped onto a bathroom scale to see how well my diet is working. I glanced at a thermometer to find out whether to wear a coat. Next, I got into my car and checked the gas gauge to be sure I could make it to campus. As I drove, I watched the speedometer so I would not get a speeding ticket. By 8:00e.u., I had measuredweight, temperature, gasoline volume, and speed-all measures about the physical world. Such precise, well-developed measures,which we use in daily life, are fundamental in the natural sciences.

1 l0

P A Rr oNE / F o U N D AT T o N S

the We alsomeasure nonphysicalworld in everydaylife, but usually in less exact terms. when we saythat a restauWe are measuring rant is excellent, that Pablois really smart,that Karen has a negativeattitude toward life, that ]ohnson is really prejudiced,or that the movie last night had a lot of violencein it. However, such everydayjudgments as "really prejudiced" or "a lot of violence" are imprecise, vaguemeasures. The Measurement also extendsour senses. or or the astronomer biologistuses telescope the microscope extendnaturalvision.In contrast to is scientificmeasurement more to our senses, varieslesswith the specificobserver, sensitive, and yieldsmore exactinformation. You recogpregives more specific, nizethat a thermometer than touch ciseinformation about temperature can.Likewise, good bathroom scalegivesyou a and information morespecific, constant, precise girl aboutthe weightofa 5-year-old thanyou get by lifting her and callingher "heavy"or "light." provide preciseinformation Socialmeasures aboutsocialreality. helpsus observe In addition, measurement exwhat is otherwiseinvisible.Measurement It thingsthat tendshuman senses. letsus observe were once unseenand unknown but were predictedbytheory. you need a clear Beforeyou can measure, in. ideaaboutwhatyou areinterested For example,you cannotseeor feelmagnetism with your Magnetismcomesfrom a theory natural senses. its world. You observe effects aboutthe physical metalflecksmoveneara indirectly;for instance, magnet. Themagnetallowsyou to "see"or meahave surethe magneticfields.Natural scientists invented thousandsof measures "see" very to tiny things (molecules insectorgans)or very or or large things (huge geological land masses planets)that are not observable through ordiare nary senses. addition, researchers conIn stantlycreatingnew measures. is Someof the things a socialresearcher inin terested measuringare easyto see(e.g.,age, sex,skin color,etc.),but most cannotbe directly

(e.g.,attitudes, ideology,divorcerates, observed sex deviance, roles,etc.).Like the natural scienof tist who inventsindirect measures the "invisthe of and ible" objects forces the physicalworld, for measures difficultdevises socialresearcher of aspects the socialworld. to-observe


use Both qualitativeand quantitativeresearchers methodsto gatherhigh-qualsystematic carefrrl, in ity data.Yet, differences the srylesof research and the types of data mean they approachthe processdifferently. The two apmeasurement have proaches measurement threedistinctions to One differencebetweenthe two sryles.inthink volves timing. Quantitative researchers about variablesand convert them into specific that occursbeactionsduring a planning stage from gatheringor analyzing fore and separate data. Measurementfor qualitative researcher occursduring the datacollectionprocess. involvesthe data itself. A seconddifference that develop techniques researchers Quantitative can produce quantitativedata (i.e., data in the moves form of numbers).Thus, the researcher from abstractideasto specificdata collection to techniques precisenumerical information The numericalinproducedby the techniques. of formation is an empiricalrepresentation the abstractideas.Data for qualitativeresearcher is sometimes in the form of numbers;more ofwords,actions written or spoken ten, it includes physicalobjects, visualimor sounds,symbols, (e.g., photographs, videos' etc.).The maps, ages doesnot convertall obserqualitative researcher vation into a singlemedium such as numbers. manyflexible'ongohe Instead, or shedevelops that leaves datain the to ing processes measure and sizes, forms. variousshapes, combine ideasand data to All researchers styles the analyze socialworld. In both research of data are empirical representations concepts A links datato concepts. third and measurement



difference is how the two styles make such linkages.Quantitative researcherscontemplate and reflect on concepts before they gather any data. They construct measurement techniques that bridge concepts and data. Qualitative researchersalso reflect on ideas before data collection, but they develop many, if not most, of their concepts during data collection. The qualitative researcherreexamines and evaluatesthe data and concepts simultaneously and interactively. Researchers start gathering data and creating ways to measure based what they encounter. As they gather data, they reflect on the processand develop new ideas.


P ARTS OF T HE M E A S U R E M EN T PR OC ESS When a researcher measures,he or she links a concept, idea, or constructl to a measure (i.e., a technique, a process, a procedure, etc.) by which he or she can observethe idea empiricahy. Quantitative researchersprimarily follow a deductive route. They begin with the abstract idea, follow with a measurement procedure, and end with empirical data that represent the ideas. Qualitative researchersprimarily follow an inductive route. They begin with empirical data, follow with abstract ideas, relate ideas and data, and end with a mixture of ideas and data. Actually, the processis more interactive in both styles of research. As a quantitative researcher develops measures,the constructs become refined and clearer, and as the researcher applies the measuresto gather data, he or she often adjusts the measurement technique. As a qualitative researchergathersdata, he or she usessome preexisting ideas to assist in data collection, and will then mix old with new ideas that are developed from the data. Both qualitative and quantitative researchers use two processes: conceptualization and operationalization in measurement. Conceptualization is the process of taking a construct and refining it by giving it a conceptual or theoretical

definition.Aconceptual definitionis a definition in abstract, theoreticalterms. It refersto other ideasor constructs. Thereis no magicalway to turn a constructinto a precise conceptual definition. It involvesthinking carefully,observing directly, consulting with others, reading what othershavesaid,and trying possible definitions. How might I developa conceptualdefinition of the constructprejudice? Whenbeginning to developa conceptualdefinition, researchers oftenrely on multiple sources-personal experienceand deepthinking, discussions with other people, and the existing scholarlyliterature. I might reflect on what I know about prejudice, askotherswhat theythink aboutit, andgo thelibrary and look up its many definitions.As I gather definitions, the core idea should eet clearer, I havemany definitionsand need"to but sort them out. Most definitionsstatethat prejudice is an attitude about anothergroup and involves prejudgment, judgingprior to getting a or specific information. As I think aboutthe construct,I noticethat all the definitions refer to prejudiceas an attitude, and usually it is an attitude about the membersof another group. There are many forms of prejudice,but most arenegative views aboutpersons ofa differentracial-ethnic group. Prejudicecould be about other kinds ofgroups (e.g., peopleof a religion,of a physical stature, or from a certainregion), but it is alwaysabout a collectivityto which one doesnot belong.Many constructs havemultiple dimensions types, or so I shouldconsider whethertherecanbe different typesof prejudice-racial prejudice,religious prejudice,ageprejudice,genderprejudice,nation prejudice, and so forth. I alsoneedto considerthe units of analysis piejthat bestfit my definition of the construct. udiceis an attitude. Individuals holdandexpress attitudes,but so might groups (e.g.,farnilies, clubs,churches, companies, media outlets).I needto decide, I want my definition of prejDo udiceto includeonly the attitudes individuals of or shouldit includeattitudes heldby groups,organizations, and institutions aswell?Can I say,


P A RT N E ,/ F o u N D A T Io N s o

The schoolor newspaper prejudiced? also was I must distinguishmy constructfrom closelyrelatedones.For example, must ask,How is prejI udice similar to or different from ideassuchas discrimination,stereotype, racism? or Conceptualization the process carefully is of thinking through the meaningof a construct. At this stage, believethat prejudice I meansan inflexiblenegativeattitude that an individual holds and is directedtoward a raceor ethnic group that is an out-group.It can,but doesnot always, lead to behavior,such as treatingpeopleunequally(i.e.,discrimination),and it generally relies on a person'sstereotypes out-group of members. Thus,my initial thought,"Prejudice is a negativefeeling,"has becomea preciselydefined construct.Evenwith all my concep tualization, I need to be even more specific.For example, prejudiceis a negative if attitudeabout a raceor an ethnic group of which one is not a member,I needto considerthe meaningof race or ethnicgroup.I should not assume everyone sees racial-ethniccategories same. the Likewise, it is possible havea positiveprejudgment, to and if so is that a kind of prejudice? The main point is that conceptualization requiresthat I become very clearand statewhat I meanvery explicitly for othersto see. Operationalization links a conceptual definition to a specific of measurement set techniques or procedures, construct's the operational definition (i.e.,a definition in termsof the specific operationsofactions a researcher carriesout). An operationaldefinition could be a surveyquestionnaire,a methodof observing events a field in setting,a way to measuresymbolic content in the massmedia, or any process carried out by the researcher reflects, that documents, repreor sentsthe abstractconstructasit is expressed in the conceptual definition. Thereareusuallymultiple waysto measure a construct. Somearebetteror worseand more or lesspracticalthan others.The key is to fit your measure your specific to conceptual definition,to the practicalconstraints within which you must operate(e.g.,time, money, available subjects,

1. Rememberthe conceptual definition. underlyThe ing principle any measure to matchit to for is the specificconceptualdefinitionof the constructthat will be usedin the study. 2. Keep open an mind. not get lockedinto a sinDo gle measure type of measure. creative or Be and constantly lookfor better measures. 3. Borrow from others.Do not be afraid to borrow fromotherresearchers, longascreditisgiven. as Cood ideasfor measures be found in other can studies modified or from other measures. 4. Anticipate difficulties. Logicaland practicalproblemsoften arisewhen trying to measure variablesof interest.Sometimes problemcaRbe a anticipatedand avoided with careful forethoughtandplanning. 5. Do notforgetyour units analysis. of Your measure shouldfit with the unitsof analysis the study of and permityou to generalize the universe to of interest.

etc.),andto the research techniques know or you canlearn.You can develop new measure a from scratch, it canbe a measure is already or that be(see ing used otherresearchers Box5.1). by Operationalization links the languageof theorywith the language empiricalmeasures. of Theoryis full of abstract concepts, assumptions, relationships, definitions,and causality. Empirical measures describe how peopleconcreteiy measure specific variables. They referto specific operationsor things peopleuseto indicatethe presence constructthat existsin observable ofa reality. Quantitative Conceptualization and Operationalization The measurement processfor quantitative research flows in a straightforward sequence: first


1 13

conceptualization, followed by operationalization, followed by applying the operational definition or measuringto collect the data. developed several Quantitativeresearchers ways to rigorouslylink abstract ideas measurement to procedures that will produce precisequantitative information about empiricalreality. Figure 5.1 illustrates the measurement process two variables arelinked together for that in a theoryand a hypothesis. Therearethreelevelsto consider: conceptual, operational, emand pirical.At the most abstract level,the researcher is interestedin the causalrelationshipbetween two constructs, a concEtualhypothesis. or Atthe levelofoperationaldefinitions,the researcher is interestedin testing an empiricalhypothesis to determinethe degree association of between indicators.This is the level at which correlations. statistics, questionnaires, the like are used. and Thethird levelis the concrete empiricalworld. If the operationalindicators of variables(e.g., questionnaires)are logically linked to a construct (e.g., racialdiscrimination),theywill capture what happens the empiricalsocialworld in and relateit to the conceptual level.

The measurement process links together the three levels,moving deductivelyfrom the abstractto the concrete. researcher A first conceptualizes variable,giving it a clear concepa tual definition.Next,he or sheoperationalizes it by developingan operationaldefinition or set of indicators for it. Last, he or she appliesthe indicators in the empirical world. The links from abstractconstructs empiricalreality alto low the researcher test empiricalhypotheses. to Thosetestsare logically linked back to a conceptual hlpothesis and causalrelations in the world of theory. A hypothesis at leasttwo variables, has and the processes conceptualization operaof and tionalization are necessary eachvariable.ln for the preceding example, prejudice is not a hypothesis. is one variable.It could be a deIt pendentvariablecaused somethingelse, it by or could be an independent variable causing somethingelse.It depends my theoretical on explanation. We can return to the quantitative study by Weitzerand Tuch on perceptions policebias of and misconductdiscussed Chapter2 for an in

F I G URE Abstract Construct to Goncrete Measure Independent Variable Dependent Variable



Level of Theory

Operationalization Tested Emoirical Hypothesis


Operational Level


Empirical Level

1.1 4


example of how researchersconceptualize and operationalize variables. It is an explanatory study with two main variables in a causal hypothesis. The researchers began with the conceptualhypothesis:Members of a nondominant racial group are more likely than a dominant racial group to believe that policing is racially biased, and their experience with policing and exposure to media reports on police racial bias increasethe perception ofracial bias. They conceptualizedthe independent variable, dominant racial group, as White and the nondominant group as non-White subdivided into Black and Hispanic. The researchercconcEtualizedthe dependent variable, racially biasedpolicing, as unequal treatment by the police of Whites and non-Whites and racial prejudice by police officers. The researchersoperationalized the in' dependent variable by self-identification to a survey question about race.They operationalized the dependent variable by using four setsof survey questions: (1) questions about whether police treat Blacks better, the same, or worse than Whites, and the same question with Hispanics substituted for Blacks; (2) questions about whether police treat Black neighbhorhoods bet-

sense"or organizethe data and one'spreliminary ideas. qualgathers analyzes and As the researcher itative data, he or she developsnew concepts, formulates definitions for the concepts' and considersrelationshipsamong the concepts. to he Eventually, or shelinks concepts one anthat relationships may theoretical otherto create or may not be causal.Qualitative researchers their qualitaas form the concepts they examine tive data (i.e.,field notes,photosand maps,historical documents,etc.). Often, this involvesa questions aboutthe theoretical asking researcher conflict?What is of data (e.g.,Is this a case class ofeventsand could it be different? the sequence Why did this happenhere and not somewhere else?). by conceptualizes A qualitative researcher developingclear,explicit definitions of constructs.The definitions are somewhatabstract and linked to other ideas,but usuallythey are data'They canbe extied to specific alsoclosely actionsof the pressed the wordsand concrete in people being studied. In qualitative rgsearch, is conceptualization largely determinbdby the data.

ter, the same,or worsethan Whites ones,with for the samequestionasked Hispanicneighbor- a(Operationalization. The operationalization ' hoods; (3) a questionabout whetherthere is 'process for qualitative researchsignificantly differs from that in quantitative researchand in prejudiceamongpolice ofEcers racial-ethnic Aresearcher conceptualization. often precedes the city; and (+) a questionaboutwhetherpolice forms conceptualdefinitions out of rudimenthey aremorelikelyto siop somedriversbecause tary "working ideas"that he or sheusedwhile areBlackor liispani". or making observations gatheringdata.Instead

and conceptualization Quatitative
Operationalization 4 Conceptualization. The conceptualization alsodiffers from pro..ri in qualitativeresearch Insteadof refining ln quantitativeresearch. ihat definitionsearlyin into theoretical ideas abstract requalitativeresearchers process, the research "*otking ideas"during the fine rudimentaty process. Conceptudatacollectionand analysis of is a process iorming coherenttheoalization retical definiiions as one strugglesto "make

by searcheroperationaiizes describing how specific observationsand thoughts about the data contributed to working ideasthat are the basisof conceptualdefinitions and theoretical concepts. is research Operationalizationinqualitative anafter-the-factdescriptionmorethanabeforethe-factpreplannedtechnique.Almost in a redatagathering verseof the quantitativeprocess' occurswith or prior to full operationalization.




|ust asquantitativeoperationalization devisistanceto reformulation to acceptance, and atesfrom a rigid deductiveprocess, process with acceptance the camenew corporate policy.The followedby qualitative researchers oneof muis researchers drew on past studiesto argue also tual interaction.The researcher drawson ideas that the "managerializationof law" illustrates from beyondthe data of a specificresearch setonerole of top corporatemanagers-theyinnoting. Qualitativeoperationalization describes vate and alter internal operationsby creating how the researcher collectsdata,but it includes new terms, justifications, and maneuversthat the researcher's of preexisting use techniques help firms adjustto potential "disruptions"and and concepts that wereblendedwith thosethat requirements originatingin the corporation,s emergedduring the data collectionprocess. In externalpolitical-legal environment. qualitativeresearch, ideasand eyidence muare tually interdependent. We canseean example qualitativeoperaof AND VALIDITY tionalizationin the study on managerialization RELIABITITY of law by Edelmanand associates (2001)disReliability and validity are central issues all in cussed Chapter2. It is a descriptive in studythat measurement. Both concernhow concrete mea_ developed one main construct.The researchers suresare connected constructs. to Reliability began with an interestin how major U.S.corpoand validity aresalientbecause constructs sol in rationscameto accept legalmandates from the cial theory are often ambiguous, diffuse,and late,,l97Os early 1990s. to The mandates perfect reliability and stated not directly observable. thdt firms must institutepoliciesto equalize and validity are virtually impossibleto achieve. improve the hiring and promotion of racialrniRather,they are idealsfor which researchers norities and women, somethingthe firms inistrive. tially opposed.The researcher's empiricaldata All socialresearchers their measures want to consisted articles magazines of in written for and be reliableandvalid.Both ideas important in are by corporate managers, "managerial or rhetoric', establishing truthfulness,credibility, or bethe (i.e:,debates discussion and within the commulievabilityof findings.Both termsalsohavemulnity of leadingprofessional managers imporon tiple meanings. Here, they refer to related, tant issues). After gatheringnumerousarticles, desirable aspects measurement. of the researchers operationalizedthe by develdata Reliability meansdependabilityor consisoping working ideasand concepts from an intency.It suggests the samething is repeated that ductiveexamination ofthe data.Theresearchers or recursunderthe identicalor verysimilarcondiscovered that as managers discussed deand ditions. The oppositeof reliabilityis a measureliberated, they had created setofnew nonlegal ment that yieldserratic,unstable, inconsistent a or terms,ideas, justifications. and Theoperational- results. ization moved inductivelyfrom looking at artiValidity suggests truthfulnessand refersto cles to creating working ideasbasedon what the match between construct,or the way a rea researchers found in the rhetoric.Theresearchers searcher conceptualizes ideain a conceptual the conceptuakzed working ideasinto the abtheir definition, and a measure. refersto howwell It stractconstruct"manageri alizationoflaw." The an idea about reality "fits" with actual reality. researchers that that corporatemanagers Theabsence validityoccurs thereis poor saw of if fit had alteredand reformulatedthe original legal betweenthe constructsa researcher usesto determsand mandates, created and new onesthat scribe,theorize,or analyze socialworld and the weremore consistent with the valuesand views what actuallyoccursin the socialworld. In simof major corporations. The researchers docuple terms,validity addresses questionof how the menteda historicalprocess movedfrom rethat well the socialreality being measured through

I I6



researchmatcheswith the constructs researchers use to understand it. Qualitative and quantitative researchers want reliable and valid measurement, but beyond an agreement on the basic ideas at a general level, each style sees the specifics of reliability and validity in the research process differently.

it Otherwise, is impossibleto determinewhich conceptis being "indicated." For example,the indicator of a pure chemicalcompoundis more is reliablethan one in which the chemical mixed it with other materialor dirt. In the latter case, is the difficult to separate "noise"of othermaterial from the pure chemical.

Reliability and Validity in Quantitative Research deReliability. As just stated, reliabilitymeans pendability.It meansthat the numericalresults producedby an indicatordo not vary because of process or characteristics the measurement of measurement instrument itself. For example,I geton mybathroom scale and readmyweight. I get offand get on againand again.I havea reliable scaleif it givesme the sameweight each time-assuming, of course, that I am not eating, drinking, changingclothing, and so forth. An unreliable scalewill registerdifferent weights eachtime, eventhough my "true" weight does not change. Another example is my car If speedometer. I am driving at a constantslow speedon a level surface,but the speedometer needlejumps from one end to the other, my is speedometer not a reliableindicator of how fastI am traveling. How to Improve Reliability. It is rare to have perfect reliability. There are four ways to in(1) crease reliabilityof measures: clearlyconthe ceptrtalize constructs,(2) use a preciselevel of (3) measurement, use multiple indicators,and (4) usepilot-tests. All Clearly Conceptualize Constructs. Reliability increases when a singleconstructor subdimenThis means sion of a constructis measured. defi developing unambiguous, cleartheoretical nitions.Constructs shouldbe specified elim. to nate "noise" (i.e., distracting or interfering information) from other constructs. Eachmeasureshouldindicateone and only one concept.

Increase Levelof Measurement. Levelsof the later. Indicators at measurement discussed are higher or more preciselevelsof measurement are more likely to be reliable than lessprecise because latter pick up lessdetailed the measures information. If more specificinformation is measured,then it is less likely that anything other than the constructwill be captured.The principle is: Try to measure the most at general However,it is more diffiprecise levelpossible. at of cult to measure higherlevels measurement For example,if I have a choiceof measuring prejudiceas eitherhigh or low, or in 10 catelow to extremelyhigh, it goriesfrom extremely would be better to measureit in 10 refined categories.

IJse Multiple Indicatorsof a Variable. A third reliabilityis to usemultiple indiwayto increase two (or more) indicatorsof the cators,because same constructarebetterthan one.Figure5.2illustratesthe use of multiple indicators in hypothesistesting.Three indicatorsof the one variableconstructare combined independent A, into an overallmeasure, and two indicatorsof variablearecombinedinto a single a dependent B. measure, I threeindicatorsof the For example, create prejudice. first indicaMy racial-ethnic variable, tor is an attitude questionon a survey.I askresearchparticipantstheir beliefs and feelings about many different racial and ethnic goups. parresearch For a secondindicator, I observe ticipants from variousracesand ethnic groups interactingtogetherover the courseof three days.I look for thosewho regularly either (1) and sound to avoideyecontact,appear be tense, cooland distant;or (2) makeeyecontact,appear




Independent Variable Measure

_ _E1plrrgq! _ Association?

Dependent Variable Measure

Specific Indicators


relaxed,an{ sound warm and friendly asthev interact with people of their same or with people of a difFerent racial-ethnic group. Last, I creite an experiment. I ask research participants to read the grade transcripts, resumes, and interview reports on 30 applicants for five jobsyouth volunteer coordinator, office manager, janitor, clothing store clerk, and advertising account executive.The applicants have many qualifications, but I secretly manipulate their racial or ethnic group to seewhether a researchparticipant decides on the best applicant for the jobs basedon an applicant'srace and ethnicity. Multiple indicators let a researcher take measurementsfrom a wider range ofthe content of a conceptual definition. Didrent aspectsof the construct can be measured, each with its own indicator. Also, one indicator (e.g., one question on a questionnaire) may be imperfect, but several measures are less likely to have the same (systematic) error. Multiple indiiator measurestend to be more stable than measures with one item. Use Pretests, Pilot Studies, and Replication. Reliability can be improved by using a pretest or pilot version of a measure first. Develop one or more draft or preliminaryversions of a measure and try them before applying the final version in

a hlpothesis-testing situation. This takesmore time and effort. The principle of usingpilot-testsextends to replicatingthe measures other researchers have used. example, search literatureandfind For I the measures prejudicefrom pastresearch. may of I want to build on and usea previousmeasure it if is a good one,citing the source, ofcourse.In ad_ dition, I may want to add new indicators and compare themto theprevious measure. Validity. Validity is an overused term. Some_ times, it is usedto mean "true" or "correct.', Thereareseveral general typesofvalidity. Here, we are concernedwith measurement validitv. Therearealsoseveral types measurement of validiry Nonmearot"merritypes validityaredisof cussed later. When a researcher that an indicator is says valid, it is valid for a particularpurposeand definition. The sameindicator canbe valid for one purpose(i.e., a research questionwith units of analysis and universe)but lessvalid or invalid for others.For example,the measure prejuof dicediscussed might bevalid for measuring here prejudiceamong teachers invalid for meabut suringthe prejudiceofpolice officers. At its core, measurement validity refersto how wellthe conceptual operational and defini-


1 18

oN P A RT E / F o u N D A T l o N s

tions meshwith eachother. The better the fit, validity.Validity is the the greater measurement to achievethan reliabilrty'We moie difficult aboutvalidity' confidence cannothaveabsolute are measures morevalid than others' but some validabsolute we The reason canneverachieve whereas are constructs abstractideas, ity is that This is indicatorsrefer to concreteobservation' gapbefiveenour mental picturesabout the the thingswe do at particular world and the specific Validity is part of a dynamic places. times and evidence that growsby accumulating process becomes Without it, all measurement overtime. meaningless.

ContentVatidity. Contentvalidity is a special the type offacevalidity' It addresses question,Is in content of a definition represented a ** ntU it definition holds ideas; A conceptual measure? Meaand concepts' "space" containingideas is a ,or", ,horrld representall ideasor areasin the conceptual space. Content validity involves First, specifffi'rllythe entire content threesteps. from all definition.Next, sample in a consiruct's the definition. Finally,developan indiof areas catorthat tapsall of the partsof the definition' of An example contentvalidity is my defincommitmentto a ition of feminismasa person's creatingfull equalitybetweenmen setof beliefs of and women in areas the arts,intellectualpurwork, politics, and authority relasuits,family, em Three Types of M easur ent Vali ility of tions. I createa measure feminismin which I to FaceValidity. The easiest achieveand the surveyquestions:(1) Should men and asktwo most basickind of validity is facet'alidity' lt is a women get equil pay for equal work a1d !z) judgment by the scientificcommunity that the tasks? uttd*omen sharehousehold Should the indlcator really measures construct.It adthe -..t haslow contentvaliditybecause My measure On the dresses question, the faceof it, do people ask questions only aboutpayandhousehold two believethat the definition and method of meatasks.They ignore the other areas(intellectual method' For exsurementfit? It is a consensus pursuits,politics,authority relations,and other ample, few peoplewould accepta measureof of aspects work and family). For a content-valid collige studentmath ability using a question *iatut., I must either expandthe m.easure or 2 that askedstudents: + 2 = ?This is not a valid definition. narrow the math ability on the face of measure college-level CriterionValidity' Criterionvalidityusessome of it. Recallthat in the scientificcommunity,asare pectsof research scrutinizedby others' See standardor criterion to indicatea constructactable 5.1 for a summaryof typesof measure- curately.The validity of an indicator is verified of by comparingit with anothermeasure the ment validity. Thereare constructthat is widelyaccepted' same of two subtypes this kind ofvalidity.
TA B LE 5. I

Summaryof Measurement Validity Types

Face-in the judgmentof others Content-captures the entiremeaning source Criterion-agrees with an external measure r Concurrent-agreeswith a preexisting . Predictive-agrees with future behavior

validValidity. To haveconcurrent Concurrent with mustbe associated a preexity, anindicator isting indicator that is judgedto be valid (i'e', it a you hasfacevalidity). For example, create new For intelligence' it to be concurtestto measure with rently valid, it shouldbe highly associated the (assuming samedefinition existingIQ tests is of inteiligence used).This meansthat most score high on the old measure people who tnoUa alsoscorehigh on the new one,and vice may not be perfectly versa.The two measures if they measurethe sameor a but associated,



I I9

similar construct,it is logical for them to yield similar results.

qualitativeresearchers apply the principlesdifferentlyin practice.

Predictive Validity. Criterion validitywhereby Reliability. Reliabilitymeans dependability or an indicator predictsfuture events that arelogconsistency. use Qualitativeresearchers a variety ically relatedto a construct is calledpredictive of techniques(e.g.,interviews,participation, validity.It cannotbe usedfor all measures. photographs, The documentstudies, etc.) to record measure the actionpredicted and must be distheir observations consistently. Qualitativeretinct from but indicatethe sameconstruct.Pre(i.e.,not vacillatsearchers want to be consistent dictive measurement validity should npt be ing and erratic) in how, over time, they make confusedwith prediction in hypothesis testing, observations, similar to the ideaof stabilityreliwhereone variablepredictsa different variable ability. One difficulty is that they often study in the future. For example,the Scholastic processes Asthat are not stableover time. Moreyalueof a changingor sessmentTest (SAT) that many U.S. high over,they emphasizelhe school studentstake measures scholasticaptidevelopinginteraction betweenthe researcher tude-the.ability of a studentto perform in coland what he or shestudies. lege.If the SAT has high predictivevalidity, believe that the subQualitativeresearchers then students ject matter and a researcher's who gethigh SATscores subwill relationshipto it sequently well in college. studentswith do If should be a growing, evolving process.The high scores perform the sameas studentswith metaphor for the relationshipbetweena reaverage low scores, ot then the SAT has low searcher the datais one ofan evolvingrelaand predictivevalidity. tionship or living organism (e.g.,a plant) that Another way to testpredictivevalidity is to naturally matures.Most qualitativeresearchers select group ofpeople who havespecificchara resist the quantitative approach to reliability, acteristics predict how they will score(very and which they seeas a cold, fixed mechanicalinhigh or verylow) vis-d-visthe construct.For exstrumentthat one repeatedly injectsinto or apample, I have a measureof political conser- pliesto somestatic,lifeless material. vatism. I predict that membersof conservative considera rangeof Qualitativeresearchers groups (e.9.,John Birch Society,Conservative datasources employmultiplemeasurement and Caucus, Daughters the AmericanRevolution, methods.They acceptthat differentresearchers of Moral Majority) will scorehigh on it, whereas or that researchers using alternativemeasures members liberalgroups(e.g., of Democratic Sowill getdistinctiveresults. This is because qualicialists,Peoplefor the American Way, Ameritativeresearchers datacollectionasan intersee cansfor DemocraticAction) will scorelow. I in activeprocess which particularresearchers "validate"the measure with the groups-that is, operatein an evolvingsettingand the setting's I pilot-test it by using it on membersof the contextdictates usinga uniquemix of measures groups.It can then be usedasa measure poof that cannot be repeated. The diversemeasures litical ponservatism the general for public. and interactionswith diflerent researchers are beneficialbecause they can illuminate different facetsor dimensionsof a subjectmatter. Many Reliability and Validity in Qualitative qualitativeresearchers questionthe quantitative Research questfor standard, researcher's fixed measures. Most qualitativeresearchers acceptthe princiTheyfearthat suchmeasures ignorethe benefits plesof reliability and validiry but usethe terms of havinga varietyof researchers many apwith infrequently because their closeassociation proaches of and may neglectkey aspects diverof with quantitativemeasurement. addition. In sity that existin the socialworld.




Relationship between Reliability Vatiitity. Validity meanstruthful. It refersto and Validity the bridge betweena constructand the data' in are researchers more interested Qualitative to for validity andis easier authenticity than validity ' Authenticity means Reliabilityis necessary Although reliabilityis necthan validity. achieve accountof giving a fair, honest,and balanced of in essary order to havea valid measure a conwho from the viewpoint of someone iociaillfe willbe that guarantee a measure cept,it doesnot are lives it everyday.Qualitative researchers a suffcient condition for validity' ,.Jia. tt is not less concernedwith trying to match an abresultoverand can A measure producethe same to empirical data and more stract concept (i.e.,it hasreliability),but what it measures over concernedwith giving a candid portrayal of may not match the definition of the construct of that is true to the experiences social life (i.e., validity). people being studied.Most qualitativereA measurecan be reliablebut invalid. For on concentrate waysto capturean searchers I example, get on a scaleand get weighed'The insideview and provide a detailedaccountof weight regiiteredby the scaleis the sameeach beingstudiedfeelaboutand underhow those timi I ger on and off. But then I go to another standevents. sev- scale-an "official" one that measurestrue have Qualitativeresearchers developed weight-and it saysthat my weight is eral methods that serveas substitutesfor the great.The first scaleyieldedreliable(i.e', deemphato quantitativeapproach validity.These results,but it did not pendableand consistent) the slzeconveying insider'sview to others.Hisof mYweight. use torical researchers internal and external givea valid measure A diagrammight help you seethe relationdetermine whether the evidence criticisms to reliability and validiry'Figure 5'3 ship berween it theyhaveis realor theybelieve to be. Qualitathe between concepts illuitratesthe relationship adhereto the core principle of tive researchers of a target.The bull's-eye by using the analogy validity, to be truthful (i.e.' avoid falseor disand the defia ,"pr"r.ttt, a fit between measure They try to createa tight fit torted accounts). ideas'and state- nition of the construct. betweentheir understanding, Validity and reliability are usuallycomplethe socialworld and what is actumentsabout but in somesituationsthey mentary concepts, ally occurringin it'

FI c u RE 5 . 3

betweenReliabilityand validity lllustration of Relationship
A Bull's-Eye= A PerfectMeasure

Low Reliability and LowValiditY

High ReliabilitY but Low ValiditY

High ReliabilitY and High ValiditY

(2004:1a5)' from Babbie Adapted Source;




conflict with eachother. Sometimes, validity as increases, reliabfity is more difficult to attain,and viceversa. This occurswhen the constructhasa highly abstractand not easilyobservable definition. Reliability is easiest achievewhen the to measure precise observable. is and Thus,thereis a strain betweenthe true essence the highly abof stractconstructand measuringit in a concrete "alienation"is a very abmanner.For example, stract,highly subjectiveconstruct, often defined as a deepinner sense lossof one'shumanity of that diffirses across manyaspects one's (e.g., of life socialrelations, sense ofseli orientationtoward nature).Highly precise questions a questionin naire givereliablemeasures) thereis a danger but of losingthesubjective essence the concept. of Other Usesof the Terms Reliable and Valid Many words havemultiple definitions,including reliabilityandvalidity.This creates confusion unless distinguishamongalternative we usesof the same word. Reliability, We usereliabilityin everyday language. reliablepersonis one who is dependA able, stable,and responsible; reliablecar is a dependable and trustworthy. This meansthe personresponds similar, predictable in waysin differenttimes and conditions;the samecanbe resaidfor the car.In addition to measurement sometimes a studyor its say Jiabiliry researchers resultsare reliable.By this, they mean that the method of conductinga study or the results from it canbe reproduced replicated other or by researchers. Internal Validity, Internal validity means there are no errorsinternal to the designofthe project. It is usedprimarily in experiresearch mental research talk about possible to errorsor alternative explanations ofresults that arisedespiteattemptsto institute controls.High internal validity means therearefewsucherrors.Low internal validity means that such errors are likelv.

External Validity. External alidlrTis usedpriv marily in experimental research. is the ability It findingsfrom a specific to generalize settingand smallgroupto a broadrangeof settings peoand ple. It addresses question,If something the happensin a laboratoryor amonga particulargroup (e.g.,college of subjects students), the findcan to ingsbe generalized the "real" (nonlaboratory) public (nonstudents)? world or to the general validity means High external that the resultscan to be generalized many situationsand many groups of people.Low externalvalidity means that the resultsapplyonly to averyspecific setting. Statistical Valiility. Statistical validity means that the correct statisticalprocedureis chosen and its assumptions fully met. Difflerentstaare tistical testsor proceduresare appropriatefor differentconditions,which arediscussed textin booksthat describe statistical the procedures. are All statistics based assumptions on about properties the numbersbethe mathematical of ing used.A statisticwill be invalid and its results if nonsense the major assumptions violated. are (actuallythe For example, computean average to mean,which is discussed a later chapter), in one cannot useinformation at the nominal level of (to measurement be discussed). example, For I the suppose measure raceof a class students. of I give eachrace a number: White = 1, African American= 2, Asian= 3, others= 4. It makes no sense saythat the "mean" raceof aclass stuto of dentsis 1.9(almostAfricanAmerican?). is a This misuseof the statisticalprocedure,and the resultsare invalid evenif the computationis corto rect.The degree which statistical assumptions can be violated or bent (the technical term is is robustness)a topic in which professional statisticianstakegreatinterest.

A GUIDE TO QUANTITATIVE MEASUREMENT Thus far, you havelearnedabout the principles includingthe principlesof reliof measurement,



have abiiity andvalidity. Quantitativeresearchers to help measures and ideas specialized developed defiofcreatingoperational them in the process measures nitions that will be reliableand valid and yield numericaldatafor their variableconis of This section the chapter abrief guide structs. ideasand a few of the measures. to these Levelsof Measurement but is of Levels measurement an abstract importhat it idea.Basically, says tant and widely used a measures constructare somewaysa researcher at a higher or more refinedlevel,and othersare -or lesspreciselyspecified.The level of crude dependson the way in which a measurement construct is conceptualized-that is, assumptions aboutwhetherit hasparticularcharacteristhe affects kinds tics. The levelof measurement is tied to basicassumpand of indicatorschosen tions in a construct's definition. The way in limavariable conceptualizes which a researcher that he or shecan its the levelsof measurement useand hasimplicationsfor how measurement can analysis proceed. and statistical Continuous and Discrete Variables. Variablescan be thought of asbeing either continhavean variables Continuous uous or discrete. or attributesthat flow infinite number of values along a continuum. The valuescan be divided in into many smallerincrements; mathematical number of incretheory, there is an infinite of ments.Examples continuousvariablesinage,income,crime rate,and cludetemperature, have a variables . amount of schooling Discrete valuesor variable relativelyfixed setof separate Insteadof a smooth continuum of attributes. values,discretevariablescontain distinct cateinclude variables of gories.Examples discrete religion (Protestant' gender(male or female), batholic, Iew, Muslim, atheist),and marital status (never married single, married, diwidowed)' Whether a vorced or separated, variable is continuous or discreteaffectsits levelof measurement.

Four Levelsof Measurement and Precision Levels. The ideaof levelsof meabetween surementexpandson the difference and organizes variables continuousand discrete The typesofvariablesfor their usein statistics' the categotize degree of iiur levels measurement of precisionof measurement. Deciding on the appropriatelevel of measurementfor a construct often createsconfufor levelof measurement a sion.The appropriate tlvo things:(1) how lcolon depends variable and structis conceptualized (2) the type of indiuses' that a researcher catoror measurement researcherconceptualizesa The way a it constructcanlimit how precisely canbe mealisted someof the variables sured.For example) as canbe ri:conceptualized earlierascontinuous canbe a continuousvariTemperature discrete. or fractionsofdegrees) it can able(e.g.,degrees, with discretecategories be crudely measured age (e.g., or cold). Likewise, canbe continuhot months,days, personis in years, oni (ho* old a or treatedasdiscretecatehours,and minutes) young gories(infancy,childhood, adolescence, old age).Yet, most disid,rlthood, middle age, as cannotbe conceptualized concretevariables sex, example, religion,and For tinuousvariables. as marital statuscannotbe conceptualized concanbe conconstructs related tinuous;however, ceptualizedas continuous (e.g., femininity, commitmentto a mariof degree religiousness, etc.). tal relationship, limits the statistiThelevelof measurement used.A wide rangeof that can be cal measures for are procedures available powerful statistical but the types ihe higherlevelsof measurement, that canbe usedwith the lowestlevof statistics elsarevery limited. Thereis a practicalreasonto conceptualize variablesat higher levelsof meaand measure of higherlevels meaYou cancollapse surement. is the reverse not but surementto lower levels, a to possible measure true. In other words, it is very specificinconstructvery precisely, $ather formation, and then ignore someof the precia to sion.But it is not possible measure construct



numbersdouble,because degrees not the zero is absence ofall heat. Discrete variables nominal and ordinal. are Distinguishing amongtheFourLwels. The four whereas continuousvariables can be measured levelsfrom lowestto greatest highestprecior at the interval or ratio level.A ratio-levelmeasion are nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. sure can be turned into an interval,ordinal, or Eachlevel givesa different type of information nominal level.The interval level can alwaysbe (see Table5.2).Nominalmeasures indicate only turned into an ordinal or nominal level,but the that thereis a difference amongcategories (e.g., process doesnot work in the opposite way! religion: Protestant,Catholic, Iew, Muslim; In general, at leastfive ordinal categories use racial heritage:African, Asian, Caucasian, Hisand obtain many observations. This is because panic, other). Ordinal measures indicate a difthe distortion createdby collapsinga continuference,plus the categories can be ordered or ous constructinto a smallernumber of ordered ranked(e.g., letter grades: B, C, D, F; opinion A, categories minimized asthe number of cateis measures:Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, goriesand the number of observations increase. StronglyDisagree) Interval measures . everything The ratio level of measurementis rarely the first two do,plus itcan speci$' amountof the usedin the socialsciences. most purposes, For it distance between (e.g.,Fahrenheit categories or is indistinguishable from intervalmeasurement. Celsius temperature: 5o,45o,90'; scores: Ie 95, The only differenceis that ratio measurement 110,125).Arbitrary zeroes may be usedin interhasa "true zero."This canbe confusing because val measures; they are just there to help keep somemeasures, temperature, like havezeroes score. Ratiomeasures everything the other do all that arenot true zeroes. temperature be The can levels do,plusthereis a true zero,which makes it zero) or below zero, but zero is an arbitrary possible staterelationsin termsof proportion to numberwhen it is assigned temperature. to This or ratios(e.g., moneyincome:$10,$100,$500; can be illustrated by comparing zero degrees yearsof formal schooling:I year, 10 years,13 Celsius with zero degrees Fahrenheit-they are years); different temperatures. addition, doubling In In most practicalsituations, distinction the the degrees one systemdoesnot double the in between intervaland ratio levels makes little difdegrees the other. Likewise, doesnot make in it ference.The arbitrary zeroesof some interval sense saythat it is "twice aswarm," asis posto measures be confusing.For example,a rise can siblewith ratio measurement, ifthe temperalure in temperature from 30 to 60 degrees not reis risesfrom 2to 4degrees, from 15to 30 degrees, ally a doubling of the temperature, althoughthe or from 40 to 80 degrees. Another common ex-

with lessprecisionor with lessspecificinformation and then makeit more precise later.


Characteristics the Four Levels Measurement of of

Nominal Ordinal Interval Ratio

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


P A Rr oN E ,/ F o u N D A T Io N s

true-zeroes occurs ample of arbitrary-not when measuring attitudes where numbers are assignedto statements (e.g., - 1 = disagree,0 = no opinion, +1 = agree).True zeroesexist for variables such as income, age,or years of education. Examples of the four levelsof measurement are shown in Table 5.3. Specialized Measures: Scales and Indexes have created thousands of different Researchers scalesand indexes to measure social variables. For example, scalesand indexes have been developed to measure the degree of formalization in bureaucratic organizations, the prestige ofoccupations, the adjustment of people to a marriage, the intensity ofgroup interaction, the level of social activity in a community, the degree to which a state'ssexualassaultlaws reflect feminist values, and the level of socioeconomic development of a nation. I cannot discussthe thousands of scalesand indexes. Instead, I will focus on principles of scale and index construction and explore some major types.

Keep two things in mind. First, virtually every social phenomenoncan be measured. directly and Someconstructscan be measured numericalvalues(e.g.,family produceprecise require the use of income).Other constructs or surrogates proxiesthat indirectly measurea (e.g., predisand may not be asprecise variable a position to commit a crime). Second, lot can used by other rebe learnedfrom measures You searchers. arefortunateto havethe work of to ofresearchers draw on. It is not althousands You canuse start waysnecessaryto from scratch. a past scaleor index, or you can modif it for your own purposes. Indexesand Scales. You might find the terms they are often index andscaleconfusingbecause scaleis One researcher's usedinterchangeably. index.Both produceordinal- or interanother's of val-levelmeasures a variable.To add to the can be scaleand index techniques confusion, and indexes combined in one measure.Scales more information about vari-' give a researcher the to and ables makeit possible assess qualityof increase reliaand Scales indexes measurement.

TA B LE 5.3

Exampleof Levelsof Measurement

Religion (nominal) (ordinal) Attendance

lQ Score(interval)

Age (ratio)

Baptist) not are Lutheran, Catholic, (Jewish, denominations religious Different to as is just one (unless belief conceptualized closer heaven). ranked, different (0) services? Never,(.1 lessthan oncea "How often do you attend religious ) timesa year,(4) about once a month,(5) two or three times year,(3) several at This might havebeenmeasured a ratio timesa week?" or a week, (8) several instead. wasasked attended oftimesa Person levelifthe exactnumber or middle, normal. with 1 00 as average, tests areorganized Most intelligence with a Someone from the average. Scores higheror lowerindicatedistance for intelligence people measured aboveaverage scoreof I I 5 hassomewhat of the test, while90 is slightlybelow.Scores below65 or aboveI 40 l:.r::":O by Age is measured yearsof age.Thereis a true zero (birth)' Note that a 40year-old livedtwiceas longasa 2O-year-old. has




and Formost purposes, cantreat scales indexes you do Socialresearchers not usea as interchangeable. between to consistentnomenclature distinguish them. captures Ascaleis measure whicha researcher a in the intensity, direction, level, potencyof a variable or on responses observations or construct. arranges lt indicator or A a continuum. scale can use a single multipleindicators. Most are at the ordinallevelof measuremenL adds Anindexis a measure whicha researcher in of or combines several distinctindicators a construct scoreis often a into a singlescore.This composite lt simplesum of the multipleindicators. is usedfor validity.Indexes often are content and convergent measured the interval ratio level. at or combinethe featuresof Researchers sometimes This is comin scales and indexes a singlemeasure. that has indicators mon when a researcher several (i.e., intensityor direction). are scales that measure He or she then adds these indicatorstogether to yielda single an score, therebycreating index.

the Jewish category.Likewise, a variable measuring type of ciry with the attributes river port city, state capital, and interstate highway exit, lacks mutually exclusive attributes. One city could be all three (a river port state capital with an interstate exit), any one of the three, or none of the three. Exhaustiveattributes means that all casesfit into one of the attributes of a variable. When measuring religion, a measure with the attributes Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish is not exclusive. The individual who is a Buddhist, a Moslem, or an agnostic does not fit anl.where. The attributes should be developed so that every possible situation is covered. For example, Catholic, Protestant, Iewish, or other is an exclusive and mutually exclusive set of attributes. In addition to being muUnidimensionality. tually exclusive and exhaustive, scales and indexes should also be unidimensional. or one dimensional. Unidimensionality means that all the items in a scaleor index fit together, or measure a single construct. Unidimensionality was suggestedin discussionsofcontent and concurrent validity. Unidimensionality says: If you combine several specific pieces of information into a single score or measure,have all the pieces work together and measure the same thing. Researchersuse a statistical measure called Cronunidimenionality. Alpha bach's alpha to assess a maximum of 1.0 for a perfect ranges from scoreto zero. To be considereda good measure, the alpha should be .70 or higher. There is an apparent contradiction between using a scale or index to combine parts or subparts of a construct into one measure and the criteria of unidimensionality. It is only an apparent contradiction, however, becauseconstructs are theoretically defined at different levels ofabstraction. General, higher-level or more abstract constructs can be defined as containing several subparts. Each subdimension is a part of the construct's overall content. For example, I define the construct "feminist ideology" as a general ideology about gen-

bility and validity, and they aid in data reducand tion; that is, they condense simplify the in(see formationthat is collected Box 5.2). Mutually Exclush,eand ExhaustiveAttributes. it Beforediscussing scales indexes, is imporand tant to review featuresof good measurement. including nomiThe attributesof all measures, nal-level measures, shouldbe mutuallyexclusive and exhaustive. meansthat an Mutually exclusive attributes fits individual or case into one and only one attribute of a variable. For example,a variable measuring type of religion-with the attributes Christian,non-Christian,and Jewish-is not mutually exclusive. Judaismis both a nonChristianreligionand a |ewishreligion,soa Iewish personfits into both the non-Christianand

'| .26

P A Rr oN E / F o u N D A rl o N S

der. Feminist ideologyis a highly abstractand beliefs-and It general construct. includesspecific political,fameconomic, towardsocial, attitudes five beilv, and sexualrelations'The ideology's construct' general are lief areas partsof the single The parts aremutually reinforcingand together form a system of beliefs about the dignity' strength,and powerof women. then If feministideologyis unidimensional, that varies from there is a unified belief system very antifeministto very profeminist.We cantest multiple that thevalidity of the measure includes subparts'If indicators that tap the construct's one belief area(e.g.,sexualrelations)is consisin tently distinct from the other areas empirical unidimensionality. its thenwe question tests, A It is easyto becomeconfused: specific of a unidimensional can measure be an indicator constructin one situationand indicatea part of a differentconstructin anothersituation.This is constructscan be usedat difpossible because ferentlevelsof abstraction. For example,a person'sattitude toward genderequalitywith regardto pay is more spethan feministideology(i.e', abstract iific andless beliefsabout genderrelationsthroughout society).An attitudetoward equalpay canbe both a constructin its own right and a unidimensional unidiand abstract subpartof the more general toward gendet mensional construct, ideology relations.

the inflation,is createdbytotaling costof buying (e'g.,food, rent, and a list of goodsand services utilities) and comparingthe total to the cost of buyrng the samelist in the previousyear' The price index hasbeenusedby the U'S' consumer since1919;wageinBureauof Labor Statistics payand union contracts, socialsecurity creases, a combination on mentsarebased it. Anindexis of items into a singlenumericalscore.Various of or components subparts a constructate each then combinedinto onemeasure' measured, For Therearemanyt)?es of indexes. exam25 questions'the ple, if you take an examwith correctis a kind of iniotal number of questions in dex. It is a compositemeasure which each pieceof knowledge, a questionmeasures small scoredcorrector incorrect and all the questions aretotaledto producea singlemeasure. placeto the measure most desirable Indexes commutingtime, on live (based unemployment, weather, crime rate, recreationopportunities, (based comon of and so on), the degree crime bining the occurrenceof different specific on crimes),the mentalhealthof a person(based of areas life), adiustmentin various the person's and the like. One way to demonstratethat indexesare yes one.Answer or is not verycomplicated to use follow on the no to the sevenquestionsthat your anof characteristics an occupation.Base the following swerson your thoughtsregarding four occupations:long-distancetruck driver, operator' telephone medicaldoctor,accountant, for no' eachanswer1 foryes and 0 Score 1. Doesitpay agoodsalary? from layoffsor unemploy2. Is the job secure ment? 3. is the work interestingand challenging? 4. Are its working conditions (e.g.,hours' time on the road) good? safety, 5. Are thereopportunitiesfor careeradvancement and Promotion? or 6. Is it prestigious lookedup to by others? 7. Doei it permit self-directionand the freedom to makedecisions?

all You hearaboutindexes the time. For example' Bureauof Inreportthe Federal U.S.newspapers the consumer (FBI) crime index and vestigation price index (CPI). The FBI index is the sum of police reports on sevenso-calledindex crimes forcible assault, icriminaf homicide,aggravated or more' rape,robbery,burglary larcenyof $50 with the Uniform Crime andautotheft).It began of The CPI, which is a measure Reportin 1930.



Total the seven answers eachof the f<lur for occuparions. Which had the highestand which had the lowest score? The ,",o""r, qu.sti,orr, my operationaldefinition of the construct "r. sood occupation. Eachquestion represents sub"part a ot my theoretical definition. different A theoret_ ical definition would result in aiff.r.rrt qu.s_ tions,perhaps more than seven. Creatingindexes so easy is that it is impor_ tant to be carefi.rl everyitem in the index that has facevalidity. Itemswithout facevalidity,fr""fa be excluded. Eachpart of the constru.i ,f,o"fa be measuredwith at least one indicator. Of course, is betterto measure partsof it the a con_ structwith multiple indicators. Weighting An important issuein index construction is whetherto weight items' unless it is otherwise stated' assume an indexis unweighted-Likethat wise' unless you havea good theorJtical,.*on for assigning differeni weights, use equal weights' An unweighted. indei give, ea.h ilm equal weight' It involvesidding up the items without modification:f ti.r. ]1...h by 1 (or - 1 for itemsthat arenegative). -uttifii"a In a weightedindex, a reseaicher values.or weightssomeitems more than others'The size of weightscan come from theoreticalassumptions' the theoreticaldefinition, or u r,uiirii.ul technique such as factor analysis.weighting

arethreatened wheneyer datafor somecases are missing.There are four waysto attempt to re_ solvethe problem,but none fullv solve it. Fo-r example, constructan index of the de_ I greeofsocietaldevelopmentin1975 for 50 na_ uons. lhe lndex contains four items: life expectancy, percentage homeswith indoor of plumbmg,percentage ofpopulation that is liter_ ate,and numberof telephones 100p.opL. per t locatea sourceof united Natilns sta*;i;-for myinformation. Thevalues Belgium for ar.6g _ 87 +97 +28;for Turkey,thescore"s areSS+-le + 49 + 3; for Finland, however,I discover that literacy data are unavailable. check-othe. t sourcesof information, but none has the daiu because werenot collected they Rates and Standardization

most cases, weighted and unweighted indexes vield simila-rresults. Researchers to"tt"t.d with ttr" t.tuilorrrt ut" ip between variables, and weight.a u"J weightedindexes usuallygivesi'milar,.rJt, ".rfo. the relationships between variables' Missing Data constructing an index' validitland reliability

weighting produce can dirrerent index ;[i';x;]:'i:::iHrt:irtffH::ftl,ril scores'but in


thetheoreticar definition trrt .orror

popuration. cities If the "rtih;r;;;#,

You haveheard.ofcrime rates,ratesof populati"; gr;;;;l.ra ,rr. unemploymentrate.some indeies ani single-indicatormeasures are expr"rr.J;;;; Rates involveriu"au.iiri"g rir" valueof an item to makecomparisons possible. Theitemsin an indexfrequentlyneed to be standardizedu"ro." be combined. stundardizationinvolves selectinga base and dividing a raw measure the base. by For exampl_e, aq.i rr"a l0 murdersand city B had 30 in the sameyear.In order to compare -.rid"r, murde^ ir tt two cities, the raw number " tobe of murdersneeds standardized,bythe city


Missing can aserious when :ff#t"t:::flT",n:1X11:iTH:tr1Xil data be problem
compare the rate or incidence of smokers by

peopleurrl city u has600,000, then the murder rateper 100,000 10for cityA and5 for is cityB. stu.rau.Ji-tion makesit possibleto compare different units on a common base.The process standardizutiorr, lJt. of uii)r*irg, removes effectof relevantbut different the characteristics orderto makethe important in differ_ ences visible.For example, thereur" t o classes


P A RT N E / F o u N D Aro N s o

standardizing number of smokers the size the by ofthe classes. art class 32 studentsand The has the biology class 143students. has One method of standardization you alreadyknow is the that useof percentages, wherebymeasures stanare dardizedto a common baseof 100.In terms of percentages, is easy seethat the art class it has to more than twice the rate of smokers(37.5per(15.4percent). cent)than thebiologyclass A critical questionin standardization deis given, ciding what baseto use.In the examples how did I know to usecity sizeor class asthe size base? The choice is not alwaysobvious; it depends thetheoretical on definitionof a construct. Different bases producedifferentrates. can For example, unemploymentratecanbe dethe fined asthe number of peoplein the work force who areout ofwork. Theoverallunemployment rateis: Number of people unemployed Total number of peopleworking

itemsinto an index,it When combiningseveral items on a common base is best to standardize (see 5.3). Box

S CA L E S The Purpose

Unemployment rate =

We candividethe total populationinto subgroupsto getratesfor subgroups the populain tion such as White males,African American females.African American malesbetweenthe ages 18and 28,or peoplewith college of degrees. Rates thesesubgroups for may be more relevant problem. to the theoretical definitionor research For example,a researcher believes that unemployment is an experience that affectsan entire household family and that the baseshouldbe or households, individuals.The rate will look not like this: Number of households with at leastone person unemployed Total number ofhouseholds

like creates ordian Scaling, index construction, of nal, interval, or ratio measure a variableexpressed a numericalscore. as Scales common are wants to mea-. in situationswhere a researcher sure how an individual feels or thinks abouti or something. Somecall this the hardness potenry of feelings. are Scales usedfor two relatedpurposes help in the conceptualization First, scales and processes. Scales showthe fit operationalization betweena set of indicatorsand a singleconbelievesthat struct. For example,a researcher there is a singleideologicaldimension'thatunr derliespeople'sjudgmentsabout specificpolicies (e.g.,housing,education,foreign affairs, can etc.).Scaling help determinewhethera sin"conservative/ libgle construct- for instance, eral ideology"-underlies the positions people policies. takeon specific produces quantitativemeascaling Second, and canbe usedwith othervariables test to sures hypotheses. This secondpurposeof scalingis it as our primary focusbecause involvesscales a a techniquefor measuring variable. Logic of Scaling

New Unemployment = rate

Different conceptualizations differsuggest ent basesand different ways to standardize.

As statedbefore,scalingis basedon the idea of or measuring intensity,hardness, potencyof the are a variable.Graphicrating scales an elemenPeopleindicatea rating by tary form of scaling. a checking point on a line that runs from oneextreme to another. This type of scaleis easyto the constructand use.It conveys idea ofa connumbershelpspeople tinuum, and assigning A of think aboutquantities. built-in assumption scales that people with the samesubjective is at feelingmark the graphicscale the sameplace.



jubilant Sports fansin the UnitedStates were about "winning" the 2000 Olympics carrying the at by off most gold medals. However, because they failedto standardize, "win" is an illusion. course,the the Of world'srichestnationwith the third largestpopulation doeswellin one-on-one competition among all nations. seewhatreally To happened, muststanone dardize a baseof the population wealth. on or Standardizationyields a more accuratepicture by adjusting results ifthe nations equal the as pophad

ulations and wealth. The results showthat the Bahamas, less with than3 00,000 citizens (smaller than a medium-sized city), proportionately U.S. won the mostgold.Adjusted its population or wealth, for size the UnitedStatesis not evennearthe top; it appears to be the leaderonly because its great sizeand of wealth. Sportsfansin the UnitedStatescanperpetof uatethe illusion beingat the top only if they ignore the comparative advantage the United of States.


I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

USA Russia China Australia Germany France Italy Netherlands Cuba Britain

EUl . s-

39 32 28 16 1+ 13 13 12 11 t'l 80

Bahamas Slovenia Cuba Norway Australia Hungry Netherlands Estonia Bulgaria L i th u a n i a EU l 5 USA


tt 4 16 8 12 I 5 2 80 39

s3.3 10 9.9 9.1 8.6 7.9 7.6 7.1 6.0 5.4 2.1 1.4

20.0 .r0.0 50.0 2.6 4.1 16.7 3.0 20.0 41.7 18.2 0.9 0.4

'Population gold medals 10 million Note: is per people per 0 andCDPis gold medals $.1 billion; '"EU1 is the 'l 5 nations the European 5 of Uniontreatedasa single unit. AdaptedfromTheEconomist, p. Source: October7,2OOO, 52.

Figure5.4 is an exampleof a "feelingthermometer"scale that is usedto find out how people feelaboutvariousgroupsin society(e.g., the National Organizationof Women, the Ku Klux Klan, labor unions, physicians, etc.). This tJpe of measure beenusedby political scientists has in the National ElectionStudy since 1964to

measureattitudes toward candidates, social groups, and issues. Commonly Used Scales Likert Scale. You have probably usedLikert scales; arewidelyusedand very common in they



forth. Keep the number of choicesto eight or nine at most. More distinctions than that are " F e e l i n g T h e rmo me te r" FI G URE 5. 4 probablynot meaningful,and peoplewill beGraphic Rating Scale shouldbe evenly The choices come confused. VeryWarm 1 00 balanced(e.g.,"strongly agree,""agree"with "disagree"). "stronglydisagree," 90 aboutwhetherto have Researchers debated (e.g., "don't know," "ul')80 offer a neutralcategory decided,""no opinion") in addition to the di"agree"). (e.g.,"disagree," rectionalcategories A neutral categoryimplies an odd number of categories. Neither Warmnor Cold A researchercan combine severalLikert I index if they all into a composite questions scale a measure singleconstruct.Considerthe Social DominanceIndex that van Laar and colleagues (2005)usedin their study of racial-ethnicattitudesamong collegeroommates(seeBox 5.5), they askedfour quesAs part of a largersurvey, to The VeryCold tions aboutgroupinequalrty. answer eacA question was a seven-point Likert scalewittr, choices from Strongly Disagree to Strongly the Agree.They created indexby addingthe answers for each student to create scoresthat rangedfrom 4 to 28. Notice that they worded directionfrom numberfour in a reverse question survey research.They were developedin the for The otherquestions. reason switchingdi. Likertto providean ordinal-level the 1930s Rensis by in rections this wayis to avoidthe problemof the usuattitude.Likert scales of measure a person's set, set. response Theresponse alsocalledresponse or ally askpeopleto indicatewhetherthey agree is, the tendencyof some style and response Other modifications with a statement. disagree peopleto answeralargenumber of items in the whetherthey peoplemight be asked arepossible; or out or approveor disapprove, whetherthey believe sameway (usuallyagreeing) of laziness a For example,if predisposition. psychological true." Box 5.4 ptesomethingis "almost always "stronglyagred' itemsarewordedsothat saytng of examples Likert scales. sents several we self-esteem, would not know indicates needa minimum of two cate- always Likert scales had stronglyagreed whethera personwho always Using gories,such as "agree"and "disagree." or high self-esteem simply had a tendencyto a only two choicescreates crude measureand The personmight be anwith questions. agree It forcesdistinctionsinto only two categories. is "strongly agree"out of habit or a tenswering A usuallybetter to usefour to eight categories. in word statements Researchers dencyto.agree. afcategories can researcher combineor collapse who agrees directions'sothat anyone alternative with but ter the dataarecollected, datacollected or inconsistently to to cannot be made more precise all thetime appears answer crude categories oPinion. contradictory havea later. often combine many LikertResearchers the You can increase number of categories attitude indicatorsinto an index. The by at the end of a scale adding"strongly agtee," scaled that areassocihaveproperties scale indexes and "very stronglyagree," and so "somewhatagtee,"









The RosenbergSelf-Esteem Scale All in all,I am inclined feelthat I ama failure: to 1. Almost always true 2. Often true 3. Sometimes true 4. Seldom true 5. Nevertrue A Student Evaluationof Instruction Scale Overall, ratethe qualityof instruction this course I in as: Excellent poor Cood Average Fair A Market Research MouthwashRating Scale Brand Dislike Completely Dislike Somewhat Dislike a Little Like a Little Like Somewhat Like Completely

Work Group SupervisorScale My supervisor:

Letsmembers knowwhat is expected ofthem ls friendly and approachable Treatsall unit members equals as

I I 1


3 3 3

4 4 4

5 5 5

2 2

ated with improving reliability and validiry. An index uses multiple indicators, which improves reliability. The use of multiple indicatois that measure several aspectsof a construct or opinlon rmproves content validity. Finally, the index scoresgive a more precise quantitative measure of a person's opinion. For example, each person's opinion can be measured with a number from l0 to 40, instead of in four categories: "strongly agree," "agree," "disagree,'; and "strongly disagree."

Instead of scoring Likert items, as in the previous example,the scores-2, -1,+t, +2 could be used. This scoring has an advantagein that a zeto implies neutrality or complete ambiguity, whereas a high negative number means an attitude that opposes the opinion represented by a high positive number. The numbers assignedto the responsecate_ gories are arbitrary. Remember that the use of a zero does not give the scaleor index a ratio level of measurement. Likert scalemeasuresare at the



ExampleI In a study of collegeroommates and racial-ethnic groups,van Laarand colleagues (2005) measured Social Dominance a feeling (i.e., that groupsarefundamentally unequal) with the following four-itemindex that used a Likert scale,from I (Strongly Disagree) 7 (Strongly to Agree). .l . lt is probablya good thing that certaingroups are at the top and other groupsareat the bottom.

that hadyes or no answers createtwo composite to indexes. indexfor vicarious The experiences the was sumof items2, 4, and5, with "yes"scoredas I and "no" scoredaszero.An indexofpersonal experience wasthe sumof answers items1,3,5, and 7, with to "yes"scoredas I and "no" scoredaszero. l. Haveyou everbeen stoppedby policeon the streetwithouta good reason? 2. Has anyone else in your householdbeen stoppedby policeon the streetwithouta good reason? 3. Have policeeverusedinsulting the language towardyou? 4. Have policeeverusedinsulting the language towardanyoneelsein your household? 5. Have the police ever used excessive force you? against 5. Have the police ever used excessive force against anyoneelsein your household? 7. Haveyou ever seena policeofficerengagein any corrupt activities (suchas takingbribesor involvement drugtrade)? in Weitzerand Tuch (2004) report a Cronbach's alphafor the personal experiences indexas .78 and for vicarious experience indexas .86.

2. lnferiorgroupsshouldstay in their place. 3. We should allwe canto equalize condido the tions of different groups. 4. We shouldincrease social equality..NOTE: This item reverse was scorec. Thescores the Likert for responses to 7) for items (1 I to 4 wereaddedto yieldan index from that ranged 4 to 28 for eachrespondent. They report a Cronbach's alpha this index .74. for as Example2 In a study of perceptions police misconduct, of Weitzer and Tuch (2004) measured respondent's a experiences with police by askingsevenquestions

ordinal level of measurement becauseresponses indicate a ranking only. Instead of 1 to 4 or -2 to +2, the numbers 100, 70, 50, and 5 would have worked. Also, do not be fooled into thinking that the distancesbetween the ordinal categories are intervals just because numbers are assigned.Although the number system has nice mathematical properties, the numbers are used for convenience only. The fundamental measurement is only ordinal. The simplicity and easeof use of the Likert scaleis its real strength. When severalitems are combined, more comprehensive multiple indi-

cator measurement is possible.The scalehas two limitations: Different combinations of several scaleitems can result in the sameoverall score or result, and the responseset is a potential danger. Bogardus Social Distance Scale. The Bogardus social distancescalemeasuresthe social distance separating ethnic or other groups from each other. It is used with one group to determine how much distance it feels toward a target or "out-group." The scalehas a simple logic. People respond to a series of ordered statements: those that are




most threatening or most socially distant are at one end, and those that might be least threatening or socially intimate are at the other end. The logic of the scale assumesthat a person who refirses contact or is uncomfortable with the so-

cially distant items will refuse the socially closer items (seeBox 5.6). Researchers the scalein severalways. For use example, people are given a seriesof statements: People from Group X are entering your country,

ln1993, Kleg andYamamoto 998) replicated (1 the original1925 study by EmoryBogardus that first used social the distance scale. original The studyhad 1 10 subjects from the Pacific Coast.Particioants includedI OZ White Americans non-Jewish of Europeanancestry, Jewish 1 White, 1 Chinese, and l (about Z0 percentwerefemale). their In Japanese 1 993 replication, andYamamoto Kleg selected 3 5 1 middle school teachers from an affluent school district in a Coloradometropolitan area.Therewere .l 1 9 non-Jewish Whites,7 Jewish Whites,6 African .l Americans, American Indian, Asian, 1 and I unknown(65 percentwerefemale). Therewerethree .l minor deviations from the 925 study. First,the originalBogardus respondents weregiven a list of 39 groups. Thosein the replication a list of 35 had groups. The two listsshared24 groups common. in Three target groups were renamed: Negroesin I 925 versus African Americans 1 993; Syrians in versusArabs;and Cerman-Jews Russian-Jews and vs. Second, both studiescontained sevencateJews. Instructions

gories, they werewordedslightly but differently (see below).Third, both studieshad sevencategories (called points)printedleft to rightat the top. anchor In the Bogardus "According myfirst original said: it to feelingreactions wouldwillingly I admit members of eachrace(asa class, not the best I haveknown, and nor the worst members) one or moreof the clasto sifications underwhichI haveplaced cross(x)."In a "social the 1 993 replication said: it distance means the degreethat individuals desireto associate witn others.This scalerelates a special to form of social you distance knownasperson groupdistance. are to givena list of groups. Across from eachgroup there areboxes identified the labels the top. Place by at an "x" in the boxes that indicate degree the ofassociation you woulddesireto havewith eachgroup.Cive your first reaction." The mainfindingwasthat althoughthe average socialdistance declined great a deal over over 68 years,the rankingof the 25 groupschanged very little (seebelow).


2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

To closekinship marriage by To my clubas personal chums To my street as neighbors To employment my occupation my country in in To citizenship my country in As visitors onlyto my country Wouldexclude from my country

To marryinto group To haveas bestfriend To haveas next-door neighbors To work in the sameoffice To haveas speaking acquaintances only To haveas visitors my country to To keepout of my country

I J'+






English Scottish lrish French Dutch Swedish Danis h Norwegian Cerman Spanish Italian Hi n du Polish Russian NativeAmerican Jewish Creek Arab Mexican Black American Chinese japanese Korean Turk CrandMean
'Slightchange name group. in of

1.27 1.69 1.93 2.04 2.12 2.44 2.48 2.67 2.89 3.28 3.98 4.35 4.57 4.57 4.65 4.83. 4.89 5.00. 5.O2 5.10' 5.28 5.3 0 5.55 5.80 3.82

&o** .l 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 't1 12 13 14 .t5 16 17 .18 19 20 21 22 23 24

1.17 1.22 1.14 1.20 1.25 1.21 1.23 1.25 1.27 1.29 1..19 1.95 1.30 1.33 1.44 1.42 r.38 2.21 1.56 1.55 1.68 1.62 1.72 1.77 1.43

2 6 I 4 9 5 7 8 10 t.l 3 23 12 13 16 15 14 24 17 20 19 21 22


are in your town, work at your place of employment, live in your neighborhood, become your personal friends, and marry your brother or sister. People are askedwhether they feel comfortable with the statement or if the contact is acceptable.It is also possible to ask whether they

feel uncomfortable with the relationship. People may be asked to respond to all statements, or they may keep reading statements until they are not comfortable with a relationship. There is no set number of statements required; the number usually rangesfrom five to nine. The measure of



social distance can be used as either an independent or a dependent variable. A researcher can use the Bogardus scale to seehow distant people feel from one out-group versus another. In addition to studying racial_ ethnic groups, it has been used to examine doctor-patient distance. For example, Gordon and associates (2004) found that college students re_ ported different social distance toward people with different disabilities. Over 95 pircent would be willing to be a friend with someone with arthritis, cancer, diabetes,or a heart condition. Fewer than 70 percent would ever consider being a friend to someone with mental retardation. The social distance scale is a convenient way to determine how close a respondent feels toward a social group. It has two potential limitations. First, a researcherneedsto tailor the categoriesto a specific out-group and social setting. Second,it is not easyfor a researcherto compare how a respondent feels toward several diffeient .groups unless the respondent completes a similar social distance scalefor all out-groups at the same time. Of course, how a respondent com. : pletes the scale and the responde^nt's actual behavior in specific social situations may differ. Semantic Differential. Semantic Differential provides an indirect measure of how-a person feels about a concept, object, or other person. The technique measures subjective feelings tol,ward something by using adjectives.This is becausepeople communicate evaluations through adjectives in spoken and written language. Becausemost adjectiveshave polar opposites (e.g., hght/darlt hard/soft, slow/fast), it usespolar opposite adjectives to create a rating measure or scale. The Semantic Differential captures the connotations associatedwith whatever is being evaluated and provides an indirect measure of it. The Semantic Differential has been used for many purposes. In marketing research, it tells how consumers feel about a product; political advisers use it to discover what voters think about a candidate or issue; and therapists use it

to determine how a client perceives himself or herself (seeBox 5.7). To use the Semantic Differential, a re_ searcherpresents subjectswith a list ofpaired opposite adjectiveswith a continuum of 7 to I I points between them. The subjects mark the spot on the continuum between the adiectives that expresses their feelings. The adjectives can be very diverse and should be well mixed (e.g., positive items should not be located mostly on either the right or the left side). Studies of a wide variety of adjectives in English found that they fall into three major classes meaning: evaluaof tion (good-b ad), potency (strong-weak), and ac_ tivity (active-passive). Of the three classes of meaning, evaluation is usually the most signifi_ cant. The analysisof results is difficult, anda re_ searcherneeds to use statistical procedures to analryze subject's feelings toward the concept. a Results from a Semantic Differential tell a researcher how one person perceives different concepts or how different people view the same concept. For example, political analysts might discover that young voters perceive their candidate as traditional, weak, and slow, and as halfiray between good and bad. Elderly voters perceive the candidate as leaning to*u.d strong, fast, and good, and as halfi,,rray between traditional and modern. Guttman Scaling. Guttman scaling, or cumulative scaling, differs from the previous scalesor indexes in that researchersuse it to evaluatedata after they are collected. This means that researchersmust design a study with the Guttman scaling technique in mind. Guttman scaling begins with measuring a set of indicators or items. These can be questionnaire items, votes, or observed characteristics. Guttman scaling measures many different phenomena (e.g.,patterns of crime or drug use, characteristicsof societiesor organizations, voting or political participation, psychological dis_ orders). The indicators are usuallymeasured in a simple yes/no or present/absentfashion. From 3 to 20 indicators can be used. The researcherse-





thesis,DainaHawkes As part of her undergraduate studiedattitudestowardwomenwith tattoos using (Hawkes, differential Senn,and Thorn, the semantic researchers 258 studentsat a had 2OO4).The a complete seCanadian university medium-sized sceform in response several to manticdifferential nariosabout a 22-year-oldwomancollegestudent in with a tattoo. They had five scenarios whichthey large)and versus variedthe sizeofthe tattoo (small and or whether not it wasvisible, one with no details of features aboutthe tattoo. The authorsalsovaried job weightproblemor not; part-time at the senario: Good Beautiful Clean Kind Rich Honest Pleasant Successful Reputable Safe Gentle Feminine Weak Passive Cautious Soft Weak M ild Delicate
.These in order. itemswerepresented reverse

restaurant, clothing store, or grocery store; grades'orfailinggrades. boyfriendor not; average with 22 adjective differential They useda semantic completetwo pairs.They also had participants and Women'sMovementscaleand Feminist scales: terms differential The semantic scale. Neosexism to were selected indicatethree factors:evaluative, Basedon staactivity,and potency(strong/weak). weredropped.The three adjectives tisticalanalysis 'l 9 itemsusedare listed below.Amongother findings,the authorsfound that there weremore netatattoo. with a visible towarda woman tive feelings Bad'

Dirty Cruel' Poor' Dishonest. Unpleasant. Unsuccessful Disreputable Dangerous Violent' Masculine Powerful. ActiveRashHar.d Strong lntense Ruggedi




lectsitemson the beliefthat thereis a logicalrelationship among them. He or shethen places the resultsinto a Guttman scale and determines whetherthe items form a pattern that corresponds the relationship. to (See Box 5.8 for an example a studyusingGuttman scaling.) of

Once a set of items is measured, rethe searcher considers possiblecombinationsof all responses the items.For example, for threeitems are measured: whether a child knows her age, her telephone number,and threelocal elected political officials.The little girl may know her

Crozat(1 998) examined publicresponses various to formsof politicalprotest.He lookedat surveydata on the public's acceptance formsof protest in of Creat Britain,Cermany, ltaly, Netherlands, the and United States 1 97 4 and 1 9 9 0. Hefoundthat the in patternof the public's acceptance formeda Cuttman scale. Thosewho accepted more intense formsof protest (e.g.,strikesand sit-ins)almostalways acceptedmoremodest forms(e.g., petitions demonor

strations), but not all who acceptedmodestforms acceptedthe more intenseforms.In additionto showing usefulness the Cuttmanscale, the of Crozat also found that people in differentnationssaw protestsimilarily the degree Cuttmanscalaand of bility increased over time. Thus,the pattern of acceptance protestactivities Cuttman"scalable" of was in both time periods, it moreclosely but followed the patternin I 990 than1974. Cuttman








Y Other Patterns (examples only)









pAR To N E ,/ F o u N D AT to N s

agebut no other answer, all three,or only her or tern. Alternative statistics to measure scalability age and telephonenumber. In fact, for three have also been suggested. items there are eight possiblecombinationsof answersor patterns of responses, from not knowinganythroughknowingall three.Thereis CONCLUSION a mathematical way to computethe number of combinations(e.g.,23),but you canwrite down in this chapter, you learnedaboutthe principles all the combinations yesor no for threeques- and processes measurement quantitative of of in tions and seethe eightpossibilities. and qualitativeresearch. researchers All concepThe logical relationship among items in tualize-or refine and clarify their ideas into Guttman scalingis hierarchical. conceptual Most peopleor definitions.All researchers operacases haveor agree lower-orderitems.The to tionalize-or developa set of techniquesor smallernumberof cases havethe higher-orprocesses will link their conceptual that that defini- ', der itemsalsohavethe lower-orderones, not but tions to empiricalreality.Qualitativeand quanvice versa.In other words, the higher-order titative researchers differ in how they approach itemsbuiid on the lower ones.The lower-order theseprocesses, however.The quantitativereitems are necessary the appearance the for of searcher takesa more deductivepath, whereas higher-orderitems. the qualitative researcher takesa more inductive An applicationof Guttman scaling,known path.The goalremains same: establish the to unas scalogramanalysis,lets a researchertest ambiguouslinks betweena reseacher's abstract whethera hierarchical relationship ideasand empiricaldata. exists among the items.For example, is easier a child to it for You akolearnedabout the principlesof reknow her age than her telephone liability and validity. Reliabilityrefersto the denumber,andto know her telephone number than the namesof pendabilityor consistenry a measure; of validity politicalleaders. itemsare caTled The scalnble, or refersto its truthfulness, howwell a construct or capable forming a Guttman scale, a hierarof if and data for it fit together. Quantitative and chicalpatternexists. qualitativesryles research of significantly diverge The patternsof responses be divided can in how they understand theseprinciples.Noneinto two groups:scaled and errors (or nonscal- theless,both quantitative and qualitative reable).The scaled patternsfor the child'sknowlsearchers to measure a consistent try in way,and edgeexample would be asfollows:not knowing both seeka tight fit betweenthe abstractideas any item, knowing only age,knowing only age they use to understandsocialworld and what plus phone number, knowing all three. Other occursin the actual,empirical socialworld. In combinations answers (e.g.,knowing the poof addition, you sawhow quantitativeresearchers litical leaders but not her age)are possible but applythe principlesof measurement when they arenonscalable. hierarchical Ifa relationship excreateindexesand scales, and you read about istsamongthe items,then most answers into fit somemajor scales they use. the scalable patterns. Beyondthe core ideasof reliability and vaThe strengthor degree which items can to lidity, good measurement requires that you crebe scaledis measured with statisticsthat meaate clear definitions for concepts, multipie use sure whether the responses be reproduced indicators,and, asappropriate, can weighand stanbased a hierarchical on pattern.Most rangefrom dardize data.These the principleshold across all zero to 100percent.A scoreof zeroindicatesa fields of study (e.g.,family, criminology,inrandom pattern,or no hierarchical pattern.A equality, race relations,etc.) and acrossthe scoreof 100percentindicates that all responses many research techniques(e.g.,experiments, to the answerfit the hierarchicalor scaled patsurveys, etc.).


'. 3 9

As you are probablybeginning to realize,researchinvolves doing a good job in eachphaseof a study. Serious mistakes or sloppiness in any one phase can do irreparable damage to the results, even if the other phasesof the research project were conducted in a flawlessmanner.

Ke y T e rms
BogardusSocialDistance Scale conceptual definition conceptualhlpothesis conceptualization concurrent validity content validity continuous variables criterion validity discrete variables empirical hlpothesis exhaustive attributes external validity facevalidity Guttman scaling index internal validity interval-level measurement levels of measurement Likert scale measurementvalidity

multiple indicators mutually exclusive attributes nominal-level measurement operational definition operationalization ordinalJevel measurement predictive validity ratio-levelmeasurement reliability scale Semantic Differential standardization unidimensionality validity

E ndno t e
1. The terms concept, construct, and idea are used more or lessinterchangeably,but there are differences in meaning between them. An idea is any mental image, belief plan, or impression. It refers to any vague impression, opinion, or thought. A conceptis a thought, a general notion, or a generalized idea about a classof objects.A constructis a thought that is systematicallyput together, an orderly arrangement of ideas, facts, and impressions. The term constructis used here becauseits emphasisis on taking vague conceptsand turning them into systematicallyorganized ideas.

and Qualitative Sampling Quantitative

lntroduction Nonprobability Sampling or Sampling Accidental, Convenience Haphazard, Quota Sampling Sampling or Purposive Judgmental Sampling Snowball Deviant CaseSampling Sampling Sequential Probability Sampling Frames Elements, Sampling and Populations, Why Random? Samples Typesof Probability HiddenPopulations Be? a How Large Should Sample Inferences Drawing Conclusion

r4 0

c HAPTER 6 , / Q UALIT A T I V E N D Q U A N T T T A T T VS A M p L t N G A E


INTRODUCTION Qualitative and quantitative researchers approachsamplingdifferently.Most discussions of sampling come from researchers who use the quantitative style.Their primary goal is to get a representative sample,or a small collection of units or cases from a much largercollectionor population,suchthat the resia.cher canstudythe smaller group andproduceaccurate generalizations about the larger group. Theytend to usesampling based theories on of probability from mathematics(calledprobability sampling). Researchers two motivationsfor using have probabilityor random sampling. The first motivation is savingtime and cost.If properly conducted,resultsfrom a samplemay yield results at 1/1,000 cost and time. For example, the insteadof gatheringdatafrom 20 million people, a researcher may draw a sampleof 2,000;the data from those2,000are equal for most purposesto the data from all 20 million. The second purpose of probability sampling is accuracy. The resultsof a well-designed, carefully executed probability samplewill produce results that areequallyif not more accurate than trying to reacheverysinglepersonin the whole population. A censusis usually an attempt to count everyone. 2000,the U.S. Census In Bureautried to count eyeryone the nation,but it in would havebeen more accurateif it usedvery specialized statistical sampling. focuslesson a sarnQualitativeresearchers ple'srepresentativenesson detailed or techniques for drawing a probability sample.Instead,they focuson how the sampleor small collectionof cases, units, or activities illuminateskey features of social Thepurpose sampling to collect life. of is cases, events, actionsthat clarify and deepen or understanding. concern Qualitativeresearchers' is to find cases that will enhancewhat the researchers learn about the processes ofsocial life in a specificcontext.For this reason, qualitative researchers to collecta second tend typeof sampling: nonprobabilitysampling.

NONPROBABILITY SAMPLING rarelydrawa representaQualitativeresearchers tive samplefrom a hugenumber of cases into tenselystudy the sampledcases-the goal in quantitativeresearch. Instead,they use nonprobability or nonrandom samples. This means theyrarelydetermine sampie in advance the size and have limited knowledgeabout the larger group or population from which the sampleis taken. Unlike the quantitative researcher who usesa preplanned approachbasedon mathematicaltheory,the qualitativeresearcher selects gradually, cases with the specificcontent of a case determiningwhetherit is chosen. Table6.1


Haphazard Quota

Cet any cases any manner in that is convenient. Cet a presetnumber ofcases in eachof several predetermined categories that will reflectthe diversity the population, of using haphazard methods. Get all possible cases that fit particular criteria, using various methods. Cet cases usingreferrals from oneor a fewcases, then and referrals from thosecases, and so forth. 6et cases that substantiallv differfromthe dominant pattern (a special type of purposive sample). Cet cases until there is no additional information new or characteristics (often usedwith othersampling methods).



Deviant Case




shows a variety of nonprobability sampling techniques.

Thus,the number of peoplein in eachcategory. of variouscategories the sampleis fixed.For ex5 to decides select malesand ample,a researcher under age30, 10malesand 10females 5 females Haphazard, Accidental, or overage and 5 females 30 aged to 60,and 5 males ConvenienceSampling It sample. is difficult to repre60 for a 40-person (see accurately Haphazardsamplingcan produce ineffective, sentall populationcharacteristics 6.1). Figure samples and is not rechighly unrepresentative is sehaphazardly When a researcher Quotasampling an improvementbecause ommended. can the researcher ensurethat somedifferences he that are convenient, or she can lectscases easilyget a samplethat seriouslymisrepresents are in the sample.In haphazardsampling, all might be of the stuneage,sex, thoseinterviewed the population. Such samplesare cheapand fixesthe catquick; however, systematic the errorsthat easily or race.But oncethe quotasampler in and egories number of cases eachcategoryhe occur make them worse than no sampleat all. interview conducted or she useshaphazardsampling.For example, The person-on-the-street the interviews first five malesunthe researcher by televisionprogramsis an exampleof a hapevenifall five der age30 he or sheencounters, go Television interviewers out on hazard sample. of just walkedout of the campaign headquarters with camera microphoneto talk to and the street Not only is misrepresentaa political candidate. a few peoplewho are convenientto interview. tion possiblebecausehaphazardsampling is The peoplewalking past a televisionstudio in but everyone usedwithin the categories, nothing prevents the middle of the day do not represent from selectingpeoplewho "act (e.g., peoplein rural areas, etc.). the researcher homemakers, Likewise, television interviewers often select friendly" or who want to be interviewed. A casefrom the history of sampling illuspeoplewho look "normal" to them and avoid tratesthe limitations of quota sampling.George peoplewho are unattractive,poor) very old, or Gallup'sAmericanInstitute of Public Opinion, inarticulate. predictedthe usingquotasampling,successfi,rlly Another exampleof ahaphazardsampleis U.S.pres1940, and 1944 of outcomes the 1936, that asksreadersto clip a that of a newspaper But identialelections. in 1948,Galluppredicted questionnaire from the paperand mail it in. Not the wrong candidate.The incorrect prediction has readsthe newspaper, an interestin everyone (e.g., manyvoterswereundecauses had several the topic, or will take the time to cut out the cided,interviewingstoppedearly),but a major peoplewill, and questionnaire mail it. Some and did wasthat the quota categories not acthe number who do so may seemlarge (e.g., reason areas and all all cannotbe usedto gener- curatelyrepresent geographical 5,000), the sample but to alizeaccurately the population.Suchhaphaz- peoplewho actuallycasta vote. value,but may haveentertainment ard samples mistheycangivea distortedview and seriously Purposiveor rudgmental Sampling represent population. the in is samplfug usedin situations which Purposive judgmentin selecting cases with a an expertuses Quota Sampling purposein mind. It is inappropriateif it specific housewife"or the is Quotasampling an improvementoverhaphaz- is usedto pick the "average ard sampling.In quota sampling,a researcher "typical school."With purposivesampling,the seneverknows whetherthe cases categories people(e.g., researcher of first identifiesrelevant the lectedrepresent population.It is often used 30 or maleand female; under age30,ages to 60, or in exploratoryresearch in field research. how many to get over age60, etc.),then decides



F lG UR E 6 .1

n # ffi.#fi_f w. $?9 tii
n @0





Of 32 adultsand children the streetscene,select1Ofor the sample: in

f,'*liffifrH ii sWffi#


A@ v tEE

BWi hrhr?ffi ffi
4 AdultMales 4 AdultFemales



o o o @


1 Mate Chitd


! |, /


1 Female Child

Purposivesamplingis appropriatein three situations. First, a researcher usesit to select uniquecases areespecially that informative.For example, researcher a wantsto usecontentanalysisto studymagazines find culturalth.-.r. H. to or sheselects specific a popular women'smagazineto studybecause is trend setting. it Second,a researcher may use purposive samplingto selectmembersof a difficult-toreach, specialized population(see Hidden populations later in this chapter).For example,the researcher wants to study prostitutes.It is impossible list all prostitutesand sampleranto domly from the list. Instead,he or she uses subjective information (e.g.,locationswhere prostitutessolicit, social groups with whom prostitutes associate, and experts etc.) (e.g., poIice who work on vice units, other prostitutes,

etc.) to identify a "sample" of prostitutes for inclusion in the research project. The researcher uses many different methods to identi$, the cases, becausehis or her goal is to locate asmany cases possible. as Another situation for purposive sampling occurs when a researcherwants to identifu particular types of casesfor in-depth investigation. The purpose is lessto generalizeto a larger population than it is to gain a deeper understanding of types.For example,Gamson (1992) usedpurposive sampling in a focus group study of what working-class people think about politics. (Chapter 11 discusses focus groups.) Gamson wanted a total of 188 working-class people to participate in one of 37 focus groups. He sought respondents who had not completed collegebut who were diverse in terms of age,ethnicity, reli-




gion,interestin politics,and typeof occupation. in He recruitedpeoplefrom 35 neighborhoods picnics, the Boston areaby going to festivals, fairs,and flea marketsand postingnoticeson many public bulletin boards.In addition to exwell plainingthe study,he paid the respondents so asto attractpeoplewho would not traditionally participatein a study. SnowballSampling (alsocalled chainresampling network, Snowball sampling) a method for is or rePutational ferral, the identifring and sampling(or selecting) cases on to in a network.It is based an analogy a snowlargerasit ball, which beginssmallbut becomes is rolled on wet snow and picks up additional snow. Snowballsamplingis a multistagetechwith oneor a fewpeopleor cases nique.It begins out of and spreads on the basis links to the initial cases. a Oneuseof snowballsamplingis to sample network. Socialresearchers often interested are in an interconnected networkofpeopleor organizations. The network could be scientists the around the world investigating sameprobcity, the memlem, the elitesof a medium-sized who crime family, persons bersof an organized sit on the boardsof directorsof major banla and or corporations, peopleon a collegecampus who havehad sexualrelationswith eachother. The crucialfeatureis that eachpersonor unit is connected with anotherthrough a director indirect linkage. This does not mean that each persondirectlyknows,interacts with, or is influencedby everyother personin the network. Rather, it meansthat, taken as a whole, with direct and indirect links, they are within an inweb terconnected of linkages. represent Researchers such a network by drawinga sociogram-a diagramof circlesconnected Sallyand Tim do with lines.For example, not know each other directly, but eachhas a goodfriend,Susan, theyhavean indirectconso friendship nection.AIl threearepart of the same network. The circlesrepresenteachperson or

friendshipor other case, the linesrepresent and (see linkages Figure6.2). also Researchers use snowballsamplingin combinationwith purposivesamplingasin the field recaseof Kissane(2003)in a descriptive search studyof low-incomewomen in Philadelphia.The U.S.policy to provideaid and services in to low-incomepeoplechanged 1996to in(e.g.,food pantries, domestic assistance crease drug rehabilitationservices, violenceshelters, by delivered nonclothing distribution centers) public as opposedto governmentipublicagenwas the As cies. frequentlyoccurs, policy change in made without a study of its consequences lowNo advance. oneknewwhetherthe af[ected proincome peoplewould use the assistance as vided by nonpublic agencies much as that One yearafter the providedby public agencies. new policy, Kissanestudiedwhether low-incomewomenwereequallylikely to usenonpublic aid. Shefocusedon the Kensingtonareaof It Philadelphia. had a high (over 30 percent)

FIGU R E 6.2

of Sociogram Friendship Relations




povertyrateand wasa predominately White (85 percent)sectionofthe city. First, sheidentified nonpublic service providersby usingtelephone books,the Internet,referralliterature,andwalking down errery streetof the areauntil sheidentified 50 nonpublic socialservice providers.She observed that a previousstudy found low-income women in the areadistrustedoutsiders and intellectuals.Her snowball samplebegan providersfor the namesof a few askingseryice low-incomewomen in the area.Shethen asked thosewomen to refer her to othersin a similar situation,and askedthoserespondents refer to her to still others.Sheidentified20low-income women aged2l to 50, most who had received public assistance. She conducted in-depth, open-ended interviewsabout their awareness and experience with nonpublic agencies. She learnedthat the women were lesslikely to get nonpublic than public assistance. Comparedto public agencies, women were lessawareof the nonpublic agencies. Nonpublic agencies created more socialstigma,generated greateradministrative hassles, were in worselocations,and involved more schedulingdifficulties because of limited hours. Deviant Case Sampling A researchertlsesdeyiant casesampling (also calledextremecasesampling) when he or she seeks cases differ from the dominantpattem that or that differ from the predominantcharacteristicsof othercases. Similarto purposive sampling, a researcher a varietyoftechniques locate uses to cases with specificcharacteristics. Deyiant case sampling differsfrom purposive in sampling that the goal is to locatea collectionof unusual,different,or peculi4rcases arenot representathat tive of the whole.The deviantcases selected are because areunusual, they and a researcher hopes to learnmore aboutthe social by considering life cases that fall outsidethe general pattern or includingwhat is beyondthe main flow of events. For example, researcher interested a is in studyinghigh schooldropouts. Let us saythat

previous research suggested that a majority of dropoutscome from familiesthat havelow income, are singleparent or unstable,havebeen geographically mobile,and areracialminorities. The family environmentis one in which parents andlor siblingshavelow educationor arethemselves dropouts.In addition, dropoutsareoften in engaged illegalbehaviorand havea criminal recordprior to droppingout. A researcher using deviant casesampling would seekmajoritygroupdropoutswho haveno recordofillegaTactivities and who are from stable two-parent, upper-middle-incomefamilieswho are geographically stableand well educated. SequentialSampling Sequential samplingissimilar to purposivesampling with one difference. purposivesamIn pling, the researchertries to find as many relevantcases possible,until time, financial as resources, his or her energy exhausted. or is The goal is to get everypossiblecase. sequential In sampling,a researcher continues gathercases to until the amount of new information or diversity of cases filled. In economicterms, inforis mation is gathered until the marginalutiliry or incrementalbenefit for additional cases, levels off or drops significantly.It requiresthat a researcher continuouslyevaluate the collected all For example,a researcher cases. locatesand plans in-depth interviewswith 60 widows over 70 yearcold who have been living without a spouse 10 or more years.Dependingon the for purposes, researcher's getting an additional 20 widows whose life experiences, social backgrounds,and worldviews differ little from the first 60 maybe unnecessary.

PROBABILITYSAMPLING A specialized vocabularyor jargon has developed around terms used in probability sampling. Beforeexaminingprobabilitysampling, it is important to reviewits language.

14 6


Populations,Elements,and SamplingFrames drawsa samplefrom a largerpool A researcher is A of cases, elements. samplingelement the or in or unit of analysis case a population.It canbe a a person,a group, an organization, written or documentor symbolicmessage, evena social action (e.g.,an arrest,a divorce,or a kiss) that is being measured.The large pool is the population, which hasan important role in samis the pling. Sometimes, term universe usedinwith population.To define the terchangeably the specifies unit being population,a researcher location,andthetemthe sampled, geographical the Consider of poral boundaries populations. of examples populationsin Box 6.1' All the to includethe elements be sampled examples hospital admissions, (e.g.,people,businesses,

in aged1 5 orolderliving Singapore 1. All persons 2, on December 1 999 , who werenot incarcerinstitutions asylums, similar and atedin prison, employingmore establishments 2. All business Canada, in than 1 00 persons OntarioProvince, that operatedin the monthof July2005 in hospitals to 3. All admissions publicor private the state of New JerseybetweenAugust 1, 3 1 988, andJ u l y 1 ,1 9 9 3 aired between7:00 commercials 4. All television Time on Eastern Standard I l:00 p.rr,r. e.v. and November.l networks between threemajorU.S. andNov emb e r2 5 ,2 0 0 6 in physicians Australia practicing 5. All currently degrees between medical who received January 'l 1 950, and the present , maleheroinaddictsin the 6. All AfricanAmerican Washor BritishColumbia, Seattle, Vancouver, areas during2003 ington,metropolitan

and etc.) and geographical time commercials, boundaries. with an ideaof the popbegins A researcher ulation (e.g.,all peoplein a city) but definesit populationrefers The moreprecisely. term target that pool of cases he or shewants to the specific to to study.The ratio of the sizeof the sample the sizeof the targetpopulationisthesamplingratio. people, the For example, populationhas50,000 drawsa sampleof 150from it. and a researcher = ratio is 150/50'000 0.003, Thus,the sampling If or 0.3percent. the populationis 500and the 100,then the samplingratio samples researcher = or is 100/500 0.20, 20 percent. A population is an abstractconcept' How can population be an abstractconcept'when there are a givennumber of peopleat a certain time?Exceptfor specificsmallpopulations,one it. a cannevertruly freeze populationto measure For example,in a city at any given moment, somepeopleare dying, someare boardingor and someare in carsdrigetting off airplanes, must The cityboundaries. researcher ving across decideexactlywho to count. Shouldhe or she to who happens be on vacacount a city resident tion when the time is fixed? What about the tourist staying at a hotel in the city when the time is fixed?Shouldheor shecount adults,chilA dren,peoplein jails,thosein hospitals? population, eventhe populationof all peopleoverthe ageof 18 in the city limits of Milwaukee,Wisis on at consin, l2:01A.M. March 1,2006, an abstract concept.It exists in the mind but is to impossible pinpoint concretely' concept' a Because populationis an abstract all populations(e.g., for except smallspecialized needs a in the students a classroom), researcher the to estimate population.As an abstractcondefinan cept,the populationneeds operational ition. This processis similar to developing operationaldefinitions for constructsthat are measured. a operationalizes population A researcher approxilist a by developing specific that closely in all mates the elements the population'This list from is a sampling frame.He or shecan choose



'. 4 7

manyt)?esof sampling frames: telephone direcframecanincludesomeof thoseoutsidethe tartories,tax records,driver's licenserecords,and get population (e.g.,a telephonedirectory that so on. Listing the elementsin a population lists people who have moved away) or might soundssimple.It is often difficult because there omit someof thoseinsideit (e.g.,thosewithout may be no goodlist of elements a population. telephones). in A good samplingframe is crucial to good Any characteristic a population (e.g.,the of sampling. A mismatch betweenthe sampling percentage city residents of who smokecigaframe and the conceptually definedpopulation rettes,the average height of all women over the can be a major sourceof error. Justas a misageof 21, the percentof peoplewho believein match betweenthe theoreticaland operational UFOs) is a populationparameter. is the true It definitionsof a variablecreates invalid measure- characteristic the population.Parameters of are ment, so a mismatch betweenthe sampling determinedwhen all elementsin a population frame and the population causes invalid samare measured.The parameteris never known pling. Researchers to minimize mismatches. with absolute accuracyfor large populations try For example, would like to sample people (e.g.,an entirenation), so researchers you all must estiin a regionof the United States, you decide so mate it on the basisof samples. to They useinforget a list of everyone with a driver'slicense. But mation from the sample,called a statistic,to somepeopledo not havedriver's licenses, populationparameters Figure6.3). (see and estimate the lists of thosewith licenses, A famouscase the history of samplingilevenif updated in regularly, quickly go out of date. Next, you try lustratesthe limitations of the technique.The incometax records. not everyone But paystaxes; Literary Digest, a major U.S. magazine,sent somepeoplecheatand do not pay, othershave postcards peoplebeforethe I 920, 1924,1928, to no income and do not haveto file, somehave and1932U.S.presidential elections. The magadied or have not begun to pay taxes,and still zine took the namesfor the samplefrom autoothershaveenteredor left the areasincethe last mobileregistrations telephone and directoriestime taxesweredue.You try telephone directothe samplingframe. Peoplereturned the postries,but they arenot much better;somepeople cardsindicatingwhom theywould vote for. The arenot listedin a telephone directory somepeomagazinecorrectly predicted all four election ple haveunlistednumbers,and othershavereThe magazine's outcomes. success with predic(e.g.,a list centlymoved.With a few exceptions tions waswell known, and in 1936,it increased of all students enrolledat a university), sampling the sampleto 10 million. The magazinepreframes almostalways are inaccurate. sampling dicted a huge victory for Alf Landon over A

FI G URE 5 . 3 WhatYou WouldLiketo TalkAbout

A Modelof the Logicof Sampling Population
WhatYouActually Observe the Data in Sample Process Sampling


P A R r o N E ,/ F o u N D Arro N S

Franklin D. Roosevelt. But the Literary Digest was wrong; Franklin D. Roosevelt won by a Iandslide. The prediction was wrong for several reasons, but the most important were mistakes in sampling. Although the magazine sampled a large number of people, its sampling frame did not accurately represent the target population (i.e., all voters). It excluded people without telephones or automobiles, a sizable percentage of the population in 1936, during the worst of the Great Depression of the 1930s.The frame excluded as much as 65 percent of the population and a segment of the voting population (lower income) that tended to favor Roosevelt. The magazine had been accurate in earlier elections becausepeople with higher and lower incomes did not differ in how they voted. Also, during earlier elections, before the Depression, more lower-income people could afford to have telephones and automobiles. You can learn two important lessons from the Literary Digest mistake. First, the sampling frame is crucial. Second, the size of a sample is lessimportant than whether or not it accurately representsthe population. A representativesample of 2,500 can give more accurate predications about the U.S. population than a nonrepresentative sample of i million or 10 million.

For if sample. example, conductinga telephone needsto try to reachthe survey,the researcher person,by callingbackfour or specificsampled five times,to getan accurate random sample. are Random samples most likely to yield a the samplethat truly represents population. In addition,random samplingletsa researcher stathe tistically calculate relationshipbetweenthe sampleand the population-that is, the sizeof error. Anonstatistical definition of the sampling error is the deviationbetween samthe sampling ple resultsand a population parameterdue to randomprocesses. i is Randomsampling based a greatdealof on mathematics. This chapterfocuses sophisticated of on the fundamentals how sampling w.orks, the difference betweengood and bad samples, how to draw a sample,and basicprinciplesof sampling in socialresearch. This do.t ttot meanthat random samplingis unimportant. It is essenti4l If to first masterthe fundamentals. you plan to pursuea career using quantitativeresearch, you should get more statistical background than permitshere. space Types of Probability Samples SimpleRanilom. The simplerandomsample is both the easiest random sampleto understand and the one on which other typesare modeled. In simplerandom sampling,a researcher developsan accurate samplingframe,selects elements from the samplingframe according a matheto matically random procedure,then locatesthe for exactelementthat wasselected inclusion in thesample. After numberingall elements a sampling in frame.a researcher usesa list of random numbers to decidewhich elements select.He or to sheneeds manyrandom numbersasthereare as for elements be sampled; example, a samto for ple of 100, 100random numbersare needed. The researcher getrandom numbersfrom a can a random-number table, tableof numberschosen in a mathematically random way. Randomnumbertables available most statistics are in and

Why Random?
The area of applied mathematics called probability theory relies on random processes.The word random has a special meaning in mathematics. It refers to a process that generatesa mathematically random result; that is, the selection process operatesin a truly random method (i.e., no pattern), and a researcher can calculate the probability of outcomes. In a true random process, each element has an equal probability ofbeing selected. Probability samples that rely on random processesrequire more work than nonrandom ones. A researchermust identifr specific sampling elements (e.g., person) to include in the



research methodsbooks.The numbersaregeneratedby a pure random process that any so numberhasan equalprobabilityof appearing in anyposition.Computerprogramscanalsoproducelistsof random numbers. You may ask,OnceI select elementfrom an the sampling frame, do I then return it to the samplingframe or do I keep it separate? The common answer that it is not returned.Unreis strictedrandom samplingis random sampling with replacement-that is, replacing element an after samplingit so it can be selected again.In simple random samplingwithout replacement, the researcher ignoreselementsalready selected into the sample. Thelogicof simplerandomsamplingcanbe illustratedwith an elementaryexample-sampling marblesfrom a jar.Ihave a largejar full of 5,000marbles, somered and somewhite. The 5,000marblesaremy population,and the parameterI want to estimate the percentage red is of marblesin it. I randomly select100marbles(I closemy eyes,shakethe jar, pick one marble, and repeatthe procedure99 times).I now have a random sampleof marbles.I count the number of red marblesin my sampleto estimate the percentage red versuswhite marblesin the of population.This is a lot easier than countingall 5,000marbles.My samplehas 52 white and 4g red marbles. Doesthis meanthat the populationparameteris 48 percentred marbles? Muybenot. Becauseof random chance,my specificsample might be off I cancheckmy results dumping by the 100marbles backin thejar, mixing the marbles,and drawing a secondrandom sampleof 100marbles.On the secondtry my samplehas 49 white marblesand 5l red ones.Now I havea problem.Which is correct? How good is this random samplingbusiness different samples if from the same populationcanyield differentresults? repeatthe procedureoverand over until I I havedrawn 130different samples 100marof bleseach(see Box 6.2 for results). Most people might empty the jar and count all 5,000,but I want to seewhat is going on. The resultsof my

130 different samples reveal a clear pattern. The most common mix of red and white marbles is 50/50. Samples that are close to that split are more frequent than those with more uneyen splits. The population parameter appears to be 50 percent white and 50 percent red marbles. Mathematical proofs and empirical tests demonstrate that the pattern found in Box 6.2 always appears. The set of many random samples is my samplingdistibution.It is a distribution of different samples that shows the frequency of different sample outcomes from many separaterandom samples.The pattern will appear if the sample size is 1,000 instead of 100; if there are l0 colors of marbles instead of 2; if the population has 100 marbles or 10 million marbles instead of 5,000;and if the population is people, automobiles, or collegesinstead of mar_ bles. In fact, the pattern will become clearer as more and more independent random samples are drawn from the population. The pattern in the sampling distribution suggeststhat over many separate samples, the true population parameter (i.e., the 50/50 split in the preceding example) is more common than any other result. Some samplesdeviate from tne population parameter, but they are less common. When manydifferent random samplesare plotted as in the graph in Box6.2,then the sampling distribution looks like a normal or bellshaped curve. Such a curve is theoretically important and is used throughout statistics. The central limit theoremfrom mathematics tells us that as the number of difflerent random samples in a sampling distribution increasestoward infinity, the pattern of samples and the population parameter become more predictable. With a huge number of random samples,the sampling distribution forms a normal curve, and the midpoint of the curve approachesthe population parameter as the number of samples increases. Perhaps you want only one sample because you do not have the time or energy to draw many different samples. You are not alone. A researcherrarely draws many samples.He or she



Number of Samples

42 43 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 57

58 57 55 54 53 52 5l 50 49 48 47 46 45 43 Total

1 1 2 4 8 12 21 31 20

Number of red and white marblesthat were randomlydrawn from a jar of 5,000 marbles with 1 00 drawn eachtime, repeated 1 30 times for'l 30 independentrandom samples.

9 5 2 .l 'I 30

Numberof Samples 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 l8 17 16 'I 5 14 l3 12 1l 10 9 I 6 5 4 3 2 1 42 43 44 4s 46 47 48 49 50 5.1 52 s3 54 5s 56 57

in Marbles a SamPle of Number Red




usuallydrawsonly one random sample, the but SystematicSampling. Systematic samplingis centrallimit theoremletshim or her generaltze simple random samplingwith a shortcut for from onesample thepopulation.Thetheorem randomselection. to Again,the first stepis to numis about many samples, lets the researcher ber eachelementin the samplingframe.Instead but calculate probability of a particular sample of usinga list of random numbers,a researcher the beingofffrom the populationparameter. calculates samplinginteryal,and the interval a Random samplingdoesnot guarantee that becomeshis or her quasi-randomselection every random sampleperfectly represents the method. The sampling interval (i.e., 1 in k, population.Instead, means it that most random where k is somenumber) tells the researcher samples be closeto the population most of will how to selectelements from a samplingframe the time, and that one can calculate probathe by skippingelements the framebeforeselectin bility of a particularsamplebeinginaccurate. A ing one for the sample. researcher estimates chance the that a particular For instance,I want to sample300 names sample offor unrepresentative ihe sizeof is (i.e., from 900.After a random startingpoint, I select the samplingerror) by using information from everythirdnameofthe 900to geta sample 300. of the sampleto estimate samplingdistributhe My samplinginterval is 3. Samplingintervalsare tion. He or shecombinesthis information with easy compute.I needthe sample to sizeand the knowledgeof the centrallimit theoremto conpopulationsize(or sampling framesizeasa best struct confiden e interyals. c estimate). You canthink of the samplinginterval The confidence intervalis a relatively simple asthe inverseof the samplingratio. The sampling but powerfrrlidea.When televisionor newspa- ratio for 300niunes of 900is 300/900 .333= = out per polls are reported,you may hear about 33.3percent. sampling The = intervalis 9001300 3. ' somethingcalledthe margin of error beingplus In most cases, simplerandom sampleand a or minus 2 percentage points.This is a versionof a systematic sample yieldvirtually equivalent reeonfidence intervals.A confidence interval is a sults.One important situationin which systemrangearognd a specific point usedto estimate a atic samplingcannot be substitutedfor simple population parameter. rangeis usedbecause randomsamplingoccurswhenthe elements a A in the statistics ofrandom processes not let a redo sampleare organized somekind of cycleor in searcher predict an exactpoint, but they let the pattern.For example, researcher's a sampling researcher with a high level of confidence frame is organized married couples say by with the (e.g., percent) 95 that the true populationpara- malefirst and the femalesecond(see Table6.2). 1meterlieswithin a certainrange. Sucha pattern givesthe researcher unreprean The calculations samplingerrorsor confor sentative sampleif systematic samplingis used. fidenceintervalsarebeyondthe levelof this disHis or her systematic samplecan be nonreprecussion, but they are basedon the idea of the sentative includeonly wivesbecause how and of samplingdistribution that lets a researcher calthe cases organized. are When his or her sample culatethe samplingerror and confidence interframe is organized couples,even-numbered as val. For example, I cannot say, "There are samplingintervals resultin samples with all husprecisely 2,500red marblesin the jar based a on bandsor all wives. random sample."However,I can say,"I am 95 Table 6.3 illustratessimple random sampercent certain that the population parameter pling and systematic sampling.Notice that diflies between2,450 and 2,550."I can combine ferent nameswere drawn in eachsample.For characteristics the sample(e.g.,its size,the of example, Adamsappears both samples, H. in but variationin it) with the centrallimit theoremto C. Droullard is only in the simplerandom sampredict specificrangesaround the parameter ple.This is because is rarefor anytwo random it with a greatdealof confidence. samples be identical. to



Problemswith Systematic TA BLE 5.2 Samplingof CyclicalData

.l 2a

4 5 6a 7

Husband Wife Husband Wife Husband Wife Hus ban d Wife Husband Wife Husband Wife

The samplingframe contains20 malesand after each 20 females(genderis in parenthesis name). The simple random sampleyielded 3 sample and the systematic malesand 7 females, Doesthis mean yielded5 malesand 5 females. No. samplingis more accurate? that systematic usingdifferent To checkthis, drawa newsample random numbers;try taking the first two digits and beginningat the end (e.g.,11 from lL92I, then 43 from 43232).Also draw a new systematic samplewith a different random start. The lasttime the random startwas18.Try a random start of 11.What did you find? How many of ! eachsex? Stratifieil Sampling. In straffied sampling,a first researcher dividesthe population into subpopulations(strata)on the basisof supplementary information. After dividing the population drawsa random saminto strata,the researcher He ple from eachsubpopulation. or she can randomlywithin stratausingsimpleransample


1t 12

= interval 4. Random start = 2; Sampling aSelected samole. into

TA B T E 6. 3

Samples How to Draw SimpleRandomand Systematic
ignorethe secondoccurrence. the example), in untilthe number ofcases the Continue is sample 0 in our example) reached. (.1 beginwith a random sample, 4. Fora systematic way to do this is to point start.The easiest number table,thentake at blindly the random on number that appears the the closest I frame. the example, 8 waschosen. In sampling then count the Start with the randomnumber, to interval, 4 in our example, come or sampling Markit, and then count the to the first number. for Continue interval the nextnumber. sampling counting the to the end ofthe list.Continue of interval if the beginning the list as sampling wasattached the end ofthe list (likea to untilending close the to Keepcounting circle). interval start,or on the start if the sampling into the total of the sampling evenly divides frame.

framein t. Number eachcasein the sampling The is sequence. list of 40 names in order,numbered from 1 to 40. alphabetical Decide a sample on size. willdrawtwo 25 We percent 0-name) (1 samples. random sample, locatea random3. Fora simple numbertable (seeexcerpt).Beforeusing random-number table,countthe largest numberof digits needed the sample(e.g., for for with 40 names, digitsareneeded; 100 two to 999, threedigits; 1 ,000 to 9,999,four for digits).Beginanywhere the randomnumber on table (wewill beginin the upperleft) and take a set of digits (wewill takethe lasttwo). Markthe number the sampling frame on that corresponds that random number indicate to the chosen to is lf the caseis in the sample. the number too appears large(over40), ignoreit. lf the number twicein morethanonce(1 0 and 2l occurred



r 53

01 02 03 04 05 05 07 08 09 10 I1 12 13 14 'l 5 15 17 18 19 20

A br am s , J M ) (. Adams, (F) H. Anderson, (M) H. Arminond, (M) L. Boorstein, (M) A. B r eit s pr ec he r,P.(M) Yes Brown, (F) D. Cattelino, (F) J. Cidoni, (M) S. Davis, (F) L. Yes Droullard, (M) C. Yes Durette, (F) R. E ls nau, . ( F ) K Yes F alc oner , ( M ) T. Fuerstenberg, (M) J. Fulton, (F) P. Cnewuc h, . ( F ) S G r een, ( M ) C. Coodwanda, (F) T. Harris, (M) B. Yes



Yes (8)


5TART, Yes 0) (1

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 s2 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Hjelmhaug, (M) N. H uang,J. (F) lvono,V. (F) Jaquees,(M) J. A. Johnson, (F) Kennedy, (F) M. Koschoreck, (F) L. Koykkar, (M) J. Kozlowski, (F) C. Laurent, (M) J. Lee, (F) R. Lins, (M) C. McKinnon, (F) K. Mi n,H . (F) Moi ni A . (F) , Navarre, (M) H. O' S ul l i van,. (M) C oh,J. (M) Ol son, (M) J. Ortizy Carcia, (F) L.

Yes Yes




Yes (3)


Yes (4)


Excerptfrom a Random-NumberTable (for Simple RandomSample)

150lo 90122 672s6 13761 81994 79180 07984

18590 3822I 13882 23390 66611 25992 47169

00102 21 529 94119 12947 16597 46178 88094

4227A 00Ott 11077 21280 44457 23992 82752

94174 04734 01051 44506 0762a 62r 08 153r8

22099 60457 27779 36457 51949 43232 11921

'Num ber s t h a t a p p e a r e d t w ice in r a n d o m n u m b e r sse le cte c.

dom or systematic sampling. In stratified sampling, the researchercontrols the relative size of each stratum, rather than letting random processes control it. This guarantees representativeness or fixes the proportion of different strata within a sample. Of course, the necessary

supplemental information about strata is not a,ways available. In general, stratified sampling produces samplesthat are more representativeof the population than simple random sampling if the stratum information is accurate. A simple example


P A RT oNE / F o u N D Arl o N S

illustrateswhy this is so. Imaginea population that is 51 percentfemale and 49 percentmale; the population parameteris a sexratio of 51 to draws 49.With stratifiedsampling,a researcher among random samplesamong femalesand containsa 51to 49 permalessothat the sample had cent sexratio. If the researcher usedsimple for it randomsampling, would bepossible a ransexratio in dom sampleto be offfrom the true the population.Thus,he or shemakesfewererthe population and has a rors representing smallersamplingerror with stratifiedsampling. use Researchers stratifiedsamplingwhen a of stratum of interestis a small percentage a miss could population and random processes a For the stratumby chance. example, researcher drawsa sampleof 200 fiom 20,000collegestudents.He or shegetsinformation from the collegeregistrarindicatingthat 2 percentof the or 20,000students, 400, are divorcedwomen with children under the ageof 5. This group is Therewould important to includein the sample. (2 percent of200) in a reprebe 4 suchstudents could miss but sample, the researcher sentative them by chancein one simplerandom sample. he With stratifiedsampling, or sheobtainsa list from the registrarand of the 400 suchstudents that 4 randomly selects from it. This guarantees the the samplerepresents population with re(see 6.3). Box strata gardto the important may a situations, researcher want In special to the proportion of a stratumin a sample differ from its true proportion in the population.For the example, population contains0.5 percent wants to examine Aleuts, but the researcher so Aleuts in particular. He or she oversamples that Aleuts make up 10 percentof the sample. With this type of disproportionatestratified directly cannotgeneralize the sample, researcher to from the sample the populationwithout special adjustments. wants the In somesituations,a researcher proportion of a stratum or subgroupto differ from its true proportion in the population.For Davisand Smith (1992)reportedthat example, the 1987GeneralSocialSurvey(explainedin a

African Americans. later chapter)oversampled of A randomsample the U.S.populationyielded 191Blacks.Davisand Smith conducteda sepathe to of ratesample African Americans increase to total number of Blacks 544'The 191Blackreare spondents about 13 percentofthe random of sample,roughly equal to the percentage are in Blacks the U.S.population.The 544Blacks The sample. 30 percentof the disproportionate who wants to use the entire sample researcher must adjustit to reducethe number of sampled to African Americansbefore generalizing the U.S. population. Disproportionatesampling who wants to focus on ishelpsthe researcher suesmost relevantto a subpopulation.In this genetalizeto he case, or shecanmore accurately African Americansusing the 544 respondents of than usinga sample only 191.Thelargersample is more likely to reflectthe full diversityof the African Americansubpopulation. ClusterSampling, Clustersamplingaddresses lack Researchers a goodsampling two problems: populationand the costto framefor a dispersed elementis very high. For examreacha sampled ple, there is no singlelist of all automobilemechanicsin North America.Evenif a researcher got an accuratesamplingframe, it would cost who mechanics too much to reachthe sampled out. Insteadofusing a spread aregeographically use singlesamplingframe,researchers a sdm. and pling designthat involves multiple stages clusters. A clusteris a unit that containsfinal sambut pling elements canbe treatedtemporarilyas first itself.A researcher sama samplingelement ples clusters,eachof which containselements, then draws a secondsamplefrom within the of in selected the first stage sampling'In clusters randomly samples other words, the researcher from elements then randomly samples clusters, This hasa big pracclusters. within the selected a He tical advantage. or shecancreate goodsamto evenif it is impossible pling frameof clusters, Once the recreateone for samplingelements. creatinga gets a sampleof clusters, searcher





Administrators Staffphysicians Internphysicians Registered nurses Nurse assistants Medical technicians Orderlies Clerks Maintenance staff Cleaning staff Total

t5 25 25 .t00 'r00 75 50 75 30 25 520

2.88 4.81 4.81 19.23 19.23 14.42 9.62 14.42 s.77 4.81 100.00


3 5 5 19 19 14 l0 14 6 5 100

2 6 22 21 9 8 5 3 3 100

-2 -3 +l +3 +2 +5 -2 +l
-3 -2

.l Randomly select of 5 administrators,of 25 staffphysicians, so on. 3 5 and Note: Traditionally, symbolizes number the population n represents number the sample. N the in and the in Thesimple random sample overrepresents nurses, nursing assistants, medical and technicians, underrepresents but administrators, physicians, staff maintenance andcleaning staff, staff.Thestratified sample gives accurate an representation of eachtype of position.

sampling frame for elements within each cluster becomesmore manageable.A second advantage for geographically dispersed populations is that elementswithin eachcluster are physically closer to one another. This may produce a savings in locating or reaching each element. A researcherdraws severalsamplesin stages in cluster sampling. In a three-stagesample,stage 1 is random sampling of big clusters; stage 2 is random sampling of small clusters within each selectedbig cluster; and the last stageis sampling of elements from within the sampled small clusters. For example, a researcherwants a sample of

individuals from Mapleville. First, he or she randomly samples city blocks, then households within blocks, then individuals within households (seeBox 6.4). Although there is no accurate list of all residentsofMapleville, there is an accurate list of blocks in the city. After selectinga random sample of blocks, the researchercounts all households on the selectedblocks to create a sample frame for eachblock. He or she then uses the list of households to draw a random sample at the stageof sampling households. Finally, the researcher chooses a specific individual within each sampled household.

1s 5


in sample 24Opeople Mapleville. of a Coal: Draw random 6 select districts. Randomly has 1: Mapleville 55 districts. Step 15' 16 17 18 19 2021 2223 242526 1 23. 4 5 67 89 10 1'l 1213 14 27. 28 29 30 31. 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40.41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 5.f 52 53 54.55


selected. Randomly Randomly select4 blocks 20 districtcontains blocks. Each districtsinto blocks. the 2: Divide selected Step from the district. in Example Distict3 (selected step 1): of 1 23 4. 5 67 8 9 ' 1 0 . 1 1 1 2 1 3 . 1 4 1 5 1 6 17. 18 1920 - = Randomly selected. selecthouseholds. Randomly Step3: Divideblocksinto households. step 2): 4 Example Block of District3 (selectedin of lt buildings. is bounded-by and duplexes, four-unitapartment homes, a Block4 contains mixof single-family on Thereare45 households the block.Rartdom\ Drive. and Road, SouthAvenue, Greenview OakStreet,River from the 45. selectI 0 households

1 2

#.1 Oak Street #3 Oak Street #5 Oak Street

4 5 6 7 8 9' 10' 't1 12 13 14 15

#7 Oak Street Road #l 50 River

Road #l 52 River

16 R # 1 5 4 R i ver oad 17. 'l8 R # 1 5 6 R i ver oad Road #1 58 River 19" 20. #l 3 SouthAvenue 21 22"37" #.1 1 SouthAvenue 23 #9 SouthAvenue 24 #7 SouthAvenue 25 #5 SouthAvenue 26 #3 SouthAvenue 27 #1 SouthAvenue 28 2 9 ." 4 4 " Drive #1 52 Creenview 30

31. 32. 33 34 35. 36 38 39 40 41 42 43 45

Drive #156 Creenview

#]58 Creenview Drive

Drive #1 60 Creenview

" = Randomly selected. withineachhousehold. a Step 4: Select respondent sampling Summary cluster of per selected household 1 personrandomly per randomly selected block 10 households per selected district 4 blocksrandomly in selected the city 6 districtsrandomly I X 10 x 4 6= 2 4 0 p e o p l e i n s a mp l e




, Cluster sampling is usually lessexpensive than simple random sampling,but it is lessaccurate. Eachstage clustersampling in introduces samplingerrors.This meansa multistage cluster samplehas more samplingerrorsthan a onestage random sample. A researcher who usescluster sampling must decidethe number of clustersand the number of elements within eachcluster.For exaTplg, in a two-stage clustersampleof 240people from Mapleville, the researcher could randomly select120 clusters and select2 elements from each,or randomly select2 clusters and select120elements each.Which is best? in The generalansweris that a designwith more clusters better.This is because is elements within clusters(e.g.,peopleliving on the sameblock) tend to be similar to eachother (e.g.,peopleon the sameblock tend to be more alikethan those on different blocks).If few clustersare chosen. many similar elements could be selected, which would be lessrepresentative the total populaof tion. For example,the researcher could select two blocks with relativelywealthy people and drirw 120peoplefrom each.This would be less representative than a samplewith i20 difFerent cityblocks and 2 individualschosen from each. When a researcher samples from a largegeographical areaand must travelto eachelement, cluster sampling significantly reduces travel costs. usual,thereis a tradeoffbetween As accuracyand cost. For example,Alan, Ricardo, and Barbara each plan to visit and personally interview a sample 1,500 of students who represent popthe ulation of all college students North Ameiica. in Alan obtainsan accurate samplingframe of all students and usessimplerandom sampling.He travelsto 1,000different locationsto interview one or two studentsat each.Ricardo draws a random sample threecolleges of from a list of all 3,000colleges, then visits the three and selects 500 studentsfrom each.Barbaradraws a random sampleof 300 colleges. visits the 300 She and selects students each.Iftravel costsav5 at erage$250 per location, Alan's travel bill is

Ricardo'sis $750,and Barbara,s $250,000, is Alan's sampleis highly accurate,but $75,000. Barbara's only slightly lessaccurate one_ is for third the cost.Ricardo'ssampleis the cheapest, but it is not representative all. at ProbabilityProportionate Size(ppS). There to are two methods of cluster sampling. The method just described proportionatet, o.r_ is weightedclustersampling.It is proportionate because sizeof eachcluster (br number of the elementsat eachstage)is the same.The more common situation is for the cluster groups to be of different sizes. When this is the case-. the researcher must adjust the probability or sam_ pling ratio at various stages sampling(see in Box6.5). Th-" foregoing cluster sampling example with Alan, Barbara,and Ricardoillustratesihe problemwith unweighted clustersampling. Bar_ bara drew a simple random sampleJf :Oo cot_ legesfrom a list of all 3,000colleges, she but made a mistake-unless every collegehas an identicalnumber of students. Her method gave eachcollege equalchance an ofbeing selected_ a 300/3,000 10 percentchance. colleges or But havedifferentnumbersof students, eachsiu_ so dent doesnot havean equalchance end up in to her sample. Barbaralisted everycollegeand sampled from the list. A largeuniversitywith 40,000stu_ dentsand a small college wirh 400 students had an equal chanceof being selected. But if she chose largeuniversity,the chance the ofa given student at that collegebeing selected wal 5 in = 40,000(5i40,000 0.0125 percent), whereas a studentat the smallcollege a 5 in 400 (5/400 had = 1.25percent)chance being selected. of The small-college studentwas 100timesmore likely to be in her sample. The total probability of be_ ing selected a studentfrom the largeuniverfor sitywas0.125percenr (10 X 0.0125), while it was 12.5percent(10 X 1.25)for the smali_ collegestudent.Barbaraviolateda principle of random sampling-that each element his an equalchance be selected the sample. to into

has Sampling manytermsfor the differentparts of illussample A or samples typesof samples. complex use trateshow researchers them.Lookat the 1 980 in survey sonational U.S. for sample the best-known Survey' Social the ciology, Ceneral is The population definedas all residentadults of (1 8 yearsor older) in the U'S.for the universe all of population consists all EngThe Americans. target excluding adultswho livein households, lish-speaking settingssuchas college those livingin institutional The quarters. or homes, military nursing dormitories, that 97.3 percentof all resiestimated researchers and dent adultslivedin households that 9 Z percent English population spokesufficient of the household to be interviewed. probmultistage used The researchers a complex sampleand a that is both a cluster ability sample stratified sample.First, they created a national cities' independent counties, all samplingframeof U.S. (SMSfu)' Areas Statistical Metropolitan andStandard for citiesandsurdesignation larger Bureau a Census at element this first roundingareas.Eachsampling They divided levelhad about 4,000 households' into strata.The stratawerethe four theseelements as regions definedby the Census majorgeographic and dividedinto metropolitan nonmetropolBureau, fromeachstratausing Theythen sampled itanareas. to proportionate size(PPS)randomselecprobability unitsin each of on tion, based the number housing

of This gavethem a sample 84 county or SMSA. or counties SMSAs. identified For the secondstage,the researchers in tracts,or the ruralequivalent census city blocks, (e.g', element each county or SMSA.Eachsampling In units. orof hada minimum 50 housing city block) of count of the number housder to get an accurate counted ing units for some counties,a researcher 6 selected or in addresses the field.The researchers county or SMSAusingPPS moreblockswithineach to yield552 blocks. used the In the third stage,the researchers seThey randomly element. as household a sampling in from the addresses the block. lectedhouseholds contacted an an After selecting address, interviewer from respondent an and the household chose eligible tablefor poslookedat a selection it. The interviewer a and siblerespondents interviewed type of responoldest) basedon the table. In dent (e.g.,second 'l total, ,934 peoplewere contactedfor interviews This werecompleted. of and7 5.9 percent interviews size gavea finalsample of 1,458. We cancalculate ratio by dividing 1,468 by the total ihe sompting whichwas numberof adultslivingin households, percent. check To whichis 0.01 about 150 million, of their sample,the rethe representativeness of characteristics the samalso searchers compared ple to censusresults(see Davisand Smith,1 992: 31 -44).

to probabilityproportionate If Barbarauses correctly,then eachfinal size(PPS)and samples samplingelementor studentwill havean equal Shedoesthis by probability of being selected. in a of the adjusting chances selecting college the of first stage sampling.Shemust givelargecolof chance bea with more students greater leges a and ing selected smallcolleges smallerchance. a Sheadjuststhe probability of selecting college in on the basisof the proportion of all students the population who attend it. Thus, a college

with 40,000studentswill be 100 times more than one with 400 students. likely to be selected (See Box 6.6 for anotherexamPle.) Ranilom-Digit Dialing, Random-digitdialing (RDD) is a specialsamplingtechniqueusedin projectsin which the generalpublic is research It interviewedbytelephone' differsfrom the tramethod of samplingfor telephoneinditional directory telephone a because published terviews the samplingframe. is not




high as 50 percent.In addition, peoplechange their residences, directories so that arepublished annuallyor lessoften havenumbersfor people who haveleft and do not list thosewho havere_ Vaquera and Kao (2005) studieddisplays affecof centlymoved into an, directoriesdo tion amongadolescent couplesin whichthe couple not list cell phone numbers.A researcher using wereeitherfrom the sameor differentracial groups. RDD randomly selectstelephonenumbers, Theirdatawerefroma national longitudinal studyof therebyavoidingthe problemsof telephone di_ adolescent healthgiven to studentsin grades7 rectories. populationis telephone The numbers, through 12 in 80 randomlyselectedU.S. tigfl not peoplewith telephones. Random-digitdial_ schools. Therewereover 90,000 studentsin these ing is not difficult, but it takes time and canfrus_ schools. After the'schools weresampled, approxitrate the persondoing the calling. mately200 students weresampled interviews for Here is how RDD works in the United fromwithinthoseschools. Thus,the first cluster was States. Telephonenumbershavethree parts: a the school,and studentsweresampled from within three-digit area code, a three-digit exihange the school. Because schools the werenot ofthe same number or centralofEcecode,and a four-digit size,ranging from 1 O0 to 3,000 students, authe number. For example,the areacodefor Uadi_ thors adjustedusingprobabilities proportionate to size(PPS). They found that 53 percentof respon_ son, Wisconsin,is 608,and there are many ex_ dentshad a relationship changes within thearea with someone the oppocode(e.g., of 221,9g3:767, site sex in the previousI 8 months.Whitesand 455); but not all of the 999 possiblethree_digit Blacks were more likelyto havesame-race (from 001to 999)areactive. exchanges relationLikewise, ships(90 percent)compared Asians to and Hispan- not all of the 9,999possible four-digit numbers ics (70 percent). The authorsfoundthat same(from 0000 to 9999) are being in an exchange and mixed-race couples differed little in showing intimate used.Somenumbersarereserved future exfor affection, the interracial but couples werelesslikely pansion,are disconnected, are temporarily or to do so in publicthan the same-race couples. withdrawn aftersomeone moves.Thus,a possi_ ble U.S.telephone number consists an active of areacode,an activeexchange number, and a four-digit number in an exchange. Threekinds.of peopleare missedwhen the In RDD, a researcher identifiesactivearea samplingframe is a telephone directory people codesand exchanges, then randomly selects without telephones, peoplewho have recently four-digit numbers.A problem is thai rhe removed, and people with unlisted numbers. searcher select can any number in an exchange. Thosewithout phones(e.g.,the poor, the unedThis meansthat someselected numbersu." o.rt ucated,and transients)are missedin any teleof service, disconnected, phones,or numpay phoneinterviewstudy,but theproportion of the bersfor businesses; somenumbersarewhat only general public with a telephone nearly95 peris the researcher wants-working residential cent in advanced industrializednations.As the phone numbers.Until the researcher calls,it is percentage the public with telephones inof has not possibleto know whether the number is a creased, percentage the with unlisted numbers working residential number.This means spendhasalsogrown.Several kinds ofpeoplehaveuning a lot of time getting numbersthat are dis_ listed numbers:peoplewho want to avoid co,connected, businesses, so forth. for and lectionagencies; verywealthy; thosewho the and Rememberthat the samplingelementin want privacy and want to avoid obscene calls. RDD is the phonenumber,not thepersonor the salespeople, prank calls.In someurban arand household.Severalfamilies or individuals can eas,the percentage unlistednumbersis as of sharethe samephonenumber,and in other sit-

| 60



phone uationseachpersonmay havea separate phonenumber.This number or more than one phone is meansthat after a working residential necessary reached, second a stage samplingis of sampling,to select person the within household to be interviewed. Box 6.5 presents exampleof how the an many samplingterms and ideascanbe usedtoreal-lifesituation. getherin a specific

identified as vicgovernmentserviceagencies dependon the estimates tims. Law-enforcement effortsand aremost levelof enforcement specific likely to identifr a smallpercentof the most visSimilar difficulties exist ible and seriouscases. that service agencies prowith nongovernment vide aid to victims. Thus, during the first 10 42 months of 2004,Norwegianpolice detected of sextraffickingvictims.This is subset all possible trafficking victims. For this population using a capTyldum and Brunovskissuggested Hidden Populations methodborrowedfrom biology. ture-recapture of a In capture-recapture, percentage the same In contrastto samplingthe generalpopulation multiple attemptsto will reappearacross hidden cases people, sampling orvisible and accessible (with a release "capture"cases after past cap(i.e., peoplewho engage conin populations recapturedallows reture). This percentage in the cealedactivities)is a recurrent issue to searchers estimate the size of the total behavior.It iIstudiesof deviantor stigmatized population.A third population is that of milustratesthe creativeapplication of sampling who havereturnedto their countiypf oriprinciples,mixing qualitativeand quantitative grants gin. By surveyingreturneesand estimatingthe and sryles research oftenusingnonprobability of Examples hiddenpopulationsinof techniques. iroportion oi th.m who are former traffickin!' haveanotherway to estivictims,researchers prostitutes, homosexucludeillegaldrug users, people, matethe sizeof the hidden population. als,peoplewith HIV/AIDS, homeless (2005)described their Drausand associates and others. (2005)described samplinga hiddenpopulationin a field research Tyldum and Brunovskis study of illicit drug users in four rural Ohio ways to measurethe hidden population of samcounties.They used respondent-driven in womenand childrenvictimsof sextrafficking pling (RDS),which is a versionof snowballsamusing multiple samNorway. They suggested pling and appropriatewhen members of a pling approaches thinking of in terms of and hiddenpopulationarelikely to maintaincontact vicseveraloverlappingpopulations in which with one another.This tlpe of samplingbegins One populationis all working tims area subset. prostitutes. telephoning identifiableescort by identifying an eligiblecaseor participant. all By response This person,calleda "seed,"is given referral then calculating services, and massage couponsto distributeamongother eligiblepeophone,the ratesand the number of women per in prostitutes ple who engage the sameactivity. For each that 600 female authorsestimated some referral, the "seed" receives successful worked in the Oslo metro areain October2003. money. This processis repeatedwith several Based number of months mostwomenwork on of year, waves new recuitsuntil the a point of saturain prostitution andtheir turnoverrateeach Samplingearlier in this tion (seeSequential that 1,100differentwomenwork theyestimated chapter).In the study by Draus and associates, asprostitutesin Oslo in a year.Of these,about each intervieweddrug-usingparticipant was 80 percentof them are of non-Norwegianoripaid $50 for an initial two-hour interview and among gin.Victims of sextraffickingarea subset $35 for an hour-long follow-up interview.The who work as the roughly 800 non-Norwegians participantsreceivedthree referral couponsat prostitutes who are being exploitedby others the end of the initial interview and got $10 for and working involuntary.A secondpopulation eacheligibleparticipanttheyreferredwho comis the women law-enforcement officialsor non-



pleted an initial interview. No participant received more than threereferralcoupons.Sometimes this yielded no new participants,but at other times more than the threepeoplewith referral couponswere recruited.In one case, a youngman heardaboutthe studyat a localtatoo parlor and calledthe study office in luly 2003. He (participant157)had beena powdercocaine user and in his interview said he knew many other drug users.He referredtwo new participants (participants161 and 146)who camein about one month later. participant 161did not refer anyonene% but participant 146 referred four new people,and two of the four (154 and 148) referredstill others.participant 154referredfour newpeopleand 146referred onenew person,and that one person,(participant 15g) referredfour others.This samplingprocess that took placein differentgeographic locations produced249 usersof cocaineor methanmphetamine between 2004. |une 2002andFebruary You are now familiar with severalmajor typesof probability samples (see Table6.4) and. supplementarytechniques with them (e.g., used PPS,within-household, RDD, and RDS) that may be.appropriate. addition, you haveseen In how,resehrchers combinenonprobabilityand probability samplingfor special situations, such as hidden populations.Next, we turn to determining a samplesizefor probabilitysamples. How Large Should a Sample Be? Studentsand new researchers often ask. ,.How largedoesmy sarnple haveto be?"The bestansweris, "It depends." depends the kind of It on dataanalysis researcher the plans,on how accurate the samplehas to be for the researcher's pu{poses, and on population characteristics. As you haveseen, lbrgesample alonedoesnot a size guarantee representative a sample. largesam_ A ple without random samplingor with a poor sampling frame is less representativethan a smallerone with random samplingand an excellentsamplingframe.Goodsamples qualifor tativepurposes be very small. can


Simple Random

Createa sampling framefor all cases, thenselect cases using a purelyrandomprocess(e.g., random-number or table computerprogram). Createa sampling framefor eachofseveralcategories of cases, drawa random sample from eachcategory, then combine several the samples. Createa sampling frame, calculate sampling the interval l,/k, choosea randomstarting place, then take everyl,/k case. Createa sampling framefor largerclusterunits,drawa random sample the cluster of units,createa sampling frame for cases withineachselected cluster unit,thendrawa random sample ofcases, and so forth.




The question of samplesize can be ad_ dressed two ways.One is to make assumpin tions about the population and use statisticil equationsabout random samplingprocesses. Thecalculation sample by this methodre_ of size quiresa statistical discussion that is beyondthe level of this text. The researcher must make assumptions about the degreeof confidence(or number of errors)that is acceptable the de_ and greeofvariation in the population. A second and more frequentlyusedmethod is a rule of thumb-a conventionalor commonly accepted amount. Researchers it beuse cause they rarelyhavethe information required


PARr o NE /


it method and because gives by the statistical samplesizescloseto those of the statistical method. Rulesof thumb are not arbitrary but that with samples are basedon past experience have met the requirements of the statistical method. is, One principle of samplesizes the smaller thepopulation,thebiggerthe samplingratio has sample(i.e.,onewith a high to be for an accurate as results the enprobabilityofyieldingthe same tire population). Larger populations permit smallersamplingratios for equallygood samas ples. This is because the population size grows,the returns in accuracyfor samplesize shrink. (under 1,000), rea For smallpopulations needsa largesamplingratio (about 30 searcher a percent).For example, samplesizeof about For ofaccuracy. 300is requiredfor a high degree a largepopulations( 10,000), smaller moderately samplingratio (about 10 percent)is neededto or be equallyaccurate, a samplesizeof around (over 150,000), 1,000. For largepopulations smallersamplingratios (1 percent)arepossible, can ofabout 1,500 bevery accvtate. andsamples To samplefrom very largepopulations(over 10 using tiny accuracy million), one can achieve of samplingratios (0.025percent)or samples to ceases The ofthe population about2,500. size be relevantoncethe samplingratio is very small, for of and samples about2,500are as accurate populationsof 200 million as for 10 million. and Theseareapproximatesizes, practicallimitations (e.g., cost) also play a role in a researcher's decision. A relatedprincipleis that for smallsamples, in smallincreases samplesizeproducebig gains in in accurary.Equalincreases samplesizeproin more of an increase accuraryfor small duce than for largesamples. decisionabout the bestsamA researcher's on ple sizedepends threethings:(1) the degree of required,(2) the degree variability of accuracy in the population,and (3) the numor diversity ber of different variablesexaminedsimultaneously in data analysis.Everything else being

if are equal,largersamples needed one wants ifthe populationhasa greatdeal high accuracy, or of variabilityor heterogeneity, if onewantsto slin examinemany variables the data analysis multaneously. Smaller samplesare sufficient when the popis when lessacc:uracy acceptable, or ulation is homogeneous, when only a few at are variables examined a time. also afof The analysis data on subgroups size.If decisionaboutsample fectsa researcher's in subgroups the wantsto analyze the researcher For a population,he or sheneeds largersample. example,I want to analyzefour variablesfor of the malesbetween ages 30 and 40 yearsold. If public, then only a this sampleis of the general small proportion (e.g.,10 percent)of sample will cases be malesin that agegrouP.A rule of for thumb is to have about 50 cases eachsubThus, if I want to.artalyze group to be analyzed. a group that is only 10 percentof the popula--tion. then I shouldhave10 X 50 or 500casestin the sampleto be sureI get enoughfor the subgroup analysis. Drawing Inferences

so samples he or shecan draw inA researcher from the sampleto the population. ln ferences fact, a subfield of statisticaldata analysisthat is concernsdrawing accurateinferences called directly obThe researcher inferentialstatistics. variablesusing units in the sample.The serves the samplestandsfor or represents population. are Researchers not interestedin samplesin they themselves; want to infer to the population. Thus, a gap existsbetweenwhat the researcher has concretely (a sample)and what is of realinFigure 6.4). (a terest population)(see you sawhow the logic of In the lastchapter, could be statedin terms of a gap measurement indicaand constructs concrete abstract between dataarc observable of tors. Measures concrete, approximationsfor abstractconstructs.Reto use searchers the approximations estimate and what is of realinterest(i.e.,constructs causal and laws).Conceptualization operationalization




F I G U RE 6 .4 WhatYou WouldLiketo TalkAbout

Model of the Logic of Sampling and of Measurement A Modelof the Logic of SamPling Population WhatYouActually Observe the Data in Sample Process Sampling

A Modelof the Logic of Measurement Theoretical Concepts and CausalLaws WhatYouWouldLike to TalkAbout


WhatYouActually Observe the Data in Measures RelationshiPs and Empirical

A Model CombiningLogics of Samplingand Measurement Population WhatYou WouldLiketo TalkAbout Sample

Measures and Empirical Relationships WhatYouActually Observe the Data in


P A RT N E / F o u N D A T ro N s o

just bridgethe gapin measurement asthe useof and insamplingframes,the samplingprocess, ference bridgethe gapin sampling. put Researchers the logic of samplingand the logic of measurement togetherby directly measures constructs of and empirical in relationships samples(seeFigure 6.4). They infer or generalize from what they can observe laws empiricallyin samples the abstract to causal in and constructs the population. Validity and samplingerror have similar functions, as can be illustrated by the analogy betweenthe logic of samplingand the logic of measurement-that is, betweenwhat is oba served what is discussed. measurement, and In researcher wantsvalid indicatorsof constructsindicatorsthat accurately reprethat is, concrete In sentabstractconstructs. sampling,he or she wantssamples that havelittle samplingerrorrepconcrete collections cases accurately of that populations.A valid resentunseenand abstract little from the constructit repmeasure deviates resents. sample A with little samplingerror permits estimates deviate that little from population parameters. Researchers to reducesamplingerrors. try The calculation the samplingerror is not preof sentedhere,but it is basedon tlvo factors:the samplesizeand the amount of diversityin the sample.Everythingelsebeing equal,the larger the samplesize,the smallerthe samplingerror. (or Likewise, greater homogeneity the the the in a sample,the smallerits lessthe diversity) sampling error. Samplingerror is alsorelatedto confidence intervals. two samples identicalexcept If are that oneis larger,the onewith more cases havea will smallersamplingerror and narrowerconfidence intervals.Likewise,if two samples identical are exceptthat the cases one aremore similar to in eachother, the one with greaterhomogeneity will havea smallersamplingerror and narrower intervals. narrow confidence A interconfidence val meansmore precise estimates the populaof tion parameterfor a given level of confidence. For example, researcher wantsto estimate ava

erageannualfamily income.He or shehastwo intervalof Sample1 givesa confidence samples. popuaroundthe estimated to $36,000 $30,000 for of lation parameter $33,000 an 80 percent For levelofconfidence. a 95 percentlevelofconto A the fidence, rangeis $23,000 $43,000. samit ple with a smallersamplingerror (because is might give a largeror is more homogeneous) confifor range a 95 percent to $30,000 $36,000 dence level.

CONCLUSION In this chapter,you learnedabout sampling. You Samplingis widely usedin socialresearch. learned about types of sampling that are not Only some are acon based random processes. and their use dependson specialcirceptable, probability samplin! is In cumstances. general, it becattse preferredby quantitativeresearchers the producesa samplethat represents populato the tion and enables researcher usepowerful In statistical techniques. addition to simplerandom sampling,you learnedabout systematic, stratified, and cluster sampling.Although this theoryusedin book doesnot coverthe statistical of random sampling,from the discussion sampling error, the centrallimit theorem,and sample size, shouldbe clearthat random sampling it and sampling. produces more accurate precise Before moving on to the next chapter, it principle a maybe usefulto restate fundamental Do the of socialresearch: not compartmentalize process; rather,learnto see steps ofthe research betweenthe steps.Rethe interconnections sampling, and spemeasurement, search design, are techniques interdependent. cific research inof Unfortunately,the constraints presenting presenting formation in a textbook necessitate rein In the partsseparately, sequence. practice, think about datacollectionwhen they searchers for and developmeasures varidesignresearch influencereables.Likewise,samplingissues and of design,measurement variables, search As data collectionstrategies. you will seein fu-



ture chapters, good socialresearch on depends simultaneously controllingqualityat several different steps-researchdesign,conceptualization, measurement, sampling, and data collectionand handling.The researcher who makesmajor errorsat anyone stage may make projectworthless. an entireresearch

Key T e rm s
central limit theorem cluster sampling confidenceintervals deviant casesampling haphazard sampling hidden populations inferential statistics nonrandom sample parameter population

probability proportionate to size (PPS) purposive sampling quota sampling random-digit dialing (RDD) random-number table random sample sample sampling distribution sampling element sampling error samplingframe sampling interval sampling ratio sequential sampling simple random sampling snowball sampling sociogram statistic stratified sampling systematic sampling target population


lntroduction Research QuestionsAppropriatefor a Survey The Logic of Survey Research What ls a SurveY? Stepsin Conductinga SurveY Constructing the Questionnaire Writing of Principles Good Question Recall AidingRespondent Categories and Response Typesof Questions Closed Open versus Questions Wordinglssues lssues Design Questionnaire Types of Surveys: Advantages and Disadvantages Mail and Self-Administered Questionnaires Web Surveys Interviews Telephone Interviews Face-to-Face Interviewing The Roleof the Interviewer Stagesof an Interview Interviewers Training Bias lnterviewer I Telephonenterviewing Computer-Assisted The EthicalSurvey Conclusion




of handsyou a sheet paperfi.rllof quesSomeone "I tions. The first reads: would like to learnyour methodstextopinion of the Neuman research (b) book.Would you sayit is (a) well organized, or adequatelyorganized, (c) poorly organized?" by You probablywould not be shocked this. It is and most of us areaccustomed a kind of survey, by to surveys the time we reachadulthood. The survey is the most widely used dataand it is used gatheringtechniquein sociology, are in many other fields,aswell. In fact,surveys say, almosttoo popular.Peoplesometimes "Do a survey" to get information about the social "What is the world, when they shouldbe asking, Despitethe design?" most appropriateresearch to it popularity of surveys, is easy conducta survey that yields misleadingor worthlessresults. requirethought and effort. Good surveys soon are All surveys based the professional cial researchsurvey.In this chapter' you will learn the main ingredientsof good surveyresearch,as well as the limitations of the survey method.

ResearchQuestions Appropriate for a Survey

l. Behavior.How frequently do you brush Did your teeth? you vote in the lastcity elecrelative? When did you lastvisit a close tion? What kind of job 2. Attitudes/beliefs/opinions. do you think the mayor is doing?Do you things think otherpeoplesaymanynegative What is you when you arenot there? about the biggestproblem facingthe nation these days? Are 3. Characterisflcs. you married,nevermaror single,divorced,separated, widried, Do you belongto a union?What is owed? your age? Do 4. Expectations. you plan to buy a new car next 12 months?How much schoolin the Do ing do you think your child will get? you the populationin this town will grow, think shrink, or staythe same? yourself Do 5. Self-classification. you consider liberal, moderate,or conservative? to be would you put your Into which socialclass Would you sayyou are highly relifamily? giousor not religious? Who was electedmayor in the 6. Knowlcdge. of last election?About what percentage the peoplein this city are non-White?Is it legal to own a personal copy of Karl Marx's in Manrfesto this country? Communist

to warn againstusing surveys Researchers "why?" questions(e.g.,Why do you think within the positivist ask developed Surveyresearch 'Why?" questions appropriare crime occurs?). many The approachto socialscience. surveyasks if a researcher wantsto discovera about their beliefs, ate,however, people (called respondents) or subjective understanding inforand opinions, characteristics, past or present respondent's (i.e., the respondent's own view of mal theory behavior. few ques- "why'' he or sheactsa certainway).Because are Surveys appropriatefor research factors arefully awareof the causal tions about self-reportedbeliefs or behaviors. respondents that shapetheir beliefsor behavior,such quespeoplegive whenthe answers Theyarestrongest detions are not a substitutefor the researcher usuResearchers variables. measure to questions causal theory of his or her velopinga consistent ally ask about many things at one time in surown that builds on the existingscientificliteraveys, measure many variables (often with hypotheses ture. multiple indicators),and testseveral An important limitation of surveyresearch in a singlesurvey. is that it providesdataonly of what a personor overlap,the followAlthough the categories and says, this may differ from what organization in ing canbe asked a survey:


pA R Trw o

/ c o N D U c rN c e u A NTtrA TtvER E S E A R C H

is Surveyresearch often calledcorrelational. he or she actuallydoes.This is illustratedby as researchers questions control variuse Survey Pagerand Quillian (2005),who comparedtelethe to phone surveyresponses from Milwaukee-area ables approximate rigoroustestfor causality that experimenters achieve with their employers about their willingness hire ex-ofto physicalcontrol over temporalorder and alterfendersof differentraces with an "audit." In the audit,a trainedpair of youngmales with specific nativeexplanations. applied for 350 job openingsin characteristics December 2001.Employers to agreed hire 34 Steps in Conducting a Survey percentof White and 14percentof Blackapplifollows a deductiveapThe surveyresearcher cants.The applicantshad identicaljob experienceand credentialsand no criminal records. proach.He or shebeginswith a theoreticalor problem and endswith empirappliedresearch The same employers agreed hire 17percentof to Once a and data analysis. ical measurement Whitesand 5 percentof Blacks with identicaljob decides that the surveyis an approresearcher and experience credentials alsowith a crimbut project inal record for illegal drug use.The employers priate method,basicstepsin a research can be divided into the substepsoutlined in were telephoned few months later. Pagerand a Figure 7.1. surveyfar more Quillian found in the telephone an the develops In the first phase, researcher employersexpressed willingness hire an a to instrument-a survey questionnaireor interex-offender(67 percent)and therewereno difview schedule-that he or sheusesto measure ferences the offender's in race.Also, certainemread themRespondents the questions variables. ployerssaid they were more willing to hire an An on and acted selves mark answers a questionnaire. ex-offender, in the audit all employers but scheduleis ofquestionsreadto the aset the same.The authors said, "Surveyresponses interyiew by havevery little connectionto the actualbehav- respondent an interviewer,who alsorecords I To responses. simplify the discussion, will use iors exhibitedby theseemployers"(2005:367). only the term questionnaires. and conceptualizes opA surveyresearcher THE LOGIC OF SURVEY He variables questions. or she as erationalizes RESEARCH writes and rewrites questionsfor clarity and questions the on and completeness, organizes What ls a Survey? question, questionnairebasedon the research and the type of survey.(The Surveyresearchers samplemany respondents the respondents, later.) are who answerthe samequestions. They measure typesof surveys discussed the When preparinga questionnaire, remanyvariables, multiple hypotheses, intest and searcher thinks aheadto how he or she will fer temporalorder from questions about past datafor analysis. or she He recordand organize behavior,experiences, characteristics. exFor or with a small set of race pilot-teststhe questionnaire ample,yearsof schoolingor a respondent's similar to thosein the final survey. are prior to current attitudes.An association respondents trains among variablesis measuredwith statistical If interviewersare used,the researcher He techniques. Surveyresearchers of alterna- them with the questionnaire. or sheasksrethink in tive explanations when planning a survey, spondents thepilot-testwhetherthe questions their interpretationsto were clearand explores exmeasure variables that represent alternative if see his or her intendedmeaningwasclear.The planations(i.e.,control variables), then statistialso drawsthe sampleduring this callyexamine their effects rule out alternative researcher to phase. explanations.

cHAprER / suRVEy z RESEARCH '169 After the planning phase,the researcher is readyto collectdata.Thisphase usuallyshorter is than the planningphase. or shelocates He sampled respondents person,by telephone, by in or mail. Respondents giveninformationand inare structionson completing the questionnaireor interview.The questionsfollow, and there is a simple stimulus/response question/answer or pattern. The researcher accurately recordsanswersor responses immediately after they are given.After all respondents completethe questionnaire and are thanked,he or sheorganizes the dataand prepares them for statisticalanalysis. Surveyresearch be complexand expencan siveand it can involve coordinatingmany people and steps.The administrationof survey researchrequires organizationand accurate record keeping.The researcher keepstrack of each respondent,questionnaire,and interviewer.For example, or shegiveseachsamhe pled respondent an identification number, which alsoappears the questionnaire. or on He she then checks completed questionnaires against list of sampledrespondents. a Next, the researcher reviews responses individualqueson tionnaires, storesoriginal questionnaires, and transfersinformation from questionnaires a to format for statistical analysis. Meticulousbookkeeping and labeling are essential. Otherwise, the researcher may find that valuabledata and effort arelost through sloppiness.

F IGURE 7. 1

Stepsin the Process of SurveyResearch

Step 1: . Develophypotheses. . Decideon type of survey (mail,interview, telephone). . Writesurveyquestions. . Decide response on categories. . Design layout.

Step 2: . Planhowto record data. . Pilottestsurveyinstrument.

Step 3: . Decide targetpopulation. on . Get sampling frame. . Decide samplesize. on . Selectsample.

Step 4: . Locaterespondents. . Conduct interviews. . Carefully recorddata.

Step 5: . Enterdataintocomputers. . Recheck data. all . Pedormstatistical analvsis data. on

CONS T RUCT I NGHE T QUE S T I O NNA I RE Principles Good QuestionWriting of
A good questionnaire, forms an integrated whole.Theresearcher weaves questions together sothey flow smoothly.He or sheincludesintroductory remarksand instructionsfor clarification and measureseach variable with one or more suryeyquestions. Three principles for effectivesurveyquestions are:Keepit clear,keepit simple,and keep

Step 6: . Describe methods and findings in research report. . Present findings othersfor to critique and evaluation.

' , 70

pA Rr rw o

,/ c o N D U c l N c e u AN TtrA TtvER E S E A R cH

the respondent's perspective mind. Goodsurin vey questions givethe researcher valid and reliable measures. They alsohelp respondents feel that theyunderstand questionand that their the answers meaningful.Questions are that do not meshwith a respondent's viewpoint or that respondents find confusingare not good measures.A surveyresearcher must exercise extra care if the respondents heterogeneous are or come from different life situationsthan his or her own. Researchers a dilemma.Theywanteach face respondent hear exactlythe samequestions, to but will the questions equallyclear,relevant, be and meaningful to all respondents? responIf dentshave diversebackgrounds and framesof reference, exactsame the wording may not have the same meaning. Yet,tailoring question wording to eachrespondent makescomparisons almost impossible. researcher A would not know whetherthe wording of the questionor the differences respondents in accounted different for answers. Question writing is more of an art than a science. takesskill,practice, It patience, creand ativity. The principlesof questionwriting areillustrated in the following t2 things to avoid whenwriting surveyquestions. list doesnot The include everypossible error, only the more frequentproblems. l. Avoid jargon, slang and abbreviations. Jargon and technicalterms come in many forms. Plumbers talk aboutsnakes,lawyers abouta contract of uberrima about the fides, psychologists Oedipus compler. Slang a kind ofjargon within is a subculture-for example,the homelesstalk abouta snowbirdandskiersabouta hotdog.Nso avoid abbreviations. NATO usually means North Atlantic TreatyOrganization, for a rebut spondent,it might mean somethingelse(National Auto Tourist Organization, Native AlaskanTradeOrbit, or North African TeaOffice).Avoid slangandjargonunless specialized a population is beingsurveyed. Targetthe vocabulary and grammarto the respondents sampled.

public, this is the language For the general used (about an on televisionor in the newspaper eighth-gradereading vocabulary). Survey researchers have learnedthat somerespondents may not understand basicterminology. 2. Avoid ambiguity,confusion, and vagueness. Ambiguity and vagueness plaguemost question writers. A researcher might make implicit assumptionswithout thinking of the respondents. For example,the question, "What is your income?" could meanweekly, monthly, or annual; family or personal; beforetaxes aftertaxes; or for this year or last year; from salaryor from all sources. confusioncauses The inconsistencies in how different respondents assignmeaningto and answerthe question.The researcher who wantsbefore-taxannual family income for last yearmustexplicitly for it.] ask Anothersource ambiguityisthe useof inof definitewordsor response categories. examFor ple, an answerto the question,"Do you jog regularly? Yes No ,,," hingeson the meaningof the word regulaily. Somerespondentsmay defrneregulailyaseveryday,othersas once a week.To reducerespondentconfusion and get more information, be specific-ask jogs"about oncea day,""a few whethera person times a week," "once a week," and so on. (See Box 7.1on improving questions.) 3. Avoid emotional language. Words haveimplicit connotativeaswell as explicit denotative meanings. Wordswith strongemotionalconnotationscan color how respondents hearand answersurveyquestions. Use neutral language.Avoid words with emotional"baggage," because respondents may reactto the emotionallyladenwordsratherthan to the issue.For example, question,"What the do you think about a policy to pay murderous terroristswho threatento stealthe freedomsof peace-loving people?" frrll of emotionalwords is (murderous, steal,andpeace). freedoms, 4. Avoidprestige bias.Titles or positionsin society (e.g.,president,expert,etc.) carry prestige

CHAP T E R7 , / S U R V E YR E S E A R C H


Here are three surveyquestions written by experiencedprofessional researchers. They revised the originalwordingafter a pilot test revealed that 1 5 percent respondents of for asked clarification gave or Original Question Do you exercise play or sportsregularly? _. What is the average numberof dayseachweekyouhavebutter? Problem

inadequate answers (e.g.,don't know).As you can question see, wordingisan art that mayimprove with practice, patience, pilot testing. and RevisedQuestion Do you do any sportsor hobbies, physical activities, exercise, or including walking, a regular on basis? The nextquestionisjust about butter-not including margarine. How manydaysa weekdo you have butter? On dayswhenyou eat eggs,how manyeggsdo you usually have?

What countsas exercise?

Doesmargarine count as butter?

questionon eggs] [Following Whatis the number servings of in a typicalday?

How manyeggsis a serving? What is a typicalday?

Responses to Question Original Exercise question(% saying"yes") Butterquestion(% saying"none") Eggquestion(% saying"one")
Soarce: Adaptedfrom Fowler(1992).

PercentageAsking for Clarification Original Revision


60% 557" 33%

18% 33%

s3 %

o% 1s% o%

or status. Issues linked to peoplewith high social statuscan color how respondents hear and answersurveyquestions. Avoid associating statea ment with a prestigious person or group. Respondents may answeron the basisof their feelings toward the personor group ratherthan addressing issue. example, "Most the For saying, doctorssaythat cigarette smokecauses lung disfor ease thoseneara smoker.Do you agree?" affects people who want to agreewith doctors.

Likewise,a questionsuch as, "Do you support policy regarding thepresident's Kosovo?" be will answered respondents by who haveneverheard of Kosovo on the basis of their view of the president. 5. Avoid double-barreled questions. Make each question about one and only one topic. A question double-barreled consists two or more of joined together.It makesa responquestions


pA RTT w o ,/ c o N D U c rrN c QU AN TtTA TIvEE S E A R cH R

dent's answer ambiguous. For example, if asked, "Does this company have pension and health insurance benefits?" a respondent at a company with health insurance benefits only might answer either yes or no. The response has an ambiguous meaning, and the researchercannot be certain of the respondent's intention. A researcherwho wants to ask about the joint occurrence of two things-for example, a company with both health insurance and pension benefits-should ask two separatequestions. 6. Do not confuse beliefs with reality. Do not confuse what a respondent believes with what you, the researcher, measures. A respondent may think that a relationship existsbetween two variables but this is not an empirical measurement of variables in a relationship. For example, a researcher wants to find out if students rate teachershigher who tell many jokes in class.The two variablesare "teacher tells jokes" and "rating the teacher." The wrongway to approach the issue is to ask students, "Do you rate a teacher higher if the teachertells many jokes?" This measures whether or not students believethat they rate teachers based on joke telling; it does not measure the empirical relationship. The correct way is to ask two separate empirically based questions: "How do you rate this teacher?" and "How many jokes does the teacher tell in class?" Then the researchercan examine answersto the two questions to determine if there is an association between them. People's beliefs about a relationship among variables are distinct from an actual empirical relationship. 7. Avoid leading questions.Make respondents feel that all responsesare legitimate. Do not let them become aware of an answer that the researcherwants. Aleading (or loaded) question rs one that leads the respondent to choose one response over another by its wording. There are many kinds of leading questions. For example, the question, "You don't smoke, do you?" leads respondents to state that they do not smoke. Loaded questions can be stated to get either positive or negative answers. For example,

"should the mayor spendevenmore tax money leadsrein trying to keepthe streets top shape?" whereas"Should the disagree, spondentsto streets mayor fix the pot-holed and dangerous is loadedfor agreement. in our city?" re' that 8. Avoid askingquestions are beyond abilities.Asking somethingthat spondents'cap few respondentsknow frustratesrespondents Responand producespoor-quality responses. dentscannot alwaysrecallpast detailsand may not know specificfactual information. For example,askingan adult,"How didyou feelabout your brother when you were 6 years old?" is to Askingrespondents make probablyworthless. a choice about somethingthey know nothing about (e.g.,a technicalissuein foreignaffairsor may result an internalpolicy of an or ganization) in an answer,but one that is unreliable and are When many respondents unmeaningless. likely to know about an issue,use a firll-filter questionform (to be discussed). in Phrasequestions the terms in which refew think. For example, respondents spondents will be able to answer,"Ho1v many gallonsof gasoline you buy lastyearfor your car?"Yet, did may be able to answera question respondents about gasolinepurchasesfor a typical week, can which the researcher multiply by 52 to estimateannualpurchases.2 Do 9. Avoid fake premises. not begin a quesmay with which respondents tion with a premise regardingit. then ask about choices not agree, with the premisewill who Respondents disagree For be frustratedand not know how to answer. "The.postoffice is open the example, question, too many hours. Do you want it to open four hourslater or closefour hours earliereachday?" leaves thosewho either opposethe premiseor without a meaningful opposeboth alternatives choice. the A betterquestionexplicitlyasks respona dent to assume premiseis true, then asksfor a "Assuming postofthe preference. example, For fice has to cut back its operatinghours, which openingfour would you find more convenient,

CHA P T E R7 , / s U R V E YR E S E A R C H

''7 3

hours later or closingfour hours earliereach day?" Answers a hypothetical to situationarenot very reliable,but beingexplicitwill reducefrustration. 10. Avoid askingqbout intentions the distant in future. Avoid asking people about what they might do under hypotheticalcircumstances far in the future. Responses poor predictorsof are behaviorremovedfar from their current situation or far in the future. Questionssuch as, "Suppitse new grocerystoreopeneddown the a road in threeyears. Would you shop at it?" are usuallya wasteof time. It is better to askabout current or recentattitudesand behavior. genIn eral,respondents answer specific, concrete questions that relate to their experiences more reliably than they do those about abstractions that arebeyondtheil immediateexperiences. II. Avoid doublenegatives. Double negatives in ordinary language grammaticallyincorrect are and confusing. example, ain't got no job" For "I logicallymeansthat the respondent doeshavea job, but the secondnegative usedin this way is for emphasis. Suchblatant errors are rare, but more subtle forms of the double negativeare alsoconfusing. Theyarisewhenrespondents are askedto agree disagree or with a statement. For example, respondentswho disagree with the "Studentsshould not be requiredto statement, takea comprehensive examto graduate" logare ically stating a double negativebecausethey disagreewith not doing something. 12. Avoid oveilappingor unbalanced response categories. Make response categories choices or mutually exclusive,exhaustive, and balanced. Mutually exclusive means that responsecategories do not overlap. Overlappingcategories that are numerical ranges(e.g.,5-10, 10-20, 2O-30)canbe easily corrected(e.g.,5-9, 10-19, 20-29).The ambiguous verbalchoiceis another type of overlappingresponse category-for example, "Ale you satisfiedwith your job or are therethingsyou don't like about it?"Exhaustive meansthat every respondenthas a choice-a

place to go. For example, asking respondents, "Are you working or unemployed?" leaves out respondents who are not working but do not consider themselvesunemployed (e.g.,full-time homemakers, people on vacation, students, people with disabilities, retired people, etc.). A researcherfirst thinks about what he or she wants to measure and then considers the circumstancesof respondents. For example, when asking about a respondent's employrnent, does the researcherwant information on the primary job or on all jobs? On full-time work only or both full- and part-time work? On jobs forpay only or on unpaid or volunteer jobs as well? Keep responsecategoriesbalanced.A caseof unbalanced choices is the question, "What kind ofjob is the mayor doing: outstanding, excellent, very good, or satisfactory?"Another type of unbalanced question omits information-for example, "Which of the five candidates running for mayor do you favor: Eugene Oswego or one of the others?" Researcherscan balance responsesby ofFering bipolar opposites. It is easy to seethat the terms honesty and dishonestyhave different meanings and connotations. Asking respondents to rate whether a mayor is highly, somewhat, or not very honestis not the siune as asking them to rate the mayor's level of dishonesty.Unless there is a specific purpose for doing otherwise, it is better to offer respondents equal^polar opposites at each end of a continuum.r For example, "Do you think the mayor is: very honest, somewhat honest, neither honest nor dishonest, somewhat dishonest, or very dis(seeTable 7.1). honest?" Aiding Respondent Recall Recalling events accurately takes more time and effort than the five seconds that respondents have to answer survey questions. Also, one's ability to recall accurately declines over time. Studies in hospitalization and crime victimization show that although most respondents can recall significant events that occurred in the past severalweek, half are inaccurate a year later.





Writing Pitfalls SummaryofSurveyQuestion

abbreviations slang, 1 . Jargon, 2. Vagueness

Did you drown in brew until You were totally blastedlast night? Do you eat out often?

Lastnight,about how muchbeer did you drink? In a typical week,about how many mealsdo you eat awayfrom home,at a or cafeteria, other eating restaurant, establishment?

language 3. Emotional bias 4. Prestige

How important is it to you that Con"The respected docGraceCommission to BILLION gressadopt measures reducegov$350 umentsthat a staggering ernmentwaste? dollarsare beingcompletely of our tax pracwastedthroughpoor procurement Very lmportant booksloPPY tices,bad management, lmDortant Somewhat contract keeping,'defective' Neither lmportant or UnimPortant and abuses personnel management, Unimportant Somewhat practices. cuttingpork ls other wasteful Not lmoortantAt All governand eliminating barrelspending mentwastea top priorityfor you?"Do you support or oPposeraisingsocial securitybenefitsand increased for spending the militarY? Do you think more educatedPeoPle smoke less? Did you do your patriotic dutY and vote in the last electionfor maYor? Two yearsago, how manYhoursdid you watch TV everymonth? When did you stoP beatingYour girl/boyfriend? get a After you graduatefrom college, job, and are settled,will you investa lot of moneyin the stock market? with those who do not Do you disagree wantto builda newcity swimming pool? at Did you find the service our hotel to or Superior, be, Outstanding,Excellent, Good? soraising Do you supportor oPpose cial securitybenefits? increasing Do you support or oPPose spendingon the military? What is your educationlevel?Do You smokecigarettes? Did you vote in last month'smayoral election? about how manY In the past two weeks, hoursdo you think you watchedTV on a typical day? punched,or hit Haveyou ever slapped, your girllboyfriend? Do you havedefiniteplansto put some moneyinto the stock marketwithin the comingtwo months? There is a proposalto build a new city pool. Do you agreeor disswimming agreewith the proposal? at rate the service our hotel: Please Very Good,Adequate,or Outstanding, Poor.

questions 5. Double-barreled

as 6. Beliefs real

questions 7. Leading 8. lssuesbeyond respondent capabilities premises 9. False 1 0. Distantfuture intentions

I 1. Doublenegatives

responses 1 2. Unbalanced

'l CongresRepublican that question -Actual takenfrom a mailquestionnaire wassentto me in May 998 by the National question. lt sional Committee. is alsoa double-barreled

R C H A P T E R7 , / S U R V E Y T S E A R C H


that memory recognize Surveyresearchers It is lesstrustworthy than wasonceassumed' is by affected many factors-the topic, eventsocthe and curring simultaneously subsequently, ofan eventfor a person,situational significance conditions (questionwording and interview needto haveinterstyle),and the respondent's nal consistency. recalldoes The complexityof respondent cannot ask not mean that surveyresearchers rather,theyneedto customize aboutpastevents; questionsand interpret resultscautiously.Rewith speshouldprovide respondents searchers cial instructionsand extra thinking time. They recall, shouldalsoprovide aidsto respondent suchasa fixedtime frameor locationreferences. Ratherthan ask,"How often did you attend a sporting eventlast winter?" they should say,"I you want to know how many sportingevents attendedlast winter. Let's go month by month. Did you attendany Think back to December. in for sportingevents which you paid admission Didyou Now,thinkbackto ]anuary. December? in attendany sportingevents January?" Types of Questions and Response Categories

T ABLE 7 .2

Threatening Questions and Sensitive lssues

Masturbation intercourse Sexual or Useof marijuana hashish and Useof stimulants depressants Cettingdrunk and kissing Petting l ncome with friends Cambling wine, liquor or beer, Drinking and Happiness well-being Education Occupation activities Social leisure Ceneral Sportsactivity

56 42 42 31 29 20 12 10 t0 4 3 3 2 2 I

Adapted from B radburnand Sudman(l 980:68). S ource;

other people. They may underreport or self-censor reports of behavior or attitudes they wish to hide or believe to be in violation of social norms. Threatening Questions. Survey researchers Alternatively, they may overreport positive beor issues issues haviors or generally accepted beliefs (social deask sometimes about sensitive sirability bias is discussedlater). threatentheir premaybelieve that respondents People are likely to underreport having an about sexual sentationofself, suchasquestions illness or disability (e.g., cancer, mental illness, behavior,drug or alcohol use,mental health problems,or deviant behavior.Respondents venereal disease),engaging in illegal or deviant behavior (e.g., evading taxes,taking drugs, conor may be reluctantto answerthe questions to suming alcohol, engaging in uncommon sexual answer completely and truthfully. Survey repractices), or revealing their financial status must who wish to asksuchquestions searchers do sowith greatcareand must be extracautious (e.g.,income, savings,debts) (seeTable 7.3). Survey researchers have created several (see aboutthe results4 Table7.2). techniques to increase truthful answers to questions part ofa largerisare Threatening threatening questions. Some techniques involve Reand sueofself-presentation egoprotection' often try to presenta positiveimage the context and wording of the question itself. spondents to of themselves others.They may be ashamed, Researchersshould ask threatening questions or embarrassed, afraid to givetruthful answers' only after a warm-up, when an interviewer has developed rapport and trust with the responor find it emotionallypainful to confront their dents, and they should tell respondents that they own actionshonestly,let alone admit them to




T A BLE 7 . 3

Over- and UnderreportingBehavioron Surveys

LowThreat/Normative to Registered vote Voted in primary card Haveown librarY HighThreat Bankruptcy Drunkdriving

+15 +39 +19

+17 +31 +21

+12 +36 +.18

-32 -47

-29 -46

-32 -54

(1 and from Bradburn Sudman 980:8)' Adapted Source;

the They canphrase queswant honestanswers. way" to provide a context tion in an "enhanced to for that makesit easier respondents givehonest answers.For example, the following enhanced question was asked of heterosexual males:"In past surveys'many men have reportedthat at somepoint in their livestheyhave with another experience had sometlpe of sexual beforeadolesmale.This could havehappened or during adolescence' asan adult. Have cence, you everhad sexwith a male at somepoint in your life?" In contrast,a standardform of-the "Haveyou everhad questionwould haveasked, sexwith anothermale?" Also,by embeddinga threateningresponse it activities, maybe madeto within more serious seemlessdeviant.For example,respondents to might hesitate admit shopliftingif it is asked aboutarmedrobbery first, but afterbeingasked or burglary,they may admit to shoplifting beless it cause appears serious. desirabilDesirable Questions, Social Socially distort answers whenrespondents itybias occurs to maketheir reportsconform to socialnorms' being cultured(i'e', tend to overreport People reading,attendinghigh-culture events),giving

moneyto charity,having a good marriage,loving their children, and so forth. For example, one study found that one-third of peoplewho reportedin a surveythat they gavemoney to a a local charityreallydid not. Because norm says many report that one should vote in elections, voting when they did not. In the United States' to pressure vote (r'e'' thoseunder the greatest politicallypartisan,highly relihighly educated, by giouspeoplewho had beencontacted an orthat urged them to vote) are the lanization voting' mostlikelyto overreport people writers try to reducesocial Questionnaire desirabilitybias by phrasingquestionsin ways less that makenorm violation appear objectiona ableand that presents wider rangeofbehavior They can also offer multiple reas acceptable. "facethat give respondents sponsecategories saving"alternatives. that a Knowleilge Questions. Studiessuggest largemajority of the public cannotcorrectlyanor questions identifr geography swir elementary important political documents(e.g.,the DeclasomeResearchers ration of Independence)' times want to find out whether respondents know about an issueor topics,but knowledge

questions can be threatening because respondentsdo not want to appearignorant. Surveys may measure opinions better if they first ask aboutfactualinformation,because manypeople haveinaccurate factualknowledge. Somesimpleknowledgequestions, such as the number of peopleliving in a household, are not alwaysansweredaccuratelyin surveys.In some households,a marginal person-the boyfriend who left for a week,the adult daughter who left afteran argumentabouther pre#fficy, or the unclewho walkedout aftera disputeover money-may be reported as not living in a household, he or shemay not haveanother but permanentresidence and considerhimself or herselfto live there.s Others have found that many Americans opposeforeign aid spending.Their opposition is basedon extremelyhigh overestimates the of cost of the programs.When askedwhat they would preferto spendon foreign aid, most give an amount much higherthan what now is being spent. A researcher pilot-testsquestionsso that questions at an appropriate are levelof difficulty. Little is gainedif99 percentofrespondents cannot answerthe question.Knowledgequestions canbe wordedsothat respondents comfortfeel able sayingthey do not know the answer-for example, "How much, if anything, have you heardabout...." c Skip or ContingencyQuestions. Researchers avoid askingquestionsthat are irrelevantfor a respondent. Yet, somequestionsapply only to specificrespondents. contingency A question a is two- (or more) part question. The answer the to first part of the question determineswhich of two different questionsa respondentnext receives.Contingencyquestionsselectrespondents for whom a secondquestionis relevant. Sometimes they are calledscreen skip quesor tions.Onthebasisof the answer the first questo tion, the respondent or an interviewer is instructedto go to anotheror to skip certain questions.

The following example is a contingency question,adapted from deVaus(1956:79). 1. Wereyou born in Australia? 2) [ ] Yes(co To QUESTION
[] N o (a) What countrywereyou born (b) How manyyears haveyou lived


in Australia?
(c) Are you an Australian citizen?

[]Yes []No NOW GO TO QUESTTON 2 Open YersusClosed Questions Therehaslong beena debate aboutopenversus closedquestionsin survey research. openAn ailed (unstructured, response) free question asks "What is your favoritetelevision a question(e.g., program?'l)to which respondents give any can (structured, fixed reanswer.A closed-ended question both asksa questionand gives sponse) the respondentfixed responses from which to (e.g.,"Is the president choose doing a very good, good,fair, or poor job, in your opinion?"). Each form has advantages and disadvan(see tages BoxT.2).Thecrucialissue not which is form is best.Rather,it is under what conditions a form is mostappropriate. researcher's A choice to usean open- or closed-ended questiondependson the purposeand the practicd,limitaproject. The demandsof tions of a research questions, using open-ended with interviewers writing verbatimanswers followedby time-consumingcoding,may makethem impracticalfor project. a specific Large-scale surveys haveclosed-ended questions because they are quicker and easierfor and researchers. someboth respondents Yet important may be lost when an individthing ual's beliefs and feelingsare forced into a few fixed categories that a researcher created. To learnhow a respondent thinks, to discover what is reallyimportant to him or her, or to getan answerto a questionwith many possibleanswers




Advantagesof Closed to for and r lt is easier quicker respondents answer. r r r r r I r are of The answers differentrespondents easier to compare. anaare to Answers easier code and statistically tyze. choices clarifyquestionmeancan The response ing for respondents. aboutsento are Respondents morelikely answer sitivetopics. to answers or Therearefewerirrelevant confused questions. are or respondents not Less articulate lessliterate at a disadvantage. is Replication easier.

of Disadvantages Closed r They can suggestideasthat the responden have. wouldnot otherwise r

with Respondents no opinionor no knowledg anyway. cananswer their debecause can r Respondents be frustrated is not a choice. siredanswer choices 20) response if r lt is confusing many(e.9., are offered. can of r Misinterpretation a question go unnoticed may answers be respondent between r Distinctions blurred. the or mistakes marking wrongresponse r Clerical is possible.

reto r They force respondents give simplistic issues. to sponses complex r They force peopleto makechoicesthey would not makein the realworld.

ofOpen Advantages r annumber possible of Theypermitan unlimited swers. in can r Respondents answer detailand canquali! and clarifyresponses. findings can be discovered. Unanticipated issues. answers complex to r Theypermitadequate and self-expression, richr They permitcreativity, nessof detail. r They reveal a respondent'slogic, thinking process, frameofreference. and r

Disadvantagesof Open give differentdegreesof r Differentrespondents detailin answers. or may r Responses be irrelevant buriedin useles detail. very analysis become and r Comparisons statistical difficult. is r Codingresponses difficult. havean and r Articulate highlyliteraterespondents advantage. r Questionsmay be too generalfor respondent who losedirection: whichis difficult are r ResDonses writtenverbatim, for interviewers. time, thought, I A greateramountof respondent and effort is necessary. by can r Respondents be intimidated questions. r

take up a lot of spacein the question Answers naire.

CH A P T E R7 , / S U R V E YR E S E A R C H


(e.9., age), openquestions maybe best. addiIn tion, sensitivetopics (e.g., sexual behavior, liquor consumption)may be more accurately measured with closed questions. The disadvantages question ofa form canbe reduced mixing open-ended closed-ended by and questions a questionnaire. in Mixing them also offersa change paceandhelpsinterviewers of establishrapport. Periodicprobes(i.e.,follow-up questions interviewers) by with closed-ended questions.can reveala respondent's reasoning. Havinginterviewers periodically probes use to askabout a respondent's thinking is a way to checkwhether respondents understanding are the questions the researcher as intended.However,_probes not substitutes writing clear are for questions creatinga frameworkof underor standingfor the respondent. Unlesscarefully stated, probesmight shape respondent's the answers force answers or when a respondent does not havean opinion or information.Yet,flexible or conversational interviewing in which interviewersusemany probescan improve accuracy on questions aboutcomplexissues which reon spondents not clearlyunderstand do basicterms or about which they have difiiculty expressing their thoughts.For example, the question, to "Did you do any work for moneylast week?"a respondent might hesitate then replR "yes." Arr interviewerprobes,"Could you tell me exactly whatwork you did?"The respondent may reply, "On Tuesday and Wednesday, spenta couple I hourshelpingmybuddyJohnmoveinto his new apartment.For that he gaveme $40,but I didn't haveanyotherjob or getpaid for doinganything else." the researcher's If intention wasonlyto get reportsof regularemployment, probe rethe vealed misunderstanding. a Researchers use also partially open qutstions (i.e.,a setof fixedchoices with a final open choiceof "other"), which allows respondents offer an answer to that the researcher not include. did Open-endedquestionsare especially valuable in early or exploratorystages research. of For large-scale surveys, researchers open use questions pilot-tests,then developclosedin

question responses from the answersgiven to the openquestions. Researchers writing closed questions haveto make many decisions.How many response choicesshould be given?Should they offer a middle or neutral choice? What should be the order of responses? What types of response choices? How will the directionof a response be measured? Answers these to questions not easy. are For example, two response choices too few, but are more than five response choices rarelyeffecare tive. Researchers want to measuremeaningful distinctionsand not collapsethem. More specific responses yield more information, but too many specificscreateconfusion.For example, rephrasing question,"Are you satisfied the with your dentist?" (which has a yes/no answer)to "How satisfiedare you with your dentist very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or not satisfied all?" givesthe researcher at more information and a respondentmore choices. Nonattitudes anil the Miilille positions. Surveyresearchers debatewhether to include choicesfor neutral, middle, and nonattitudes (e.g.,'not surer" "don't knowr" or "no opinion").0 Two typesof errorscanbe made:accepting a middle choice or "no attitude" response whenrespondents hold a nonneutralopinion, or forcing respondents choosea position on an to issue when they haveno opinion aboutit. Many fear that respondentswill choose nonattitude choicesto eyademaking a choice. Yet, it is usually best to offer a nonattitude choice,because peoplewill express opinions on fictitiousissues, objects, events. offeringa and By nonattitude (middle or no opinion) choice,researchers identify thoseholding middle positions or thosewithout opinions. Theissue ofnonattitudescanbe approached by distinguishing amongthreekinds of attitude questions: standard-format, quasi-filter, fi.rlland (seeBox 7.3). The standard-forfilter questions mat question does not offer a "don't know"



Standard Format Hereis a question about an other country.Do you agreeor disagree with this statement?"The Russian leaders basically are trying to get alongwith America." Quasi-Filter Hereis a statement about an other country:"The Russian leaders basically are trying to get alongwith America." you agree, Do disagree, haveno opinionon that? or Full Filter Hereisa statement aboutanothercountry. Not everyone an opinionon this.lf you has do not have opinion,just so.Here's statement: "TheRussian an say the leaders baare sically tryingto get alongwithAmerica." you have opinionon that?lf yes,.do Do an you agreeor disagree? Exampleof Resultsfrom Different Question Forms StandardForm(7") (7") Quasi-Filter Agree Disagree No opinion
'Volunteered Source: Adapted fromSchuman Presser 981 :l 1 6-125\. Standard (1 and formatis fromFall .l 978; quasi- full-filter fromFebruarv and are 1977.


48.2 38.2 13.6.

27.7 29.5 42.8

22.9 20.9 56.3

choice;a respondent must volunteerit, A quasioffersrespondents "don't know" a filter question alternative. full-filter question a special A is type of contingency question. first asks It ifrespondents have an opinion, then asksfor the opinion of thosewho statethat theydo havean opinion. Many respondents answera questionif will a "no opinion" choiceis missing,but they will choose"don't know" when it is offered,or say that they do not havean opinion if asked. Such respondentsare called floaters becausethey "float" from giving a response not knowing. to Their responses affected minor wording are by changes, researchers so screen them out usinq

quasi-filter or fuIl-filter questions. Filtered questions do not eliminate all answersto nonexistent issues,but they reduce the problem. AgreelDisagree, Rankings or Ratings? Survey researcherswho measure values and attitudes have debated two issuesabout the responsesoffered.T Should questionnaire items make a statement and ask respondents whether they agreeor disagree with it, or should it offer respondents specific alternatives? Should the questionnaire include a set of items and ask respondents to rate them (e.g., approve, disapprove), or should it give them a list of items and force them to rank-

R CHAPT E R7 , / S U R V E Y E S E A R C H


order items (e.g., from most favored to least favored)? It is best to offer respondents explicit alternatives. For example, instead of asking, "Do you agree or disagree with the statement, 'Men are better suited to. . . .' " instead ask, "Do you think men are better suited, women are better suited, or both 4re equally suited?" Lesswell educated respondents are more likely to agreewith a statement. whereas forced-choice alternatives encourage thought and avoid the response set bias-a tendency of some respondents to agree and not really decide. Researchers create bias if question wording gives respondents a reason for choosing one alternative. For example, respondents were asked whether they supported or opposed a law on energy conservation. The results changedwhen respondents heard, "Do you support the law or do you oppose it becausethe law would be difficult to enforce?" instead of simply, "Do you support or oppose the law?" It is better to ask respondents to choose among alternatives by ranking instead of rating items along an imaginary continuum. Respondents can rate several items equally high, but will place them in a hierarchy if askedto rank them.8

ning to learn of them. For example,Smith (e.9.,twice as (1987) found large differences much support) in U.S. surveyresponses depending on whether a question askedabout spending"to help the poor" or "for welfare." that the word welfarehas such He suggested strong negativeconnotationsfor Americans (lazypeople,wastefuland expensive programs) etc.)that it is bestto avoidit. Many respondents confused are bywords or For example, respondents their connotations. whethertheythoughttelevision news wereasked later learnedthat was impartial. Researchers had ignored the large numbersof respondents eduword impartial-a term the middle-class, assumedeveryonewould cated researchers had than half the respondents interknow. Less preted the word as intendedwith its proper meaning.Over one-fourth ignoredit or had no idea of its meaning. Others gave it unusual meanings, one-tenththought it wasdirectly and need oppositeto its true meaning.Researchers somewording effects to be cautious,because (e.g.,the differencebetween forbid and not alremain the samefor decades, while other /orry) effectsmay appear.g Questionnaire Design lssues

Wording lssues The face Survey researchers two wording issues. first, discussed earlier,is to usesimplevocabt'lary and grammarto minimize confusion.The of wordsor second issueinvolveseffects specific phrases. it This is trickier because is not possible to know in advance whether a word or phrase responses. affects The well-documenteddifferencebetween forbid and not qllow illastratesthe problem of Both terms havethe same wording differences. meaning,but many more peopleare willing to "not allow" somethingthan to "forbid" it. In general, well educated respondents most are less influencedby minor wording differences. Certain words seemto trigger an emoand researchers just beginare tional reaction,

Lngth of Surveyor Questionnaire. Howlong be should a questionnaire or an interview last? preferlong questionnaires interResearchers or they are more cost efFective. viewsbecause The has for extraquestions-once a respondent cost has sampled, beencontacted, hascomand been pletedother questions-is small.Thereis no abon soluteproper length.The lengthdepends the and surveyformat (to be discussed) on the reA spondent'scharacteristics. 5-minute telephoneinterviewis rarelya problem and may be extended to 20 minutes. A few researchers stretched to beyond30 minutes.Mail questhis tionnairesare more variable.A short (3- or 4page) questionnaireis appropriate for the population. Someresearchers havehad general with questionnaires long as 10 pages as success


pA R TT w o ,/ c o N D U c rrN c e u A N TrrA TrvE E sE A R cH R

not when the questionis by itself or beforea questionabout fetus defects. classic A example of order effects presented Box 7.4. is in may Respondents not perceive eachissue of a surveyasisolatedand separate. They respond questions to survey based the setofissues on and their order of presentationin a questionnaire Previousquestionscan influence later onesin two ways:through their content (i.e.,the issue) and through the respondent's response. exFor Question Order or Sequence. A survey researcher faces three questionsequence issues: ample,a studentrespondentis asked,"Do you ques- supportor favoran educational organizationof the overallquestionnaire, contribution for tion order efiflects, contexteffects. students?" Answers vary depending the topib on and of the precedingquestion.If it comes after, "How much tuition doesthe average you Organization Questionnaire. In general, of U.S. stushouldsequence questions minimize the disinterpret"contribution" dentpay?"respondents to comfort and confusionof respondents. ques- to meansupportfor what students will pay.If it A govtionnaire has opening, middle, and ending comesafter "How much doesthe Swedish questions. After an introduction explainingthe respondents interpret ernmentpayto students?" survey, it is best to make opening questions it to mean a contribution that the government pleasant, interesting, will pay. Responses be also influencedby can and easy answerto help to a respondentfeel comfortableabout the ques- previousanswers, because respondent a having tionnaire. Avoid asking many boring backakeadyanswered part will assume overone no "Howis ground questions threatening lap. For example, respondent asked, a is or questions first. Organizequestionsinto common topics.Mixyour wife?"The next questionis, "How is your ing questionson different topics causes family?"Most respondents assume will confuthat the sion. Orient respondents placing questions secondquestionmeansfamily membersother by on the sametopic together and introduce the than the wife because they alreadygavean an(e.g., sweraboutthe wife.Il section with a shortintroductorystatement "Now I would like to askyou questionsabout housing").Make questiontopicsflow smoothly found powerful ContextEffecE. Researchers and logically,and organizethem to assist in As recontexteffects surveys. a practicalmatter, spondents'memory or comfort levels.Do not two thingscanbe doneregarding contexteffects end with highly threateningquestions, Usea funnel sequence questions-that is, ask of and alquestions waysend with a "thank you." more general beforespecific ones(e.g., askabout healthin general beforeaskingabout Order Effects. Researchers concernedthat Or, specificdiseases). divide the number of reare the order in which they presentquestions in may spondents half and give half of the questions influencerespondentanswers. in one order and the other half in the alternative Such "order effects"appear be strongest peoplewho lack to order. then examinethe resultsto seewhether for questionorder mattered.If question order efstrongviews,for lesseducated and respondents, for older respondents thosewith memory fectsare found, which order tells you what the or loss.loFor example,support for an unmarried respondents reallythink?The answer that you is woman havingan abortion risesif the question cannotknow for sure. is preceded a questionabout abortion being by For example, few yearsago,a class my a of acceptable when a fetushasseriousdefects, studentsconducteda telephonesurveyon two but

(about 100items) with the generalpublic, but responses drop significantly longerquestionfor naires.For highly educated respondents and a salienttopic, using questionnaires 15 pages of may be possible. Face-to-face interviewslasting an hour are not uncommon.In special situations, face-to-face interviewsaslong asthreeto five hourshavebeenconducted.

CHA P T E R7 , / S U R V E Y E S E A R C H R


Question I "Do you think that the United states shouldlet communistnewspaper reportersfrom other countries comein hereand sendbackto their papers the newsasthey seeit?" Question 2 "Do you thinka Communist countrylikeRussia shourd American let newspaper reporters comein and sendbackto America newsasthev seeit?" the PercentageSaying Yes Heard First Yes #1 to (Communist Reporter) 54% 64% Yesto #2 (American Reporter)

#1 #2


The contextcreatedby answering first question the affects answer the the to second question. Source: Adapted Schuman presser 9gl:29). from and (1

topics:concernabout crime and attitudestoward a new anti-drunk-driving law. A random half of the respondents heard questionsabout the drunk-driving law first; the other half heard about crime first. I examinedthe resultsto see whether there was any contextffict-a differenceby topic order. I found that respondents who were askedabout the drunk-driving law first expressed lessfear about crime than did those who were askedabout crime first. Likewise,they were more supportiveof the drunkdriving law than were those who first heard about crime. The first topic createda context within which respondents answered questions on the second topic.After theywereasked about crime in general and thought about violent crime,drunk driving may haveappeared be a to

lessimportant issue.By contrast, after they were asked about drunk driving and thought about drunk driving as a crime, they may have ex_ pressedlessconcern about crime in general. Respondents answer all questions based on a context ofpreceding questions and the inter_ view setting. A researcher needs to remember that the more ambiguous a question'smeaning, the stronger the context effects, because respondents will draw on the context to interpret and understand the question. previous ques_ tions on the same topic and heard just before a question can have a large context effect. For ex_ ample, Sudman and associates (1996:90_91) contrasted three ways of asking how much a re_ spondent followed politics. When they asked the questionalone,about 2l percentof iespon-

| 84

pA R TT w o / c o N D U c rtN c e u A N TtrA TtvER E sE A R cH

(e.g., a difa differentstylefrom the questions in ferent color or font or in all capitals)to distinguishthem. This is so an interviewercan easily distinguishbetweenquestionsfor respondents and instructions intended for the interviewer alone. Layoutis crucialfor mail questionnaires because thereis no friendly interviewerto interact with the respondent.Instead,the questionpersuades respondent. naire'sappearance the ln mail surveys, includea polite,professional cover letteron letterhead stationeryidentifyingthe researcher and offering a telephonenumber for questions. Detailsmatter. Respondents be will turned off if they receivea bulky brown envelope with bulk postageaddressed Occupant to or if the questionnaire doesnot fit into the reAlwaysend with "Thank you for turn envelope. your participation."Interviewers and questionFormat and Layout. Thereare two format or nairesshould leaverespondents with a positive layout issues: overall physicallayout ofthe the feelingabout the surveyand a sense that their questionnaire and the format of questions participationis appreciated. and responses. Questiondesignmatters.One study of collegestudentsasked how many hours they studLayout. Layout is important, ied per day. Some students saw five answer Questionnaire whethera questionnaire for an intervieweror is choices rangingfrom 0.5 hour to more than 2.5 for the respondent.Questionnaires hours; others saw five answerchoicesranging should be clear,neat,and easyto follow. Give eachques- from less than2.5hoursto morethan4.5hours. tion a number and put identifying information who sawthe first set,77 percentsaid Of students (e.g.,name of organization)on questionnaires. they studiedunder 2.5 hours versus31 percent Nevercrampquestions togetheror create cona of thosereceiving second When the mail the set. fusingappearance. few centssaved postage questionnaire and telephone interview were A in or printing will ultimatelycostmore in termsof compared, percentof students 58 hearingthe lower validity due to a lower response or of first set said under 2.5 hours, but there wasno rate confusion of interviewersand respondents. changeamong those hearingthe secondset. Make a coversheet facesheetfor eachinteror More than differences response in categories view, for administrativeuse.Put the time and were involved, becausewhen students were date of interview, the interviewer,the responasked abouthoursoftelevisionwatchingper day dent identification number, and the interwith similar response categories then the aand viewer'scommentsand observations it. A on ternativeresponse categories made no differprofessional appearancewith high-quality ence. What canwe learnfrom this?Respondents graphics, space questions, goodlaybetween without clearanswers and tend to rely on questionout improves accuracyand completeness and naireresponse categories guidance more for and helpsthe questionnaire flow. anonymous answeringformats tend to yield (see Give interviewersor respondents instrucmorehonestresponses Dillman 2000:32-39 tions on the questionnaire. Print instructionsin for more details).

dents said they followed politics "now and then" or "hardly at all." When they askedthe question after asking what the respondent's elected representative recentlydid, the percentagewho said they did not follow nearly doubled, going to 39 percent. The knowledge question about the representative made many respondents that they did not really know feel much. When a questionabout the amount of "public relations work" the elected representative provided to the areacamebetweenthe two questions, percentofrespondents 29 saidthey did not follow politics. This question gaverespondentsan excuse not knowing the first for question-they could blame their representative for their ignorance. The contextofa question canmakea difference and researchers need to be awareof it at all times.

CHA P T E R7 , / S U R V E YR E S E A R C H


Format. Surveyresearchers Question decide on a format for questions responses. and Shouldre_ spondentscircle responses, checkboxes,fill in dots,or put an X in a blank?The principle is to makeresponses unambiguous. Boxesoi brack_ etsto be checked and numbersto be circledare

usuallyclearest. Also, listing responses down a pageratherthan across makes them easier see to (see Box 7.5).As mentioned before, arrows use and instructionsfor contingency questions. Vi_ sualaidsarealsohelpful.For example, hand out thermometer-like drawings to iespondents

Exampleof Horizontal versusVertical Response Choices Do you think it is too easyor too difficultto get a divorce, is it about or right? ! Too Easy tr Too Difficult I About Right about right?

Do you think it is too easyor too difficultto get a divorce, is it or n Too Easy n Too Difficult n About Right Exampleof a Matrix Question Format Strongly Agree The teachertalkstoo fast. lle arn edal o tint his c las s . ' The tests arevery easy. The teachertells manyjokes. Theteacherisorganized. tr tr n ! tr Examples Some Response of Category Choices Excellent, Cood, Fair,Poor Approve,/Disapprove FavorlOppose Agree tr tr ! tr n tr

Disagree tr

Strongly Disagree n ! ! n rt

Don't Know n tr n tr r.l

stronglyAgree, Agree,somewhat Agree,somewhat Disagree, Disagree, strongryDisagree Too Much,Too Little,About Right Better,Worse, About the Same Regularly, Often,Seldom, Never Always, Most of Time,Someof Time,Rarely, Never More Likely, Less Likely, Difference No VeryInterested, Interested, lnterested Not


pA R TT w o / c o N D U c rN c e u A NTrrA TrvE E sE A R cH R

when askingabout how warm or cool they feel toward someone. matrix question(or grid A question)is a compactway to presenta series of questions usingthe sameresponse It categories. saves space and makesit easier the responfor dent or interviewer note answers the same to for response categories. Nonresponse. Thefailureto getavalid response from everysampledrespondent a weakens survey. Have you everrefusedto answera survey? In additionto research surveys, peopleareasked to respondto many requests from charities, marketingfirms, candidate polls, and so forth. Charitiesand marketingfirms getlow response rates, whereasgovernment organizationsget much higher cooperationrates.Nonresponse canbe a major problem for surveyresearch because a high proportion of the sampledreif spondents not respond,researchers not do may be able to generalize results,especially those if who do not responddiffer from thosewho respond. Public cooperationin surveyresearch has declined overthepast20to 30years many across countries, with the Netherlands havingthe highestrefusalrate,and with refusalratesashryh ^ 30percentin the United States.l2 Thereis both a growing group of "hard core" refusingpeople and a generaldeclinein participation because many people feel there are too many surveys. Other reasons refusalincludea fearof crime for and strangers, more hecticlife-style,a lossof a privacy, and a risingdistrustof authorityor government.The misuseof the surveyto sellproducts or persuade people, poorly designed questionnaires, inadequate and of explanations surveys respondents increase to also refusals for legitimatesurveys. Surveyresearchers improve eligibility can ratesby careful respondentscreening, better sample-frame definition,andmultilingualinterviewers.They can decrease refusals sending by letters in advanceof an interview, offering to rescheduleinterviews, using small incentives (i.e.,smallgifts),adjustinginterviewerbehavior

(i.e., making eye contact,exand statements pressing sincerity,explainingthe samplingor survey,emphasizingimportance of the interview,clarifring promises confidentiality,etc. of ). Surveyresearchers also use alternativeincan terviewers(i.e., different demographiccharacteristics,age,race,gender,or ethnicity), use alternativeinterview methods(i.e., phone versusface to face),or acceptalternativerespondentsin a household. A critical areaof nonresponse refusalto or participateoccurswith the initial contactbeA tweenan interviewerand a respondent. faceto-face or telephoneinterview must overcome respondents. resistance reassure and found that Research the useof incentives on prepaidincentivesappear increase to responin dent cooperation all typesofsurveys. Theydo not app€arto have negativeeffectson survey compositionor future participation. There is a huge literature on ways to inratesfor mail questionnaires crease response (seeBox 7.6).13 Heberleinand Baumgartner (1978,1981)reported71 factorsaffecting mail questionnaire rates. response TYPES OF SURVEYS: ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES Mail and Self-Administered Questionnaires

Advantages. Researchers give questioncan nairesdirectly to respondents mail them to or respondents who read instructionsand questions, then record their answers. This $pe of surveyis by far the cheapest, it can be conand ductedby a singleresearcher. researcher A can sendquestionnaires a wide geographical to area. The respondent completethe questionnaire can when it is convenientand can checkpersonal recordsif necessary. Mail questionnaires offer anonl.rnityand avoidinterviewer bias.They can ratesmay be high for be effective, and response an educated targetpopulation that hasa strong interestin the topic or the surveyorganization.

CHAPTER,/ SURVEY 7 RESEARCH 187 A researcher cannot control the conditions under which a mail questionnaire completed. is A questionnairecompletedduring a drinking party by a dozenlaughing people may be returned along with one filled out by an earnest respondent. Also, no one is presentto clarifr questions or to probe for more information when respondents give incomplete answers. Someone other than the sampledrespondent (e.g., spouse, new resident, etc.)may open the mail and completethe questionnaire without the researcher's knowledge. Different respondents can completethe questionnaire weeks apart or answerquestionsin a different order than that intendedby researchers. Incomplete questionnaires alsobe a serious can problem. Researchers cannotvisuallyobserve rethe reactions questions, spondent's to physical characteristics, the setting. For example,an or impoverished70-year-old White woman living aloneon a farm could falselystatethat sheis a prosperous 4O-year-old Asianmaledoctorliving in a town with threechildren.Suchextremelies arerare,but serious errorscango undetected. The mail questionnaireformat limits the kinds of questions that a researcher use. can requiringvisualaids(e.g., look at this Questions picture and tell me what you see),open-ended questions,many contingencyquestions,and complexquestionsdo poorly in mail questionnaires. Likewise,mail questionnaires are ill suitedfor the illiterateor near-illiterate Engin lish. Questionnaires mailed to illiterate respondents are not likely to be returned; if they are completedand returned,the questionswere probably misunderstood, the answersare so (see meaningless Table7.4). Web Surveys Access the Internet and e-mail hasbecome to widespread sincethe late-1990s across most advancednations. For example,3 percentof the U.S. population had e-mail in 1994;only 10 yearslater about 75 percentofhouseholdshad Internetconnections.

'l . Address the questionnaire specificperson, to not "Occupant," sendit first class. and 2. Include carefully a written,datedcoverletteron letterhead stationery. it, requestrespondent In cooperation, guarantee confidentiality, explain the purposeof the survey,and give the researcher's name andphonenumber. 3. Always include postage-paid, a addressed return envelope. 4. The questionniire shouldhave neat,attractive a layoutand reasonable pagelength. 5. The questionnaire should be professionally printedandeasyto read, with clearinstructions. 5. Sendtwo follow-upreminderletters to those not responding. The first shouldarriveabout one weekafter sendingthe questionnaire, the second weeklater.Centlyaskfor cooperation a againand offerto sendanotherquestionnaire. 7. Do not sendquestionnaires duringmajorholiday periods. 8. Do.not put questions the backpage. on Instead, leavea blankspaceand askthe r:espondent for general comments. 9. Sponsors that are localand are seenas legitimate (e.9.,government agencies, universities, largefirms,etc.)get a better response. lO. ln c l ude s m all onet ar y d u c e me n($ l ) i f a m in t oossible.

Disadvantages. Since people do not always completeand return questionnaires, biggest the problem with mail questionnaires a low reis sponserate. Most questionnaires returned are within two weeks, otherstrickle in up to two but months later. Researchers raiseresponse can ratesby sendingnonrespondents reminder letters,but this addsto the time and cost of data collection.





andTheir Features Typesof Surveys

lssues Administrative Cost Speed of Length(number questions) rate Response Control Research possible Probes resPondent Specific sequence Question Onlyone resPondent observation Visual with Success DifferentQuestions aids V is ual questions Open-ended questions ContingencY questions Complex questions Sensitive of Sources Bias desirabilitY Social bias lnterviewer skill reading Respondent's Some None Yes Some None Yes Some Some No Most Most No Limited Limited Limited Limited Some Yes Limited Yes Yes Yes None Limited Yes Limited Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes Limited No No No No No No No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Cheap Slowest Moderate Lowest Cheapest Fastest Moderate Moderate Moderate Fast Short Moderate Expensive Slowto moderate Longest Highest

cH A prE Rz ,/ suR V E yR E S E A R C H Advantages. Web-based surveys over the Internet or by e-mail are very fast and inexpensive. They allow flexible design and can use visual images,or even audio or video in some Internet versions. Despite great flexibility, the basic principles for question writing and for paper questionnaire design generally apply. Disadvantages. Web surveys have three areas of concern: coverage, privacy and verification, and design issues.The first concern involves sampling and unequal Internet accessor use. Despite high coveragerates,older, less-educated, lower-income, and more rural people are less likely to have good Internet access. addition, In many people have multiple e-mail addresses, which limits using them for sampling purposes. Self-selection is a potential problem with web surveys. For example, a marketing department could get very distorted results ofthe population of new car buyers. Perhaps half of the new car buyers for a model are over age 55, but 75 percent of respondents to a web survey are under age 32 and only 8 percent are over age 55. Not only would the results be distorted by age but the relatively small percentage of over-55 respondents may not be representative of all over55 potential new car buyers (e.g., they may be higher income or more educated). A second concern is protecting respondent privacy and confidentiality. Researchersshould encrl?t collected data, only use secure websites and erasenonessentialrespondent identification or linking information on a daily or weeklybasis. They should develop a system of respondent verification to ensure that only the sampled respondent participates and does so only once. This may involve a system such as giving each respondent a unique PIN number to access the questionnaire. A third concern involves the complexity of questionnaire design. Researchers need to check and veriS' the compatibility of various web software and hardware combinations for respondents using different computers. Researchers are


still learning what is most effective for web surveys. It is best to provide screen-by-screenquestions and make an entire question visible on the screen at one time in a consistent format tr-ith drop-down boxes for answer choices.It is best to include a progress indicator (as motivation), such as a clock or waving hand. Visual appearance ofa screen,such as the range ofcolors and fonts, should be kept simple for easyreadability and consistency.Be sure to provide very clear instructions for all computer actions (e.g., use of drop-down screens)where they are needed and include "click here" instructions. Also, make it easy for respondents to move back and forth acrossquestions.Researchers using web surverys need to avoid technical glitches at the implementation stageby repeatedpretesting, having a dedicated server,and obtaining sufficient broadband to handle high demand. Telephone Interviews Advantages. The telephone interview is a popular survey method becauseabout 95 percent of the population can be reached by telephone. An interviewer calls a respondent (usuallyat home), asksquestions, and records answers.Researchers sample respondents from lists, telephone directories, or random digit dialing, and can quickly reach many people acrosslong distances.A staff of interviewers can interview 1,500 respondents acrossa nation within a few days and, with several callbacks, response rates can reach 90 percent. Although this method is more expensive than a mail questionnaire, the telephone interview is a flexible method with most of the strengths of face-to-faceinterviews but for about halfthe cost. Interviewerscontrol the sequence of questionsand can usesome probes.A specific respondent is chosen and is likely to answer all the questions alone. The researcherknows when the questions were answered and can use contingency questions effectively, especiallywith computer-assisted telephoneinterviewing (CATI) (to be discussed).


pA R TT w o / c o N D U c l N G QU AN TtTA TIvEE S E A R cH R

Disailvantages. Higher costand limited interof viewlengthareamongthe disadvantages telephone interviews.In addition, respondents are to without telephones impossible reach,and the call may comeat an inconvenienttime. The reduces useof an interviewer anonymityand inpotentialinterviewer troduces bias.Open-ended requestions difficult to use,and questions are quiring visual aids are impossible. Interviewers can only note seriousdisruptions(e.g.,background noise) and respondent tone of voice (e.g., angeror flippancy)or hesitanry. Face-to-FaceInterviews Ailvantages. Face-to-face interviewshavethe ratesand permit the longest highestresponse the questionnaires. Interviewers canobserve also surroundings and canusenonverbalcommunicationandvisualaids.Well-trainedinterviewers can askcomplex can askall typesof questions, questions, canuseextensive probes. and disadDisadvantages. High costis the biggest vantage face-to-face of interviews. The training, travel, supervision, and personnelcostsfor interviews can be high. Interviewer bias is also interviews.The appear$eatest in face-to-face ance,tone of voice, question wording, and so forth of the interviewermay affectthe responis dent. In addition,interviewersupervision less interviews, than for telephone which supervisors monitor bylistening ra in

INTERVIEWING The Role of the Interviewer Interviews gatherinformation occur in many to research interviewing a speciaris settings. Survey ized kind of interviewing.As with most interinformation viewing,its goalis to obtain accurate from another interviewis a socialrelationship. The survey Like other socialrelationships, involvessocial it

The roles,norms, and expectations. interviewis socialinteractionbea short-term,secondary with the explicitpurposeof tweentwo strangers one person'sobtaining specificinformation from the other. The socialrolesarethoseof the or interviewerand the interviewee respondent. Information is obtainedin a structuredconverprearranged asks sationin which the interviewer and questions and recordsanswers, the responwaysfrom orIt dent answers. differsin several (see dinary conversation Table7.5). An important problem for interviewersis are that many respondents unfamilar with the role.As a result,they substirespondents' survey tute anotherrole that may affecttheir responses. Somebelievethe interview is an intimate consomeseeit asa buversation thearpysession, or in reaucraticexercise completing forms, some on viewit asa citizenreferendum policy choices, someview it as a testingsituation,and some considerit as a form of deceitin which interyiewers trying to trick or entraprespondents. are professional foisurvey, Evenin a well-designed, found that only about half the low-up research questions exactlyasinrespondents understand Respondentsreintertended by researchers. preted questionsto make them applicableto personalsituationsor to their ideosynactic, to makethem easy answer.l6 is The role ofinterviewers difiicult. Theyobtain cooperationand build rapport, yet remain on They encroach the reneutral and objective. spondents'time and privacy for information that may not directly benefit the respondents. fear, and They try to reduce embarrassment, feel suspicionso that respondents comfortable information.Theymay explainthe narevealing or ture ofsurveyresearch givehints aboutsocial monirolesin an interview.Good interviewers tor the paceand direction ofthe socialinteraction as well as the content of answersand the behaviorof respondents. interviewers nonjudgmentaland are Survey their opinions,verballyor nonvernot reveal do by bally (e.g., a look of shock).If a respondent opinion, he or shepoasksfor an interviewer's

CHAP T E R7 , / S U R V E YR E S E A R C H


TA Bt E 7.5

Differences betweenOrdinary Conversation and a Structured SurveyInterview


. Questions and answers from eachparticipant arerelatively equally balanced.

I . Interviewer asksand respondent answers most of the time. 2. Only the respondent reveals feelings and opinions. is 3. lnterviewer nonjudgmental doesnot try and to change respondent's opinionsor beliefs. 4. Interviewer tries to obtain directanswers to questions. specific 5. lnterviewer avoidsmaking ritualresponses that influence respondent alsoseeks a and genuine answers, ritualresponses. not provides 6. Respondent almostall information. lnterviewer does not correcta respondent's factual errors, controlsthe topic, direction, 7. Interviewer and pace.He or she keeps respondent task, "on " the and irrelevant diversions contained. are 8. Interviewer attemptsto maintain consistently a warmbut serious and objective tone throughout. should 9. Respondent not evade questions and shouldgivetruthful,thoughtfulanswers.

2. Thereis an openexchange offeelings and opinions. 3. Judgments statedandattempts are made to persuade other of a particular pointsof the view. 4. A personcan reveal deep innerfeelings gain to sympathyor as a therapeutic release. "Uh huh," 5. Ritual responses common are (e.g., "Howareyou?""Fine"). shaking head, 6. The participants exchange information and correctthe factualerrorsthat thev are aware of. 7. Topicsriseand fall and eitherpersoncan introducenewtopics.The focuscan shift directions digress lessrelevant or to issues. 8. The emotional tone can shift from humor,to joy, to affection, sadness, anger,and so to to on. 9. People evade ignore can questions give or and flippant noncommittal or answers. ,

Source: Adapted fromGorden 980:19-25) andSudman Bradburn 983:5-l 0). (1 and (1

litely redirects respondent indicates the and that suchquestionsare inappropriate.For example, if a respondent asks,"What do you think?" the interviewer may answer,"Here, we are interestedin what you think; what I think doesn't matter." Likewise,if the respondentgives a shockinganswer (e.g.,"I was arrestedthree timesfor beatingmy infant daughterand burning her with cigarettes"),the interviewer does not show shock,surprise,or disdainbut treats

the answer a matter-of-fact in manner.He or she helps respondentsfeel that they can give any truthfirl answer. You might ask, "If the surveyinterviewer must be neutraland objective, why not usea robot or machine?" Machineinterviewinghasnot been successful because lacks the human it warmth, sense trust, and rapport that an inof terviewercreates. interviewer helps define An the situationand ensures that respondents have


R T P A R T w o / c o N D U c rl N c QU AN TITA TIvEE S E A R cH

what is exthe information sought,understand are pected,give relevantanswers' motivatedto answers. and cooperate, giveserious Interviewersdo more than interview respendonly interviewers Face-to-face spondents. about 35 percent of their time interviewing. About 40 percentis spentin locatingthe correct 15 respondent, percentin traveling,and i0 percetrt in studying survey materialsand dealing and recordingdetails.I/ with administrative Stagesofan Interview beginthrough stages, The interview proceeds ning with an introduction and entry.The interviewer getsin the door, showsauthotization, from the cooperation and and reassures secures He respondent. or sheis preparedfor reactions ro.h ut, "How did you pick me?" "What good will this do?""I don't know aboutthis," "What's The interviewer can exthis about, anyway?" is respondent interviewed plain why the specific and not a substitute. of The main part of the interview consists The and askingquestions recordinganswers. interviewerusesthe exactwording on the questionnaire-no addedor omitted words and no He rephrasing. or she asksall applicablequestions in order,without returning to or skipping unlessthe directionsspecifr this. He questions or she goesat a comfortablepace and gives to feedback maintain interest. nondirective In addition to askingquestions'the interThis is easy recordsanswers. viewer accurately questions, where interviewers for closed-ended quesjust mark the correctbox. For open-ended job tions, the interviewer's is more difficult. He writing' musthavelegible or shelistenscarefully, and must recordwhat is saidverbatimwithout correctinggrammar or slang'More important' the interviewer never summarizes or pataa This causes lossof information or disphrases. says, the For torts answers. example, respondent heart aboutmy daughter's "I'm reallyconcerned she only 10yearsold and already problem.She's hastrouble climbing stairs.I don't know what

is older.Heartsurgery too she'lldo whenshegets rislcyfor her and it costsso much. She'llhaveto learn to live with it." If the interviewerwrites, health,"much is about daughter's "concerned lost. The interviewer knows how and when to to useprobes.Aprobeisa neutralrequest clatify an ambiguousanswer,to completean incomplete answer,or to obtain a relevantresponse. an interviewersrecognize irrelevantor inaccuThere rate answerand useprobesas needed.l8 A of aremanytFpes probes. three-to five-second Nonverbalcommunicais pause often effective. or tion (e.g.,tilt of head,raisedeyebrows' eye can contact)alsoworkswell.The interviewer repeat the questionor repeatthe reply and then She pause. or he canaska neutralquestion,such "Can you tell me more is, "Any other reasons?" about that?" "How do you mean?""Could you Box7.7). morefor me?"(see explain The last stageis the exit, when the i'nterHe and leaves. or viewerthanksthe respondent to then goes a quiet,privateplaceto edit the she and record other detailssuch as questionnaire the date, time, and place of the interview; a thumbnail sketchof the respondentand interattitude (e.9., view situation;the respondent's angry,or laughing); and any unusual serious, "Telephone rangat question (e.g., circumstances talked for four minutesbeandrespondent 27 fore the interview startedagain"). He or she during notesanythingdisruptivethat happened son interview (e.g.,"Teenage enteredroom, the end,turned on televisionwiththe satat opposite loud, andwatcheda musicvideo")' The volume and intervieweralsorecordspersonalfeelings (e.g.,"Respondent that was suspected anything becamenervousand fidgetedwhen-questioned abouthis marriage")' Training Interviewers

surveyrequireshiring multiple inA large-scale the Few peopleappreciate difficulty terviewers. interviewer'sjob' A professional-quality of the of interviewrequiresthe carefirlselection inter-

CHA P T E R7 , / S U R V E YR E S E A R C H


Interuiewer Question: What is your occupation? RespondentAnswer workat General I Motors. Probe:What yourjob at General is Motors?What type of workdo you do there? lnterviewer Question: How long haveyou beenunemployed? Respondent Answer. A long time. Probe: Couldyoutell me morespecifically whenyour currentperiodof unemployment began? lntewiewer Question: Considering countryasa whole, you thinkwewillhave the do good timesduringthe nextyear,or bad times,or what? ReipondentAnswen Maybegood,maybebad,it depends, who knows? Probe:What you expectto happen? do Record Responseto a Closed Question Intewiewer Question: on a scale 1 to z, howdo you feelabout capitalpunishment of or the deathpenalty, where1 is stronglyin favorof the deathpenalty, and z is stronglyopposedto it? ( Favor)1_ 2_ 3_ 4_ 5_ 6_ (Op p ose) 7_ Respondent Answer. About a 4. I think that all murderers, rapists, and violentcriminals shouldget death,but I don't favorit for minorcrimes stealing car. like a

viewersand extensive training.As with any employment situation, adequatepay and good supervisionare important for consistent highquality performance. Unfortunately, professionalinterviewinghasnot alwayspaid well or providedregularemployment. the past,interIn viewerswerelargelydrawn from a pool of middle-aged women willing to accept irregular part-time work. Good interviewers pleasant, are honest,accurate,mature, responsible, moderatelyintelligent, stable, and motivated. They have a nonthreateningappearance, have experience with many differenttypesof people, and possess poiseand tact. Researchers considerintermay viewers'physicalappearance, race, lanage, sex,

guages spoken, and even the sound of their voice. Professional interviewers will receive a twoweek training course. It includes lectures and reading, observation of expert interviewers, mock interviews in the office and in the field that are recorded and critiqued, many practice interviews, and role-playing. The interviewers learn about survey research and the role ofthe interviewer. They become familiar with the questionnaire and the purpose ofquestions, although not with the answersexpected. The importance of carefully selecting and training interviewers was evident during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Exit polls are quick, very short surveys conducted outside a

' l94

P A Rr rw o

R ,/ c o N D U c rl N c QU AN TITA TIvEE S E A R cH

polling placefor peopleimmediatelyafter they voted. On Election Day of 2004 exit polls showedcandidate|ohn Kerry well ahead,but after final voteswere countedhe lost to his opof W. ponent, George Bush' A major cause the paid organization, wasthat the research mistake to newsorganizations $10 million by six major polls,hadhired manyyounginconductthe exit experiencedinterviewersand gavethem only minimal training.Youngervoterstendedto supolder voterstendedto port iohn Kerry whereas Theyoung inexperienced Bush. iupport George in were lesssuccessful gaining cointerviewers and felt more comoperationfrom older voters to fortablehandingthe questionnaire someone exit poll participants As of a similar age. a result, did not reflectthe compositionof all votersand poll resultsshowedgreatersupport for Kerry amongall voters.le ihan actuallyexisted Although interviewerslargelywork alone, use researchers an interviewersupervisorin Suinterviewers. with several surveys large-scale with the area'assist p.*itott are familiar with and ensure the problems,oversee interviewers, time. For telephone ihat work is completedon interviewing, this includes helping with calls, checkingwhin interviewersarrive and leave,and intermonitoring interviewcalls.In face-to-face find out whetherthe checkto views,supervisors calling This means interviewactuallytook place. postcardto a back or sendinga confirmation They can alsocheckthe sampleof respondents. to rate and incompletequestionnaires response cooperaare whetherinterviewers obtaining see tion, and they may reinterviewa smallsubsamto interviews see or answers, observe ple,analyze quesasking are whetherinterviewers accurately tions and recordinganswers. lnterviewer Bias proscribeinterviewerbehavSurveyresearchers ior to reducebias. This goesbeyond reading eachquestionexactlyasworded.Ideally,the actions of a particular interviewerwill not affect will how a respondentanswers'and responses

not vary from what they would be if askedby any other interviewer. know that interviewer Surveyresearchers bias' Intercan expectations createsignificant interviews have viewers who expect difficult are them, and thosewho expectcertainanswers (see Box 7.8).Properinmore likely to getthem terviewerbehavior and exactquestionreading maybe difficult, but the issueis larger. The socialsettingin which the interviewocincluding the presence answers, curs can afflect of other people'For example,studentsanswer on differentlydepending whetherthey areasked surat questions home or at school.In general, otherspresentbedo iey researchers not want causethey may affectrespondentanswers'It however,esmakea difference, may not always children.2O p..lutty if the othersaresmall inAn interviewer'svisible characteristics, affectinterviews cluding raceand gender,often for especially questions answers, andrespondent For gender. examto related raceor aboutissues ple, African American and Hispanic American different policy positions iespondentsexpress dependingon issues otr t"..- or ethnic-related of the interviewer' the apparentraceor ethnicity This occurs even with telephone interviews has cluesabout the interwhen a respondent viewer'sraceor ethnicity.In generafinterviewers of the sameethnic-racialgroup get more Genderalso affectsinteranswers.2l accurate such as viewsboth in terms of obvious issues, for gendersexualbehavior,aswell as support related collective action or gender eqaality'z2 need to note the raceand Surveyresearchers and genderof both interviewers respondents' Computer-Assisted TelePhone Interviewing

in Advances computer technologyand lower surprofessional computerpriceshaveenabled to install computerorganizations vey research (CATD systems'23 interviewing osiirtedtelephone interviewer sits in front of a With CATI, the computer and makescalls' Wearing a headset

C H A P T E R7 , / S U R V E YR E 5 E A R C H

r 95

Exampleof Interviewer Expectation Effects Asked Female by lntewiewer Whose Own Husband buysmostfurniture Husband doesnot buy mostfurniture Exampleof Raceor Ethnic Appearance Effects Female Respondent Reports That Husband BuysMostFurniture

89% 15%

Percentage Answering to: Yes
"Doyou thinkthere are too many in Jews jobs?" government "Doyou thinkthat havetoo Jews muchpower?"

lnterviewer Looked with name Jewish Jewish-sounding Looked only Jewish Non-Jewish appearance Non-Jewish appearance and non-Jewish-sounding name

11.7 15.4 21.2 19.5

5.8 'r5.6 24.3 21.4

Note:Racial stereotypes held by respondents affecthowthey respondin interviews. can Source: Adapted from Hyman (1975:1I 5, 163).

and microphone, the interyiewer readsthe questions from a computer screenfor the specific respondent who is called, then enters the answer via the keyboard. Once he or she enters an answer, the computer shows the next question on the screen. Computer-assisted telephone interviewing speedsinterviewing and reduces interviewer errors. It also eliminates the separatestep of entering information into a computer and speeds data processing.Of course, CATI requires an investment in computer equipment and some knowledge of computers. The CATI system is valuable for contingency questions becausethe computer can show the questions appropriate

for a specific respondent; interviewers do not have to turn pageslooking for the next question. In addition, the computer can check an answer immediately after the interviewer enters it. For example, if an interviewer enters an answer that is impossible or clearly an error (e.g., an H instead of an M for "Male"), the computer will request another answer. Innovations with computers and web surveys also help to gather data on sensitiveissue(seeBox 7.9). Severalcompanies have developed software programs for personal computers that help researchers develop questionnaires and analyze survey data. They provide guides for writing questions, recording responses,analyzing data,



is issuein surveyresearch the invasion of prican vacv.Surveyresearchers intrude into a reby snondent's'privacy askingabout intimate havea right beliefs'People actionsand personal when and to decide how formatinfluences respondents to privacy. Respondents Thequestioning topics' Formats whlm to revealpersonalinformation' They are about sensitive questions answer such anonymity, likely to provide such information when it is that permitthe greaterrespondent or questionnaire the web surforln a comfortablecontextwith mutual asked as a ielf-administered than trust, when they believe serious answersare vey, are more likelyto elicit honestresponses and person' purposes) neededfor legitimateresearch one that requiresinteractionwith another inremainconfidenor telephone will interview answers suchas in a face-to-face whentheybelieve technoof should treat all respondents terview One of a series computer-based tial. Researchers logical innovations is called computer-assistedwith dignity and reduceanxietyor discomfort' (CASA|. lt appearsto rmintewiews for self-administered Theyarealsoresponsible protectingthe concomfortand honestyin answertng fidentialityof data' respondent prove respondents topics.In CASAI' on questions sensitive voluntaryparticipainvolves issue A second on that are asked a with are"interviewed" questions agreeto anRespondents tion by respondents' The recomputerscreenor heardover earphones' to participateat and swer ctuestions can refuse or by answer movinga computermo.use spondents any time. They give"informed consent"to parusinga computerkeyboard' qn enteringinformation Researchers.depend ticipate in research. in is whena researcher present the sameroom' Even so. rerespondents'voluntary cooperatron' from humanconis the respondent semi-insulated questions needto askwell-developed seaichers quesanswering to tact andappears feelcomfortable in a sensitiveway' treat respondentswith reissues. tions about sensitive to and be very sensitive confidentiality' spect, ' A third ethical issueis the exploitation of ofits.popBecause and surveys pseudosurveys. to mislead ularity, some people use surveys and producing reports. The programs may otheri. A pseuiosirteT is when someonewho reof aspects survey rp."d th. more mechanical infororganiz- has little or no real interest in learning search-such astyping questionnaires' the surveytormation from a respondentuses ing layout, and recordingresponses-bYl they mat to try to Persuade someone to do of cainot substitutefor a good understanding something.Charlatansuse the guiseof conof the surveymethodor an appreciation its limducting a surveyto invade privacy, gain entry must still clearly conitations. The researcher into hJmes, or "suggle" (sell in the guiseof a ceptualize variables, prepare well-worded a survey). I personallyexperienced- type.of and forms of designthe sequence questions, in asa "suppressionpoll" and and responses, pilot-test ques- pr"rrdort*ayknown questions In this situaelectioncampaign' tionnaires. Communicating unambiguously ih" tsS+U.S. tion, an unknown survey organizationtelerewith respondentsand eliciting credible whetherthe phonedpotential voters and asked remainthe most important partsoI sursponses lrot.t tnppotted a given candidate'If the voter veyresearch. supportedthe candidate'the interviewer next urk.d *h.ther the respondentwould still support the candidateif he or she knew that the T HE E T HI C AL S U R VE Y iandidate had an unfavorablecharacteristic for (e.g., beenarrested drunk driving,used had surLike all social research,people can conduct i]lJgd drugs, raised the wagesof convicted ethical ways. A major

veys in ethical or unethical

c H A PTE R ,/ suR V E yR E S E A R C H z


criminalsin prison,etc.).The goalof the interview was not to measurecandidatesupport; rather, it wasto identify a candidate's supporters then attempt to suppress voting. Although they are illegal,no one hasbeenprosecuted for using this campaigntactic. Another ethicalissueis whenpeoplemisuse surveyresultsor usepoorly designed puror posely riggedsurveys. Why doesthis occur? People may demand answersfrom surveysthat surveyscannot provide and not understanda survey's limitations.Thosewho designand preparesurveys may lack sufficienttraining to conduct a legitimatesurvey.Unfortunately,policy decisions sometimes are madebased careless on or poorly designed surveys. They often resultin wasteor human hardship.This is whylegitimate researchers conductingmethodologically rigoroussurvey research important. are The media report more surveys than other typesof socialresearch, sloppyreporting of yet survey,results permitsabuse.2a peoplereadFew ing survey results may appreciateit, but researchers shouldincludedetails aboutthe survey (see Box 7.10)to reduce misuse survey the of research increase and questions aboutsurveys that lack such information. Surveyresearchers urge the mediato includesuchinformation, but it is rarely included.Over 88 percentof reports on surveys the massmedia fail to revealthe rein searcher who conducted survey, the and only 18 percentprovide detailson how the surveywas conducted.2s Currently,there are no qualitycontrol standards regulatethe opinion polis to or surveysreported in the U.S. media. Researchers madeunsuccessful have attempts since World War II to require adequate samples, interviewertraining and supervision, satisfactory questionnairedesign,public availability of results,and controlson the integrity ofsurvey organizations.26 a result,the mass As mediareport both biasedand misleadingsurveyresultsand rigorous, professional survey resultswithout making any distinction.It is not surprisingthat public confusion and a distrust of all surveys occur.

1. The sampling frameused(e.g., telephone directories) 2. The dateson whichthe survey wasconducted 3. The population that the sample represents (e.g., U.S.adults,Australian college students, housewivesin Singapore) 4. The size the sample whichinformation of for was collected 5. The sampling method(e.g., random) 6. The exactwordingofthe questions asked 7. The method of the survey(e.g.,face to face, telephone) 8. The organizations sponsored survey that the (paidfor it and conducted it) 9. The response rate or percentage thoseconof tacted who actually completed the questionnaire 10. Any missing information "don't know" reor whenresultson specific sponses questions are reported

C ON C L U S ION In this chapter, you learned about survey research.You also leamed some principles ofwriting good survey questions. There are many things to avoid and to include when writing questions.You learned about the advantages and disadvantagesof three types of survey research: mail, telephone interviews, and face-to-face interviews. You saw that interviewing, especially face-to-faceinterviewing, can be difficult. Although this chapter focused on survey research,researchers questionnairesto measure use variables in other types of quantitative research (e.g., experiments). The survey, often called the sample survey becauserandom sampling is usually used with it, is a distinct technique. It is a


R pA RTT w o ,/ c o N D U c rl N C QU AN TITA TIvEE S E A R cH
Respondentswho are highly loyal to one brand of traditional carbonated sodascan answerthe question easily.Other respondentsmust implicitly address the following questions to answer the question as it was asked: (a) What time period is involved-the past month, the past year, the last 10 years?(b) What conditions count-at home, at restaurants, at sporting events?(c) Buying for oneself alone or for other family members? (d) What is a "soft drink"? Do lemonade, iced tea' mineral water, or fruit juices count? (e) Does "usually" mean a brand purchased as 51 percent or more of all soft drink purchases,or the brand purchased more frequently than any other? Respondents rarely stop and ask for clarification; they make assumptions about what the researcher means. z. See Dykema and Schaeffer (2000) and Sudman and colleagues(1996:197--226). SeeOstrom and Gannon (1996). A See Bradburn (1983), Bradburn and Sudman (1980), and Sudman and Bradburn (1983) on threatening or sensitivequestions.Backstrom and Hursh-Cesar (1981:219) and Warwick and 150-151) provide useful suggesLininger ( 1975: tions as well. 5. On how "Who knows who lives here?" can be complicated, seeMartin (1999) and Tourangeau etal. (1997). 6. For a discussion of the "don't know," "nq opinion," and middle positions in responsecategories, seeBackstrom and Hursh-Cesar ( I 98I : 148-149)' Bishop (1987), Bradburn and Sudman (1988: 154), Brody (1986)' Converse and Presser (1956:35-37), Duncan and Stenbeck (1988)' and Sudman and Bradburn ( 1983:140-14 1). specific alternativesde7. The disagree/agleeversus bate can be found in Bradburn and Sudman ( ( 1988: 149-15 1), Converseand Presser 1986:38Schuman and Pressertl98l:179-223)' 39), and in 8. The ranking versusratings issueis discussed Alwin and Krosnick ( 1985) and Krosnick and Alwin (1988). Also see Backstrom and Hursh-Cesar (1981:132-134) and Sudman and Bradburn (1983:156-165)for formats of asking rating and ranking questions. ( 9. SeeFoddy ( I 993) and Presser 1990). Krosnick (1992) and Narayan and 10. Studies by Krosnick (1996) show that education reduces response-order (primacy or recency) effects, but

process askingmany peoplethe samequesof their answers. tionsand examining try Surveyresearchers to minimize errors, but surveydata often contain them. Errors in can surveys compoundeachother.For example, from nonreerrorscanarisein samplingframes, from questionwording or order, and sponse, of bias.Do not let the existence from interviewer you from using the survey, errors discourage however.Instead'learn to be very carefulwhen designingsurveyresearchand cautious about from the resultsof surveys. generalizing

Ke y T e r m s
question closed-ended computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) context effect contingency question cover sheet double-barreled question floaters frrll-filter question funnel sequence interview schedule matrix question open-endedquestion order effects partially open question prestigebias probe quasi-filter question responseset social desirability bias standard-format question threatening questions wording effects

that suggested 1. Sudmanand Bradburn(1983:39) (e.g.,"What brand of soft evensimplequestions problems. drink do you usuallybuy?")cancause

CHAP T E R7 , / S U R V E YR E S E A R C H


Kniiuper(1999)found that ageis stronglyassociatedwith response-order effects. 11. This example comes from Strack(1992). 12. For a discussion, Couper,Singer al. (1998), see et de Heer (1999), Keeter al. (2000), et Sudman and Bradburn( 1983:1), and"Surveys I Proliferate, but AnswersDwindle," New York Times,October 5, 1990, 1.Smith(1995) p. (1976:114andSudman 116)alsodiscuss refusal rates. 13. Bailey(1987:153-168), Church(1993), Dillman (1978, (1988), 1983), and colleagues Fox Goyder (1982), (1978, Heberlein Baumgartner and 1981), Hubbard and Little (1988),Jones(1979),and (1995)discuss Willimack and colleagues increasing return ratesin surveys 14. For a comparisonamong types of surveys, see Backstrom Hursh-Cesar198 :16-23),Brad( and 1 (1988:9,1-l Dillman(1978: burn andSudman l0), 39-78),Fowler(1984:61-73), Frey(1983:27and )) ,, 15. For more on surveyresearch interviewing,see (1985), Brenner andcolleagues Cannell andKahn (1968),Converse and Schuman(1974),Dijkstra and van der Zouwen(1982),Foddy(1993),Gorden (1980), Hyman (1975), and Moser and Kalton (1972:27V302). 16. See Turner andMartin (1984:262-269,282).

17. From Moserand Kalton (1972:273). 18. The useofprobes is discussed Backstrom in and (1981:266-27 Gorden(1980:36&Hursh-Cesar 3), 390),and Hyman (1975:236-24t). 19. Reportby Jacques (2005)."StudyCites Steinberg Human Failingsin Election Day Poll System," N ew YorkTimes(l antary 20, 2005). 20. SeeBradburnand Sudman(1980), Pollnerand ( Adams(L997),andZaneandMatsoukas 1979). 21. The raceor ethnicityofinterviewersis discussed in Andersonand colleagues (1988),Bradburn (1983), Cotter and colleagues (1982), Davis (1997),Finkel and colleagues (1991),Gorden (1980:168-172), Reese (1986), and colleagues (1980),Schuman Schaffer (l97l), and Converse andWeeks Moore(1981). and (1996)and Kaneand 22. SeeCatania and associates (1993). MacAulay 23. CATI is discussed Bailey(1987 in :201-202), Brad(1988:100-101), (1983: burn and Sudman Frey 24-25,143-149), Groves and Kahn (1979:226), Groves and Mathiowetz(1984),and Karweitand (1983). Meyers 24. On reporting survey results in the media, see (1993) MacKeun (1984). Channels and (1988). 25. SeeSinger 26. From Turner and Martin 0984:62\.

Research Experimental

lntroduction for Appropriate an Experiment Research Questions Random Assignment Assign? Why RandomlY Assign How to RandomlY Assignment Random versus Matching Experimental Design Logic of The Language ExPeriments Typesof Design Notation Design lnternal and External ValiditY ValiditY The Logicof Internal ValiditY to Threats lnternal and FieldExperiments Validity External Practical Considerations P l a n n i nand P i l ot-Tests g to lnstructions Subjects ment lnterview PostexPeri Results of Experimental Research: Making Comparisons A Word on Ethics Conclusion




INTRODUCTION Experimentalresearch builds on the principles of a positivist approachmore directly than do the otherresearch techniques. Researchers the in (e.g., naturalsciences chemistry physics), reand lated applied fields (e.g.,agriculture,engineering, and medicine), and the social sciences conduct experiments. The logic that guidesan experiment plant growthin biologyor testing on a metalin engineering appliedin experiments is on human socialbehavior.Although it is most widely used in psychology, experimentis the journalism, found in education, criminaljustice, marketing, nursing, political science,social work, and sociology. This chapterfocuses first on the experimentconductedin a laboratory under controlled conditions.then looks at experimentsconducted the field. in The experiment's basiclogic extendscommonsense thinking. Commonsense experiments are lesscarefulor systematic than scientifically basedexperiments. commonsense In language, an experimenf when you modify something is in a situation,then comparean outcometo what existed without the modification.For example, I try to start my car.To my surprise,it doesnot start.I "experiment"by cleaningoff the battery connections, then tryto startit again.I modified something(cleaned connections) the and comparedthe outcome(whetherthe car started)to Ithe previoussituation (it did not start). I began with an implicit "hypothesis"-a buildup of crud on the connections the reason car is is the not starting,and oncethe crud is cleaned the off, car will start. This illustrates three things re(1) searchers in experiments: beginwith a hydo (2) pothesis, modify something a situation, in and (3) compare outcomes with andwithout the modification. Compared the other socialresearch to techniques, experimental research the strongest is for testingcausalrelationships because three the (temporalorder,associconditionsfor causality ation, and no alternativeexplanations) best are met in experimental designs.

ResearchQuestions Appropriate for an Experiment The Issue an Appropriate Technique. Some of questions better addressed research are using certain techniques. New researchers often ask, Which technique(e.g.,experiments and surveys)bestfits which research question? Thereis no easy because matchbetween reanswer, the a searchquestionand techniqueis not fixed but on depends informed judgment.You can develop judgment from readingresearch reports, understanding strengths the and weaknesses of differenttechniques, assisting more experienced with their research, researchers and gaining practicalexperience. Research Questionsfor Experimental Research. The experimentallows a researcher focus to sharplyon causalrelations,and it haspractical advantages othertechniques, it alsohas over but limitations.The research questions most appropriatefor an experiment its strengths limfit and itations. The questions appropriatefor using an experimentallogic confront ethical and practical limitations of interveningin human affairsfor purposes. is immoral and impossible research It to manipulatemany areas human life for reof purposes. The pure logic of an experisearch ment hasan experimenter interveneor inducea in change somefocusedpart of sociallife, then examinethe consequences result from the that change intervention.This usuallymeansthat or the experimentis limited to research questions in which a researcher ableto manipulateconis ditions. Experimentalresearchcannot answer questions suchas,Do peoplewho completea collegeeducationincrease their annualincome more than peoplewho do not? Do children raised with youngersiblingsdevelop betterleadershipskillsthan childrenwithout siblings? Do peoplewho belongto more organizations vote more often in elections? This is because exan perimenteroften cannotmanipulateconditions He or intervene. or shecannotrandomly assign

2 O2

pA RTT wo ,/ c o N D U c l N G e u A N T trA TrvE E S E A R C H R

thousands attendcollegeand preventothers to from attendingtodiscoverwho more later earns income.He or she cannot induce couplesto haveeithermany childrenor a singlechild sohe or shecanexamine how leadership skillsdevelop in children.He or shecannotcompelpeopleto join or quit organizations then see whetherthey vote.Experimenters highly creative simuare in lating suchinterventions conditions,but they or cannotmanipulatemany of the variables inof terestto fit the pure experimental logic. The experimentis usuallybest for issues that havea narrow scopeor scale. This strength allows experimenters assemble to and "run" many experiments in with limited resources a short period. Somecarefullydesigned experiments require assembling only 50 or 60 volunteers and can be completedin one or two months. In general,the experimentis better suitedfor micro-level(e.g.,individual or smallgroup phenomena) than for macro-level concerns or questions.Experiments can rarely questions address that requirelooking at conditions across entire societyor across an decades. The experimentalsolimits one'sability to generalizeto larger settings(seeExternalValidity and FieldExperiments later in this chapter). Experiments encourage researchers isoto lateandtargetthe impactthat arises from oneor a few causal variables. This strengthin demonstratingcausal effects a limitation in situations is where a researcher tries to examinenumerous variables simultaneously.The experiment is rarely appropriatefor research questionsor issues that requirea researcher examine imto the pact of dozensof diversevariablesall together. Although the accumulated knowledge from many individual experiments, eachfocusedon one or two variables, advances understanding, the approachof expermimental differs research from doing research a highly complexsituaon tion in which oneexamines of how dozens variables operatesimultaneously. Often,researchers studyclosely relatedtopicsusingeitheran experimental a nonexperior

may mental method. For example, researcher a wish to study attitudestoward peoplein wheeimight askpeopleto reAn chairs. experimenter spond (e.g.,Would you hire this person? How comfortablewould you be if this personasked you for a date?)to photos of somepeoplein wheelchairs somepeoplenot in wheelchairs. and might askpeopletheir opinA survey researcher The field reions about peoplein wheelchairs. searcher might observepeople'sreactionsto himsomeone a wheelchair, the researcher in or selfor herselfmight be in wheelchairand careof fully note the reactions others.


frequentlywant to compare. Socialresearchers a has For example, researcher two groupsof 15 studentsand wants to comparethe groups on the basisof a key difference between them (e.g., a coursethat one group completed). a reOr has and searcher five groupsof customers wants to comparethe groupson the basisof one char(e.g.,geographic location).The clich6, acteristic "Compareapplesto apples, don't compareapples to oranges,"is not about fruit; it is about It comparisons. meansthat a valid comparison dependson comparing things that are fundafacilitates mentally alike. Random assignment by comparisonin experiments creatingsimilar groups. When making comparisons, researchers that wantto comparecases do not differ with regard to variables that offer alternativeexplanations. For example,a researcher compares two groupsof studentsto determinethe impact of completinga course.In order to be compared, the two groupsmust be similar in most respects exceptfor taking the course.If the group that completedthe courseis also older than the group that did not, for example, researcher the cannot determine whether completing the courseor being older accountsfor differences the between groups.



Why Randomly Assign? Random assignmentis a method for assigning cases(e.g., individuals, organizations, etc.) to groups for the purpose of making comparisons. It is a way to divide or sort a collection of cases into two or more groups in order to increase one's confidence that the groups do not differ in a systematicway. It is a mechanical method; the assignment is automatic, and the researchercannot make assignments on the basis of personal preference or the features ofspecific cases. Random assignment is random in a statistical or mathematical sense, not in an everyday sense.In everyday speech,random means unplanned, haphazard, or accidental, but it has a specialized meaning in mathematics. In probability theory, random describes a process in which each case has a known chance of being selected.Random selection lets a researcherca'culate the odds that a specific casewill be sorted into one group over another. Random means a casehas an exactly equal chance ofending up in one or the other group. The great thing about a random process is that over many separaterandom occurrences, predictable things happen. Although the process itself is entirely due to chance and does not allow predicting a specific outcome at one specific time, it obeys mathematical laws that makes very accurate predictions possible when conducted over a large number of situations. Random assignment or randomization is unbiased becausea researcher'sdesire to confirm a hypothesis or a researchsubject'spersonal interests do not enter into the selection process. IJnbiaseddoes not mean that groups with identical characteristics are selectedin each specific situation of random assignment. Instead, it says that the probability of selecting a case can be mathematically determined, and, in the long run, the groups will be identical. Sampling and random assignment are processesof selecting casesfor inclusion in a study. When a researcher randomly assigns,he into two or more or she sorts a collection of cases

In groupsusinga randomprocess. randomsampling, he or sheselects smallersubsetof cases a (see Figure8.1).Idefrom a largerpool ofcases will and ally,a researcher both randomlysample He randomiy assign. or shecan first sampleto (e.g.,150peopleout obtain a smallersetof cases to of 20,000)and then userandom assignment divide the sampleinto groups (e.g.,divide the 150peopleinto threegroupsof 50). Unfortuexperimenters ranuse nateln few socialscience Most begin with a convenience dom samples. thenrandomlyassign. sample How to Randomly Assign is A Randomassignment verysimplein practice. (inbeginswith a collectionof cases researcher or the dividuals,organizations, whatever unit of analysisis), then divides it into two or more peosuchasasking groupsby a randomprocess, ple to count off, tossinga coin, or throwing dice. wants to divide 32 For example,a researcher peopleinto two groupsof 16.A randommethod nameon a slip of paper, is writing eachperson's putting the slipsin a hat, mixing the slipswith then drawingthe first 16 namesfor closed, eyes group 1 and the second16 for group2. Matching versus Random Assignment You might ask,If the purposeof random assigngroups, ment is to gettwo (or more) equivalent would it not be simplerto match the characterin isticsof cases eachgroup?Someresearchers in matchcases groupson certaincharacteristics, Matchingis an alternative to suchasageand sex. but random assignment, it is an infrequently usedone. Matchingpresents problem:What arethe a characteristics matchon, and canone to relevant Individual cases dif[er in locateexactmatches? cannot thousandsof ways,and the researcher know which might be relevant.For example,a compares two groupsof 15students. researcher There are 8 malesin one group, which means thereshouldbe 8 malesin the other group.Two




malesin the first group areonly children;one ls from a divorcedfamrly,one from an intact famis the ilv. Orr" is tall, slender,and Jewish; other Methodist' In order to match ,ilort, h"a,ry,and have to find a tall sroups, doesthe researcher child from a divorced home i"*tft male only and a short Methodist male only child from an maleonly Jewish intact home?The tall, slender, and is studyingto becomea child is 22yearsold the short,heavyMethodistmaleis 20 physician. yearsold and wantsto be an accountant'Does ih. t.s"arch.r alsoneedto matchthe ageand caTrue matching of reeraspirations the two males? task' imPossible an soonbecomes

DESIGN LOGIC EXPERIMENTAL The Languageof ExPeriments or has Experimentalresearch its own language You alreadyencoun,et of ter*s and concepts' and i.r.a tn. basic ideas:iandom assignment In variables' experand independent dependent reor the imental research, cases peopleusedin whom variables are search projects and on are measured calledthesubjects' exParts of theExperiment' We candivide the periment into sevenparts' Not all experiments

FIcURE 8.1

Sampling and Assignment Random Random SamPling Random
Sample Random Process

Frame) (SamPling Population


RandomAssignment of Step 1: Beginwith a collection subiects'

(e'g'' tlip a coin)' that purelymechanical to a Step 2: Devise method randomize is to and 'Tails" the othergroup to with"Heads" one group Step 3: Assignsublects V



^dr| a

Control GrouP

GrouP Experimental

RE c H Ap rE RI / E X pE R TME N TA LS E A R cH


have all theseparts, and some have all seven partsplus others.The following seven, be disto here,makeup a true experiment: cussed

cial behaviors, attitudes, feelings, or beliefs of subjects that change in responseto a treatment. Dependent variables can be measured by paperand-pencil indicators, observation, interviews, 1. Treatmentor independent or physiological responses (e.g., heartbeat or variable sweating palms). 2. Dependent variable Frequently, a researcher measures the de3. Pretest pendent variable more than once during an ex4. Posttest periment. The pretest is the measurement of the group 5. Experimental dependent variable prior to introduction of the 6. Controlgroup treatment. The posttest is the measurement of 7. Randomassignment the dependent variable after the treatment has a been introduced into the experimental situation. creates In most experiments, researcher a Experimental researchersoften divide subsituation or entersinto an ongoingsituation, (or then modifiesit. The treatment the stimulus jects into two or more groups for purposes of comparison. A simple experiment has two modior manipulation) is what the researcher groups, only one of which receivesthe treatfies.The term comesfrom medicine,in which a physician administersa treatment to patients; ment. The experimental group is the group that in or the physicianintervenes a physical psycho- receivesthe treatment or in which the treatment logicalcondition to change It is the indepen- is present. The group that does not receive the it. dent variableor a combinationof independent treatment is called the control group. When the independent variable takes on many different a In of variables. earlierexamples measurement, values, more than one experimental group is instruresearcher developeda measurement used. inent or indicator (e.g.,a surveyquestion),then We can review the variables in the three exreIn appliedit to a personor case. experiments, periments used as examples in previous chap"measure"independentvariablesby searchers creatinga condition or situation.For example, ters. In Chapter 2 you read about an experiment by Brase and Richmond (200a) about doctorvariableis "degreeof fear or the independent patient interactions and perceptions. After rananxiety";the levels high fearandlow fear.Inare dom assignment, subjects saw same- and oppowhetherthey arefearful, stead askingsubjects of site-gender models identified as being medical put subjectsinto either a highexperimenters doctors but who wore either informal or forthe fearo.-r low-fearsituation.Theymeasure ina dependent variableby manipulatingconditions mal/traditional attire (independent variable). feel sothat somesubjects a lot of fearand others The experimenters then measured the subjects' judgments about trust in the physican and the feellittle. go Researchers to great lengths to create physician's abilities (dependent variable). In treatments. Someareasminor asgivingdifFerent Goar and Sell's (2005) experiment about mixed groupsof subjects differentinstructions.Others race task groups described in Chapter 4, randomly assigned three-person groups were told into situacanbe ascomplexasputting subjects physical they were either to a complete complex task reequipment,staged tions with elaborate quiring diverse skills or not (independent varito settings, contrivedsocialsituations manipor see ulate what the subjects or feel. Researchers able). The experimenters measured the time it took the group to complete a task and involvewant the treatmentto havean impact and proment by group members of different races (defeelings, behaviors. or reactions, ducespecific pendent variable). In the study on college Dependent variables outcomesin experior women with tattoos discussed in Chapter 5 by mental research the physicalconditions,soare


R T P A RT w o ,/ c o N D U c rl N c QU AN TITA TIvEE S E A R cH

Senn,and Thorn (2004),randomlyasHawkes, signedsubjectswere askedto read one of five scenariosabout a 22-yeat-oldcollegestudent variwoman who had a tattoo (independent the then measured able). The experimenters the woman and tattoo subjects'feelingsabout using a semanticdifferential, a Feminist scale, and a Women's Movement and Neosexisms (dependent variables). scale Stepsin Conilucting an Experiment. Folexprocess, of lowingthebasicsteps the research a topic, narrow it into a' decideon perimenters problem or question,then deresearch testable velop a hypothesiswith variables.Once a rer.urih"t has the hlpothesis' the steps of research clear. are experimental A crucial early stepis to plan a specificexThe reperimentaldesign (to be discussed). number of groupsto use, the decides searcher how and when to createtreatmentconditions, the the number of times to measure dependent will groupsof subjects exandwhat the variable, to end. He or shealso from beginning perience variable of measures the dependent develops (see Box 8.1). the andpilot-tests experiment The experiment itself begins after a reand randomly assigns locatessubjects searcher preare them to groups.Subjects givenprecise, mearesearcher plannedinstructions.Next, the variablein a pretestbefore iures the dependent to group is then exposed the the treatment.One the measures researcher treatment.Finally, the He posttest. or shealso variablein a dependent before aboutthe experiment subjects interviews of measures records they leave.The researcher the results variableand examines the dependent rewhetherthe hypothesis for eachgroup to see support. ceives Control in Experimmts. Control is crucial in wants to A experimentalresearch. researcher situation of control all aspects the experimental and elimiof to isolatethe effects the treatment of Aspects an exnate alternativeexplanations. controlledby perirnentalsituation that are not

approhypothesis 1. Beginwith a straightforward research. priateto the experimental designthat will test 2. Decideon an experimental limitations. withinpractical the hypothesis 3. Decidehow to introducethe treatmentor crethe independent that induces ate a situation variable. of measure the dea 4. Develop validand reliable variable. pendent I and setrting conducta pi5. Setup an experimental lot test of the treatmentand dependentvariablemeasures or subjects cases. appropriate 6. Locate to subjects groups(if random assign Z. Randomly deis assignment usedin the chosenresearch instructions' sign)andgivecareful ofthe de8. Catherdatafor the pretestmeasure for all groups (if a pretest is pendentvariable design). usedin the chosen the treatmentto the experimenta 9. Introduce groups if there are group only (or to relevant groups)and monitor all multipleexperimental groups. of I 0. Gatherdatafor posttestmeasur€ the dependent variable. the subjectsby informingthem of the 11. Debrief for true purposeand reasons the experiment what they thought wasoccurring' Ask subjects is Debriefing crucialwhen subjectshavebeen about someaspectofthe experiment deceived

data collectedand makecomparison 1 2. Examine betweendifferentgroups.Whereappropriate whether and graphsto determine usestatistics is or not the hypothesis supported'

the researcher are alternatives to the treatment for changein the dependent variable and undermine his or her attempt to establishcausality definitively.




Experimentalresearchers deceptionto use occontrol the experimental setting.Deception g,urs when the researcher intentionallymisleads subjects through written or verbalinstructions, of the actionsof others,or aspects the setting.It may involvethe useof confederates stoogesor people who pretend to be other subjectsor bystandersbut who actually work for the researcherand deliberatelymislead subjects. Through deception, researcher tries to conthe trol what the subjects andhearandwhatthey see a believeis occurring.For example, researcher's instructionsfalselylead subjects believethat to they areparticipatingin a studyaboutgroup cooperation. In fact, the experiment is about male/female verbal interaction, and what subjectssayis being secretly taperecorded.Decepcontrol the subjects' tion lets the researcher them from definitionof the situation.It prevents verbalbehaviorbecause alteringtheir cross-sex topic. By they are unawareof the true research focusingtheir attentionon a falsetopic, the researcherinduces the unaware subjectsto act "naturally." For realisticdeception,researchers varimay invent false treatments dependent and to unawareof the able measures keep subjects true ones.The useof deceptionin experiments (to raises ethicalissues be discussed). Types of Design Researchers combine parts of an experiment (e.g., pretests, control groups)etc.)togetherinto an experimental design. For example,somedesignslack pretests, somedo not havecontrol groups, and others have many experimental groups. Certain widely used standard designs havenames. for You should learn the standarddesigns two reasons.First, in researchreports, regive searchers the nameof a standarddesigninyou it. stead describing When readingreports, of will be ableto understand designof the exthe perimentif you know the standard designs. Second, the standard designsillustrate common parts.You canusethem waysto combinedesign

you your own for experiments conductor create variations. The designs illustrated with a simple exare wantsto learnwhetherwait ample.A researcher and receive more in tips staff(waiters waitresses) if they first introduce themselves first name by and return to ask "Is everythingfine?" 8 to l0 the minutesafterdelivering food.Thedependent The variableis the sizeof the tip received. study on occursin two identicalrestaurants different sidesof a town that havehad the sametypesof and the amountin tips. customers average same ClassicalExperimental Design. All designs are experimental variationsof the classical design, the so type of designdiscussed far, which has rana dom assignment, pretestand a posttest, exan perimentalgroup,and a control group. Example. The experimenter gives 40 newly hired wait staff an identical two-hour training and instructsthem to follow a script in session which they are not to introduce themselves by first nameand not to return during the mealto Theyarenext randomly checkon the customers. dividedinto two equalgroupsof 20 andsentto to The the two restaurants begin employrnent. recordsthe amount in tips for experimenter for all subjects one month (pretestscore).Next, the experimenter"retrains" the 20 subjectsat group). The experirestaurantI (experimental menter instructsthem henceforthto introduce to themselves customersby first name and to asking,"Is everything checkon the customers, fine?" 8 to 10 minutes after deliveringthe food (treatment).The group at restaurant (control 2 group) is "retained"to continuewithout an introduction or checkingduring the meal. Over month, the amount of tips for both the second (posttest groups recorded is score). lack PreexperimentalDesigns. Somedesigns and are compromises or random assignment preexperimental These ate shortcuts. designs used whereit is difficult to usethe classiin situations that cal design.They haveweaknesses makeinrelationshipmore difficult. ferring a causal


R T P A RT w o / c o N D U c rl N C QU A N TITA TIvEE S E A R cH

StudyDesign. Also calledthe Case One-Shot one-groupposttest-onlydesign,the one-shot study designhas only one group' a treat' case Because there is only one ment, and a posttest. group,thereis no random assignment' a takes groupof 40 Example. Theexperimenter newly hired wait staff and givesall a two-hour in training session which they are instructedto by to introducethemselves customers first name "Is asking, everyandto checkon the customers, thing fine?"8 to 10 minutesafter deliveringthe begin employfood (treatment).All subjects the records amount ment,and the experimenter for in tips for all subjects one month (posttest score). D osttest esign' This design One- oupPretest-P Gr has one group, a pretest,a treatment,and a posttest. lacksa control group and randomasIt signment. a takes groupof 40 Example. The experimenter newly hired wait staff and givesall a two-hour They areinstructedto follow a training session. script in which they arenot to introducethemby selves first nameand not to return during the All meal to checkon the customers. begin employment, and the experimenterrecordsthe amount in tips for all subjectsfor one month (pretest score).Next, the experimenter"re(experimental group).The tiains" all40 subjects experimenterinstructs the subjectshenceforth by to to introducethemselves customers first "Is asking, nameand to checkon the customers, fine?"8 to 10minutesafterdelivering everything the food (treatment).Over the secondmonth' (posttest score). the amountof tips is recorded This is an improvementover the one-shot the measures the casestudy because researcher dependentvariable both before and after the treatment.But it lacksa control group. The recannotknow whethersomethingother searcher the than the treatmentoccurredbetween pretest the to the posttest cause outcome. and

Static Group Comparison. Also called the stati group design, c nonequivalent posttest-only and hastwo groups'a posttest, groupcomparlsor It lacks random assignmentand a treatment. outcome is A pretest. weakness that anyposttest could be due to betweenthe groups, diff"re.tce group differencesprior to the experiment inof stead to the treatment. Example. The experimentergives40 newly hired wait staff an identical two-hour training and instructsthem to follow a script in session by which they are not to introduce themselves * and not to return during the mealto first name one They canchoose of checkon the customers. to work at, so long as each the two restaurants beginemendsup with 20 people"rAll restaurant After one month, the experimenter ployment. nretrains"the 20 subjects restaurantI (experat group). The experimenterinstructs imental to to them henceforth introducethemselves cusfirst name and to checkon the customersby tomers, asking,"Is everlthing fine?" 8 to 10 minutes after deliveringthe food (treatment). 2 The group at restaurant (control group) is "rewithout an introduction or tained" to continue checking during the meal. Over the second month, the amount of tips for both groups is (posttest score). recorded

Quasi-Experimental anil Special Designs, design,make like the classical Thesedesigns, relationship more certain identifying a causal designs. Quasi-erperithan do preexperimental retest researchers for causal help mentaldesigns variety of situationswhere the lationshipsin a They is design difficult or inappropriate. classical theyarevariationsof the quasl because arecalled experimentaldesign.Somehave ranclassical domization but lack a pretest,someuse more manyoband otherssubstitute thantwo groups, group over time for a control of servations one has the group.In general, researcher lesscontrol variablethan in the classioverthe independent (see Table8.1)' caldesign




T A Bt E 8 . 1

Designwith Other Major Designs A Comparisonof the Classical Experimental

Classical One-ShotCaseStudy One-Group PretestPostest StaticGroupComparison Two-GroupPosttestOnly TimeSeries Designs

Yes No No No Yes No

Yes No Yes No No Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes No No Yes Yes No

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Two-Group Posttest-Only Design. This is identical to the static group comparison,with one exception: The groupsarerandomlyassigned. It has all the parts ofthe classical designexcepta pretest.The random assignment reducesthe chance that the groupsdifferedbeforethe treatment,but without a pretest, researcher a cannot be ascertainthat the groupsbeganthe sameon the dependent variable. In a study using a two-group posttest-only design with random assignment, Rind and Strohmetz(1999)examined messages about a upcoming speqial written on the back of customers'checls.The subjects were8l dining partieseatingat an upscale restaurant New |ersey. in The treatment was whether a female server wrote a message about an upcomingrestaurant special thebackofa checkandthe dependent on variablewasthe sizeof tips. The server with two years'experience givena randomlyshuffled was stackof cards,half of which said No Message and half of which saidMessage. beforeshe |ust gayea customerhis or her check,sherandomly pulled a cardfrom her pocket.If it saidMessage, she wrote about an upcoming specialon the backof the customer's check.If it saidNo Message,she wrote nothing. The experimenters recorded amount of the tip and the number the of peopleat the table.Theyinstructedthe server

toward all customers. results to actthe same The higher tips camefrom customers showedthat who receivedthe message about upcoming specials. InterruptedTime Series. In an interrupted time series design,a researcher usesone group and makesmultiple pretestmeasures beforeand after the treatment.For example, after remaining level for many years,in 1995,cigarette taxes jumped 35 percent. Taxesremainedrelatively constantfor the next 10years. The hypothesis is in lower cigarette that increases taxes consumpplots the rateofcigarettecontion. A researcher sumptionfor 1985 through2005.Theresearcher notesthat cigarette consumptionwaslevelduring the 10 yearsprior to the new taxes,then droppedin 1995and stayed about the samefor the next 10years. EquivalentTime Series. An equivalent time seriesis anotherone-groupdesignthat extends over a time period. Insteadof one treatment,it hasa pretest, then a treatmentand posttest, then treatment and posttest,then treatment and posttest, and so on. For example, peoplewho werenot requiredto wearheldrivemotorcycles when a law waspassed metsbefore1985, requiring helmets.In 1991, the law was repealed


rw P A RT o

R / c o N D U c rl N c QU AN TITA TIvEE S E A R cH

from motorcycleclubs'The of because pressure helmet la* was reinstatedin 2003' The reis hypothesis that wearingprotective seatcher's loweisthe numberof headinjury deaths helmets plots in motorcycle accidents'The researcher in motorcycleaccidents headinjury deathrates over time. The ratewasvery high prior to 1985' droppedsharplybetween1985and 1991'then between1991and returnedto pie-1985levels 2003, then dropped again from 2003 to the present.

four groups. For example,a.mental health whethera newtrain.orkei wuntsto determine clients'coping skills'The ing method improves copingskillswith a 20-minute wJrker measures the events'Because to test of reactions stressful copingskillsfrom taking the clientsmight learn -a testitself, Solomonfour-group designis used' The mental health worker randomly divides the clientsinto four goups. Two groupsreceive gets the pretest; one of them method and the other getsthe old method' Anno othertwo groupsreceive pretes! oneofthem and the other the old gets the new method in interested Designs. Researchers Latin Square irethod. All four groups are given the samer given in different sehow severaltreatments are results compared'If and the posttest posttest varior quences time orders affecta dependent (new method) groups have ih. t*o treatment a designFor example, ubl..utt nt. aLatin square similar results, and the two control (old instructor has junior high school geography method) grouPshave similar results,then the using map reading, ihree units to teachstudents: learningis freimr worker knows'pretest and a compass, the longitude/latitude(LL) sys- mental two groupswith a pretest not a problem. If the tem. The units can be taught in any order' but (onetreatment,onecontrol) differ from the two which order most the teacherwants to know groupswithout a pretest,then the worker confirst students learn. In one class, helpsstudents the pretestitself may have an effect learn to readmaps,then how to usea compass' it ra.t that variable. on the dePendent then the LL system.In another class,using a then the reading, first, then map comes compass quesa Designs' Sometimes, research Factorial the LL system.In a third class, instructor first effects at the simultaneous iooking tion suggests and usage, then compass the teaches LL system, A givestests of moii than one independent variatrle' endswith map reading.The teacher or more independent takea comprehen- 'variables factorial design lsestwo aftereachunit, and students in combination.Everycombinationof The students siveexam at the end of the term. the categoriesin variables (sometimescalled so to were randomly assigned classes, the invariableconii units in one factors) examined.When each whetherpresenting structorcansee numberof combinathe categories, sequenceor another resulted in improved iains several tions grows very quickly. The treatment or learning. variable manipirlationis not eachindependent of the categories' rathei, it is eachcombination may Design A researcher Four-Group Solomon have The treatmentsin a factorial designca-n an influence has that the pretestmeasure believe variable dependent two kinds of effectson the on the treatment or dependent variable' A main effectsand interactioneffects'OnLymain to the subjects sensitize pretestcan sometimes or single-treat on fficts arepresentin one-factor ireatmentor improve their performance the comIn ment designs. a factorialdesign'specific posttest(seethe discussionof testing effectto can categories variable binationsof independent iome). Richard L. Solomon developedthe efTheyarecalledinteraaion alsohavean effect. of the to Solomon -groupdesign address issue four combination inin categories a experifectsbecaasethe pretesteifects.It iombines the classical posttest-only ieract to producean effectbeyondthat of each with the two-group mentaldesign variablealone. to subjects one of designand iandomly assigns




FlG U RE 8 .2
E E E 3.25 3.00 215

InteractionEffect and Blame,Resistance, Schema:

$ 2.zs 2.00 p r.zs
1.5 0 1.2 s 1.0 0
Submits Fights (Resistance) victim Tries to Fight ofi the Rapist

s E

Sexschema * ...1}.. Powerschema

Interaction ef[ectsare illustratedin Figure 8,2, which usesdata from a study by Ong and Ward (1999).As part of a study of 128female at undergraduates the National University of which of Ong and Ward measured Singapore, understoodthe crime two major wayssubjects of rape. Someof the women primarily understoodit assexand dueto the malesexdrive (sex schema);others understoodit as primarily an act of male power and domination of a woman the (powerschema). asked subThe researchers jectsto reada realisticscenario aboutthe rapeof a collegestudent at their university. One rangroup ofsubjectsreada scenario domly selected in which the victim tried to fight offthe rapist.In submitted.The rethe other set, shepassively the to next asked subjects evaluate the searchers to degree which the rapevictim wasat blameor for responsible the rape. Resultsshowedthat the women who held (andwho alsotendedto embrace the sexschema traditionalistgenderrole beliefs)more strongly Blamedeblamedthe victim when sheresisted. if creased shesubmitted.Thewomenwho held a (and who alsotendedto be nonpower schema traditionalists)werelesslikely to blamethe victim if shefought. They blamedher more if she passivelysubmitted. Thus, the subjects' rethe to sponses the victim's act of resisting attack with, their understandvariedby, or interacted

ing of the crime of rape (i.e.,the rape schema found that Theresearchers heldby eachsubject). causedsubjectsto interpret two rape schemas yictim resistance oppositewaysfor the purin responsibility the crime. for poseof assigning discussfactorial designin a Researchers way.A "two by threefactorialdesign" shorthand is written 2 x 3.It meansthat there are two in with two categories one and three treatments, categoriesin the other. A 2 X 3 X 3 design varimeansthat there are three independent two with ables,one with two categoriesand each. threecategories experimentby The previouslydiscussed (2004) on tattoos Hawkes,Seen,and Thorn womenuseda 3 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 amongcollege four factorialdesign.The firll study considered variables, with threecategories' one independent and the rest havingtwo categories, it had three variable. The depenof measures the dependent dent variable measuresincluded a Semantic (which containedthreediDifferentialmeasure mensions). In addition, experimentershad (an measure 1lcompletea Neosexism subjects summed item, 5-point Likert Scalestatements of into an index) and a measure Feminismand Women's Movement Support (a l0-item, 5summedinto an index). The point Likert Scale experimentersmanipulated two independent ofthe tattoo readby in variables the descriptions

2 12

R T P A RT w o / c o N D U c rl N c QU AN rlrA Tl vE E S E A R cH

subjects: (i) whether the woman had no tattoo' a tattoo smaller than a Canadian $1 coin' or larger than a $1 coin; and (2) the tattoo's visiblity as always hidden versus always hidden. Two independent variableswere not manipulated but were preexisting characteristics of researcher subjects,(3) whether the subject him/herself had a tattoo or not, and ( ) the subject's gender' The study included263 subjects, I22 males and 146 females,of them 43 (or 16 percent) had a tattoo' The study results showed that subjects viewed college women without a tattoo more positivity and female subjects were more positive toward a college woman having a tattoo than male subiects. There was also a significant effect forvisibility, with more favorable attitudes for a nonvisible tattoo' Generally' subjects who had tattoos themselveswere more favorable toward the woman having a tattoo. Size of tattoo had little effect. Men and women with a tattoo were more favorable, regardless of tattoo size' while those without a tattoo were negative' In addition, gender made no difference toward size of tattoo. The experiment had many specific findings for each combination of the five independent variables. One specific finding was that iemale subjects who had a tattoo themselves were least likely to react negatively to alatget ta|too. Results from the attitude measures suggest that "the tattooed woman may be seenby some as flaunting her freedom from gender norms or asthreateningwomen's traditional place in society'' (Hawkes, Seen,and Thorn 2004:603).

R variable; = randomassignment,independent The Os are numberedwith subscripts ment. from left to right basedon time order. Pretests 02' When the independent are 01, posttests has more than two levels,the Xs are variable to numberedwith subscripts distinguishamong Symbolsare in time order from left to them. right. The R is first, followedby the pretest,the triatment, and then the posttest.Syrnbolsare a in arranged rows,with eachrow representing For of subjects. example,an experiment group groupshas an R (if random assign-ith1ttt.. is ,tt.d;, foilo*"d by threerows of Os and 1 ment Xs. The rows are on top of eachother because treatment,and posttestoccur in the pretests, gtonp at about the sametime. Table 8'2 "u.h the notation for many standard experigives mentaldesigns.


INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL VALIDITY The Logic of Internal ValiditY Internal validifTmeansthe ability to eliminate alvariable' of ternativeexplanations the dependent other than the treatment' that affect Variables, to variablearethreats internalvathe dependent ability to say threatenthe researcher's lidity. They factorprowasthe true causal that the treatment variable'Thus, in the dependent ducing change the logic of internal validity is to rule out variotherthan the treatmentby controllingexables perimentalconditions and through experimental to majorthreats interNext,we examine designs. nal validity. Threats to Internal ValiditY Thefollowingarenine commonthreatsto internalvalidity.l

Design Notation in can be designed many ways' Experiments notationis a shorthandsystemfor symDesign design'Once bolizing the parts of experimental you learn designnotation,you will find it easier For to think about and comparedesigns. exama ple, designnotation expresses comple5 p^aragraph-long description of the parts of, an ixperiment in five or six symbolsarrangedin twb Hnes.It usesthe following symbols:O = observationof dependentvariable;X = treat-

bias SelectionBias. Selection is the threat that participantswill not form equivalent research without rangroups.It is a problem in designs




Summaryof Experimental Designswith Notation

Classical experimental design Preexperimenta gns I Desi One-shotcasestudy One-group pretest-posttest Staticgroup comparison

* r3
o o o o o o o o o x ooo

-Experi mentalDesigns Quasi Two-group posttestonly Interrupted time series Equivalent series time Latinsquare designs




f \: I: \3

ox bo ox ao ox bo ox c o ox c o ox ao

Xuo X"o Xoo


X"o X"o

Solomon four-group design

o o o o

Factorial designs

z1 22o
21 22o

dom assignment. occurswhen subjects one It in experimental group havea characteristic afthat fectsthe dependent variable.For example, an in experiment physical on aggressiveness, treatthe ment group unintentionally contains subjects who are football, rugby, and hockey players, whereas control group is madeup of musithe cians,chess players,and painters.Another exampleis an experimenton the ability of people

to dodgeheavytraffic. All subjectsassigned to one group come from rural areas, and all subjectsin the other grewup in largecities.An examinationof pretestscores helpsa researcher detectthis threat,because group differences no areexpected. History. This is the threat that an eventunrelatedto the treatmentwill occur during the ex-



cannot saythat the variable' effectsoccur' a researcher Derimentand influencethe dependent treatment alone has affected the dependent that Hktory ,ltcttare more likelyin experiments variable. continueover a long time period' For example' to through a two-weekexperiment "".u1halfi,vay Instrumentation. This threatis relatedto reliattitudes toward spacetrav.el'a uate subjects' or ability. It occurswhen the instrument depen,pu.".ruh explodeson the launch pad, killing during the dent variable measure changes The history effectcan occur ln the astronauts. (see experiment.For example,in a weight-Iossexearlier tax the cigarette examplediscussed during weaken on periment,the springs the scale deof interrupted time-series the discussion readingsin the the e"p.ri-"ttt, gil ittg lower sign). If a public antismokingcampaignor^rep""t.t,. Anotherixample might haveoccurred it also advertising beganin 1989' diced cigaiette (1987) in un e"p.rimentby BondandAnderson would b"ehard to saythat higher taxescaused bad news'The ex- n to on the reluctance transmit lesssmoking. to perimentersaskedsubjects tell another per'son resultsof an intelligence and varied test the Maturation. This is the threat that somebioaboveor well beto the testresults be eitherwell or logical, psychological, emotional process The dependentvariable was the low average. from the treatand separate *iitrin the subjects lengthof time it took to tell the testtakerthe reovertime. Maturahon$ more will change ment were told that the session ,olir. So-. subjects over commonin e>rferiments long time periods' During the experiment' videotaped. during an experimenton reason- was being For example, failedto work for one subbecomebored and sleepy tne viaeJequipment ing ability, subjects iect. If it had iailed to work for more than one is lower.Another example *"d, u, a result,'score or .subiect had worked for only part of the sesof on an experiment the styles children'splaybesion, the experiment would have had instruby are 1 tweengrades and 6. Playstyles affected took pioblems.(By the way,subjects emotional' and maturation changes physicil, if they thought -"rriutiott iong.. to deliverbad newsonly ',hu,o..o, asthe childrengrow older,insteadof the| were doing so publicly-that is' being of or in addition to the effects a treatment'DevideotaPed') signswith a pretestand control group help re,elarchersdelermine whether maturation or when arises both experi- Mortatity. Mortality, or attritiort, because are history effects present, throughout the ,o-. ,rr61..tsdo not continue mental and control grouPswill show similar Althoughthe wotd mortalitymeans experiment. overtime' changes meanthat subjects death,it doesnot necessarily partway ofsubjectsleaves havedied. Ifa subset itself the Testing. Sometimes, pretestme-asure through an experiment, a researchercannot affectsin experiment. This testingeffectthteatk ro*"*hether ihe resultswould havebeendifmorethan the treatensinternalvaliditybecause a For stayed' example' referenthad the subjects variable'The the ment aloneaffects dependent program with 50 beginsa weight-loss searcher Solomon four-group designhelps a researcher Atlhe end of the program' 30 remain' subjects. a For example, researcher detecttestingeffects. eacirof whom lost 5 poundswith no sideeffects on an eivesstudents examination the first dayof The 20 who left could havedifferedfrom the 30 is Ilass.The course the treatment'He or shetests the who stayed,changingthe results'-Maybe examon the lastday learningby givingthe same left' and effeclivefor those who rememberthe pretestques- oronru- was If of class. subjects in"f *itnat"w after losing 25 pounds' 9: p"twhat theylearned(i'e'' paid tions andthis affects and hapsthe programmadesubjectssick forced on questions or how theyanswered attentionto) shouldnotice and rethem to [uit' Researchers a the posttest, testingeffectis present'Iftesting

c HApr ER 8 , / E X p E R T M E N T A LE S E A R c H R


port the number of subjects in each group during pretests and posttests to detect this threat to internal validity. Statistical Regression, Statistical regressionis not easy to grasp intuitively. It is a problem of extreme values or a tendency for random errors to move group results toward the average.It can occur in two ways. One situation arises when subjects are unusual with regard to the dependent variable. Becausethey begin as unusual or extreme, subjects are unlikely to respond further in the same direction. For example, a researcherwants to see whether violent films make people act violently. He or she chooses a group of violent criminals from a high-securityprison, givesthem a pretest, shows violent films, then administers a posttest. To the researcher's shock, the prisoners are slightlyless violent after the film, whereasa control group of prisoners who did not seethe film are slightly more violent than before. Because the violent criminals began at an extreme, it is unlikely that a treatment could make them more violent; by random chance alone, they appear lessextreme when measured a second timi.2 . A second situation involves a problem with the measurement instrument. If many research participants score very high (at the ceiling) or very low (at the floor) on a variable, random chance alone will produce a changebetween the pretest and the posttest. For example, a researchergives 80 subjects a test, and 75 getperfect scores.He or she then gives a treatmenl to raise scores. Becauseso many subjects already had perfect scores,random errors will reduce the group averagebecausethose who got perfect scores can randomly move in only one direction-to get some answerswrong. An examination of scores on pretests will help researchers detect this threat to internal validity. Diffusion of Treatment or Contamination. Dffision of treatment is the threat that research participants in different groups will communicate with each other and learn about the other's

treatment. Researchers avoid it by isolating groupsor havingsubjects promisenot to reveal anythingto otherswho will becomesubjects. For example,subjects participatein a day-long experimenton a new way to memorizewords. During a break,treatment-group subjects tell thosein the control group aboutthe newwayto memorize, which control-groupsubjects then use.A researcher needsoutsideinformation, suchaspostexperiment interviews, with subiects to detectthis threat. ExperimenterExpectancy. Although it is not always considered traditional internal validity a problem, the experimenter's behavior,too, can threatencausal logic.3 researcher threaten A may internal validiry not by purposefullyunethical behavior but by indirectly communicating experimenter expectancy subjects. to Researchers may be highly committedto the hypothesis and indirectly communicatedesiredfindings to the subjects. For example,a researcher studiesthe effectsof memorizationtraining on student learningability, and also sees gradetranthe scriptsof subjects. The researcher believes that students with highergrades tend to do better at the training and will learn more. Through eye contact, tone ofvoice,pauses, othernonver_ and bal communication, the researcherunconsciouslytrains the studentswith higher grades more intensely;the researcher's nonverbalbe_ havior is the oppositefor studentswith lower grades. Here is a way to detectexperimenter ex_ pectancy.A researcher hires assistants and teaches them experimental techniques. The as_ sistants train subjects testtheir learningabiland ity. The researchergives the assistantsfake transcriptsand recordsshowingthat subjects in onegroup arehonor students the othersare and failing,althoughin factthe subjects identical. are Experimenterexpectancy presentif the fake is honor students, a group,do much betterthan as the fakefailing students. The double-blind experimenr designed is to control researcher expectancy. it, peoplewho In

2 16

R T P A RT w o / c o N D U c rl N c QU A N TITA TIvEE S E A R cH

do havedirect contactwith subjects not know or the detailsof the hypothesis the treatment.It and both the subjects is doubleblind because to detailsof thosein contactwith them areblind a the experiment(seeFigure8.3). For example, is effective. wantsto seeif a new drug researcher Using pills of three colors-green, yellow, and puts the new drug in the pink-the researcher yellowpill, puts an old &ug in the pink one,and pill the makes green aplacebo-afalsetreatment to that appears be real (e.g.,a sugarpill without who Assistants givethe pills effects). anyphysical do and recordthe effects not know which color

contains the new drug. Only another person directly knows who doesnot dealwith subjects which coloredpill containsthe drug and it is he the or shewho examines results. External Validity and Field Experiments

all eliminates concerns Evenif an experimenter about internal validity, externalvalidity remains a potentialproblem.Externalvalidityis the abilfindingsto eYents experimental ity to generalize and settingsoutsidethe experimentitself. If a *

Flc U RE 8. 3

or of An Experiments: lllustration Single-Blind, Ordinary,. Double-Blind and Double-BlindExPeriments ExPeriment Single-Blind



7N fr fr fififrfifrfifrfrfr
Who Are Blindto TrueHypothesis Subiects


P q

o o o o





q Bq qfrq fififififrflfrfrmfr
Who Are Blindto TrueHypothesis Subjects


o e o o

RE c H Ap rE R8 ,/ E X pE R TME N TA LS E A R cH


person encounters people who contradict the stereotype,especiallyifthe others are respected. They used both a laboratory experiment (with a two-group, posttest-only design) and a field exparticipantsmight react periment. Past studies focused on out-group Reactivity. Research stereot)?es, but the authors wanted to examine differentlyin an experimentthan they would in real life because they know they are in a study; the hypothesis for an in-group, women. In the laboratory experiment, experimenters randomly this is calledreactivity. The Hawthorneffict is a specifickind of reactivity.4 The name comes assignedfemale subjects to view either (1) a set photographs and biographies of 16 famous from a seriesof experiments Elton Mayo at by the Hawthorne,Illinois, plant of Westinghouse women leadersor (2) photos and descriptions of Electricduring the 1920s Researchers 16 flowers. The experimenters used deception and 1930s. and told subjects the study was about testing modified many aspects working conditions of (e.g.,lighting, time for breaks, memory. The dependent variable was attitudes etc.) and meaand beliefs about women and was measured sured productivity. They discovered that prowith a implicit Association Test (IAT). The reductivity roseaftereachmodification,no matter what it was.This curiousresultoccurred because sults showed that subjects associatedgendered the workersdid not respondto the treatment first names (e.g.,|ohn vs. Emily) with leadership but to the additional attention they received or follower traits (e.g., assertive and sympafrom beingpart of the experimentand knowing thetic). A high IAT score indicated that a subthat they were being watched.Later research ject viewed women more than men as having questioned leadership more than supportive traits. The rewhetherthis occurred, the name but is used for an effect from the attention of researchers also used a scale on beliefs about A searchers. relatedeffectis the effectof some- women. They found support for the hypothesis that exposure to famous women in leadership thing new,which maywearoffover time. positions increased IAT scores,compared to exposure to neutral information about flowers. Fielil Experiments. Sofar, this chapterhasfoThe field experiment had a pretest and a posttest cused experiments on conducted underthe controlled conditionsof a laboratory.Experiments but no random assignment. Subjectswere feare'alsoconductedin real-life or field settings males who attended two colleges in the same wherea researcher lesscontrol over the exhas town. One was a coeducational college and the perimental conditions.The amount of control other had all female students. Subjects were recruited from first-year classesat the beginning varieson a continuum.At one end is the highly controlled laboratory exp eriment,which takes of the academic year and completed the IAT placein a specialized measure, the beliefs about women scale, and a settingor laboratory at the which takes general campus questionnaire. The experioppositeendis thefield experimenr, placein the'field'-in naturalsettings menters documented that the all-female college suchasa subwaycar, a liquor store,or a public sidewalk. had more females in administrative and faculty leadership positions. Pretest IAT scores were Subjects field experiments usuallyunin are awarethat they are involved in an experiment very similar, with subjects from coeducational college having slightly lower scores.This helped and react in a natural way. For example,rethe experimenters to check for possible selection searchers havehad a confederate a heartatfake tack on a subwaycar to seehow the bystanders bias. Subjectswere contacted one year later and asked to complete the same measuresas prereact.5 sented in the posttest. Experimenters watched Dasguptaand Asgari (2004)testedthe hypothesis very carefully for experimental mortality since a that stereotypical beliefs weaken when

study lacks externalvalidity, its findings hold true only in experiments, making them useless to both basicand appliedscience.

2 18

pA RTT w o ,/ c o N D U c rtN c QU A N Tl rA rl vE E S E A R cH R

somestudentsstoppedattendingcollegeor did for The IAT scores not completelater surveys. declined college at subjects the coeducational (i.e.,theywereless as likely to see females having for scores traits), whereas IAT the leadership greatly insubjectsat the all-female college found creased. addition, the experimenters In had at a that the more femaleteachers student IAT scores, the eithercollege, higherthe posttest for the andthis wasespecially case math and sciThus,exposure womenin leadto ences courses. ership positions caused the IAT scores to whereas absence the ofsuch exposure' increase, if anlthing, loweredthe scores. (2005)useda field Von Larr and colleagues experimentto test the well-knov,n contacthypothesis that saysintergroup contact reduces racial-ethnic prejudice as people replacetheir although with personalexperience, stereotl?es peoso this happens long asthe contactinvolves goalsin a ple of equalstatuspursuingcommon settingand is approvedby authoricooperative ties.In addition,informal contactin which people get to know about out-group membersas also out-groupprejudice. acquaintances reduces The experimenttook placeat UCLA, wherethe studentbody is very racially and ethnicallyditheypreselect roommate,incoma verse. Unless roommates. ing students randomlyassigned are a choose roomAbout 20 percentof students The mate and the rest are randomly assigned. studentbackgroundand attiauthorsmeasured tudesamong nearly 3,800new incoming students using a panel design acrossfive time entry (summer 1996) periods-before college and during the spring of eachof the next four (20-minutetele(1997-2000) with surveys years variablewas phone interviews).The dependent the students' racial-ethnic attitudes and included questions about roommates, other friends, interracial dating, multiculturalism, sgnbolic racism, and feelingsabout various racial-ethnic groups. Thesewere the experiment's pretestand multiple posttestmeasures. watched very carefullyfor experExperimenters

imental mortality, sincesomestudentsstopped dormitories,or did college attendingcollege,left They testedthe not completethe later surveys. who wererandomlyasthat students hlpotheses signedto live with an out-group member (the less variable)developed prejudicial independent attitudestoward membersof that out-group. They found that comparedto pretestrneasures' by prejudicialattitudesdeclinedaspredicted the Apparwith one exception. contacthypothesis ently having an Asian American roommate worked in the opposite way and actually inamong the White prejudice,especially creased students. to control relates internaland Experimenter tend externalvalidity. Laboratoryexper'iments internalvalidity but lower exterto havegr eater nal validity; that is, they arelogicallytighter and generalizable. exField but bettercontrolled, less perimentstend to havegreaterexternalvalidity but lower internalvalidity;that is, they aremore but generalizable lesscontrolled.Quasi-experimental designsare common in field experithreatsto internal ments.Table8.3 summarizes validity. andexternal


and External Maiorlnternal Validity Concerns

bias Selection History effect Maturation Testing Instrumentation mortality Experimental regression Statistical of Diffusion treatment expectancy Experimenter

Hawthorne effect



P R AC TICAL CO NS I DE RA T ION S Every research technique has informal tricks of the trade. These are pragmatic, commonsense ideasthat account for the difference between the successfulresearchprojects of an experienced researcher and the difficulties a novice researcherfaces.Three are discussedhere. Planning and Pilot-Tests

of the situation affectedtheir behavior.Finalln he or shecan explainthe importanceof not revealing the true nature of the experiment to other potentialparticipants.


Comparisonis the key to all research. careBy fully examiningthe resultsof experimental research, researcher learn a greatdealabout a can threats to internal validity, and whether the treatmenthasan impact on the dependent variable. For example,in the Bond and Anderson (1987)experimenton deliveringbad news,disearlier,it took an average 89.6and73.I cussed of seconds deliverfavorable to versus 72.5or 747.2 seconds deliverunfavorable scores prito test in vateor public settings, respectively. compariA son showsthat deliveringbad newsin public takesthe longest, whereas good newstakesa bit longerin private. A more complexillustration of such comparisonsis shownin Figure8.4on the resultsof a series fiveweight-loss of experiments usingthe classical experimentaldesign.In the example, Instructions to Subjects participantsin the experimental the 30 research Most experiments involvegivinginstructionsto group at Enrique'sSlim Clinic lost an average of subjects set the stage. researcher to A 50 pounds,whereas 30 in the control group should the word instructions carefully and follow a predid not losea singlepound. Only one person pared script so that all subjectshear the same dropped out during the experiment.Susan's thing. This ensures reliability. The instructions Scientific Diet Planhad equallydramaticresults, are also important in creatinga realisticcover but 11people her experimental in groupdropped storywhendeception used. is out. This suggests problem with experimental a mortality. Peoplein the experimental group at Carl's Calorie Counterslost 8 pounds, comPostexperiment Interview paredto 2 poundsfor the control group,but the At the end of an experiment,the researcher control group and the experimental group beshould interview subjects, three reasons. gan with an average 31 pounds difference for of in First,ifdeceptionwasused,the researcher needs weight. This suggests problem with selection a to debrieftheresearch participants, tellingthem bias.Natalie'sNutrition Centerhad no experithe true purposeof the experimentand answer- mentalmortality or selection biasproblems, but ing questions. Second, or shecan learnwhat he those in the experimentalgroup lost no more the subjects thought and how their definitions weight than those in the control group. It apAII social research requires planning, and most quantitative researchersuse pilot-tests. During the planning phase of experimental research, a researcherthinks of alternative explanations or threats to internal validity and how to avoid them. The researcher also develops a neat and well-organized system for recording data. In addition, he or she devotes serious effort to pilottesting any apparatus (e.g., computers, video cameras,tape recorders, etc.) that will be used in the treatment situation, and he or she must train and pilot-test confederates.After the pilot-tests, the researchershould interview the pilot subjects to uncoyer aspectsof the experiment that need refinement.




FI c u RE 8 .4

weight-Loss Design, classicalExperimental comparisonsof Results, Experiments Enrique's SlimClinic Posttest Pretest 14o(2e) 1e0(30) 18e(30) lse (30) Scientific Susan's Diet Plan Posttest Pretest 141(1e) 1e0(30) 18e(28) 1se(30) Carl'sCalorie Counters Posttest Pretest 1s2(2e) 150(30) 18e(2e) 1el (2e)
N atal i e' s N utri ti on C enter Posttest Pretest Experimental ControlgrouP

Experimental ControlgrouP

1e0(30) 1e2(2e)

188(2e) 190(28)

Experimental Controlgroup

Experimental ControlgrouP

Pauline's Off Pounds Posttest Pretest 1s8(30) leo (30)

(2e) 1e1

lse (28)

Experimental ControlgrouP

pears that the treatment was not effective' bias PoundsOffalso avoidedselection Fauhne's in mortality problems.People and experimental so group lost 32 pounds,buther experimental that did thosein the control group'This suggests

the maturation, history, or diffirsion of treatThus,the treatmay haveoccurred. ment effects to ment at Enrique'sSlim Ctinic appears be the practicalapBox 8.2for a one.See mosteflective results' plicationof comparingexperimental

due is a Occasionally, "natural"experiment possible intervenor publicpolicychanges a government to partlclare tion, and researchers able to measure, fromit andconducta fieldexperiment pate,andlearn This occurredin New Orvatidity. with high extemal on 990s, laws selling Until Llousiana. the mid-1 leans, werebarelyenforced customers liquorto underage lf in New Orleans. caught,the offendingliquor reand with the liquor commission tailer met privately liquorlawswaslow priorfine.Enforcing paida small so ity for stateand localgovernment, only threeenmonitored5,000 alcoholoutlets officers forcement

in the New Orleansarea. When public officials and Scribne.r priorities, to planned shiftenforcement its tohen (200.1) examined impact'They had several peoplewho clearlylookedunder 1 8 yearsold illegally beverages alcoholic attempt to purchase least2l yearsof age)at beingat (the law required liquoroutletsbetweenNoi 43 randomlyselected 0)' 1 1 vember 995 andJanuary 996 (Time Theperwasthefretest couldbuy liquorillegally who centage the the ,rorin. After assessing rate of illegalsales, citationsto 5'l the variable, policeissued dependent outlets,the primaryindependentvaiab ofthe sales



or treatment. Aboutthe same time,government officialsinitiateda mediacampaign urgingbetter law compliance. Thereweretwoposttest measures, firstin

March April1 996 (Time1) andagain Novemto in ber 1996 to January 1997 (Tine 2), duringwhich the experimenters checked 143 outlets. the


ir..l.i.t t&,1li a:,,n,::
Experimental (citation) Control (no citation) Total

6.7% 13j% 11.1%

5 1%

29% 17% 21%

45 98 143

3s %

The resultsallow us to comparerates of illegal selling activitybeforeand after citationsplusmedia campaign(ltretestand posttestmeasures) and to compare outletsthat received citations (experimental group)with thosethat did not receive citationsand only hadmedia exposure (control group). seethat We the citationsand campaign not stop the illegal did activity, but it had some effect. The impact was greateron outlets that experienced direct punishment.In addition,by addinga laterfollow-up(Time 2), we see how the law-enforcement impactslowly decayed over time.As frequentlyhappens a natin uralexperiment, internal validityis threatened: First, the pretest measure showsa difference the two in setsof outlets,with outletsthat received treatthe mentshowing higherratesof illegal behavior; is this potentialselection Second, mediacampaign bias. the occurred alloutlets, the treatment really crfor so is a tation plusthe mediacampaign. authorsnoted The that they hadintended compare NewOrleans to the areawith anotherareawith neither the medianor

the citationcampaign, were unableto do so. but Since outletsthat did not receive treatment(i.e., the a citationfor lawviolation) probably learned aboutit from othersin the samebusiness, formof diffusion a of the treatmertcould be operating. Third, the researchers report that they beganwith I 55 outlets, but studiedonly 143 because 2 outletswent out I of business duringthe study.Theauthorsnotedthat none of the outlets that stoppedsellingalcohol closed dueto newlawenforcement, ifthose outbut lets that received citationshad more problems and were more likelyto go out of business, suggests it experimental mortality.The experimenters not did mentionany external eventsin New Orleans that happened duringthe time of the study (e.g., publia cized eventsuchasunderage drinker dyingof alcohol poisoning from overdrinking). Researchers needto be awareof potentialexternal eventswhena study continues for a long time and considerpossible history fficts.

A WO R D ON E T HI CS Ethical considerations are a significant issue in experimental researchbecauseexperimental researchis intrusive (i.e., it interferes). Treatments

may involve placingpeoplein contrived social settings and manipulating their feelings or behaviors. Dependentvariables may be what subjects or do. The amount and type of insay trusion is limited by ethical standards.Re-




must be very carefrrlif they placeresearchers participantsin physicaldangeror in emsearch situations'They or barrassing anxiety-inducing monitor eventsand control painstakingly must what occurs. Deception is common in social experiments, but it involves misleading or lying to is Suchdishonesty not condonedunsubjects. and is acceptableonly as the conditionally a meansto achieve goalthat cannotbe achieved can Evenfor a worthy goal,deception otherwise. The amount and be usedonly with restrictions. qpe of deceptionshouldnot go beyondwhat is participants and research minimally necessary be debriefed. should

CONCLUSION In this chapter,you learnedabout random asresignmentand the methodsof experimental way is Randomassignment an effective search. to createtwo (or more) groups that can be treated as equivalentand hencecompared.In providesprecise research general, experimental relatively unambiguous evidence for a and causalrelationship.It follows the positivistapthat canbe quantitative results proach,produces and statistics, is often usedin evalanalyzedwith (see uationresearch Box 8.2). chapteralsoexaminedthe parts of an This experimentand how they can be combinedto In designs. addiproducedifferentexperimental experimentaldesign' you the classical tion to and learnedaboutpreexperimental quasi-experhow to express You alsolearned imentaldesigns. notation. design them using You learnedthat internal validity-the internal logical rigor of an experiment-is a key Threatsto interresearch. ideain experimental explanations alternative arepossible nal validity You alsolearnedabout exterto the treatment. nal validity and how field experimentsmaximize externalvalidity. is research of The realstrength experimental evilogical rigor in establishing its control and

tend experiments In for dence causality. general, and lessexpensive, less to to be easier replicate, Extime consumingthan the other techniques. has limitations. First, also perimental research using exsomequestionscannot be addressed control and experperimentalmethodsbecause Another imental manipulation are impossible. usuallytestoneor limitation is that experiments a few hypothesesat a time. This fragments to and makesit necessary qrnthesize knowledge reports. External resultsacrossmany research validity is another potential problem because many experimentsrely on-small nonrandom students.b of samples college You learnedhow a carefulexaminationand comparisonof resultscan alertyou to potential design.Finally'you saw problemsin research in somepracticaland ethicalconsiderations experiments. other you In the next chapters, will examine ofthe nonexperiThe techniques. logic research mentalmethodsdiffersfrom that of,the experifocus narrowly on a few ment. Experimenters They usuallyhaveone or twoindehypotheses. a variable, a pendentvariables, singledependent and an indepenfew small groups of subjects' induces. By dent variable that the researcher test many contrast, other social researchers hypothesesat once. For example' survey remeasurealarge number of indepensearchers dent and dependentvariablesand use a larger Their insubjects. numberof randomlysampled conpreexisting are variables usually dependent participants. ditions in research

Key Ter m s
classical experimental design control group debrief deception demand characteristics design notation diffrrsion of treatment double-blind experiment

C H A P TE R ,/ E X P E R IME N TAE S E A R C H 8 RL equivalent time series experimental design experimental group factorial design field e4periment Hawthorne effect historyeffects interaction effect interrupted time series laboratory e4periment Latin square design maturation mortality one-shot casestudy placebo posttest preexperimental designs pretest quasi-experimentaldesigns random assignment reactivity selection bias Solomon four-group design static group comparison treatment


l. For additionaldiscussions ofthreats to internal validiry seeCook and Campbell(1979:51*68), Kercher(1992),Smith and Glass (1987),Spector (1981:24-27), SulsandRosnow(19S8). and 2. Thisexample borrowed is from Mitchelland lol_ ley(1988:97). 3. Experimenter expectancy discussed Aronson is in and Carlsmith 68:66_7 Dooley( I 984: 5l_ (19 0), I 153), Mitchelland)olley(1988:327_32il. and 4. The Hawthorneeffectis described Roethlis_ in bergerand Dickenson(1939),Frankeand Kaul (1978), and Lang(1992). Alsosee discussion the in Cook and Campbell(1979:123_125) Doo_ and ley (1984:155-156). Gillespie (1988, l99t) dis_ cussed politicalcontextof the experiments. the 5. See Piliavin andassociates ( I 969). 6. See ( Graham 1992) Sears19g6). ( and

and Research Nonreactive AnalYsis Secondary

lntroduction Nonreactive Measurement Research The Logicof Nonreactive Observation or Unobtrusive of Varieties Nonreactive and Recording Documentation Content AnalYsis What ls ContentAnalYsis? for TopicsAppropriate ContentAnalysis and Measurement Coding and ValiditY, ReliabilitY Coding, Research Howto ConductContentAnalysis lnferences Existing Statistics/Documents and Secondary Analysis ToPics Appropriate Indicators Social LocatingData Limitations lssuesof Inference and Theory Testing Data from Nonreactive lnferences Concerns Ethical Conclusion




INT RO DUCT I ON Experiments and survey research are both reactiye;that is, the people being studied are aware of that fact. The techniques in this chapter addressa limitation of reactive measures.You will learn about four researchtechnicues that are nonreactite;that is, the people being studied are not aware that they are part ofa researchproject. Nonreactive techniques are largelybased on positivist principles but are also used by interpretive and critical researchers. The first technique we will consider is lessa distinct technique than a loose collection of inventive nonreactive measures.It is followed by content analysis,which builds on the fundamentals of quantitative researchdesign and is a welldeveloped researchtechnique. Existing statistics and secondary analysis,the last two techniques, refer to the collection of already existing information from government documents or previous surveys. Researchers examine the existing data in new ways to addressnew questions. A1though the data may have been reactive when first collected, a researcher can address new questions without reactive effects.

during both daytime and nighttime. Obsen.ers noted whether the driver was male or femalel whether the driver was alone or with passengers; whether other trafific was present; and whether the car came to a complete stop, a slow stop, or no stop. Later, we will contrast this type of observation to a slightly different type used in field researcn. Varieties of Nonreactive or Unobtrusive Observation Nonreactive measures are varied, and researchershave been creative in inventing indirect ways to measure social behavior (see Box 9.1). Becausethe measureshave little in common except being nonreactive, they are best learned through examples. Some are erosion measuregwhere selectivewear is used as a measure, and some are accretionmeasuregwhere the measures depositsof somethingleft behind.I are Researchers have examined family oortraits in different historical erasto seehow sender relations within the family are reflected in seating patterns. Urban anthropologists have examined the contents of garbagedumps to learn about life-styles from what is thrown away (e.g.,liquor bottles indicate level of alcohol consumpti;n). Based on garbage, people underreport their


N O NRE A CT I V E ME AS U R EME N T The Logic of Nonreactive Research Nonreactive measurement begins when a researchernotices something that indicates a variable of interest. The critical thing about nonreactive or unobtrusiyemeasures (i.e., measures that are not obtrusive or intrusive) is that the people being studied are not aware of it but leave evidence oftheir social behavior or actions "naturally." The observant researcher infers from the evidenceto behavior or attitudes without disrupting the people being studied. Unnoticed observation is also a type of nonreactive measure. For example, McKelvie and Schamer (1988) unobtrusively observedwhether drivers stopped at stop signs. They made observations

Foster and colleagues 99S) examined tomb_ (l the stones I 0 cemeteries an areaof lllinois the in in for period from 'l 830 to 'l 989. Thevretrieved dataon birthand deathdatesandgender from over2,000 of the 2,028 burials. The researchers learned the areadiffered from somenational trends.Thevfound that conceptions two peaks had (spring winter), and females aged'l 0 to 64 hada higherdeathratethan males, younger and people died in latesummer but olderpeoplein latewinter.



Iiquor consumptionby 40 to 60 percent(Rathje have . andMurphy, 1992:7l) Researchers studied the listenlnghabitsof driversby checkingwhat stationstheir radiosare tuned to when carsare interestin differThey havemeasured repaired. ent exhibitsby noting worn tiles on the floor in differentparts of a museum.They havestudied femalehigh in differences graffiti in maleversus in schoolrestroomsto show genderdifferences high schoolyearthemes.Somehaveexamined books to comparethe high schoolactivitiesof

problemsin latter thosewho had psychological Box 9'2') thosJwho did not. (Alsosee Iife versus Recording and Documentation followsthe logic measures Creatingnonreactive first A of quaniitativemeasurement. researcher a conceptualizes construct,then links the conwhich empiricalevidence, structlo nonreactive The operationaldefinition of the is its measure. systemativariableincludeshow the researcher callynotesand recordsobservations'

Traces Physical greateruse. Erosion: Wear suggests toys at a children's examines Example: A researcher at day care that were purchased the sametime' greaterinterestby the chilWorn-outtoys suggest dren. sugevidence of Accretion; Accumulation physical gestsbehavior. of the examines brands aluE arptet A researcher cans in trash or recyclingbins in minumbeverage the This indicates male and femaledormitories. favoredby eachsex' and typesofbeverages brands Archives Running Records: Regularly produced public much. mayreveal records records marriage examines Example: A researcher differences Regional for the brideand groom'sages. suggest that the preferencefor males marrying femalesis greater in certainareasof the y*g", country. or OtherRecords: lrregular privaterecordscan reveala lot.

of findsthe numberof reams Example: A researcher .l officefor 0 years dean's by paperpurchased a college increase was whenstudentenrollment stable'A sizable has paperwork increased' that suggests bureaucratic Observation mayindiapPear Appearance: How people Extemal factors. cate social watchesstudents to see Example: A researcher more likelyto weartheir school's whetherthey are teamwonor lost' afterthe school colorsandsymbols CountBehaviors: Countinghow many peopledo can something be informative. countsthe numberof men Example: A researcher to a full stop and those who and womenwho come cometo a rollingstop at a stop sign'This suggests in genderdifference drivingbehavior' Duration: How long peopletake to do things Time their attention. mayindicate how measures longmenand Exinple: A researcher the paintingof a nudeman womenpausein front of TimemaY of andin front of a painting a nudewoman' or or interestin same crossembarrassment indicate bY eachsex. sexnudity



Because nonreactive measures indicate a constructindirectly,the researcher needs rule to out reasons the observation for other than the constructof interest.For example, researcher a wantsto measure customerwalking traffic in a store.The researcher's measure dirt and wear is on floor tiles. He or shefirst clarifieswhat the customertraffic means(e.g.,Is the floor a path to anotherdepartment? Doesit indicatea good locationfor a visualdisplay?) Next,he or shJsystematicallymeasures dirt or wear on the tiles. comparesit to that in other locations,and recordsresultson a regularbasis(e.g.,every month). Finally,the researcher rules out other reasons the observations for (e.g., floor tile is the of lower quality and wearsfaster,or the location is nearan outsideentrance).

CONTENT ANATYSIS What ls Content Analysis? Content analysis a techniquefor gatheringand is analyzingthecontentof text. The contentlefers to words, meanings, pictures,symbols,ideas, themes,or any message can be communi_ that cated. The text is anything written, visual, or spokenthat serves a medium for communica_ as tion. It includes books,newspaper magazine and articles; advertisements, speeches, official documents,films andvideotapes, musicallyrics,pho_ tographs, articlesof clothing,and works of art. The content analysis researcher usesobjective and systematic countingand recordingprocedures producea quantitativedescriptionof to the symboliccontent in a text.2There are also qualitative or interpretive versionsof content analysis, in this chapterthe emphasis on but is quantitativedataabouta text'scontent. Contentanalysis nonreactive is because the process placingwords, messages, syrnbols of or in a text to communicate a readeror receiver to occurswithout influencefrom the researcher who anallzesits content.For example, asauI,

thor of this book, wrote words and drew dia_ gramsto communicateresearch methodscon_ tent to you, the student.The way the book was written and the way you readit arewithout any knowledge intention of its everbeingcontent or analyzed. Contentanalysis a researcher lets revealthe content (i.e., messages, meanings,etc.) in a sourceof communication (i.e., a book, article, movie, etc.). It lets him or her probe into and discoyercontentin a differentway from the or_ dinaryway of readinga book or watchinga tele_ vrsronprogram. With content analysis,a researcher can comparecontentacross many textsand analyze it with quantitativetechniques (e.g.,chartsand tables).In addition, he or shecanievealaspects of the text's contentthat aredifficult to see. l.or example, you might watch televisioncommer_ cialsand feel that non-Whites rurely appear in commercialsfor expensiv. .orrsrrm", goods (e.g.,luxury cars,furs, jewelry perfumefetc.). Content analysis can document-in obiective. quantitativeterms-whether your vaguefeel_ ings basedon unsystematic observaiionare true. It yields repeatable, preciseresultsabout the text. Content analysis involves random sam_ pling,precise measurement, operational and -Coding de_ finitions for abstractconstructs. turns aspects content that represent of variablis into numbers. After a content analysisresearcher gathersthe data,he or sheanalyzes them with statistics the sameway that an experimenter in or surveyresearcher would. Topics Appropriate for Content Analysis Researchers usedcontentanalysis many have for purposes: studythemesin popular songs to and religioussymbolsin hgnns, trendsin theiopics that newspapers coverand the ideologicaltone of newspaper editorials,sex-rolestereltypesin textbooksor featurefilms, how often peopleof

2 28

pA RTT wo / c o N D u c rl N c QU A N T l rArl vER E S E A R cH

appearin televisioncommercials differentraces and programs,answersto open-endedsurvey questions, enemypropaganda during wartime, personality the coversof popular magazines, in from suicidenotes,themes adcharacteristics in gender differences conververtisingmessages, sations, and so on. make on that Generalizations researchers are the basisof content analysis limited to the cultural communicationitself.Content analysis cannot determinethe truthfulnessof an asserqualitiesof literathe tion or evaluate aesthetic ture. It revealsthe content in text but cannot Researchers interpretthe content'ssignificance. the shouldexamine text directly. is Content analysis usefulfor threetypesof problems.First, it is helpfirl for probresearch lems involving a large volume of text. A relargeamountsof text (e.g., can searcher measure articles)with samplingand yearsof newspaper multiple coders.Second,it is helpful when a For topic must be studied"at a distance." example,contentanalysis be usedto studyhistorcan ical documents,the writings of someonewho in hasdied,or broadcasts a hostileforeigncouncan try. Finally,contentanalysis revealmessages in a text that are difficult to seewith casualobThe creatorof the text or thosewho servation. biases, readit may not be awareof all its themes, For example,authors of or characteristics. preschoolpicture books may not consciously intend to portray childrenin traditional stereoofsex stereotyped sexroles,but a high degree typing has been revealed through content analysis.3 Measurement and Coding is General Issues. Carefirl measurement crucial in content analysisbecausea researcher convertsdiffrrseand murky symboliccommuniquantitativedata. objective, cation into precise, prodesigns documents and He or shecarefully for codingto makereplicationpossible. cedures constructsin operationalizes The researcher A with a coding system. coding content analysis

is system a setof instructionsor ruleson how to and recordcontentfrom observe systematically type of tailorsit to the specific text.A researcher text or communicationmedium being studied (e.g.,televisiondrama,novels,photosin magaetc.). The coding system zine advertisements, unit on alsodepends the researcher's of analysis. in For example, the studyby Lauzenand Dozier in (2005)on genderstereotFpes the most poprrin lar U.S.films in 2002 (discussed Chapter4), based on a the authorsdeveloped codingsystem showsand prior studies prime-timetelevision of film. Units. The unit of analysiscanvarya greatdeal a It in contentanalysis. canbe a word, a phrase, article, a character, theme,a plot, a newspaper reand so forth. In additionto units of analysis, that use searchers otherunits in contentanalysis may or may not be the sameasunits of analysis: recordingunits, contextunits, and enumeration amongthem,and units.Therearefewdifferences but they are easilyconfused, eachhaga distinct all role.In simpleprojects, threearethe same.

in What Is Measured? Measurement content systematic, observation: analysisusesstructured basedon written rules.The carefirlobservation rules explain how to categoize and classifyobcateAs servations. with other measurement, gories should be mutually exclusive and Written rulesmakereplicationposexhaustive. sible and improve reliability. Although rebegin with preliminary coding rules, searchers they often conducta pilot studyand refinecoding on the basisof it. identifr four characteristics Codingsystems of text content: frequency,direction; intensity, from oneto all measures A and space. researcher research in four characteristics a contentanalysis project. simply meanscounting Frequency. Frequency whether or not somethingoccursand, if it ochow many elderly curs,how often.For example, peopleappear a televisionprogramwithin a on



given week? What percentage of all characters are they, or in what percentage of programs do they appear? Direction. Direction is noting the direction of messages the content along some continuum in (e.g., positive or negative, supporting or opposed). For example, a researcherdevisesa list of ways an elderly television character can act. Some are positive (e.g., friendly, wise, considerate) and some are negative (e.g., nasty, dull, selfish). Intensity. Intensity is the strength or power of a messagein a direction. For example, the characteristic of forgetfulness can be minor (e.g., not remembering to take your keys when leaving home, taking time to recall the name of someone you have not seen in years) or major (e.g., not remembering your name, not recognizing your children). Space. A researchercan record the sizeof a text messageor the amount of spaceor volume allocated to it. Spacein written text is measured by counting words, sentences, paragraphs, or space on a page (e.g.,squareinches).For video or audio text, space can be measured by the amount of time allocated. For example, a TV character may be present for a few secondsor continuously in every sceneof a two-hour program. Coding, Validity, and Reliability Manifest Coiling. Coding the visible, surface content in a text is calTed manifestcoding. For example, a researchercounts the number of times a phrase or word (e.g., red) appears in written text, or whether,a specific action (e.g.,a kiss) appears in a photograph or yideo scene.The coaing system lists terms or actions that are then located in text. A researchercan use a computer program to search for words or phrases in text and have a computer do the counting work. To do this, he or shelearns about the computer program, develops a comprehensive list of relevant

words or phrases, and puts the text into a form that computers can read.4 Manifest coding is highly reliable because the phrase or word either is or is not present. Unfortunately, manifest coding does not take the connotations of words or phrases into account. The same word can take on different meanings depending on the context. The possibilitythat there are multiple meanings of aword limits the measurement validity of manifest coding. For example, I read a book with a red cover that is a real red herring. Unfortunately, its publisher drowned in red ink because the editor could not deal with the redtapethatoccurs when a book is redhot. The book has a story about a red fire truckthat stops at redlights only after the leavesturn red.Thereis also a group of Redswho carry red flags to the little red schoolhouse. They are opposed by red-blooded redneckswho eatred meat and honor the red, white, and blue. The main character is a red-nosed matador who fights redfoxes,not bulls, with his redcape. Red-lipped little Red Riding Hood is also in the book. She develops red eyesand becomes red-faced. after eating a lot of redpeppets in the redhghtdistrict. She is given a redbackside by her angry mother, aredhead. In the study of gender stereot)?es in films in 2002, Lauzen and Dozier (2005) largely used manifest coding. Coders coded eachcharacter in a film as male or female, the estimated age of each character in one of7 categories,the occupation ofeach character, and whether a character was formally appointed to provide guidance or direction in a group or informally emgered in su-cha function. Latent Coiling. A researcher asing latent coding (also called semantic analysis) looks for the underlying, implicit meaning in the content of a text. For example, a researcher reads an entire paragraph and decideswhether it contains erotic themes or a romantic mood. The researcher's coding system has general rules to guide his or her interpretation of the text and for determin-

2 3O

pA RTT wo / c o N D U c rtN G e u A N T trA TtvER E S E A R cH

ing whether particular themesor moods are present. Latent codingtendsto be lessreliablethan manifestcoding.It depends a coder'sknowlon and Training, edgeof language socialmeaning.s practice,and written rules improve reliabiliry but still it is difficult to consistentlyidentify moods,and the like. Yet, the validity of themes, latentcodingcanexceed of manifestcoding that peoplecommunicate because meaningin many implicit waysthat dependon context,not just in words. specific researcher useboth manifestand Iacan A the Ifthe two approaches agree, fitent coding. the nal result is strengthened; they disagree, if operaresearcher may want to reexaminethe tional and theoreticaldefinitions. often IntercoderReliability. Content analysis information from a very large involvescoding number of units. A research project might involveobserving contentin dozens books, of the hundredsof hours of televisionprogramming, of In or thousands newspaper articles. addition to coding the information personally,a remay searcher hire assistants helpwith the codto ing. He or sheteaches codersthe codingsystem and trains them to fill out a recordingsheet. follow Codersshouldunderstand variables, the A the codingsystem, askabout ambiguities. and researcher recordsall decisions or shemakes he about how to treat a new specificcoding situation after codingbeginsso that he or shecanbe consistent. A researcher who usesseveral codersmust alwayscheckfor consistency coders.He across or she doesthis by askingcodersto codethe and then checkingfor sametext independently meaconsistenry across coders.The researcher coefsures intercoder reliabilitywith a statistical among ficientthat tellsthe degree consistency of coders.The coefficientis alwaysreportedwith Thereare the results ofcontent analysis research. several intercoderreliabilitymeasures range that from 0 to 1, with 1.0 signifying perfect agreement among coders.An interreliability coeffi-

required,alcent of.80 or better is generally refor though.70maybe acceptable exploratory stretches overa When the codingprocess search. time period (e.g.,more than three considerable reliabilityby also months),the researcher checks codesamples having eachcoderindependently of text that were previouslycoded.He or she or the to lghether codingis stable then checks see changing.For example,six hours of television are episodes codedin April and codedagainin without the coderslooking at their original )uly in Largedeviations codingnecodingdecisions. retrainingand codingthe text a second cessitate time. In the studyof the 100most popularU.S. films of 2002byLauzenandDozier(2005),three During an worked ascoders. graduate students initial training period they studied the coding definitions.Next,the coders andvariable system of.oneanother practiced codingindependent by severalfilms that were not in the study then results. codingof For comparingand discussing study films, 10 percentof all films were double intercoderreliability meacodedto calculate were calIntercorderreliability measures sures. culatedfor eachvariable.For the genderof the in major character the film it was.99,for occuit pation of the chacters was.91,and for the age it of characters was.88.

ContentAnnlysiswithVisual Material. Using to content analysis study visual "text," such as photographs, paintings, statues, buildings, and film, is difficult. It comclothing,andvideos messages emotionalcontent indior municates qrnbols, and metaphors rectlythrough images, Moreover,visual imagesoften contain mixed of at messages multiple levels meaning. on To conductcontent analysis visualtext, must "read" the meaning(s the researcher within visualtext. He or shemust interpretsigns attached syrnbolic to the and discover meanings images. Such"reading" is not mechanical(i.e., heavilyon meansG); it depends imageX always the contextbecause meaningof an the cultural a imageis culturebound. For example, red light

AN CHA P T ER / N ON R EA C T IV E EA R C H D S E C ON D A R Y A LY S IS 9 R ES AN does not inevitablymean "stop"; it means "stop" onlyln cultures where people have given it that meaning. People construct cultural meanings that they attach to syrnbolic images, and the meanings can changeover time. Some meanings are clearer and more firmly attached to s).rnbols and imagesthan others. Most people share a common meaning for key symbols of the dominant culture, but some people mayread a qnnbol differently. For example, one group of people may "read" a national flag to mean patriotism, duty to nation, and honor of tradition. For others, the same flag evokes fear, and they read it to indicate government oppression, abuse of power, and military aggressio4.A researcherpursuing the content analysisof imagesneedsto be aware of divergent readings of symbols for people in different situations or who may have diverse beliefs and experiences. Sociopolitical groups may invent or construct new symbols with attached meanings (e.g., a pink triangle came to mean gay pride). They may wrestle for control of the meaning of major existing symbols. For example, some people want to assigna Christian religious meaning to the Christmas tree; others want it to represent a celebration of tradition and familyvalues without specific religious conten| others seeits origins as an anti-Christian pagan symbol; and still others want it to mean a festive holiday season for commercial reasons. Becauseimages have symbolic content with complex, multilayer meaning, researchersoften combine qualitative judgments about the images with quantitative data in content analysis. For example, Chavez (2001) conducted a content analysisof the coversof major U.S. magazines that dealt with the issue of immigration into the United States.Looking at the covers of 10 magazinesfrom the mid-1970s to the mid1990s,he classified the covers as having one of three major messages:affirmative, alarmist, or neutral or balanced. Beyond his classification and identifring trends in messages, noted he how the mix of people (i.e., race, gender, age,


and dress) in the photographs and the recurrent use of major syrnbols, such as the Statute of Libefty or the U.S. flag, communicated messages. Chavez argued that magazine covers are a site, or location, where cultural meaning is created. Visual images on magazine covers have multiple levels of meaning, and viewers construct specific meanings as they read the image and use their cultural knowledge. Collectively, the covers convey a worldview and expressmessages about a nation and its people. For example, a magazine cover that displayed the icon of the Statute of Liberty as strong and full of compaswelcome immigrants) was altered sion (message: to have strong Asian facial features (message: Asian immigrants distorted the national culture and altered the nation's racial make-up), or holding a large stop sign (message: away imgo migrants). Chavez (2001: a$ observedthat "images on magazines both refer to, and in the process,help to structure and construct contemporary'American' identity." (SeeBox 9.3 for another content analysisexample.)

How to Conduct Content Analysis Research QuestionFormulntion As in most research, content analysis researchers begin with a researchquestion.When the questioninvolves variables that are messages syrnbols, or content analysismay be appropriate.For example,I want to study how newspapers covera political My campaign. construct"coverage" includes the amountof coverage, prominenceof the covthe erage, whetherthe coverage and favorsone candidateoveranother.I could survey peopleabout what theythink of the newspaper coverage, a but is better strategy to examinethe newspapers directlyusingcontentanalysis. Units of Analysis. A researcher decides the on (i.e.,the amount of text that is units of analysis assigned code).For example, a political a for campaign, eachissue(or day) of a newspaper is the unit of analysis.




Two studiesthat examined race-ethnicityand advertising the UnitedStatesillustrate in how content analysis conducted. is Mastro and Stern (2003) wantedto seewhethertelevision repreadvertising sents major racial-ethnic groups proportionateto their presence U.S. in society. Theyexamined onea week randomsampleof prime-time protelevision gramming sixU.S. for (ABC, television networks CBs, NBC,Fox,UPN,and WB) drawnfrom a three-week periodin February 2001. Prime time was Monday .l throughSaturday 8:00 1:00 p.v.ESTand Sunday7:OO-1 1:00 e.r'a. Fourundergraduate studentsweretrainedascoders. Theyusedtwo unitsof analysis:commercial a (excluding localcommercials, politicaladvertisements, trailersfor upcoming and programs) the first three speaking and in characters a commercial. Variables included producttype based on a 3O-product codingscheme, work, setting(e.g., outdoors),relationto product (e.g.,endorse,use, neitheror both), job authority,familystatus,social authority, sexual gazing, affective and cry, state(e.g., showanger, laugh). Other variables included respect shownfor a character, character's and affability age, (friendlyor hostile).The study coded 2,880 commercials with 2,3 1 5 speaking among characters, whom2,290 had a race-ethnicityidentified. Data analysis foundthat African American characters were most often shownadvertising financial services 9 (1 percent)or food (.1 percent), 7 Asians wereassociated with technologyproducts (30 percent),and Latinos were shownsellingsoap (40 percent).In general, Whites wereslightly overrepresented, Blacks equallyrepresented, Asians, but and Latinos, Native Americans underrepresented. example, For Latinos .l are l2 percentof the population had percent but of speaking parts, and were usuallyscantlyclad young peoplewith noticeable accents. The authors said that African Americans in appear commercials in a way that approximates their proportionin the UnitedStates, other racial but are minorities underrepresented limitedto specific or products.

In anotherstudy,Mastroand Atkin (2002) examinedwhetheralcohol advertising promote to brandsand makedrinking appear glamorous influencedhigh schoolstudentswho are too young to They lookedat alcoholsignsand billdrink legally. boardsin a Mexican-American Chicago neighbor hood.Theyfirst photographed outdoorbillboard all and signsconcerning alcoholin the neighborhoo overa two-dayperiodin March'l 999. After a period ofcodertraining, female two graduate students content-analyzed photographs, the codingthe following product type, product name,numberof variables: humanmodels, and the race,age,genderof each model.More subjective-latent aspectsof models codedincluded attractiveness, sexiness, stylishnes friendliness, activitylevel. addition, and In placemen of productsand colorsin the billboard werecoded. Codersalso classified overalltheme of the billan individuality, board as romance, relaxation, sports, Next,a questionnaire deadventure, tradition. or was velopedfor studentsat a high schoolin the neighborhoodwhere89 percentof the studentswere American. Mexican Studentsin grades1 0, 1 1, and .l 2 wereaskedto volunteer complete survey to the .l acrossa three-dayperiod and 23 completedit. items askedabout attention, expoQuestionnaire recall, brandexposure the outdoorsigns and sure, to andbillboards wellasdrinking as intention, approva of underage drinking, and pro-drinking beliefs. Resultsshowedthat a student'srecallof billboardimagesdid not affect his or her drinkingattitudes However, brandexposure accepting themes and the in the billboardswere associated with greaterapprovalof underage drinking. The generalimpacton the studentswas presentbut not strong.The arrthors suggested that the weakimpactwas because there werefew Mexican American modelsand the modelswere older.Also,surveymeasures family of beliefs suggested that the influence ofthe student's familyandculturemayhave weakened billboard's the impacton pro-drinking attitudes.




often Sampling. Researchers userandomsamFirst, they define the pling in content analysis. population and the samplingelement.For example,the population might be all words, all in or sentences, paragraphs, all articles certain all time period. overa specified typesof documents sitit Likewise. could includeeachconversation, ofteleor ofcertaintypes uation,scene, episode time period. vision programsover a specified For example,I want to know how women and minorities are portrayed in U.S. weekly newsis magazines. unit of analysis the article.My My population includesall articlespublishedin Time, Newsweek, and U.S.Newsand World Reportbetween 1985 and 2005.I firstverifrthat the magazines were publishedin thoseyears three what is meantby an "artiand defineprecisely count asartido film reviews cle." For instance, for minimum size(two sentences) Is cles? therea Is a multipart article countedasone an article? or two articles? and I Second, examinethe threemagazines issueof eachcontains45 find that the average are articlesand that the magazines published52 per year.With a 2}-yeartime frame,my weeks articles(3 X population containsover 140,000 frameis x 52 X 20 = 140,400). sampling My 45 on Next,I decide the sama list of all the articles. ple sizeand design. After looking at my budget and time, I decideto limit the samplesizeto Thus,the samplingratio is 1 per1,400articles. I design. avoidsysa cent.I alsochoose sampling issuesare rnagazrne tematic samplingbecause to the calendar published cyclicallyaccording (e.g., intervalofevery52ndissue in results the an from each year).Because issues sameweekeach magazineare important, I use stratified sam= samplingI,40013 pling. I stratif'by magazine, to ensurethat ar467 articlesfrom each.I want eachof the 20 years,so I also ticlesrepresent stratifyby year.This resultsin about 23 articles per per magazine year. Finally, I draw the random sampleusing a 23 random-numbertableto select numbersfor eachmagazineforeach articles for the 23 sample year.I developa samplingframe worksheetto

keep track of my sampling procedure. SeeTable 9.1 for a sampling frame worksheet in which 1,398sample articles are randomlyselected from 140,40I articles. Variables and Constructing Coding Categories. In my example, I am interested in the construct of an African American or Hispanic American woman portrayed in a significant leadership role. I must define "significant leadership role" in operational terms and express it as written rules for classifring people named in an article. the achieveFor example, if an article discusses ments of someone who is now dead, does the dead person have a significant role? What is a significant role-a local Girl Scout leader or a corporate president? I must also determine the race and sex of people named in the articles. What if the race and sex are not evident in the text or accompanyingphotographs? Howdo I decide on the person's raceand sex? BecauseI am interested in positive leadership roles, my measure indicates whether the role was positive or negative. I can do this with either latent or manifest coding. With manifest coding, I create a list ofadjectives and phrases.If someone in a sampled article is referred to with one of the adjectives, then the direction is decided. For example, the terms brilliant and top performer arepositive, whereas drugkingpin and uninspired are negative. For latent coding, I create rules to guide judgments. For example, I classify stories about a diplomat resolving a difRcult world crisis, abusiness executiveunable to make a firm profitable, or a lawyer winning a caseinto positive or negative terms. (Relevant questions for coding each article are in Box 9.4.) In addition to written rules for coding decisions, a content analysis researcher creates a recordingsheef(also called a codingform or tally sheet)on which to record information (seeBox 9.5). Each unit should have a separaterecording sheet.The sheetsdo not have to be piecesofpaper; they can be 3" x 5'' or 4'' X 6" file cards, or lines in a computer record or file. When a lot




FrameWorksheet Excerptfrom Sampling

Time Time Time
a a a

1-7,1985 January

pP.2-3 p. 4, bottom p. 4, top

000001 000002 000003

No No Yes- 1


Time Time Time Tine
o a a

March'f -7,zOOs

p p .2-5 p. 5, right c o l u mn p . 6 ,l eft column p .7

002101 002102 002103 002't04

Y es-l 0 No No No


Time Time Time Newsweek Newsweek
a a a

De c e mb e r4 -3 1 , 2 0 0 5 2

1 J a n u a ry -7 ,1 9 8 5

pp.4-5 p.5,bottom p. 5, top pP.1 -2 p.3

002201 oo2202 oo2203 0 10 0 3 0 0 10 0 3 r

Yes-22 No Y es-23 No Yes- l

0467 0468 0469

U.5. News

2 De c e mb e r5 -3 1 , 2 0 0 5

p .6 2

1 40401

Y es-23


*"Yes" of afterthe dashis a countofthe number table.The number number the waschosen from a random means number for articles selected a year.


of Characteristics the article.What is the magaHow large zine? What is the date of the article? is the article? What was its topic area?Where in Were photographs did it appear the issue? used? in How manypeopleare named 2. People thearticle. howmanyaresignificant in the article? these, Of in the article? What is the raceand sexof each person named?

personin roles. 3. Leadership For each significant

roles? whichoneshaveleadership the article, of or What is the field of leadership profession the person? or roles.For each leadership or 4. Positive negative or role, rate how positively negaprofessional For 5 tivelylt is shown. example, : highlyposi1 2 3 tive,4 = positive, : neutral, : negative, = 0 highlynegative, = ambiguous.



Blank Example Professor Neuman, Sociology Department Minority/MajorityCroup Representation Newsmagazines project in ARTICLE #_ Totalnumber people of named _ No. people with significant roles:_ Person_: Person_: Person_: Person_: Pe r s on' : Person_: Person_: Person_: Race:_ Race:_ Race:_ Race:_ Rac e :_ Race:_ Race:_ Race:_ Cender:_ Gender:_ Cender:_ Cender:_ C e n d e r:_ Cender:_ Gender:_ Cender:_ Leader?:_ Leader?:_ Leader?:_ Leader?:_ Leader?:_ Leader?:
Leader?:_ Leader?:_

Coder: DATE: SIZE:_


Number Photos of ArticleTopic: Field?_ Field?_ Field?_ Field?_ Field?_ Field?_ Field?_ Field?_ Rating:_ Rating:_ Rating:_ Rating:_ Rating:_ Rating:_ Rating:_ Rating:_

Exampleof Completed RecordingSheetfor One Article Professor Neuman, Sociology Department Minority/Majoritycroup Representation Newsmagazines project in

Coder: Susan J. S IZE 14 col .i n. : Number Photos of 0 ArticleTopic:Foreign Affairs

ARTICLE 0454 #

MA C A Z IN E :i me T

D A TEMarch1-2,2005 :

Totalnumber ofpeoplenamed 5 No. peoplewith significant roles:4 Person | Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person _: Person _: Person _: Person _: : : : : Race: White Race: White Race: Black Race: White Race: _ Race: _ Race: _ Race: _ Cender: Cender: Cender: Cender: Cender: _ Cender: _ Cender: _ Cender: M M F F Leader?: y Leader?: N Leader?:y Leader?:y Leader?: _ Leader?: _ Leader?: _ Leader?:

Field? Banking Field? Government Field? CivilRiehts Field?1Qgygryngql Field?_ Field?_ Field? Field?

Rating: 5 Rating: NA Rating: 2 Rating: 0 Rating: _ Rating: _ Rating: _ Rating:

of information is recorded for each recording unit, more than one sheetof paper can be used. When planning a project, researcherscalculate the work required. For example, during my pilot-test, I find that it takes an averageof tS min_

utesto read and codean article.This doesnot include samplingor locating magazine articles. With approximately 1,400articles, that is 350 hours of coding,not countingtime to verifi. the accnracy coding.Because hours is atout of 350


P A Rr r wo

R / c o N D U c rl N c QU A N T ITA TIvEE S E A R cH

nineweeksof nonstopwork at 40 hours a week, as hiring assistants coders. I shouldconsider Eachrecordingsheethas a placeto record the identificationnumber of the unit and spaces for information about eachvariable.I alsoput proidenti$ringinformation aboutthe research it ject on the sheetin case misplace or it looks I similar to other sheetsI have.Finally, if I use the multiple coders, sheetremindsthe coderto intercoder reliability and, if necessary, check to makesit possible recodeinformation for inAfter completingall recording coders. accurate sheetsand checkingfor accuracy,I can begin dataanalysis. lnferences can a The inferences researcher or cannotmake the basisofresultsis criticalin contentanalyon what is in the text. describes sis.Contentanalysis the reveal intentionsof thosewho creIt cannot in that messages the atedthe text or the effects them. For examhaveon thosewho receive text shows that children'sbooks ple,contentanalysis That sexstereotFpes. doesnot necessarcontain are ily meanthat children'sbeliefsor behaviors suchan inference by the stereotypes; influenced projecton how chilresearch a requires separate develop. perceptions dren's

EXISTING STATISTICS/ DOCUMENTS AND SECONDARY ANALYSIS Appropriate Topics Many tlpes of information about the social to world havebeen collectedand are available Someinformation is in the form the researcher. documents(books,reports,etc') of statistical numerical information' Other inthat contain formation is in the form of publishedcompilain tions available a library or on computerized can the In records. eithercase, researcher search of information with a rethrough collections

in questionand variables mind,.andthen search in new waysto adthe reassemble information question. the dress research It is difficult to specifrtopicsthat areapprothey because research priatefor existingstatistics which information are so varied.Any topic on can hasbeen collectedand is publicly available projects be studied.In fact, existingstatistics may not fit neatlyinto a deductivemodel of rer9creatively design.Rather,researchers search into the organize the existing information questionafter first findlouiiubl"rfor a research ing what dataareavailable. i " E*p.ri-ents arebestfor topicswherethe rean controlsa situationand manipulates searcher is bestfor research Survey variable. independent ask questionsand topics where the researcher orbehavior.Conaboutreportedattitudes learns is tent analysis best for topics that involve the in contentof messages culturalcommunication. is research bestfor topics Existingstatistics by that involve information routinely collected Public or prilargebureaucraticorganizations. gather many systematically vate organizations typesof information. Suchinformation is gathIt or eredfor policy decisions asa public service. to related directly for is rarelycollected purposes question.Thus, existingstaa specificresearch is tisticsresearch appropriatewhen a researcher involving variablesthat wantsto test hypotheses are also in official reports of social,economic, and political conditions.Theseinclude descripor tions of organizations the peoplein them. Ofoverlong time ten, suchinformation is collected periods.For example,existingstatisticscan be who wantsto seewhether usedby a researcher in and crimeratesareassociated unemployment a 150citiesacross 2}-yeatperiod' Downey (2005)conductedan existingstatistics study on racial inequality (BlackAVhite) and living near a toxic pollution sitein Detroit. dataon the population/housing He usedcensus and manufacturingdirectoriesof manufacturing facilities.He alsoidentifiedhighly polluting industriesand usedthe EnvironmentalProtecHis inventory of toxic chemicals. tion Agency's



unit of analysiswas the censustract. Downey testedcompetingmodels of environmentalinequalitp (1) racistsiting poliry: toxic siteswere placedin Black residentialareas,(2) economic inequality:low-incomepeoplewho are disproportionatelyBlackmove into areas near toxic sitesbecause they find low-cost housingthere, and (3) residentialsegregation: Whites move into specific areas keepout non-Whites.He and found greatest support for the residential segregation model. Paradoxically, meant that it Blacks wereless likely thanWhitesto live close to a toxic pollution site. This was because Whites had obtainedhousing near the factorieswhere they worked and kept Blacksfrom moving in but those factorieswere the maior sourcei of toxic pqllution. Social Indicators

health and nutrition, public safety,education and training, worh income,cultureand leisure, socialmobilig, and public parricipation. A more specificexampleof a socialindica_ tor is the FBI'suniform crime index.It indicates the amount of crime in U.S.society. Socialindicatorscanmeasure negative aspects social of life, suchasthe infant mortality rate (the deathrate of infants during the first year of life) or alcoholism, or they can indicatepositive aspects, such as job satisfaction the percentae of or housingunits with indoor plumbing. Socialin_ dicatorsoften inyolve implicit valuejudgments (e.g.,which crimes are seriousor what constitutesa good quality of life). Locating Data

LocatingExistingstatistics. The main sources of existingstatistics goyernmentor interna_ are During the 1960s, somesocial scientists, dissatis- tional agencies private sources. enorand An fied with the information available decision mous volume and varietyof information to exists. makers,spawnedthe "social indicators,moveIf you plan to conduct existingstatistics rerment"to develop indicatorsof socialwell-being. search, is wiseto discuss it your interests with an Many hopedthat information aboutsocial weliinformation professional-in this case, refer_ a beingcould be combinedwith widelyusedindiencelibrarian, who can point you in the direc_ cators of economicperformancei..g., gross tion of possible sources. nationalproduct) to better inform government Many existingdocument5nrs ..frss,'_1fin1 and other policymaking officials. Thus, reis, publicly availableat libraries-but the time searchers wantedto measure qualityof social and effort it takesto search specific the for informa_ life so that such information could influence tion can be substantial. Researchers conwho public poliry.6 duct existing statisticsresearchspend many Today,there are many books,articles,and hours in libraries or on the Internet. After the reportson socialindicators,and evena scholarly information is located,it is recorded on cards, journal, SocialIndicatorsResearch, devotedto graphs, recordingsheets lateranalysis. or for Ofthe creationand evaluationofsocial indicators. ten, it is alreadyavailable a format in for comThe U.S. CensusBureau produced a report, putersto read.For example, instead recording of SocialIndicators, and the United Nations has voting datafrom books,a researcher could usea many measures socialwell-beingin different of socialscience data archiveat the UniversiWof nations. Michigan(to be discussed). A socialindicator is any measureof social Thereareso many sources that only a small well-beingusedin poliry. Thereare many spesample ofwhat is available discussed is here.The cific indicators that are operationalizationJ of single-most valuablesourceof statisticalinforwell-being.For example,socialindicatorshave mation about the United States is the Statistical beend€veloped the following areas: for populaAbstractof the United States, which has been tion, family,housing, socialsecurity welfare, publishedannually(with a few exceptions) and since


R T P A RT wo / c o N D U c rl N c QU AN T IT ATIvEE S E A R cH

Abstractis availablein all 1878.The Statistical and on the Internet and can be public libraries of purchasedfrom the U.S. Superintendent compilation of the It is a selected bocuments. tablespromany official reports and statistical It governmentagencies. contains ducedby U.S. information from hundredsof more statistical detailedgovernmentreports'You may want to examinemore specificgovernmentdocuments. in (The detail of what is available government you is mind boggling.For example, documents that thereweretvvoAfrican American canlearn femalesover the ageof 75 in Tucumcari City, NewMexico,in 1980.) The Statistical Abstract has over 1,400 lists from over 200 charts,tables,and statistical It and private agencies. is hard to government it containsuntil you skim through graspall that similar ih" tabl.r. A two-volumesetsummarizes across many years; it is called information of HistoricalStatistics the U.S.:ColonialTimesto 1970. publish similar statistiMost governments Australia's Bureau of Statistics cal yearbooks. Canada o producesYearb ok Australia,Statistics DeNew Zealand's producesCanadaYearbook, OfZealand publishesNew Statistics partmentof andin the United Kingdom,the ficialYearbook, Central StatisticsOffice publishesAnnual AbMany nationspublish books stractof Statistics.T as statistics, well. with historical documents governmentstatistical Locating existsolelyto publications Some is an art in itself. the For the assist researcher. example, American Guide and A Comprehensive Index: Statistics of Publications the U.S. Index to the Statistical A StatisticsSources: Subject Governmentand EduSocial Industrial,Business, Guideto Data on and OtherTopics theU.S'and Financial cation, for Internationqlly are two helpful guidesfor the The United States.s United Nationsand internatheir such tional agencies astheWorld Bankhave statisticalinformation for own publicationswith variouscountries(e.g.,literacyrates,percentage of the labor force working in agriculture,birth Yearbook, the rates)-for example, Demographic

and United NaUNESCOStatisticalYearbook, o Y tionsStatistical earb ok. docuIn addition to governmentstatistical of other publications' ments,there are dozens purposesand Many are producedfor business a high cost.They incan be obtainedonly for clude information on consumerspending,the trends location of high-incomeneighborhoods, like.e and in the economy, the Over a dozenpublicationslist characterisTheseare or tics ofbusinesses their executives. Threesuchpublications found in largerlibraries. are asfollows:

IndustrialBusiPrincipal Dun qndBradstreet 51'000 is nesses a guide to approximately in businesses 135 countrieswith informaofficers, numberof employees, tion on sales, andproducts. involumesfor nacomes WhoOwnsWhom tions or regions(e.g.,North America,the It United Kingdom,Ireland,andAustra'lia). asand subsidiaries, listsparentcompanies, comPanies. sociated of Register Corporations, and Standard Poor's lists about 37,000 Directorsand Executives It U.S.and Canadiancompanies. hasinforproducts,officers, mation on corporations, figures. and sales industries, list sources famouspeoMany biographical provide background information on ple and wants them. Theseareusefulwhen a researcher or the socialbackground,career, to learn about of famousindividuals.The other characteristics that publicationsare compiledby companies to questionnaires peopleidentified as sendout "important" by some criteria. They are public ,o,rt."t of information' but they dependon the of and cooperation accurary indMdualswho are selected. publications. Politicshasits own specialized types.One hasbiographical Therearetwo basic information on contemporarypoliticians.The other type has information on voting, laws en-




of acted,and the like. Here are three examples for politicalinformationpublications the United States: Almanacof AmericanPoliticsis a biannual photographs a and publicationthat includes short biographyof U.S. governmentofficials. Committee appointments, voting records,and similar information are proand vided for membersof Congress leaders branch. in the executive A America Votes: Handbookof Contempodecontains Election Statistics raryAmerican information by county for most statewideand national offices. Primary electionresultsare includeddown to the countylevel. provides Politics on Vital Statistics American political behavior,such dozensof tableson as the campaignspendingof everycanditheir primary and final date for Congress, ratingsby variouspolitical votes,ideological ': organizations, and a summary of voter regby istrationregulations state. Another sourceof public information con(e.g., edubusiness, sists listsof organizations of information general cational,etc.)producedfor obtain can purposes. researcher sometimes A There are membershiplists of organizations. givenby faalsopublicationsof public speeches mouspeople. is analysis SurveyData. Secondary Second.ary it a specialcaseof existing statistics; is the reof analysis previouslycollectedsurveyor other by datathat were originally gathered others.As (e.g.,experiments, opposed primary research to the surveys,and content analysis), focus is on than collecting data. Secondary analryzingrather It usedby researchers. is is analysis increasingly it relatively inexpensive; permits comparisons acrossgroups,nations, or time; it facilitates replication; and it permits askingabout issues not thought ofby the original researchers.

Large-scaledata collection is expensive and difficult. The cost and time required for a major national surveythat usesrigorous techniques are prohibitive for most researchers. Fortunately, the organization, preservation, and dissemination of major survey data sets have improved. Today, there are archives ofpast surveysthat are open to researchers. The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research(ICPSR) at the University of Michigan is the world's major archive of social sciencedata. Over 17,000 survey research and related sets of information are stored and made available to researchers at modest costs. Other centers hold survey data in the United Statesand other nations.lo A widely used source of survey data for the United Statesis the GeneralSocialSurvey (GSS), which has been conducted annually in most years by the National Opinion ResearchCenter at the University of Chicago. In recent years, it has covered other nations as well. The data are made publicly availablefor secondaryanalysisat a low cost (seeBox 9.6).

Limitations Despitethe growth and popularity of secondary data ana\sis and existing statistics research, therearelimitationsin their use.The useof such a is techniques not troublefreejust because govorganizationgathernment agenq/or research ered the data. One danger is that a researcher that dataor existingstatistics may usesecondary quesare inappropriatefor his or her research needs to a tion. Beforeproceeding, researcher considerunits in the data (e.g.,qpes of people, the organizations), time and placeof data colmethodsused, andthe spelection,the sampling Box in or cific issues topicscovered the data(see wantingto exa 9.7).For example, researcher amine racial-ethnic tensionsbetweenLatinos usessecondary and Anglosin the United States data that includes only the Pacific Northwest and New Englandstatesshould reconsiderthe question the useofdata. or




Social Survey(GSS)is the best-known The General for researchers secdatausedby social setof survey GSSis "to make The of ondaryanalysis. mission the data avairrelevant timely,highquality,scientifically community" able to the socialscienceresearch in (Davis and Smith,1 992:1).lt is available many formatsand is widelyaccessible computer-readable are nor codebooks for a low cost. Neitherdatasets them Usersmay copy or disseminate copyrighted. permission. can find results You withoutobtaining and articles usingthe CSSin over 2,000 research books. Center(NORC) OpinionResearch The National has conductedthe CSS almostevery year since a 1972. A typicalyear'ssurveycontains random .l A residents. team sample about ,500 adultU.S. of for selects somequestions inclusion, of researchers questions. researchers recommend can andindividual eachyear, questions and topics They repeatsome cycle,and add includesomeon a four- to six-year .l in years.Forexample, 998, other topicsin specific and topic wasjob experiences religion, the special

and relations multiand in 2000, it wasintergroup culturalism. collectthe data through face-toInterviewers inselects The faceinterviews. NORCstaffcarefully terviewersand trains them in social science About 1 20 methodologyand surveyinterviewing. work on the GSSeachyear. to 1 40 interviewers and mostaremiddle are About 90 percent women, and bilingual minorityinThe NORCrecruits aged. are'racewith respondents Interviewers terviewers. are Interviews typically matchedwith respondents. 500 90 minuteslong and containapproximately rate has been 71 to 79 The response questions. is for percent.The majorreason nonresponse a refusalto participate. conducts Program Survey Social The International with the in surveys other nations.Beginning similar AttitudesSurvey, and ALLBUS BritishSocial Cerman The has participation grownto include33 nations. nabasislarge-scale goal is to conducton a regular quesin surveys whichsomecommon tionalgeneral nations. cooperating across tions areasked

does dangeris that the researcher A second topic. Because not understandthe substantive who researchers the data are easilyaccessible, know very little about a topic could makeerroabout interpretations or neousassumptions false needs Beforeusinganydata,a researcher results. to be well informed about the topic. For example,ifa researcher dataon high schoolgraduses uation ratesin Germanywithoutunderstanding educationsystemwith the Germanysecondary he tracks, or and its distinct academic vocational she may make seriouserrors in interpreting results. A third danger is that a researchermay in quotestatistics greatdetailto givean impression of scientificrigor. This can lead to the which occurs concreteness, fallacy of misplaced of givesa falseimpression preciwhen someone

in sion by quoting statistics greaterdetail than "overloading"the details. exFor warrantedand report that the populaample,existingstatistics but is tion of Australia 19,169,083, it is betterto 19 million. One might saythat it is a little over of calculatethe percentage divorced peopleas of dataanalysis the 2000 in L5.65495 a secondary it is better to report but GeneralSocialSurvey, I are percent people divorced'r of thatabout15.7

Units of Analysisand VariableAttributes, A is commonproblemin existingstatistics finding Many statistics units of analysis. the appropriate not arepublishedfor aggregates, the individual. document a For example, tablein a government (e.g., unemployment rate, has information but crimerate,etc.)for a state, the unit of analysis for the researchquestion is the individual



Almosteverycountryconducts census, a regua or larcountof its population. example, For Australia has 'l d o neso si nce 88. |, Canada i n c e 7 .| , a n dth e s I8 UnitedStates sinceI 790. Most nations conducta census every5 or I 0 years.ln additionto the numcensus officials collectinformation on ber of people, topicssuchas housing conditions, ethnicity, religious affiliation. education. so forth. and The census a majorsourceof high-quality is existingstatistical data,but it can be controversial. In Canada, attempt to count the numberof samean sex coupleslivingtogetherevokedpublicdebate aboutwhether government the should document the changes society.In Creat Britain, in the Muslimminority welcomed questions about religionin the 200,| census because they felt that they had been officially ignored. the UnitedStates, measureIn the ment of raceand ethnicitywashotly debated, in so peoplecould placethemselves in the 2000 census, multipleracial,/ethnic categories. The U.S.2000 census alsogenerated serious a publiccontroversy it because missed thousands of people, mostfrom low-income areas with concentrations of recent immigrants and racialminorities. Somedoublecountingalsooccurred peoplein of highincome areas wheremanyownedsecond homes. A contentious debatearose politicians end among to miscounts usingscientific by sampling adjusting and the census. The politicians provedto be lessconcerned aboutimproving scientific the a-curacy ofthe census than retaining traditional census methods that wouldbenefit theirown political fortunes help or their constituencies, because government the uses census data to draw voting districtsand allocate publicfundsto areas.

obtain raw information on each respondent from archives. A relatedprobleminvolves categories the of variable attributes usedin existingdocuments or questions. survey This is not a problemif the initial data were gatheredin many highly refined The categories. problemarises whenthe original datawere collectedin broad categories ones or that do not matchthe needs a researcher. of For example,a researcher interested peopleof is in Asian heritage.If the racial and ethnic heritage in categories a documentare "White," "Black," and "Other," the researcher a problem.The has "Other" category includespeopleof Asian and otherheritages. Sometimes informationwascollectedin refinedcategories is publishedonly but in broad categories. takesspecial It efFort disto coverwhethermore refined information was or collected is publicly available. Valiility. Validity problems occur when the researcher's theoretical definition does not matchthat of the government agency organior zation that collectedthe information. Official policiesand proceduresspeci$'definitions for official statistics. example,a researcher For defines a work injury as including minor cuts, bruises,and sprainsthat occur on the job, but the official definition in governmentreports only includesinjuries that require a visit to a physician hospital.Many work injuries,asdeor fined by the researcher, would not be in official statistics.Another exampleoccurswhen a researcherdefinespeople as unemployed they if would work if a goodjob wereavailable, they if haveto work part time when theywant full-time work, and if they have given up looking for work. The official definition, however,includes only thosewho are now activelyseekingwork (full or part time) as unemployed.The official statistics excludethosewho stoppedlooking, who work part time out of necessity, who do or not look because they believeno work is available.In both cases, researcher's the definition (seeBox differsfrom that in official statistics 9.8).

(e.g.,"Are unemployed peoplemore likely to commit property crimes?"). The potentialfor committing the ecological fullu.y is very real in this situation.It is lessof a problem for secondary surveyanalysis researchers because can



rate the official unemployment In most countries, (seebelow)asa permeasures the unemployed only cent of all would be 50 percent peoof higherif two othei categories nonemployed part-timeworkersand ple were added:involuntary workers(seebelow).In somecountries discouraged it and UnitedStates), wouldbe nearly Sweden (e.g., Thisdoesnot conthesepeople. aorUt" if it included self-empeople, transitional siderother nonworking (seebelow).What a ployed,or the underemployed deis and countrymeasures a theoreticai conceptual shouldan unemployWhat construct finitionissue: it? and mentrate measure why measure

policyor labor marketperspective An economic those readyto enter saysthe rate shouldmeasure nonworking lt the labormarketimmediately. defines labor,an inputfor peopleas a supplyof high-quality By to available employers. conusein the economy perspective a socialpolicyor humanresource trast, thosewho are not cursaysthe rate shouldmeasure rently workingto their fullest potential.The rate peoplewho are not or cannotfully shouldrepresent or skills, time to the detheir talents, utilize peopleas a socialproblemofindifinesnonworking viduals unable to realizetheir capacity to be of members society. contributing productive,

Categoriesof Nonemployed/FullyUtilized job lack who meetthreeconditions: a paying outsidethe home,are people People Unemployed if to takingactivemeasures find work,can beginwork immediately it is offered. part-time workers Involuntary workers Discouraged Other nonworking or with a job, but workirregularly fewerhoursthanthey areableand People willing. time,but beingunsoughtit for some ableto workandwho actively People ableto find it, havegivenup looking. laid temporarily they are retired,on vacation, Thosenot workingbecause of or students, in the process movfull-time homemakers, off,semidisabled, ing. self-employed Transitional Underemployed they arejust starting full who Self-employed are not working time because aregoingthroughbankruptcy. or a business job overqualthey areseriously full-time for which with Persons a temporary and job a Theyseek permanent in whichthey canfullyapplytheirskills ified. experience.

AdaptedfromTheEconomisl, 22, 199 5, p.7 4. Soarce: July

bery arrestsas a proxy. But the measureis not when offiAnother validity problem arises are manyrobberies not reentirelyvalid because or are cial statistics a surrogate proxy for a condo is struct in which a researcher really interested' ported to the police,and reportedrobberies resultin an arrest. not always cannot because researcher the This is necessary the because A third validity problem arises the collectoriginaldata.For example, researcher lackscontrol overhow information is researcher wants to know how many people have been All collected. information, eventhat in official on policestatistics robrobbed,sohe or sheuses



governmentreports,is originally gathered by peoplein bureaucracies part oftheir jobs.A as researcher depends them for collecting,oron ganizing,reporting, and publishing data accurately.Systematic errors in collectingthe initial information (e.g., peoplewho avoidpoor census neighborhoods and make up information, or peoplewho put a falseageon a driver'slicense); errorsin organizingand reporting information (e.g.,a police departmentthat is sloppy about filing crime reportsand losessome);and errors in publishinginformation (e.g.,a gpographical error in a table)all reduce measurement validity. This kind of problem happened U.S.stain tisticson the numberof peoplepermanentlylaid off from their jobs.A universityresearcher reexaminedthe methodsusedto gatherdataby the U.S.Bureauof Labor Statistics found an erand job ror. Dataon permanent losses comefrom a surveyof 50,000people,but the government agency failedto adjustfor a much highersurvey nonresponse rate.The corrected figuresshowed that instead a 7 percentdeclinein the number of of peoplelaid offbetween1993andl996,ashad beenfirst reported,therewasno change.l2 Rekability. Problems with reliability canplague existingstatistics research. Reliabilityproblems develop when official definitionsor the method of collecting information changes overtime. Official definitions of work injury disability,unemployment,and the like changeperiodically. Evenifa researcher learnsofsuch changes, consistentmeasurement over time is impossible. For example, during the early1980s, method the for calculating the U.S. unemployment rate changed.Previously,the unemployment rate was calculatedas the number of unemployed personsdivided by the number in the civilian work force.The new method divided the number of unemployedby the civilian work force plus the number of peoplein the military. Likewise, when police departmentscomputerize their records, there is an apparentincrease in crimesreported, because not crimeincreases but due to improvedrecordkeeping.

Reliabilitycanbe a seriousproblem in official government statistics. This goes beyondrecognizedproblems,such as the police stopping poorly dressed peoplemore than well-dressed people, hence poorly dressed, lower-income peopleappear more often in arreststatistics. For example,the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found a 0.6 percentincrease the femaleunin employmentrate after it usedgender-neutral procedures. measurement Until the mid-1990s, interviewersaskedwomen only whether they had been "keepinghouseor somethingelse?" The women who answered"keeping house" werecategorized housewives, not unemas and ployed.Because womenwerenot asked, the this occurredevenif the women had been seeking work. Oncewomen were askedthe samequestion as men, "Were you working or something more women saidthey werenot working else?" but doing "somethingelse"suchaslooking for work. This showsthe importanceof methodologicaldetailsin how government statistics get created. Researchers often use official statisticsfor internationalcomparisons nationalgovernbut mentscollectdatadifferentlyand the quality of datacollectionvaries.For example, 1994, in the official unemployment rate reported for the United States 7 percentlapan'swas2.9 perwas cent,and France's was 12percent.If the nations definedand gathered datathe same way,including discouraged workersand involuntary parttime workersrates, rates the would havebeen9.3 percentfor the United States, percentfor 9.6 To |apan,and I3.7 percentfor France. evaluate the quality of official governmentstatistics, The Economist magazine askeda team of 20 leading to statisticians evaluatethe statisticsof 13 nations basedon freedomfrom political interference, reliability, statistical methodology, and coverage oftopics. The top five nationsin order were Canada,Australia, Holland, France,and Sweden.The United Stateswas tied for sixth with Britain and Germany.The United States spentmore per persongatheringits statistics than all nationsexceptAustraliaand it released

2 44

T P A RT w o / c o N D U c rl N G QU A N Tl rA rl vER E S E A R cH

sufThe datathe fastest. quality of U.S.statistics having highly decentralized, fered from being fewer statisticiansemployedthan any nation, on and politically motivatedcutbacks the range of datacollected.l3 MissingData. One problem that plaguesrewho use existingstatisticsand docusearchers the ments is that of missing data. Sometimes, havebeenlost.More frebut datawerecollected The quently,the datawerenevercollected. deciofficial information is made sion to collect to The agencies. decision ask within government whosedataarelater made questions a survey on publicly availableis made by a group of rethosewho decidewhat In searchers. both cases, collect what another reto collect may not a needsin order to address research searcher start agencies or stopcolquestion. Government lecting information for political, budgetary or For example,during the early other reasons. by cost-cuttingmeasures the U.S.federal 1980s, governmentstoppedthe collectionof much inhad found formation that social researchers

valuable. Missing information is especiallya coverlong time periproblemwhen researchers in interested the a ods.For instance, researcher and strikes in the number of work stoppages to can United States obtain datafrom the 1890s the present,exceptfor a five-yearperiod after 1911when the federalgovernmentdid not colBox 9.9 for an existingstatislect the data.(See tics example.)



ability to infer causalityor t€st a A researcher's theory on the basisof nonreactivedata is limto measures ited.It is difficult to useunobtrusive temporal order and eliminatealternaestablish tive explanations.In content analysis,a refrom the content to cannot generalize searcher its effectson thosewho read the text' but can only usethe correlationlogic ofsurvey research

first An androgynous nameis one that canbe for eithe ther a girl or boy without clearlymarking child's demovement gender. Somearguethat the feminist in gendermarking a child'snameas part of creased to influence reducegenderdisits broadersocietal that gender Othersobserve tinctionsandinequality. of feature nampredominant the remains single-most groupsor sowhenracial Even most societies. ing in the new first names, inventdistinctive cial classes are genderdistinctions retained. ex(2000) examined and Lieberson colleagues isting statisticaldata in the form of computerized births of fromthe birth certificates 1 1 million records from 1 91 5 to in of Whitechildren the stateof lllinois are first 1 989. Theyfoundthat androgynous names

rare (about 3 percent)and that there has been a very slight historicaltrend toward androgyny,but giveanparents ln years. addition, onlyin veryrecent drogynousnamesto girls more than to boys' and a (i.e., name is in segregation naming unstable gender over time). meaning tends to lose its androgynous The authorsnoted that the way parentsnam€chilfoundto behavior a drenmimics patternof collective theracialsegrega area: operatein anotherresearch is Changein residence untion of neighborhoods. among raceswith less movementby the equal group movesto dominantgroup;the lesspowerful occupyareasthat the dominantgroup has aban with new segre is doned;and integration unstable, aftersometime. gationreappearing

CHA P T ER ,/ N ON R EA C T IV E 9 RESEARC H N D S E C O N D A R Y N A L Y S I S A A to show an association among variables. Unlike the easeofsurvey research,a researcherdoes not ask respondents direct questions to measure variables,but relies on the information available in the text.


EthicalConcerns Ethical concerns not attheforefront most are of
nonreactiveresearch because peoplebeing the studied are not directly involved. The primary ethicalconcernis the privacyand confidentiality of usinginformation gathered someone by else. Another ethicalissueis that official statistics are social and political products. Implicit theories andvalueassumptions guidewhich information is collected the categories and usedwhengathering it. Measures statistics or that are definedas official and collectedon a regularbasisare objectsof political conflict and guidethe direction of policy. By defining one measureas official, public policy is shapedtoward outcomesthat would be difFerentif an alternative,but equally valid, measure had beenused.For example, the collectionof information on many socialconditions (e.g.,the number of patientswho died while in public mentalhospitals) wasstimulated by political activityduring the GreatDepression of the 1930s. Previously, conditionswerenot the defined as sufficiently important to warrant public attention. Likewise,information on the percentage non-White studentsenrolled in of U.S. schools at various agesis availableonly since 1953,and for specificnon-White races only sincethe 1970s. Earlier,such information wasnot salientfor public policy. Thecollectionof officialstatistics stimulates new attentionto a problem,and public concern abouta problemstimulates collectionof new the officialstatistics. example, For drunk driving becamea biggerissue oncestatistics werecollected on the number of automobileaccidents and on whetheralcoholwasa factor in an accident. Political and socialvaluesinfluencedecisions about which existing statistics collect. to Most officialstatistics designed top-down are for

bureaucraticor administrative planning purposes. They may not conform to a researcher's purposes the purposes peopleopposedto or of bureaucratic decisionmakers.For example, a government agencymeasuresthe number of tons of steelproduced,miles of highwaypaved, and average number of peoplein a household. Information on other conditionssuchasdrinking-waterqualiry time neededto commute to work, stress relatedto a job, or number of children needingchild caremaynot be collected becauseofficials say it is unimportant. In many countries,the grossnational product (GNp) is treatedasa critical measure ofsocietalprogress. But GNP ignoresnoneconomic aspects social of life (e.g., time spentplayingwith one'schildren) and qpes of work (e.g., housework) that arenot paid. The information available reflects outthe come of political debateand the valuesof officialswho decidewhich statistics to

c oN c t u s t o N
In this chapter, you have learned about several types of nonreactive research techniques. They are ways to measure or observe aspectsof social life without affecting those who are being studied. Theyresult in objective, numerical information that can be analyzed to address research questions. The techniques can be used in conjunction with other tlpes of quantitative or qualitative social research to address a large number of questions. As with any form of quantitative data, researchersneed to be concerned with measurement issues. It is easy to take available information from a past survey or government document, but what it measuresmay not be the construct of interest to the researcher. You should be aware of two potential probIems in nonreactive research.First, the availability of existing information restricts the questions that a researchercan address. Second, the nonreactive variables often have weaker validity because they do not measure the construct of


RESEARCH T P A RT wo / c o N D U c rl N G QU AN T l rA rl vE (1984'1985) 4' StoneandWeber (L992)andWeber

secinterest. Although existing statisticsand tecnarelow-costresearch ondarydataanalysis lacks control over' and ;i.que;, the researcher substantialknowledge oi, int a"o collection ot erThis Drocess. introducesa potentialsource 'rors about which researchers need to be especiallyvigilant and cautious' i" ire next chapter,we move from designprojectsand collectingdata-toanaing research techniquesapply to the liins. datu.The'analysis you learnedaboutin the previJrru"iituti". data how to move o.r, .haptets.Sofar, you haveseen measures' design-and research from a iopic, to a how to Next, you will le-arn to collectingdata. what theycantell you about look at dataand see question' or a hypothesis research

Ke y T e r m s
accretion measures coding coding system content analYsis erosion measures fallacy of misplacedconcreteness General SocialSurveY(GSS) latent coding manifest coding nonreactive recording sheet StatisticalAbstract of the United States structured observation text unobtrusive measures

(1981:7-11)' and 1. SeeWebb colleagues Holsti i. po, a.n"itions of content analysis'see -' (r980t2r-24)' (isas,sgz),Krippendorff -Yi:\"tr (1974:5-6),Stone and Weber and associates 1985:81' 1l' (1983, 1984, (1992),andWeber "9tt in (1972)is a classic this W.iz-att andcolleagues e. typeofresearch.

techcontentanalysis r"*-uti""a computerized niques. ofrelifor 5' S". end."n (1981:58-66) a discussion in content analysis uUifiy. Coai"g categorization in is discussed Holsti (1969:94-126)' in 6. A of socialindicatorscanbe found (1966)'Duncan Carley(1981).Also seeBauer Justerand Land (1981)'Land 098i:233-235), and Gilmartin (1980)' itssz),and Rossi yearbook are alsoproduced; 7' iufu"y "o"-n"glish Iahrbuchfor the Federal .lu*pt", itatistiches fo, de la n prrUti.'of Cermany'AnnuaireStatistique for YearBookAustralia Aus-, for France France, Ti tralia, and Denmark'sStatiskisk Arsoversrgt' versionof its yearbook p.oa"..s an English iupun of Handbook lapan' .uU.a tn. Statistical ofvarious govpublications 8. Guidesexistfor the example' the Guide to British ".rr-.ntr-for publications, alian OfficialPubAustr Ciuun*r"t Similar irotlonr, atd lrish Official Publications' mostnations' exist publications for (1984) and (1983:140-167) Stewart 9. 3eeChurchilt informationsources' for listsof business include of 10. dift* *q"t u.S. archives surveydata Center'University Research ttr. Natio"a Opinion Center' Univerof Chi.ugo, the SurveyResearch Scithe of C"alifornia-Berkeley; Behavioral. sity of Cincinnati;Data University Laboratory, ences University of Wis-*d Ptogr"- tiLrary Service, the RoperCenter'Universityof consin-iltadison; for ReConnecticut-Storrs;and the Institute of North CarUniversity Science, in search Social Nathan olina-ChapelHill. Also seeKiecolt and cel(1992)' ( 1985)andPar see oftheseissues, Daleand coll l . fo. a dlrcr'rsrion and Parcel Maier(1991)' i.*".. (1988:27-3t), a gives good-discussion 0;g2). Horn (1993:138) con*ltt ."u-pt.s of the fallacyof misplaced creteness. (1996). Stevenson 12. See "The Good statisticsGuide" ;;. ;;; TheEconomisr, HouselI, lg93), "The Overlooked (September 5,1994),and "FewerDamned (February t..p*" (March30' I996)' Lies?" (1984)' 14. SeeBlock and Burns (1986)'Carr'Hill and Maier (1991)' (1g73),Horn(1993)' Hindess denBergandVanderVeer(1985)' Van

Analysis Quantitative of Data

Introduction Dealing with Data CodingData Entering Data Cleaning Data Resultswith One Variable Frequency Distributions Tendency Measures Central of Measures Variation of Results with Two Variables A Bivariate Relationship Seeing Relationship: Scattergram the The Tables Bivariate Measures Association of More Than Two Variables Statistical Control The Elaboration Modelof Percentaged Tables MultipleRegression Analysis lnferential Statistics The Purpose Inferential Statistics of Statistical Signifi cance Levels Significance of Type I and Type ll Errors Conclusion





it However, getscomplexwhen sheets. recording or not well organized not originally in the dataare developrules of numbers' Researchers the form on report or articlebased Ifyou reada research certain numbers to variableattributes' to assign quantitative data,you will probably find charts' malesas1 and fecodes a For example, researcher firll andtables ofnumbers.Do notbe ingraphs, of 2.Eachcategory a variableand missmalesas provides the ii-idut.d by them. A researcher is A codebook a to and charts,graphs, tables giveyou, the reader' ing information needsa code. the describing (i.e.,oneor morepages) do=cument picture ofthe data.The chartsand a condensed procedureand the location of data for tablesallow you to seethe evidencecollected' coding computerscanuse' in When you collect your own quantitativedata, variables a format that to you code data, it is essential creWhen to yoo *ill want to usesimilar techniques help detailedcodebookand ate a well-organized, what is insidethe data'You will needto you see make multiple copiesof it. If you do not write and organize manipulatethe datasothey can redown the detailsof the coding procedure,or if veal things of interest.In this chapter,you will you misplacethe codebook,you havelostthe of learn the fundamentals organizingand anakey to thi dataand may haveto recodethe data llzingqaantitative data. The analysisof quantiagain. This tativedatais a complexfield of knowledge. begin to think about a coding Researchers concepts only the basicstatistical chaptercovers and codebook before they collect procedure to necessary untechniques and data-handling precodes a iutu. Fot example, surveyresearcher socialresearch. derstand Precoding beforecollectingdata. a questionnaire in Data collectedusing the techniques the (e.g.,1 for ttt."trr placingthe codecategories past chaptersare in the form of numbers.The Some-' female)on the questionnaire.' male,2 for numberi representvalues of variables'which on reducedependence a codebook, respondents, times, to of characteristics subjects, measure also surveyresearchers placethe location in the The or other cases. numbersare in a raw form, on the questionnaire' note pads,recordingsheets' computerformat on questionnaires, the does ifa researcher not precode, first step them into a reorganize or paper.Researchers after collecting data is to createa codebook.He form suitablefor computers,presentchartsor an or shealsogiveseachcase identification numand intergraphsto summarizetheir features, Next, the researcher ofthe cases. ber to keeptrack meaningto the results. pret or givetheoretical information from eachquestiontransfersthe can naireinto a format that computers read' DEALING WITH DATA Coding Data quantitativedata examines Beforea researcher he hlpotheses, or sheneedsto otganlze to test the them in a different form' You encountered of codingdatain the lastchapter'Here,data idea codingmeanssystematicallyreotganizingraw to numericaldatainto a format that is easy anacreateand computers.Researchers lyze using consistentlyapply rules for transferringinformation from one form to another. taskwhenthe Codingcanbea simpleclerical reiorded asnumberson well-organized dataare Entering Data for Most computer programsdesigned statistical datain a grid format. In the grid' needthe analysis a each row represents respondent,subject,or sperepresents or a setof columns A case. column It is possibleto go from a column cific variables. row 7' column 5) backto and row location(e.g., of dutu (e.g.,a questionnaire the original source 8). for item on maritalstatus respondent surveydata codes a researcher For example, in for threerespondents a format for computers cannot in Figure10.1.People like that presented




Coded Data for Three Cases and Codebook

Exerpt from SurveyQuestionnaire Respondent lD

Interviewer Name

Notethe Respondent's Sex: _ Male _ Female .l Thefirst question aboutthe president the UnitedStates. you Strongly is ' of Do Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree, Have Opinionaboutthe following or No statement: The President the UnitedStates doinga greatjob. of is strongAgree Agree Disagree strong Disagree _ No opinion 2. Howold areyou? Excerpt ofCoded Data Column 000000000111111111122222222223333333333444... etc. (tens) 01 212736302 18273827410239 18.8239+7+61 ... etc. 02 2133348211249881542124218.213984123... etc. 03 420123982113727263 12345 17.361487645...etc. etc. Raw datafor first threecases, columns through 1 42. Excerpt from Codebook Column VariableName

4s 8' 4s6? ry I I 6! glr3 6? 0113 8e !'

Description Respondent identification number Interviewer collected data: who the I = Susan 2= X i a 3 : Juan 4 : Sophia 5 : Clarence Interviewer reportof respondent's sex ' l = Mal e,2= Femal e The president the UnitedStates of is doinga greatjob. 1 = StronglyAgree 2 : Agree 3 : No Opinion 4 = Disagree 5 = Strongly Disagree = Blank missing information

1-2 3 4

ID BLANK Interviewer

Sex PresJob



easilyread it, and without the codebook,it ts answers 50 survey to worthless.It condenses into threelines questions three respondents for projects or rows.The raw datafor manyresearch look like this, except that there may be over 1,000rows, and the lines may be over 100 columns long. For example,a l5-minute telea produces grid of phonesurveyof250 students datathat is 250rowsby 240columns. The codebookin Figure 10.1saysthat the first two numbers are identification numbers. for Thus,the exampledataare the first (01)' secNotice ond (02), and third (03) respondents. as use that researchers zeroes placeholdersto reduceconfusionbetweenI and 01.The ls areaIwaysin column 2; the 10sarein column 1. The that column 5 containsthe varicodebooksays 1 able"sex":Cases and2 aremaleand Case3 is female.Column 4 tells us that Carlos inter3. 1 viewedCases and 2, and SophiaCase There are four waysto get raw quantitative datainto a computer:

the reader transfer into then usea bar-code into a comPuter. formation Cleaning Data

Accuracyis extremelyimportant when coding data.Errorsmadewhen codingor enteringdata the into a computerthreaten validityof measures who results.A researcher misleading and cause and no perfectsample,perfectmeasures' has a errorsin data,butwho makes errorsin gathering process in entering datainto a or the coding project. computer,canruin a wholeresearch ververycarefulcoding,the researcher After or of coding, "cleans"the data. ifiesthe acctracy He or shemay codea 10 to 15 percentrandom sampleof the data a secondtime. If no coding proceeds; ifhe or errors appear,the researcher the researchbrrechecksall she finds errors' coding. When the data are in the computer' recode Possible verify codingin two ways. searchers involveschecking checkireg) code cleaning(orwild the categoriesof all variables for impossible l. Codesheet.Gatherthe information, then sex respondent is coded1 = For codes. example, transferit from the original sourceonto a = Female. Finding a 4 for a casein the Male, 2 Next, type what is grid format (codesheet). field for the sexvariableindicatesa coding error. on the codesheetinto a computer,line by cleaning(ot A second method, contingency line. involvescross-classifying checking), consistency includingCATL As inmethod, 2. Direct-entry and two variables looking for logicallyimpossible formation is being collected,sit at a comeducationis crossFor while listeningto/observing combinations. example, puter keyboard If a respondent is classifiedby occupation. the information and enterthe information, the as recorded neverhavingpassed eighthgrade enter the inor have a respondent/subject medical asbeinga legitimate andalsois recorded The computer formation himselfor herself. for checks a codingerror. doctor,the researcher must be preprogrammedto accept the can A researcher modifr dataafterthey are information. in the computer.He or shemay not usemore re3. Opticalscan.Gatherthe information, then than wereusedwhen cotlecting fined categories (or enter it onto optical scansheets havea the original data,but may combineor group inenter the information) respondent/subject may formation. For example,the researcher by filling in the correct"dots." Next, usean data into five ordinal group ratio-levelincome or optical scanner readerto transferthe inAlso,he or shecancombineinformacategories. formation into a comPuter. a tion from severalindicators to create. new 4. Bar code.Gathetthe information and conto severalquesvariable or add the responses vert it into different widths of bars that are with specificnumerical values, tionnaireitemsinto an index score. associated



R ESU tTS WITH ONE V A RIA B IE Frequency Distributions

Measuresof Central Tendency

Researchers often want to summarize infor_ the mation aboutonevariableinto a singlenumber. The word statistics can mean a set of collected They usethreemeasures centraltlndencv, or of (e.g.,numberstelling how many peo_ measures the center of ofthe frequency distribu_ "."T!"ry ple live in a city) aswell as a 6ranch of apiUea tion: mean,median,and mode,which are often mathematicsusedto manipulate and summa_ calTed.averages (a lesspreciseand lessclearway rize the features numbers.Socialresearchers of sayingthe same of thing). Eachmeasure cen_ of useboth typesof statistics. Here,we focuson the tral.tendencygoeswith data having a specific secondt'?e-ways to manipulateand summa_ levelof measurement (see Table10.i. rizenumbersthat represent datafrom a research The modeis the easiest useand can be to project. used with nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio Descriptive statistics descnbe numerical data. data. It is simply the most common or fre_ They can be categonzed the number of vari_ by quently occurring number. For example,the ablesinvolved: univariate,bivariate,or multi_ mode of the followinglist is 5: 6 5 7 t0 9-53 5. A variate (for one, two, and three or more distribution canhavemore than one mode.For variables).[Jnivariatestatisticsdescnbe vari_ example, modeof this list is b oth5 and,7:5 one the 6 able (uni- refersto one;-variaterefersto vari_ I 2 5 7 4 7.If the list getslong, it is easy spot to able).The easiest to describe numerical the mode in a frequericy way the distributionij"" frof. dataof one variableis with a distribu_ for the most frequentscore. frequency Therewill always be tion. It canbe usedwith nominJ-, ordinal_,in_ at leastone case with a scorethat is equalto the terval-,or ratio-leveldataand takes manyforms. mode. For example, havedatafor 400 respondents. I The medianis the middle point. It is alsothe I can summarizethe information on the gender 50th percentile, or the point at which half the of respondents a glance at with a raw co.rirto. u cases above andhalfbelowit. It canbe used are it frequencydistribution (seeFigure with ordinal-, interyal-, or ratio_level l1-..."jug. data (but 10.2).I can presentthe sameinformatioi in not nominal level).you can..eyeball', mode, the graphic form. Somecommon typesof graphic but computing a median requiresa little more representations the histogram, chart, and. work. The easiest are bar way is firit to organizethe pie chart.Bar chartsor gtaphsare usedfor dis_ scores from highestto lowest,then co-unt tire to cretevariables. They canhavea verticalor hori_ middle. If thereis an odd number of scores, is it zontal orientation with a small spacebetween simple.Seven peoplearewaiting for a bus;their the bars.The terminologyis not elact, but his_ ages 121720 27 30 55 g0.Themedianage are: is togramsareusuallyupright bar graphs inter_ for 27.Note that the mediandoesnot change eaiily. val or ratio data. Ifthe 55-year-oldand the g0-year-old 6oth got For interval-or ratio-leveldata,a researcher on one bus, and the remaining people wlre often grqups the information into categories. joined bytwo 31-year-olds, the rneaianremains The.grouped categories should be mutujly ex_ unchanged. Ifthere is an evennumber of scores, clusive.Interval- or ratio-level data are often thingsarea bit more complicated. example, For plotted tn afrequency polygon.In it the number ut a bus stop hive the following aies: :T^p^.9!t of cases frequencyis along the vertical axis, or 1720 26 30 50 70.The medianis somewhe-re"be_ and the values ofthe variableor scores along are tween 26 and 30. Compute the median by the horizontalaxis.A polryon appears when the adding the two middle scores togetherand di_ dotsareconnected. viding by 2, or 26 + 30 = 5612=26.The median




FIcURE 1 0.2

Statistics of Examples Univariate
PercentageFrequencyDistribution Percentage Gender
Male Female Total

RawCount FrequencyDistribution FrequencY Gender Ma le Female Total

100 300 400

2s% 7s% 100%

Bar Chart of SameInformation
Males Females

Distribution Exampleof Grouped Data Frequency N FirstJob Annual lncome Under 000 $5, $5, 000t o $9, 999 t $ 10, 000 o $. 15, 99 9 t $ 15, 000 o $19, 99 9 $20,000to $29,999 $30.000 andover

Exampleof FrequencyPolygon Frequency 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10

25 50 100 150 50 25 400












etcD63891 -0.80668 4

IndividualIncome(in Thousandsof Dollars)



TABTE 1 0.1

MeasuresofCentral Tendencyand Levels of Measurement

mode the lowest. If most cases have higher scoreswith a few extremelow scores,the mean will be thelowest,the medianin the middle,and the mode the highest.In general, median is the bestfor skewed distributions, althoughthe mean is usedin mostotherstatistics Figure10.3). (see Measuresof Variation

Nominal Ordinal Interval

Yes Yes Yes


Measures centraltendenryarea one-number of summary of a distribution; however,they give Yes Yes only its center. Anothercharacteristic a distriof Ratio Yes Yes Yes bution is its spread,dispersion, variability or around the center.Two distributionscan have identicalmeasures centraltendencybutdif[er of in their spreadabout the center.For example, peopleare at a bus stop in front ofa bar. seven ageis 28,eventhough no personis 28 yearsold. Theirages 25 2627 3033 3435.Boththemeare Note that thereis no mode in the list of six ages dian and the meanare30.At a bus stop in front because eachpersonhasa differentage. of an ice cream store,sevenpeoplehave the The mean,also calledthe arithmetic averidenticalmedianand mean,but their ages 5 are age,is the most widely usedmeasure central of 1020 30 40 50 55.Theages ofthe groupin front tendency.It can be ttsedonly with interval- or of the ice creamstorearespread more from the ratiolevel data.2 Computethe meanby adding center,or the distribution hasmore variability. up all scores, then divide by the number of Variability has important socialimplicascores. example, mean agein the previFor the tions. For example,in city X, the median and ous example 17 + 20 + 26 + 30 + 50 + 70 = is meanfamily income is $35,600 year,and it per = 213;21316 35.5. onein thelist is 35.5years has zero variation. Zero yariatiorz No meansthat old, and the meandoesnot equalthe median. everyfamily has an income of exactly$35,600. The meanis stronglyaffected changes by in CityYhasthesame medianandmeanfamilyinextreme (verylargeor very small).For exvalues come, but 95 percentof its familieshave inample,the 50- and 7}-year-oldleft and wererecomesof $12,000 yearand 5 percenthave per placedwith two 31-year-olds. The distribution incomesof $300,000 year.CityX hasperfect per now lookslike this: 1720 26 30 3t 31.The meincomeequality,whereas thereis greatiniqualdian is unchanged: The meanis IT + 20 + 26 28. ity in city Y. Aresearcher who doesnot know the + 30 + 3l + 3I = 155;15516 25.8. = Thus,the variabilityof incomein thetwo citiesmisses very meandroppeda greatdealwhen a few extreme important information. values wereremoved. Researchers measurevariation in three If the frequenrydistribution forms a "norways:range,percentile, and standarddeviation. mal" or bell-shaped curve,the threemeasures of Rangeis the simplest.It consistsof the largest centraltendency equaleachother.Ifthe distriband smallest scores. example,the rangefor For ution is a skewed distribution(i.e.,more cases are the bus stop in front of the bar is from 25 to 35. in the upper or lower scores), then the threewill or 35 - 25 = I0 years.If the 35-year-old got not be equal.If most cases havelower scores onto a bus and was replacedby a 60-year-old, with a few extreme high scores, meanwill be the the rangewould change 60 - 25 = 45 years. to the highest,the median in the middle, and the Range limitations.For example, has herearetwo



FIcURE 1 0.3

Measures ofCentralTendency
Normal Distribution

Number of Cases


Valuesof Variables


SkewedDistributions ModeMedianMean MeanMedian Mode

groups sixwith a range 35years: 3030 30 of of 30 3065 and20 4546 48 50 55. Percentiles the scoreat a specificplace tell within the distribution. One percentileyou arreadylearnedis the median,the 50thpercentile. Sometimes 25th and 75thpercentiles the the or 10th and 90th percentiles usedto describe are a distribution.For example, 25th percentileis the the scoreat which 25 percentof the distribution haveeitherthat scoreor a lower one.The computation of a percentile followsthe same logic as the median.If I have100peopleandwantto find the 25th percentile. rank the scores I and count up from the bottom until I reachnumber 25. If the total is not 100,I simply adjustthe distribution to a percentage basis. Standarddeviationis the most difficult to computemeasure dispersion; is also the of it mostcomprehensive widelyused. and The range and percentile for ordinal-, interval-,and raare tio-level data, but the standarddeviationrequiresan intervalor ratio levelof measurement.

It is based on the mean and gives an "average distance" between all scoresand the mean. People rarely compute the standard deviation by hand for more than a handful of casesbecause computers and calculators can do it in seconds. Look at the calculation ofthe standard deviation in Figure 10.4.If you add up the absolute difference between eachscore and the mean (i.e., subtract each score from the mean), you get zero. This is becausethe mean is equally distant from all scores.Also notice that the scores that differ the most from the mean have the largest effect on the sum ofsquares and on the standard deviation. The standard deviation is used for comparison purposes. For example, the standard deviation for the schooling of parents of children in classA is 3.317years;for classB, it is 0.812;and for class C, it is 6.239. The standard deviation tells a researcherthat the parents ofchildren in classB are very similar, whereasthose for classC are very different. In fact, in classB, the schoo'-




TheStandard Deviation

Stepsin Computing the StandardDeviation 1. Compute mean. the 2. Subtract the meanfrom eachscore. 3. Square resulting the difference eachscore. for 4. Totalup the squared differences get the sumofsquares. to 5. Dividethe sumof squares the numberof cases get the variance. by to 5. Take square the root ofthe variance, whichis the standard deviation. Exampleof Computing the StandardDeviation = variable yearsof schooling] [8 respondents, Score
Score - Mean

Squared (Score - Mean)

15 12 12 .t0 16 18 8 9

15-12.5= 2.5 12-12.5=-0.5 12-12.5:-0.5 10-'12.5:-2.5 16-12.5: 3.5 .r8-12.5= 5.5 8-12.5= 4.5 9-12.5=-3.5

6.25 .25 .25 6.25 12.25 30.2s 20.25 12.25

: Mea n='1 5+ 12 + 12+ l0+ 16+ 18+ 8+ 9 = 100,1OO / 8 1 2 . 5 : Sumof squares 6.25 + .25 + .25 + 6.25 + 12.25+ 30.25 + 20.25 + 12.25= 88 .11 : = Variance Sumof squares/Number cases 88/8 = of = Square = Standard deviation root ofvariance 11= 3.317years. Hereis the standard deviation the form of a formula in with svmbols. Svmbols: X = SCORE case of = VEltt X Formulaj I = Sigma (Greek letter)for sum,add together N= Numberof cases

= Standard deviation ttfx VN



aThere a slightdifference the formula is in depending whether on one is using datafor the population or a sample estimate population to the parameter

ing of an "average" parent is less than a year above or below than the mean for all parents, so the parents are very homogeneous. In class C, however, the "average" parent is more than six years above or below the mean, so the parents are very heterogeneous.

The standard deviation and the mean are used to create z-scores.Z-scoreslet a researcher compare two or more distributions or groups. The z-score, also called a standardizedscore,expressespoints or scoreson a frequency distribution in terms of a number of standard deviations

25 6

pART Two

, / c oNDUc r lNc


are from the mean.Scores in termsof their relative position within a distribution, not as absolutevalues. managerin firm Katy, a sales For example, Mike in firm per A, earns$50,000 year,whereas per B earns$38,000 year. Despitethe absolute them,the managers betvveen incomedifferences are paid equally relativeto others in the same firm. Katy is paid more than two-thirds of other in employees her firm, and Mike is also paid in more than two-thirds of the employees his firm. from the mean to Z-scores easy calculate are deviation(seeBox 10.1).For exand standard ample, an employer interviews studentsfrom

Kings Collegeand QueensCollege.Shelearns are that the colleges similar and that both grade Yet, 4.0scale. the meangrade-pointaverage on a deviation is at KingsCollege 2.62with a standard at the whereas meangrade-pointaverage of .50, deviation is College 3.24with a standard Queens that gradesat of .40. The employersuspects from Kings are College inflated.Suzette Queens of has a grade-pointaverage 3'62, and College avhas College a grade-point ]orgefrom Queens of 3.64. Both studentstook the same erage wantsto adjustthe grades The courses. employer (i.e., of the gradingpractices the two colleges for zShe calculates scores). standardized create by subtractingeachstudent'sscorefrom scores

I Personally,do not like the formulafor z-scores, whichis: = Deviation, Z-score (Score- Mean)/Standard or in symbols:






+1 +2 +3


deviation E where:X= score,X= mean, = standard that diagram conceptual relyon a simple I usually does the samething and that showswhat z-scores data on the agesof schoolchildreallydo. Consider deviation renwith a meanof Z yearsand a standard of the Howdo I compute z-score 5-yearof 2 years. z-score or old Miguel, whatif I knowthat Yashohda's I needto knowher agein years?First,I is a *2 and draw a little chart from -3 to *3 with zero in the a at value zero,because zI middle. will put the mean dismeasure scoreof zerois the meanand z-scores virtually tanceaboveor belowit. I stop at 3 because of deviations the mean fall allcases within3 standard The in mostsituations. chartlookslikethis:

Now, I labelthe valuesof the meanand add or from it. One standard deviations subtractstandard abovethe mean(+1) whenthe meanis 7 deviation is deviation 2 yearsis just 7 -l 2, or 9 and standard Thisis because I For years. a -2 z-score,put 3 years. of it is 2 standarddeviations, 2 years each (or 4 years),lowerthan the Meanof 7. My diagramnow lookslikethis: 357 1 rl l l l l l 9 11 13 agei nY ears

-3 -2 -1 0 + 1 + 2 + 3
who is 5 yearsold, It is easyto seethat Miguel, of z-score Yashohda's of hasa z-score - 1 , whereas 'l 1 yearsold. I can readfrom zto *2 corresponds suchqs For scoreto age,or ageto z-score. fractions, to fraction. - 1 .5, I just apply the same of a z-score an Likewise, ageof 1 2 is a z-score to get 4 years. age of *2.5.



the mean,then dividing by the standarddeviation. For example, Suzette's z-score 3.62 is = 2.62 = 1.00/.50 2, whereas is |orge'sz-score = 3.64 - 3.24.= .401.40 1. Thus,the employer learnsthat Suzette two standarddeviations is abovethe mean in her college, whereas forge rs only one standarddeviationabovethe meanfor his college. Although Suzette's absolutegradepoint average lowerthan forge's, is relative the to students eachoftheir colleges in Suzette's grades aremuch higherthan forge's.

R ESU LTS WITH TWO V A RIA B TE S A Bivariate Relationship
Univariate statistics describe a single variable in isolation. Bivariate statistics are much more valuable. Theylet a researcherconsider two variables together and describe the relationship between variables.Even simple hypothesesrequire two variables. Bivariate statistical analysisshows a relationship between variables-that is, things that appear together. Statistical relationships are based on two ideas: covariation and independence.Covariation means that things go together or are associated. To covary means to vary together; cases with certain values on one variable are likely to have certain values on the other one. For example, people with higher values on the income variable are likely to have higher values on the life expectancy variable. Likewise, those with lower incomes have lower life expectanry. This is usually stated in a shorthand way by saying that income and life expectancy are related to each other, or covary. We could also saythat knowing one's income tells us one's probable life expectancy, or that life expectancy depends on income. Independence the opposite of covariation. is It means there is no association or no relationship between variables. If two variables are independent, cases with certain values on one variable do not have any particular value on the

other variable. For example, Rita wants to knorv whether number of siblings is related to life expectancy. If the variables are independent, then people with many brothers and sistershave the same life expectancy as those who are only children. In other words, knowing how many brothers or sisters someone has tells Rita nothine about the person's life expectancy. Most researchersstate hypotheses in terms ofa causal relationship or expected covariation; if they use the null hlpothesis, the hypothesis is that there is independence. It is used in formal hlpothesis testing and is frequently found in inferential statistics (to be discussed). Three techniques help researchersdecide whether a relationship exists between two variables:(1) a scattergram, or a graph or plot of the relationship; (2) cross-tabulation,or a percentaged table; and (3) measuresof associition, or statistical measures that expressthe amount of covariation by a single number (e.g.,correlation coefficient). Seeing the Relationship: The Scattergram What Is a Scattergram (or Scatterplot)? A scattergram is a graph on which a researcher plots each caseor observation, where each axis representsthe value ofone variable. It is used for variables measured at the interval or ratio level, rarely for ordinal variables, and never if either variable is nominal. There is no fixed rule frrr which variable (independent or dependent) to place on the horizontal or vertical axis, but usually the independent variable (syrnbolized by the letter X) goes on the horizontal axis and the dependent variable (syrnbol ized by I on the vertical axis. The lowest value for each should be the lower left corner and the highest value should be at the top or to the right. How to Construct a Scattergram. Begin with the range of the two variables. Draw an axis with the values of each variable marked and write numbers on each axis (graph paper is helpful).


pA RTT wo ,/ c o N D U c rN c e u A N rtrA Tl vE R E S E A R cH

Next, labeleachaxiswith the variablenameand put a title at the top. You are now ready for the data. For each find the valueof eachvariableand mark the case, graphat aplace corresponding the two values. to For example,a researcher makesa scattergram of yearsof schooling number of children.He by or she looks at the first caseto seeyears of schooling(e.g.,12) and at the number of children (e.g., Thenhe or shegoes the placeon 3). to the graphwhere 12 for the "schooling"variable and 3 for the "number of children" variableintersect and puts a dot for the case. The scattergram Figure 10.5is a plot of in datafor 33 women.It showsa negative relqtionshipbetween yearsof educationthe woman the completedand the number of childrenshegave birth to. Whnt Can You Learn from the Scattergram? A researcher seethree aspects a bivariate can of relationshipin a scattergram: form, direction, and precision.

can Form. Relationships take three forms: inlinear, and curvilinear. Indedependence, to pendence no relationshipis the easiest see. or with no pattern,or It lookslike a randomscatter parallelto tlie horia straightline that is exactly zontal or vertical axis. A linear "relationship meansthat a straightline canbe visualizedin the running from one corof middle of a maze cases means ner to another.A curvilinearrelationshlp would form a U that the centerof a mazeof cases curve, right side up or upside down, or an S curye. can Direction. Linearrelationships havea posdirection.The plot of a positive itive or negative relationshiplooks like a diagonalline from the on lower left to the upper right. Higher values X tend to go with higher values on Y, and vice example versa.The income and life expectancF a described positivelinear relationship. . lookslike aline from Anegativerelationship the upper left to the lower right. It meansthat highervalueson onevariablego with lowerval-

FIcURE 1 0.5
6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00

by of Example a Scattergram: Years Education Number of of Natural Children Jor 33 Women

\ \

E = E
(! 5 t5



\ \ \


o o lt 2.OO


1 . 00

8.00 18.00 1 2 .0 0 1 6 .0 0 1 4 .0 0 Education Years of Formal




peoplewith more ueson the other.For example, If likely to havebeenarrested. educationareless ofdata on a group of we look at a scattergram of whereyears schooling(X axis)areplotmales ted by number of arrests(Y axis)'we seethat are (or most cases men) with manyarrests in the most of them completed lower right, because with few arrests few yearsof school.Most cases mosthavehad more arein the upperleft because schooling.The imaginaryline for the relationship can havea shallowor a steepslope.More advancedstatisticsprovide precisenumerical of measures the line's slope.

Figure 10.6 is a raw count or frequency It table.Its cellscontain a count of the cases. is easy make,but interpretinga raw count table to is difficult because rows or columnscanhave the differenttotals.and what is of realinterestis the relativesizeof cellscomparedto others. Researchers convert raw count tablesinto percentaged bivariaterelationships. tables see to a There are three waysto percentage table: by row, by column, and for the total. The first two areoften usedand showrelationships. by Is it best to percentage row or column? Let Eithercanbe appropriate. us first reviewthe a mechanics percentaging table.When calcuof computethe perlating column percentages, differ in their Precision. Bivariaterelationships centageeach cell is of the column total. This is degreeof precision.Precision the amount of includesthe total column or marginal for the in spread the pointson the graph.A high levelof the column variable.For example, first column precision occurswhen the points hug the line total is 26 (there are26 peopleunder age30), Alowlevel octhe that summarizes relationship. and the first cell of that column is 20 (thereare curs when the points are widely spreadaround The per20 peopleunder age30 who agree). can the line. Researchers "eyeball"a highly preOr, is20126=0.769 or76.9percent. for cise relationship. They can also use advanced centage 37ll0l = 0.366 thefirst numberin themarginal, the to statistics measure precisionof a relationto ship in a way that is analogous the standard = 36.6 percent (seeTable 10.2). Except for rounding,the total shouldequal100percent. deviationfor univariatestatistics. Computing row percentagesis similar. Compute the percentage eachcell as a perof Bivariate Tables usingthe centage the row total. For example, of samecell with 20 in it, we now want to know What Is a Bivariate Table? Thebivariateconwhat percentage is of the row total of 37, or it tingency table is widely used. It presentsthe = by Percentaging 20137 0.541= 54.1percent. in sameinformation as a scattergram a more for row or column givesdifferentpercentages a at form. The data can be measured condensed cellunless marginals the same. are the althoughintervaland anylwel of measurement, let The row and column percentages a reratio datamust be groupedif therearemanydifon The tableis based cross-tabula- searcheraddressdifferent questions.The row ferentvalues. percentage the table answers question.Among are tion; that is, the cases organizedin the table those who hold an attitude, what percentage time. at on the basisof two variables the same table A contingency is formedby cross-tabu- come from eachagegroup?It saysof respondentswho agree,54.Ipercentare in the underIt lating two or more variables. is contingentbe30 age group. The column percentagetable ofa in the cause cases eachcategory variableget addresses question: Among thosein eachage the of distributed into each category a second(or hold differentattitudes? additional)variable.The table distributescases group,what percentage It says that amongthosewho areunder 30,76.9 of into the categories multiple variablesat the a From the row percentages, reby same time and showshow the cases, category percentagree. learns that a little overhalf ofthosewho are ofone variable, "contingentupon" the cate- searcher from colagree under 30 yearsold, whereas are goriesof other variables.



the Drinking Age Group by Attitude about Changing FlG U RE I 0.6 Age, RawCount Table
RawCount Table (a) Attitude (b) Agree No opinion Disagree Total (c) cases ) = 8. (f Missing Under 30 Age Group (b)

30-45 10 10 _l

46-60 4 10 2L

61 and Older


20 3 (d) 3 26


3 2 10 15

37 25


The Parts of a Table information' background and variables provides (a) Civeeachtablea fifle whichnames categories. to variable givea name eachof the variable and the (b) Label rowandcolumn Thesearecalledthe marginab.rhey and rows. (c) Include totalsof the columns the frequency distributionfor the variable. equalthe univariate for ofa to (d) Eachnumberor placethat corresponds the intersection category each variableis a cell of a table. and categories the totalsarecalledthe variable with the labeled (e) The numbers body of a table. to refused answer, in information (cases whicha respondent (f ) lf there is missing near cases etc.),report the numberof missing said endedinterview, "don't know," cases. the tableto accountfor all original

learns that the umn percentages, researcher overthree-quarters amongthe under-30people, tells One way of percentaging about peoagree. ple who have specificattitudes;the other telis age aboutpeoplein specific groups. may imply lookh1'pothesis A researcher's or ing at row percentages the column percentages.When beginning,calculatepercentages eachway and practiceinterpreting,or figuring For myhypothesis out, what eachsays. example, is that ageaffectsattitude, so column percentagesare most helpful. However,if my interest the wasin describing agemake-upof groupsof peoplewith different attitudes,then row perare centages appropriate.

Unfortunately, there "industry standard" for putting independentand dependent tableasrow or column, in variables a percentage by or for percentage row and column.A majorvariable placethe independent ity ofresearchers by asthe column and percentage column,but a variableas large minority put the independent bY the row and percentage row. Reailing a PercentagedTable. Once you uhhow a tableis made,readingit and figderstand To are uring out what it says much easier. reada table, first look at the title, the variablelabels, and anybackgroundinformation. Next, look at have been the direction in which percentages



computed-in rows or columns. Notice that the percentaged tables in Table 10.2 have the same title. This is becausethe same variables are used. It would have helped to note how the data were percentaged in the title, but this is rarely done. Sometimes, researcherspresent abbreviated tables and omit the 100 percent total or the marginals, which adds to the confusion. It is best to include all the parts of a table and clear labels. Researchers read percentaged tables to make comparisons. Comparisons are made in the opposite direction from that in which per-

centagesare computed. A rule of thumb is to compare across rows if the table is percentaged down (i.e., by column) and to compare up and down in columns if the table is percentaged across(i.e.,by row). For example, in row-percentaged Table 10.2,compare columns or age groups. Most of those who agreeare in the youngest group, with the proportion declining as age increases.Most no-opinion people are in the middle-age groups, whereasthose who disagreeare older, especiJly in the 46-to-60 group. When reading column-

TA BLE 1 0.2

Age Groupby Attitude about Changing DrinkingAge, the Percentaged Tables


Column-Percentaged Table

€roup .,. ', 3'Ar:45
Agree No opinion Disagr:ee Total (N) = Missing cases 8 Row-PercentagedTable

45-60 11.4% 28.6 60 100 20% 13.3 66.7 36.6% 24.8 3 8.6 100 (10r)*

76.9% I 1.5 I 1.5 99.9 (26).

407" 40 20 .100

(2 s)-

(3 s)

r0 0 (t s )-


Agree No opinion Disagree Total = Missing cases 8

54.1% 12 7.7 25.7

27% 40 12.8
2 4 .8

10.8% 40 53.8 34.7

8.1% 100% 8 2s.6


100 99.9

( 2s) .

' r0 0 . r

(1 0 1 )-

*Forpercentaged provide number cases N on whichpercentages computed parentables, the of or are in theses nearthe total of I 00%. Thismakes possible go backandforth from a percentaged it to tableto a rawcounttableandviceversa.

2 62

pA RTT wo / c o N D U c l N c e u AN T trATtvER E S E A R C H

percentagedTable 10.2, compare across rows. For example, a majority of the youngest group agree,and they are the only group in which most people agree.Only 11.5 percent disagree,compared to a majority in the two oldest groups. It takes practice to see a relationship in a percentagedtable. Ifthere is no relationship in a table, the cell percentages look approximately equal acrossrows or columns. A linear relationship looks like larger percentagesin the diagonal cells. If there is a curvilinear relationship, the largest percentages form a pattern across cells. For example, the largest cells might be the upper right, the bottom middle, and the upper left. It is to easiest seea relationship in a moderate-sized table (9 to t6 cells) where most cells have some cases(at least five casesare recommended) and the relationship is strong and precise. Principles ofreading a scattergram can help you see a relationship in a percentaged table. Imagine a scattergramthat has been divided into in 12 equal-sizedsections.The cases each section in correspondto the number of cases the cellsof a table that is superimposed onto the scattergram. The table is a condensed form of the scattergram. The bivariate relationship line in a scattergram corresponds to the diagonal cells in a percentagedtable. Thus, a simple way to see strong relationships is to circle the largest percentage in each row (for row-percentaged tables) or column (for column-percentagedtables) and seeifa line appears. The circle-the-largest-cell rule works-with one important caveat.The categoriesin the percentagestable mustbe ordinal or interval and in the same order as in a scattergram. In scattergrams the lowest variable categoriesbegin at the bottom left. If the categories in a table are not ordered the same way, the rule does not work. For example, Table 10.3a looks like a positive relationship and Table 10.3b like a negative relationship. Both usethe same data and are percentagedby row. The actual relationship is negative. Look closely-Table 10.3b has age categoriesordered as in a scattergram. When in doubt. return to the basic difference between

TA B TE 10.3a

30 Under 30-45 46-60 61 +

s% 25 . r5 25
35 45 45 35

30 40 12 .t5

40 20 8 5

100 100 100 100

TA B LE 1 O.3b

A gebyS chool i ng

61 + 46-60 30-45 30 Under

45% 35 35 15 5 45 25 25

.t5 12 40 30

( 8 20 40

100 100 100 100

positive and negativerelationships. A positive relationship means that as one variable increases, so does the other. A negative relationship means the that asone variable increases, other decreases. Bivariate Tables without Percentages. Researcherscondenseinformation in another kind of bivariate table with a measure of central tendency (usually the mean) instead of percentages. It is used when one variable is nominal or ordinal and another is measured at the interval or ratio level.The mean (or a similar measure)of the interval or ratio variable is presented for each categoryof the nominal or ordinal variable. All casesare divided into the ordinal or nominal variable categories;then the mean is calculated for the casesin each variable category from the raw data. Table 10.4showsthe mean ageof people in each ofthe attitude categories.The results sug-

c H A p rE R | 0 ,/ A N A Lysts euA N TtrA TtvED A TA oF


TABLE 1 0.4

AttitudeaboutChanging the DrinkingAge by Mean Age of Respondent

dicating a negative relationship and positive numbers a positive relationship. A measure of 1.0 means a 100 percent reduction in errors, or perfect prediction.

Agree No opinion Disagree

26.2 44.5 61.9

(s7) (2s)

MO RET HA N T WO V A RI A B L E S StatisticalControl

Showing an association or relationship between two variables is not sufficient to say that an in= dependent variable causes dependent variabie. Missing cases 8 a In addition to temporal order and association, a researcher must eliminate alternative explanations-explanations that can make the hypothegestthat the mean ageof thosewho disagree is sized relationship spurious. Experimental much higher than for thosewho agreeor have researchersdo this by choosing a researchdesign no opinion. that physically controls potential alternative explanations for results (i.e., that threaten internal validity). Measuresof Association In nonexperimental research, a researcher A measure association a singlenumber that of is controls for alternative explanations with statisexpresses strength,and often the direction, the tics. He or she measurespossible alternative exof a relationship. It condensesinformation planations vmth control variables,then examines about a bivariate relationship into a single the control variableswith multivariate tablesand number. statistics that help him or her decide whether a There are many measures association. bivariate relationship is spurious. They also of The correct one dependson the level of meashow the relative size of the effect of multiple insurement. Many measures calledby lettersof are dependent variables on a dependent variable. the Greek alphabet.Lambda,gamma,tau, chi A researcher controls for alternative expla(squared), and rho are commonly usedmeanations in multivariate (more than two varisures. The emphasis here is on interpretingthe ables) analysis by introducing a third (or measures, on their calculation.In order to not sometimes a fourth or fifth) variable. For examunderstand eachmeasure, will needto comyou ple, a bivariate table shows that taller teenagers pletea beginningstatistics course. like sports more than shorter ones do. But-the If there is a strong association relationor bivariate relationship between height and attiship,then few errorsaremadepredictinga sec- tude toward sports may be spurious because ond variableon the basisof knowledgeof the teenagemales are taller than females, and males first, or the proportion oferrors reduced large. tend to like sports more than females. To test is A largenumber ofcorrect guesses suggests that whether the relationship is actually due to sex, a the measure association a nonzeronumber of is researcher must control for gen'der; in other if an association existsbetweenthe variables. words, effects of sex are statistically remoyed. Table10.5describes commonlyusedbivarifive Once this is done, a researchercan seewhether ate measures association. of Notice that most the bivariate relationship between height and alrangefrom - 1to +1, with negative numbersintitude toward sports remains.





at or be usedonly for data measured the interval ratio level.Rhois usedfor the meanand standard and of deviation the variables tellshowfar cases line (or arefrom a relationship regression) in a from - 1.0 to *1 .0, with 0 Rhoranges scatterplot. lf of meaning association.the value rho is no R-squared, hasa it called sometimes squared, in Rproportion reduction errormeaning. unique in tellshowthe percentage onevariable squared for, is the (e.g., dependent) accounted or (e.g., the by, explained the othervariable linear relationships Rho independent). measures nonlinear curvilnear or cannotmeasure For a relationships. example, rho of zerocan or indicate eitherno relationship a curvilinear relationship. lt has Chi-squared two differentuses. can be used statistics in of as a measure association descriptive or likethe otherslistedhere, in inferential statistics brieflydescribed are Inferential statistics. chi-squared can As a measure association, of next. hasan and be usedfor nominal ordinal upperlimitof infinityanda lowerlimitof zero, meaning association. no

Lambda usedfor nominal-level lt is based is data. on a reduction errorsbased the modeand in on ranges between (independence) 1.0 0 and or (perfectprediction the strongestpossible relationship). 6amma usedfor ordinal-level is is based on pairsof variable comparing categories seeing and a whether casehasthe same rankon each. Camma ranges from - I .0 to *1 .0, with O meaning no association. Tauis alsousedfor ordinal-level is based on a differentapproach than gamma and takes careof a few problems that canoccurwith gamma. Actually, statistics there are several named tau (it is a popular Creekletter),andthe one hereis Kendall's Kendall's ranges tau. tau from - I .0 to *1 .0, with 0 meaning association. no productmoment Rhois alsocalled Pearson's (named correlation coefficient afterthe famous statistician KarlPearson basedon a oroduct and procedure). is the most moment statistical lt commonly usedmeasure correlation, of the correlation statisticpeoplemeanif they usethe termcorrelation without identifying can it Summaryof Measures Association of

',:';L;,;.:':;:"ltjg$',' , .' ''
l::|i::* ,::;:',::

Lambda Camma Tau (Kendall's) Rho Chi-square

I t

Nominal Ordinal Ordinal Interval, ratio Nominal, ordinal



0 0 0 0 0


+ 1 . 0 , -1 . 0 +t .0,-.1.0 + 1 . 0-r. 0 ,


A researcher controlsfor a third variableby whetherthebivariaterelationship persists seeing within categories the control variable. exof For ample,a researcher controlsfor sex,and the relationshipbetweenheight and sportsattitude

persists. This meansthat tall malesand tall femalesboth like sportsmore than short males do. and short females In other words, the conWhen this is so,thebihas trol variable no effect. variaterelationshipis not spurious.




in thepartial.Thus,it is possible breakapart to a bivariatetable to form partials,or combinethe partialsto restorethe initial bivariatetable. Trivariate tables have three limitations. First, they are difficult to interpret if a control variablehasmore than four catigories.Second, control variables be at any levelof measure_ can ment, but interval or ratio control variables must be grouped (i.e., convertedto an ordinal level),and how cases groupedcan affectthe are interpretationof effects. Finaliy,the total num_ ber of cases a limiting factor tecause cases is the aredividedamongcellsin partials.The number of cellsin the partialsequalithe number of cells in the bivariate relationshipmultiplied by the numberof categories the control variable. in For example, control variablehasthreecategories, a and a bivariatetablehas 12 cells,so the p"artials have3 X 12 = 36 cells.An average The Elaboration Model of offive cases per cell is recommended, the iesearcher PercentagedTables so will need5 X 36 = lg0 cases minimum. at Constructing Triyariate Tables. In order to For threevariables, threebivariatetables are meetall the conditionsneeded causality, for re_ logicallypossible. the example, combina_ In the searchers want to "control for" or seewhether tio3s (l)gender byattitudi ge by e) agegroup aRaltemative explanation explains awayacausal attitude,and (3) genderby iur_ relationship. If an alternativeexplanationextialsaresetup on the basis ofihe initiul birruriat" plainsa relationship, then the bivariaterelationrelationship.The independent variablein each ship is spurious. Alternative explanationsare is "agegroup" andthe dependent variableis ..at_ operationalized third variables, as which are titude." "Gender" is the control variable.Thus, caTled controlyariables because they control for the trivariatetable consists ofa pair ofpartials, alternative explanation. eachshowingthe agelattitude reiationshipfor a One way to take such third variablesinto givengender. consideration see and whethertheyinfluence the A researcher's theory suggests hypothe_ the bivariaterelationshipis to statistically introduce sisin the initial bivariaterelationship; alio tells it control variables using trivariate or three-vari- him or her which variablesprovide alternative abletables.Trivariatetablesdiffer slightly from explanations (i.e.,the control variables). Thus. bivariate tables; theyconsist multiple bivariate the choiceof the control variable of is based. on tables. theory. A trivariatetablehasa bivariatetableof the paradigm is a systemfor _Theelaboration independentand dependentvariable for each readingpercentaged trivariate tables.3 de_ It category ofthe control variable.Thesenew tascribes pattern that emerges the when a control bles are called partials.The number of partials variableis introduced.Five terms describe how depends the numberof categories the conon in the partial tablescompareto the initial bivariate trol variable. Partialtableslook like bivariatetatable,or how the original bivariaterelationship bles,but theyusea subset the cases. of Onlycases changes after the control variableis considered. with a specificvalueon the control variableare The examples patternspresented of here show

If the bivariaterelationshipweakens dis_ or appears after the control variableis considered, it meansthat tall malesareno more likelv than shortmalesto like sports,and tall females rro ur. more likely to like sportsthan short females. It indicates that the initial bivariaterelationshipis spurious and suggests thethird variable. that sex. and not height,is the truecause differences of in attitudestoward sports. Statistical control is a key ideain advanced statistical techniques. meaiureof association A like the correlationcoefficient onlysuggests re_ a lationship.Until a researcher considers control variables,the bivariate relationship could be spurious.Researchers cautiousin interpret_ are ing bivariaterelationships until they havecon_ sidered controlvariables.


pA RTTw o ,/ c o N D U c l N G e u AN TtrA Tl vER E S E A R cH

strong cases.More advanced statistics are are needed when the differences not asobvious. pattern is the easiest unto The replication the partialsreplicateor reIt derstand. is when in producethe same relationship that existed the considering control the bivariatetable before variable.It meansthat the control variablehas no effect. pattern is the next easiest The specification the pattern.It occurswhen onepartial replicates relationship otherpartialsdo but initial bivariate you find a strong (negative) not. For example, relationshipbetweenautomobileaccibivariate grades. You control for gender dentsand college the relationship holdsonly for and discover that (i.e.,the strongnegative relationshipwas males in the partial for males,but not for females). can because researcher a This is specification of the control variable in specifr the category which the initial relationshippersists. The control variablehas a large impact in both the interpretation and explanation patterns.In both, the bivariatetable showsa rela' in tionship that disappears the partials.In other to words, the relationshipappears be indepenThetwo patterns cannotbe in dence the partials. looking at the tablesalone.The by distinguished differencebetweenthem dependson the locaorder of tion ofthe control variablein the causal a variables. Theoretically, controlvariablecanbe eitherbetween original the in one of two places, independentand dependentvariables(i.e., the control variableis intervening),or beforethe variable. original independent patterndescribes situthe The interpretation ation in which the control variable intervenes betweenthe original independentand depenyou a For dentvariables. example, examine relationship between religious upbringing and abortion attitude.Politicalideologyis a control variable.You reasonthat religious upbringing affectscurrent political ideologyand abortion attitude.You theorizethat political ideologyis logicallyprior to an attitude about a specificissue,like abortion.Thus, religiousupbringing political ideology,which in turn has an causes

impact on abortion attitude. The control variableis an interveningvariable,which helpsyou interpretthe meaningof the completerelationship. as the Theexplanationpatternlooks same inis The terpretation. difference the temporalorder In ofthe control variable. this pattern,a control variable variablecomesbeforethe independent For in the initial bivariaterelationship. example, religiousupis the originalrelationship between bringing and abortion attitude,but now gender beforereltGendercomes is the controlvariable. one's sex is fixed at gious upbringing because patternchanges a rehow birth. The explanation explainsthe results.It implies that the searcher is initial bivariaterelationship spurious. variablepattern occurswhen The suppressor but independence a the bivariatetablessuggest in relationshipappears one or both of the partials. For example,religious upbringing ,and in abortion attitude areindependent a bivariate table. Once the control variable"region of the country'' is introduced,religiousupbringing is with abortion attitude in the partial associated variThe control variableis a suppressor tables. the it ablebecause suppressed true relationship. in The true relationshipappears the partials. (SeeTable 10.6for a summary of the elaboration paradigm.) Multiple RegressionAnalysis is Multiple regression a statistical technique whose calculation is beyond the level in this book. Although it is quickly computedby the a software, backgroundin appropriatestatistics is statistics neededto preventmaking errors in its calculationand interpretation.It requiresinhere terval-or ratio-leveldata.It is discussed for First, it controlsfor many alternatwo reasons. and variablessimultaneously tive explanations (it is rarelypossible usemorethan onecontrol to tables). Secvariableat a time usingpercentaged and you are ond, it is widely usedin sociology, relikely to encounterit when readingresearch ports or articles.



Summaryof the Elaborationparadigm

Replication Specification Interpretation Explanation Suppressor variable

Same relationship both partials in bivariate in as table. Bivariate relationship only seenin one of the partial is tables. Bivariate relationship weakens greatryor disappears the partiartabres(control in variable intervening). is Bivariate relationship weakens greallyor disappears the partialtables(control in variable beforeindependent is variable). No bivariate relationship; relationship appears partial in tables only. EXAMPLES EI.ABOMTIONPATTERNS OF

Replication BivariateTable Low Low High 85% 15% High 15% 85%

Control= Low Low Low High

Partials High 15% 84% Control= High Low High 86% 14% 14% 86%

84% 167

Interpretation or Explanation BivariateTable Control= Low Low
Low High

Partials High Control= High Low High 45%


Low High

85% 1s%

15% 85%



55% s5% 45% 4s% Partials


Specification BivariateTable Control= Low Low Low High


High 85% 15%


Control= High Low High

Low High

85% 15%

957" s%



s0% so%

SuppressorVariable BivariateTable Partials


Hish 46% s4%
Low High

Control= Low Low


Control= High Low High 14% 86% 86% 14%

Low High

54% 46%

84% 16%

16% 84%


pA RTTw o / c o N D U c l N c e u A N TtrA TtvER E S E A R C H

Multiple regression results tell the reader two things. First, the results have a measure (R2),which tellshow well a set calledR-squared of variables explains a dependent variable. Explain meansreducederrors when predicting the dependent variablescores the basisofinon formation about the independentvariables.A good model with several independent variables might accountfor, or explain,a largepercentage of variation in a dependent variable.For example, an R2 of .50 meansthat knowing the independent and control variablesimproves the accurary ofpredictingthe dependent variable by 50 percent,or half as many errors are made as would be made without knowing about the variables. Second, regression the resultsmeasure the direction and sizeof the effectof eachvariable on a dependent variable. The effectis measured precisely givena numericalvalue.For examand ple,a researcher see can how five independent or control variables simultaneously affecta dependent variable,with all variablescontrolling for the effects oneanother.This is especiallyvaluof ablefor testingtheoriesthat statethat multiple independentvariablescauseone dependent variable. The effecton the dependent variable meais suredby a standardized regression coefficient or the Greekletter beta (B). It is similar to a correlation coefticient. fact,the betacoefficient In for two variables equals r correlationcoefficient. the Researchers the beta regression use coefficient to determine whether control variables havean effect.For example, bivariatecorrethe lation betweenX and Y is .75. Next, the researcherstatisticallyconsidersfour control variables. the betaremainsat .75,thenthe four If control variables haveno effect.However,if the betaforX and Ygetssmaller (e.g., dropsto .20), it indicatesthat the control variableshave an effect. Consideran exampleof regression analysis with age, income,education, regionasindeand pendentvariables. The dependentvariableis a

TABTE 10.7

Exampleof Multiple Regression Results

Dependent Variable Political ls ldeoloryIndex (HighScoreMeans VeryLiberal)

Region: South Ate lncome Years education of Religious attendance R 2= .39

-.19 .0.1 -.44 .23 -.39

scoreon a political ideologyindex.The mdltiple regressionresults show that income and religious attendance have large effects,education and region minor efFects, ageno effect.All and the independentvariablestogether have a 38 percentacc'lracy predictinga person's in political ideology(seeTable 10.7).The examplesuggests that high income, frequent religious attendance, and a southernresidence posiare tively associated with conservativeopinions, whereashaving more education is associated with liberal opinions. The impact of income is more than twice the sizeof the impact of living in a southernregion.We havebeen examining descriptivestatistics(seeTable 10.8);next, we look at a different,gpe:inferentialstatics.

I NFERENTIALSTATISTICS The Purpose of Inferential Statistics Researchers often want to do more than describe; they want to test hlpotheses, know whether sampleresultshold true in a popula-

C H A P T E R'I O , / A N A L Y S I SO F Q U A N T I T A T I V ED A T A


dex Univariate

Summaryof Major Typesof Descriptive Statistics

Frequency distribution, measure of central tendency, standard deviation, z-score percentage Correlation, table, chi-square Elaboration paradigm, multiple regression

Describe variable. one

Bivariate Multivariate

Describe relationship the a or association between variables. two Describe relationships among several variables, seehow several or independent variables havean effect on a dependent variable.

hiple relittion r All a38 olitisugfous losiions, ated neis ving ning ;we



tion, and decide whether differences in results (e.g., between the mean scoresof two groups) are big enough to indicate that a relationship really exists. Inferential statistics use probability theory to test hypothesesformally, permit inferencesfrom a sample to a population, and test whether descriptive results are likely to be due to random factors or to a real relationship. This section explains the basic ideas of inferential statisticsbut does not deal with inferential statistics in any detail. This area is more complex than descriptive statisticsand requires a background in statistics. Inferential statistics rely on principles from probability sampling, where a researcher usesa random process(e.g.,a random number table) to select casesfrom the entire population. Inferential statistics are a precise way to talk about how confident a researchercan be when inferring from the results in a sample to the population. You have already encountered inferential statistics ifyou have read or heard about "statistical significance" or results "significant at the .05 level." Researchers them to conduct varuse ious statisticaltests (e.g., a t-test or an F-test). Statistical significance is also used in formal hypothesis testing, which is a preciseway to decide whether to accept or to reject a null hlpothesis.a

Statistical Signifi cance Statistical significancemeans that results are not likely to be due to chance factors. It indicates the probability of finding a relationship in the sample when there is none in the population. Because probability samples involve a random process, it is always possible that sample results will differ from a population parameter. A researcherwants to estimate the odds that sample results are due to a true population parameter or to chance factors of random sampling. Statistical significance uses probability theory and specific statistical tests to tell a researcher whether the results(e.g.,an association, differa ence between two means, a regression coefficient) are produced by random error in random sampling. Statistical significance only tells what rs likely. It cannot prove anlthing with absolute certainty. It states that particular outcomes are more or less probable. Statistical significance is notthe same aspractical, substantive,or theoretical significance. Results can be statistically significant but theoretically meaningless or trivial. For example,two variablescan have a statistica\ significant association due to coincidence, with no logical connection between them (e.g.,length of fingernails and ability to speakFrench).


pA RTTw o / c o N D U c rtN c QU AN TITA TIvEE S E A R cH R and women differ in how many hours they study. Is the result due to an unusual sample' and there is really no difference in the population, or does it reflect a true difference between the sexesin the population?

Levelsof Significance statistical signifiusually express Researchers in cance termsof levels(e.g.,a testis statistically significantat a specificlevel) rather than giving sigprobability.Thelevelof statistical the specific (usually .05,.01,or .001)is a way of nificance talking about the likelihood that resultsare due apfactors-that is,that a relationship to chance pearsin the samplewhen there is none in the saysthat resultsare population. If a researcher significant at the .05 level, this means the following: factors like theseare due to chance r Results only 5 in 100times. that the sample r Thereis a 95 percentchance factorsalone, resultsare not due to chance but reflectthe populationaccurately. r The odds of suchresultsbasedon chance aloneare.05,or 5 percent. r One canbe 95 percentconfidentthat the results are due to a real relationshipin the factors. population,not chance Theseall say the same thing in different of This may soundlike the discussion samways. pling distributionsandthe centrallimit theorem It in the chapteron sarnpling. is not an accident. on Both arebased probability theory which reuse searchers to link sampledata to a population. Probability theory lets us predict what when in happens the long run overmany events is a random process used.In other words, it alprediction over many situationsin lows precise the long run, but not for a specificsituation. Sincewe haveone sampleand we want to infer us to the population,probabilitytheoryhelps estimate the odds that our particularsamplerepthe population.We cannot know for resents we certainunless havethewholepopulation,but probabilitytheoryletsus stateour confidencehow likely it is that the sampleshowsone thing while somethingelseis true in the population. For example,a sampleshowsthat collegemen

Type land Typell Errors on is significance based Thelogicof statistical
statingwhether chancefactorsproduceresults. It You may ask,Why usethe .05level? meansa 5 the could cause that randomness percentchance Why not usea more certainstandardresults. a for example, I in 1,000probabilityof random This givesa smallerchancethat ranchance? the caused a versus true relationship domness results. is The Therearetwo answers. simpleanswer that the scientific community has informally to agreed use .05 as a rule of thumb for most Being95percentconfidentofresultsis purposes. standardfor explainingthe social the accepted world. A secondanswerinvolvesa tradeoff betweenmakingtwo typesof logicalerrots.ATTpe says when the researcher that a reI error occurs lationship existswhen in fact none exists.It AType rejectinga null hypothesis' meansfalsely says when a researcher that a relaII error occurs tionship doesnot exist,but in reality it does'it (see a meansfalselyaccepting null hypothesis want researchers to avoid Of Table10.9). course, both kinds of errors.Theywant to saythat there in is a relationship the dataonlywhen it doesexist and that there is no relationshiponly when therereallyis none,but they facea dilemma:As the the oddsof makingonetypeof error decline, oddsof makingthe oppositeerror increase' The idea of Tlpe I and TlPe II errors may seemdifficult at first, but the samelogical For in dilemmaappears manyother settings. example,a judge can err by decidingthat an accusedpersonis guilty when in fact he or sheis innocent.Or thejudgecanerr by decidingthat a person is innocent when in fact he or she is



Type I and Type ll Errors

No relationship Causal relationship

No error Type I error

Type ll error No error

guilty. The judge doesnot want to make either error.A judge doesnot want to jail the innocent or to free the guilty. The judge must render a judgmentbased limited information andbalon ancethe two tFpesof errors.Likewise, physia cian has to decidewhether to prescribei ,rerv medicationfor a patient.The physiciancan err by thinking that the medicationwill be effective and hasno sideefFects when, in fact,it hasa serious side effect,such as causingblindness. Or the physiciancan err by holding back an effective medication because fearof serious of sideeffectswhen in fact there are none.The physican doesnot want to makeeither error. By making the first error, the physican causes greatharm to the patientand may evenfacea lawsuit.By maxing the second error, the physican doesnot help the patient get better.Again, a judgment must be made that balances two types of possible errors. We can put the ideasof statisticalsignificanceand the two types of error together.An overlycautious researcher a high levelofsigsets nificance. example, researcher For the might uie the .0001 level.He or sheattributes results the to chanceunlessthey are so rare that they would occurby chance only I in 10,000 times.Sucha high standardmeansthat the researcher most is likely to err by sayingresultsare due to chance when in fact they arenot. He or shemay falsely accept null hypothesis the when thereis a causal relationship TypeII error). Bycontrast, risk(a a takingresearcher a low levelofsignificance, sets

suchas.10.His or herresults indicate relation_ a ship would occurby chanceI in 10times.He or sheis likely to err by sayrngthat a causalrela_ tionship exists,when in fact random factors (e.9., random samplingerror) actuallycause the results.The researcher likely to faiselyreject is the null hypothesis(Type I error). In sum, the .05 levelis a compromise between Type I and TypeII errors. The statistical techniques inferentialsta_ of tisticsareprecise rely on the relationship and be_ tween samplingerror, samplesize,and central limit theorem.Thepowerof inferentialstatistics i: ability to let a researcher state,with spe_ F.y cific degrees certainty, of that specific sampleie_ sults are likely to be true in J population. por example,a researcher conductssiatisticaltests and finds that a relationshipis statistically sig_ nificant at the .05level.He or shecan statethat tbe sample results are probably not due to chancefactors.Indeed,there is a 95 percent chance that a true relationship exists the social in world. Testsfor inferentialstatistics limited. are Thedatamust comefrom a randomsample, and testsonly take into accountsamplingerrors. Nonsampling errors (e.g., a poor sampling frame or a poorly designed measure) not are considered. not be fooled into thinking that Do suchtestsoffer easy, final answers. Many-com_ puter programsquickly do the calculationfor inferential and descriptive statistics(seeBox 10.2).



to who researcher needs calcuAlmosteverysocial doesso with a computerprolate manystatistics program, gram, often using a basicspreadsheet are spreadsheets deUnfortunately, as Excel. such functions. and bookkeeping for signed accounting and limited but statistics, are clumsy They include Thereare manycomputerprofor that purpose. generalstatistics. for gramsdesigned calculating to can The marketplace be confusing a beginner, computer with changing rapidly evolve for products technology. lessdehas the In recentyears, software become in The most popularprograms for manding a user. and Microcase, SPSS are sciences Minitab, the social Others Sciences). for Package the Social (Statistical System), STATISAnalysis include SAS(Statistical as Manybegan simple, and TICAby StratSoft, Strata. purposes. for low-costprograms research

in for The mostwidelyusedprogram statistics the are lts in sciences SPSS. advantages that social social for over three used it extensively researchers quanmany waysto manipulate it decades, includes meamost statistical titativedata,and it contains is that it cantakea longtime A sures. disadvantage of to learnbecause its manyoptionsand complex the unless to Also,it is expensive purchase statistics. "stripped down"student usergets an inexpensive, with a textbookor workbook. included version usinga statistics makes technology As computer peothat increases some the easier, danger program statisnot understand but plewillusethe programs, are tics or whatthe programs doing.Theycaneasily by required a statistical basicassumptions violate and improperly, prouse procedure, the statistics but that are pure nonsense that look duce results sophisticated. verytechnically

CONCLUS I O N You have learned about organizing quantitative data to prepare them for analysis and about analyzingthem (organizing data into charts or tables, or summarizing them with statistical use statistical analysisto measures).Researchers test hypotheses and answer research questions' The chapter explained how data must first be coded and then analyzed using univariate or bivariate statistics.Bivariate relationships might be spurious, so control variables and multivariate You also learned analysis are often necessary. some basicsabout inferential statistics. Beginning researcherssometimes feel their results should support a hlpothesis. There is nothing wrong with rejecting a hypothesis. The goal of scientific research is to produce knowledge that truly reflects the social world, not to defend pet ideas or hlpotheses. Hlpotheses are based on limited knowledge; theoretical guesses they need to be tested.Excellent-quality research

can find that a hypothesis is wrong, and poorquality researchcan suppoft a hlpothesis. Good researchdepends on high-quality methodology, not on supporting a specific hlpothesis. meansguarding againstposGood research obstaclesto true inferences from sible errors or data to the social world' Errors can enter into the research process and affect results at many places: research design, measurement, data collection, coding, calculating statistics and constructing tables, or interpreting results. Even if a researchercan design, measure' collect, code, and calculate without error, another step in the researchprocessremains. It is to interpret the tables, charts, and statistics, and to answer the question: What doesit all mean?The only way to assign meaning to facts, charts, tables, or statistics is to use theory. Data, tables,or computer output cannot answer research questions. The facts do not speak for themselves.As a researcher,you must return to your theory (i.e., concepts, relationships



amongconcepts, assumptions, theoretical definitions) andgivethe results meaning. not lock Do yourself into the ideaswith which you began. Thereis room for creativity,and new ideasare generated trying to figureout what results by really say. is important to be carefulin designing It and conductingresearch that you canlook at so the results a reflectionof something the soas in cialworld and not worry aboutwhetherthevare due to an error or an artifact of the research process itself. Beforewe leavequantitativeresearch, there is onelastissue. lournalists,politicians,and others increasingly statistical use resultsto make a point or bolsteran argument.This hasnot produced greater acarracy and information in public debate. More often,it hasincreased confusion and made it more important to know what statistics and cannotdo. Theclich6that can you can prove anything with statisticsis false; however,people can and do misusestatistics. Through ignoranceor consciousdeceit,some peopleuse statistics manipulateothers.The to wayto protectyourselffrom beingmisledbystatistics is not to ignore them or hide from the numbers. Rather, is to understand research it the processand statistics,think about what you hear,and askquestions. We turn next to qualitative research. The logic and purposeof qualitativeresearch differ from those of the quantitative, positi\rist approach ofthe past chapters. is lessconcerned It with numbers, hypotheses, and causalityand more concerned with words,norms and values. and meaning.

contingency table control variable covariation cross-tabulation curvilinear relationship descriptive statistics direct entrymethod elaboration paradigm explanation pattern frequency distribution frequencypolygon independence interpretation pattern level of statistical significance linear relationship marginals mean median mode normal distribution partials percentile pie chart possiblecode cleaning range replication pattern scattergram skewed distribution specification pattern standard deviation statistical sigrificance suppressor variable pattern Tlpe I error Tlpe II error univariate statistics z-score

Key Terms
bar chart bivariate statistics body ofa table cell ofa table code sheets codebook contingenry cleaning

l. Note that coding sexas I = Male, 2 = Female,or as 0 = Male, I = Female, or reversing the sex for numbers is arbitrary. The only reason numbers are used instead of letters {e.g. M and F) is be_ cause many computer programs work best with all numbers. Sometimes coding data as azero can




createconfusion, so the number 1 is usually the lowestvalue. kind a to 2. Thereareother statistics measure special dataand for other specialsitof meanfor ordinal uations,which arebeyondthe level of discussion in this book. paradigmand ofthe elaboration For a discussion ( and Babbie 1998:393-401) Rosenits history,see berg(1968).

test 4. In formal hypotlresistesting, researchers the They nullh.ypothesis. usuallywant to rejectthe null rejectionofthe null indirectly suPports because to the alternativehypothesis the null, the one they deducedfrom theory asa tentativeexplanation'

Introduction Research Appropriate FieldResearch for Questions The Logic of Field Research What ls FieldResearch? Project Stepsin a FieldResearch Choosing a Site and Gaining Access Selecting Siteand Entering a Strategyfor Entering Learning Ropes the Building Rapport Relationsin the Field Roles the Field in Maintaining Relations Observing and Collecting Data Watching and Listening TakingNotes DataQuality Focusing Sampling and The Field Research lnterview The FieldInterview Typesof Questions FieldInterviews in Informants Interview Context Leaving the Field Focus Groups Ethical Dilemmas of Field Research Deception Confidentiality Involvement Deviants with Publishing FieldReports Conclusion




in a relativelyfixed setting(e.g.,a streetcorner, field, etc.). church,bar, beautysalon,baseball terminology,we In order to useconsistent This chapterand the two that follow shift from chapters cancallthe peoplewho arestudiedin a field setthe quantitativesryleof the pastseveral They areinsidersor nativesin the tingmembers. to the qualitative researchsryle.The qualitative or field andbelongto a group,subculture, social and the quantitative stylescandiffer a greatdeal. wants field research, called settingthat the "outsider"field researcher also This chapterdescribes and research. to penetrate learn about. or ethnography participant-observation have Fieldresearchers exploreda wide varidiIt is a qualitativestylein which a researcher of and subcultures, aspects ety of socialsettings, soin rectlyobserves participates small-scale and my Places students Figure11.1). lifel (see social cial settings in the present time and in the short-term,smallhave conductedsuccessful home culture, researcher's studiesinclude a beautysaMany studentsare excitedby field research scalefield research lon, day-carecenter, bakery, bingo parlor, it because involveshanging out with someexbowling alley,church,coffeeshop,laundromat, otic group of people.Thereare no cold mathestatistics, no abstract policedispatchoffice,nursinghome,tattoo parand maticsor complicated lor, andweightroom. Instead,there is direct, deductivehypotheses. socialinteractionwith "real people" face-to-face Ethnography and Ethnomethodologt. Two in a naturalsetting. ethnograof In field research, individual researcher modern extensions field research, the build on the social phy and ethnomethodology, the directlytalkswith and observes peoplebeing Eachis redefining constructionistperspective. studied. Through interaction over months or Theyarenot yet is how field research conducted. years, researcher learnsaboutthem,their life the so the core offield research, they are discussed and their histories,their hobbiesand interests, only briefly here. habits,hopes,fears,and dreams.Meeting new comesfrom cultural anthroEthnography people,developing friendships, and discovering peopleor folk, andgraphy pology.z Ethnomeans new social worlds canbe fun. It is alsotime consuming, emotionally draining, and sometimes refersto describingsomething.Thas ethnograplry meansdescribinga culture and understanding physically dangerous. anotherwayof life from the nativepoint ofview. that peoplemake inferEthnographyassumes ResearchQuestions Appropriate for ences-that is, go beyond what is explicitly seen Field Research or saidto what is meantor implied. Peopledisis Field research appropriatewhen the research playtheir culture(whatpeoplethink, ponder,or and acquestioninvolveslearning about, understand- believe)through behavior(e.g.,speech Displays beof a ing, or describing group of interactingpeople. tions) in specificsocialcontexts. havior do not give meaning;rather,meaningis It is usuallybestwhen the questionis: How do Movfiguresout meaning. inferred,or someone peopledo Y in the socialworld? or What is the to ing from what is heardor observed what is acsocialworld of X like?It canbe usedwhen other For tually meantis at the centerof ethnography. methods (e.g., survey,experiments)are not when a studentis invitedto a "kegger," example, practical,asin studyingstreetgangs. the studentinfersthat it is an informalpartywith Field researchers study peoplein a location peopleat which beerwill be other student-aged or setting.It hasbeenusedto studyentirecombasedon his or her cultural knowledge. served, should munities. Beginning field researchers songs'sayCultural knowledgeincludessymbols, startwith a relativelysmall group (30 or fewer) who interactwith eachother on a regularbasis ings, facts,waysof behaving,and objects(e.g., INTRODUCTION





FIG URE 1 I . 1

Examples FieldResearch of Sites/Topics
Door-to-door lespersons sa Factoryworkers Gamblers Medicalstudents Female strippers Policeofficers Restaurant chefs Social workers Taxidrivers Deviance and Criminal Activity Body/genital piercing bnnding and Cults Drugdealers and addicts Hippies Nude beaches Occultgroups Prostitutes Streetgangs,motorcyclegangs Streetpeople,homeless shelters Medical Settings and Medical Events Death Emergency rooms Intensive careunits Pregnancy abortion and Supportgroupsfor Alzheimerlcaregivers

Small-Scale Settings Passengersan airplane in Barsor taverns Battered womenl shelters Camera clubs Laundromats ' Socialmovement organizations Social welfare offices Television stations Waitingrooms Community Settings Retirement communities Small towns Urbanethniccommunities Working-class neighborhoods Children'sActivities Children's playgrounds LittleLeague baseball Youthin schools highgirlgroups Junior Occupations Airlineattendants Artists Cocktail waitresses Dog catchers

telephones, newspapers, etc.).We learn the culture by watchingtelevision, listeningto parents, observing others,and the like. Cultural knowledgeincludesboth explicit knowledge,what we know and talk about, and tacit knowledge,what we rarely acknowledge. For example, explicitknowledge rnclades sothe cialevent(e.g., "kegger"). a Most peoplecaneasily describe what happens at one. Tacit knowledge includesthe unspokencultural norm for the proper distance stand from others. to Peopleare generally unawarethat they usethis

norm. They feelunease discomfortwhen the or norm is violated,but it is difficult to pinpoint the source of discomfort. Ethnographeri describethe explicit and tacit cultural knowledge that membersuse. Their detaileddescriptions and carefirlanalysis takewhat is described apart and put it backtogether. Ethnomethodologyadistinctapproach is developedin the 1960s, with its own uniqueterminology. It combinestheory, philosophy,and method. Some do not considerit a part of sociology.


pA RTr HR E E / c o N D U c rl N c QU AL ITA TIvEE S E A R cH R

is A simple definition of ethnomethodology knowledge.Eththe study of commonsense by study common sense obnomethodologists servingits creationand use in ongoingsocial Ethnomethodol interactionin natural settings. form of field research, ogyis a radicalor extreme philosophy and a basedon phenomenological socialconstructionistapproach.It involvesthe of highlydetailedanalysis micro-sitspecialized, uations (e.g.,transcriptsof short conversations Compared of or videotapes socialinteractions). it to other field research, is more concerned findings that research aboutmethod and argues result as much from the method usedas from the sociallife studied. Ethnomethodologyassumesthat social or meaningis fragileand fluid, not fixed, stable, solid. Meaning is constantlybeing createdand For in re-created an ongoing process. this reainanalyze language, son,ethnomethodologists They and the contextof speech. cluding pauses that assume people"accomplish"commonsense understanding by using tacit social-cultural ofreality rules,and socialinteractionis a process construction.Peopleinterpret everydayevents by using cultural knowledgeand cluesfrom the social context. Ethnomethodologistsexamine how ordinary people in everydaysettingsapply of tacit rules to make sense sociallife (e.g.,to is know whetheror not someone joking). examine ordinary soEthnomethodologists cial interactionin greatdetail to identi$'the socialrealityand common rulesfor constructing sense, how theserulesareapplied,and how new For example,they arguethat rules are created. testsor surveyinterviewsmeasure standardized a person'sability to pick up implicit cluesand obmore than measuring apply common sense jectivefacts.

to than a fixed setoftechniques towardresearch usesvariousmethods A apply.3 field researcher is to obtain information. A field researcher a retalentedindividualwho hasingenuity sourcefirl, and an ability to think on her or his feet while in the field. is Field research basedon naturalism,which is also used to study other phenomena(e.g.' animals,plants, etc.).Naturalisn involves oceans, not in observingordinary events natural settings, setor invented, researcher-created in contrived, occursin the field and outside tings. Research laboratory,or classof settings an of,fice, the safe room. goal A field researcher's is toexaminesocial in meaningsand grasp multiple perspectives He naturalsocialsettings. or shewantsto getinsidethe meaningsystemof membersand then viewpoint. To return to an outsideor research perspectives and switches do this, the researcher looks at the settingfrom multiple points of view simultaneously. by is Fieldresearch usuallyconducted a single individual, although small teamshave been is effective(seeBox 11.1).The researcher directly involved in and part of the socialworld are characteristics studied,sohis or her personal direct inThe researcher's relevantin research. volvementin the field often has an emotional can impact. Field research be fun and exciting, life, physibut it canalsodisrupt one'spersonal cal security, or mental well-being. More than friendit other typesofsocial research, reshapes ships, family life, self-identiry and personal values. Steps in a Field ResearchProject Naturalism and direct involvement mean that is field research lessstructured than quantitafor' This makesit essential a retive research. to searcher be well organizedand preparedfor of the field. It alsomeansthat the steps a probut ject arenot entirelypredetermined serveas an approximateguide or road map (seeBox TI.2\.

RE TH E LOG ICOF FIE LD S E A RCH What Is FieldResearch? of definition It is difficultto pin downa specific it ismoreof anorientation fieldresearchbecause





A field researcher doesthe following: . Observes ordinaryeventsand everyday activities as they happenin naturalsettings, addiin tion to any unusual occurrences 2. Becomes directlyinvolved withthe people being studiedand personally experiences process the of dailysociallifein the fieldsetting 3. Acquires insider's an point of viewwhilemaintaining analytic the perspective distance an or of outsider 4. Uses varietyof techniques social a and skills a in flexible manner the situation as demands 5. Produces data in the form of extensive written notes,as wellas diagrams, maps, pictures or to provideverydetailed descriptions 6. Sees events holistically (e.g., a wholeunit,not as in pieces) and individually their social in context Z. Understands and develops empathyfor membersin a field setting,and does not just record "cold"objective facts 8. Notices both explicit (recognized, conscious, spoken)and tacit (lessrecognized, implicit, unspoken) aspects culture of 9. Obseirves ongoingsocialprocesses without upsettin&disrupting, imposing outsidepoint or an of view .l

1. Prepare oneself, read the literature, and defocus. 2. Selecta field siteand gainaccess it. to 3. Enterthefieldandestablish social relations with members. 4. Adopt a socialrole, learnthe ropes,and get along with members. 5. Watch,listen, and collectqualitydata. 6. Begin analyze to dataandto generate evaland uateworkinghypotheses. 7. Focus specific on aspects ofthe settingand use theoretical sampling. 8. Conduct field interviewswith memberinformants. 9. Disengage physically and leave setting. the 1 0. Completethe analyses and write the research repon. Note: There nofixed is percentage timeneeded each of for step. a rough For approximation, (l 960:1 2) Junker suggested once thefield, researcher that, in the should expect spend to approximately one-sixth hisor hertime of observing, one-third recording one-third data, ofthetime anallzing andone-sixth data, reporting results. see Also Denzin (l989:176)foreight steps field of research.

10. Copeswith highlevels personal of stress, uncertainty,ethicaldilemmas, ambiguity and

Flexihility. Field researchersrarely follow fixed steps. fact, flexibility is a key advantage In offield research, which letsa researcher shift direction and follow leads.Good field researchers recognize and seizeopportunities,"play it by ear,"and rapidly adjustto fluid socialsituations. A field researcher doesnot beginwith a set of methodsto apply or explicit hlpothesesto test.Rather, or shechooses he techniques the on

basis their valuefor providinginformation.In of the beginning,the researcher expects little control over dataand little focus.Oncesocialized t<.r the setting,however,he or she focuses inthe quiry and asserts control overthe data. Getting Organized in the Beginning. Human and personalfactorscan play a role in any researchproject, but they are crucial in field research.Field projects often begin with chance occurrences a personalinterest.Field reor searchers beginwith their own experiences, can suchasworking at a job, havinga hobby,or being a patientor an activist.


pA Rr rH R EE / c o N D U c rrN c e u A L trA TtvER E S E A R cH

Field researchers the skills of careful use looking and listening,short-termmemory and regularwriting. Beforeenteringthe field, a new practices observing ordinary dethe researcher tails of situationsand writing them down. Attention to detailsand short-term memory can Likewise, keepinga daily improvewith practice. journal is good practicefor diary or personal writing field notes. As with all social research,reading the learn scholarlyliteraturehelps the researcher potentialpitfalls,datacollectionmethconcepts, ods, and techniquesfor resolvingconflicts. In finds diaries,novels, addition, a field researcher journalisticaccounts, useand autobiographies ful for gaining familiarity and preparingemotionally for the field. Field research beginswith a generaltopic, A doesnot not specifichypotheses. researcher He getlockedinto anyinitial misconceptions. or sheneedsto be well informed but open to discoveringnew ideas.Finding the right questions to askaboutthe field takestime. A researcher empties or her mind of first his preconceptions. The researcher should move socialnicheto exoutsidehis or her comfortable perience much aspossible the field without in as betrayinga primary commitmentto being a researcher. is Another preparationfor field research A to self-knowledge. field researcher needs know experihimselfor herself and reflecton personal ences. or shecan expectanxiety,self-doubt, He frustration, and uncertaintyin the field. Espemay feel cially in the beginning,the researcher is collectingthe wrong data and that he or she may suffer emotional turmoil, isolation, and confusion.He or she often feelsdoubly marginal an outsiderin the field settingand alsodistant from friends,family,andotherresearchers.4 The relevance a researcher's of emotionalmakepersonal and culturalexperiences up, biography, makes important to be aware his or her perit of Box sonalcommitmentsand inner conflicts(see 11.3).Fieldworkcan havea strongimpact on a identity and outlook. Researchers researcher's

may be personallytransformedby the field exinterests, and perience. Someadoptnew values, their religion or moral commitments,or change politicalideology.s

CHOOSING A SITE AND GAINING ACCESS project doesnot proAlthough a field research ceedby fixed steps,some common concerns includeselecting a These arisein the earlystages. to site and gaining access the site, enteringthe rapport field,learningthe ropes,and developing in with members the field. Selecting a Site and Entering talk Whereto Observe. Fieldresearchers about on doing research a setting,or field site,but this A term is misleading. siteis the contextin which definedterrioccur,a socially events activities or tory with shifting boundaries.A social group physical For sites. exseveral may interactacross ample,a collegefootball team may interact on the playingfield,in the lockerroom, in a dormitory, at a training camp, or at a local hangout. The team'sfield siteincludesall five locations. The field site and researchquestion are bound together,but choosinga site is not the for is sameasfocusingon a case study.A case a socialrelationshipor activity;it can extendbeof yond the boundaries the siteandhavelinks to a A selects site, other socialsettings. researcher to then identifiescases examinewithin it-for how football team membersrelateto example, authority figures. a Selecting field site is an important decitake sion,and researchers noteson the siteselecThree factorsare relevantwhen tion processes. site: richnessof data, choosinga field research unfamiliarity, and suitability.6 Some sites are more likely than others to provide rich data. that presenta web of socialrelations,a vaSites riety of activities,and diverseeventsover time data.Beginning providericher,more interesting





Eliasoph 998) conducted (l fieldresearch several on groupsin a California community understand to how Americans avoidpoliticalexpression. wasa so_ One cialclub.Eliasoph describes herself an ,,urban, as bi_ ph.D. coastal, bespectacled, candidate froma Jewish, longlineof communists, atheists, liberals, book-read_ ers, ideologues, and arguers', (p.270). The social club'sworldwasveryforeignto her.The socialclub, the Buffalos, centered countryandwestern on music at a bar,the Silverado Club.Shedescribes it:

shirtsand jeans, women curly permsand tiered in of flounces laceor denimskirts, jeans, belts or and with their namesembroidered glitter on the back. in (1998:92)

Eliasoph introducedherself a student.During as . her two yearsofresearch, enduredsmoke_filled she roomsas well as expensive beer and bottled_water prices; attendeda wedding and manydancelessons; and participated countless in conversations and heardmanyabusive sexisVracist jokes.Shelistened, TheSilverado huddled a vast,ruttedparkinglot on on askedquestions, observed, and took notes in the whatwas wetlands now a truckstoi,a mile once and was bathroom.When she returnedhome after hours anda halffromAmargo's nuclear battle_ with club members, wasto a university [townname] it crowdwho shipstation.Occasional gulleys saltwatercattaits had little understanding of of the world shewasstudv_ poked through wide nilesof paved the malls and gas flat ing. For them,witty conversation centraland was stations.Ciantfour-wheeled-drive vehicles being bored wasto be avoided. fitted the The club members pa*ing lot, making miniature my Hondalook a tov. like used more nonverbal than verbalcommunication . . . lnside windowless the Silverado, initiatblinding daiand beingbored,or sitting and doing nothing,was gavewayto a huge Confederate pinned be_ just fine.The research up flag less forcedEliasopi'tor.e"*Irnine hindthebandstand, standardcollection nmnbeer the of her own viewsand tastes,whichsfrehad taken for signs and beermirrors,menin cowboys hats,cowboys granted.

field researchers should choosean unfamiliar setting.It is easier seecultural events to and so_ cial relationsin a new site.When .,casing,' possi_ ble field sites,one must considersuch iractical issues the researcher's as time and skills,serious conflicts among people in the site, the re_ searcher's personalcharacteristics feelings, and and access partsofa site. to A researcher's ascriptive characteristics (e.g., age,gender,race) can limit access. physicalac_ cess a sitecan be an issue. to Sitesare on a con_ tinuum, with openand public areas (e.g., public restaurants, airport waiting areas,etc.) at one end and closed and privatesettings (e.g., private firms, clubs,activities a person'ihorie, etc.)at in the other.A researcher find that he or sheis miy not welcomeor not allowedon the site,or there are legal and political barriers to access. Laws

and regulationsin institutions (e.g., public schools,hospitals,prisons,etc.) restrlct u...rr. In addition, institutional review boards may limit field research ethicalgrounds. on Level of Involvemenf. Field roles can be arcanged a continuum by the degree de_ on of tachmentor involvementa researcher with has members. oneextreme a detached At is outsider; at the other extremeis an intimately involved insider. The field researcher's level of involvement depends on negotiations with members, specifics the field setting,the researcher,s of personal comfort, and the particular role adoptedin the field. Many move from outsider to insider levelswith more time in the field. Eachlevelhasits advantages disadvantages. and


pA RTT HRE E,/ c o N D U c l N c e u A L trAT tvER E S E A R cH

Different field researchers advocate different levelsof involvement. Rolesat the outsiderend of the continuum make reducethe time neededfor acceptance, overrapportlessan issue,and can sometimes help membersopen up. They facilitatedetachA ment andprotectthe researcher's self-identity. researcher feelsmarginal.Although there is less risk of "going native,"he or sheis alsolesslikely to know an insider's experience and misinterpretationis morelikely.To reallyunderstand social meaningfor thosebeing studied,the field researcher must participate the setting, othin as ersdo. By contrast,roles at the insider end of the continuum facilitateempathyand sharingof a The goal of fi.rllyexperimember'sexperience. encingthe intimate socialworld of a memberis Nevertheless, lack of distancefrom, a achieved. too much sympathy for, or overinvolvement reports with membersis likely. A researcher's may be questioned,data gatheringis difficult, there can be a dramatic impact on the researcher's self, and the distanceneededfor analysis may be hard to attain.

for to findingsmight provideevidence someone criticizethem. is Dealingwith gatekeepers a recurrentissue In entersnew levelsor areas. adasa researcher can dition, a gatekeeper shapethe direction of gatekeeper approvalcreIn research. somesites, atesa stigma that inhibits the cooperation of prisonersmay not be For example, members. if cooperative they know that the prison warden gaveapprovalto the researcher. Stratery for Entering Entering a field site requireshaving a flexible access and or strategy plan ofaction, negotiating relations with members,and deciding how to about the research field much to disclose or members gatekeepers.

to Planning. Entering and gaining access a on that depends commonfield siteis a process judgmentand socialskills.Field sitesususense and entry is an ally havedififerentlevelsor areas, to issuefor each.Entry is more analogous peeling the layers of an onion than to opening a and promises entry of door. Moreover,bargains may not remain stableover time. A researcher is with the Gatekeepers. A gatekeeper someone fallbackplansor may haveto return later needs to formal or informal authorityto control access the Because specificfocus of for renegotiation. a site.7 can be the thug on the corner,an adIt may not emergeuntil later in the reresearch ministrator of a hospital,or the ownerof a busiit process may change, is bestto avoid or ness.Informal public areas (e.g., sidewalks, search by public waitingrooms,etc.)rarelyhave gatekeep- beinglockedinto specifics gatekeepers. haveauthoritiesfrom ers;formal organizations Negotiation Socialrelationsare negotiated whom permission must be obtained. and formed throughout the processof fieldField researchers expectto negotiatewith gatekeepers bargainfor access. The gate- work.8Negotiationoccurswith eachnew memand to keepers maynot appreciate needfor concep- ber until a stablerelationshipdevelops gain the developtrust, obtain information, and The researcher access, tual distanceor ethicalbalance. expects The researcher must setnonnegotiable limits to protectresearch reducehostilereactions. and explainwhat he or sheis doing to negotiate integrity.If therearemanyrestrictions initially, a over and over in the field (seeNormalizing Soresearcher often reopen negotiationslater, can later in the chapter). may and gatekeepers forgettheir initial demands cial Research Deviantgroupsand elitesoften requirespeIt astrust develops. is ethicallyandpoliticallyasTo for cial negotiations gainingaccess. gain acResearchers not do tute to call on gatekeepers. have field cess deviantsubcultures, researchers to or expectthem to listen to research concerns private life, careabout the findings, exceptinsofar asthese usedcontactsfrom the researcher's





who we are-the type of personwe areor would like to be-through our physical appearance, what we say,and how we act. The presentation of selfsends symbolicmessage. maybe, ..I'm a It a serious, hard-workingstudent,""I'm a warm and caringperson," "I'm a cool iock," or ..I,ma Disclosure. A researchermust decide how rebel and party animal." Many ielvesarepossimuch to revealabout himselfor herselfand the ble, and presentations selves of can diffir deresearch project. Disclosingone'spersonallife, pendingon the occasion. hobbies,interests, and backgroundcan build A field researcher conscious is ofthe presentrust and closerelationships, the researcher tation of self in the field. For exampG,how but will alsoloseprivacy,and he or sheneeds ento should he or she dressin the field?The b"st surethat the focusremainson eyents the field. in guideis to respect both oneselfand thosebeing A researcher decides also how much to disstudied.Do not overdress as to offend or so close about the research project. Disclosure standout, but copyingthe dressofthose being rangeson a continuum from fully covert restudiedis not always necessary. professor A who search, which no one in the field is awarethat in studiesstreetpeopledoesnot haveto dressor research taking place,to the oppositeend, is act^likeone; dressingand acting informally is where everyoneknows the specificsof the resufficient.Likewise, more formal dress and prosearch project.The degree timing of discloand fessional demeanorarerequiredwhen studying sure depends a researcher's judgment and on corporateexecutives top officials. or particulars the setting. in Disclosure may unfold A researcher mustbe aware that self-presenovertime asthe researcher feelsmore secure. tation will influencefield relationsto sornedeResearchers disclose projectto gatekeep- gree.It is difficult to presenta highly deceptive the ersand othersunlessthere is a good reasonfor front or to presentoneself a way that deviates in not doing so,suchasthe presence ofgatekeepers sharply from the person oneis ordinarily. who would seriouslylimitor inhibit research for illegitimate (e.g., hide graftor corrupreasons to Researcher Instrument. The researcher as is tion). Evenin thesecases, researcher a may disthe instrumentfor measuring field data.Thishas closehis or her identity asa researcher, may bui two implications.First, it puts pressure the on poseas one who seems submissive, harmless, researcher be alert and sensitiye what hapto to and interested nonthreatening in issues. pens in the field and to be disciplinedabout recordingdata.Second, haspersonal it consequences. Fieldworkinvolvessocialrelationships Learningthe Ropes and personal feelings. Fieldresearchers flexare After a field siteis selected access and obtained. ible about what to include as data and admit researchers must learn the ropes,developraptheir,own subjective perinsightsand feelings. port with members,adopt a role in the setting, sonal,subjective experiences part 6f field are and maintain social relations. Before cor_r- data.They are valuableboth in themselves and fronting such issues, researcher the should ask: for interpretingevents the field.Instead in oftryHow will I presentmyselftWhat doesit mean ing to be objectiveand eliminatepersonalreacfor me to be a "measurement instrument"? How tions,field researchers their feelings treat toward canI assume "attitude of strangeness"? an field events data. as Field research heightena researcher's can Presentation Self, Peopleexplicitlyand imof awareness personalfeelings.For example,a of plicitly presentthemselves others.We display researcher to may not be fully awareof personal

goneto socialwelfareor law-enforcement agencieswherethe deviants processed, are advertised for volunteers, offlered service (e.g., a counseling) in exchange access, gone to a location for or wheredeviants hangout andjoined a group.



c oNDUc r lNc


aboutnudity until he or sheis in a nudfeelings until possessions he ist colony,or aboutpersonal is in a settingwhere others "borrow" or she own surprise,inmany items.The researcher's or questioningthen may becomean dignation, opportunity for reflectionand insight. An Attituile of Strangeness. It is hard to recognize what we are very closeto' The everyday of world we inhabit is filled with thousands deIf we paid attention to everythingall the tails. information time, we would suffer from severe by We manage ignoringmuch of what overload. in is around us and by engaging habitualthinkwe fail to seethe familiar as ing. Unfortunately, that others experience distinctive,and assume just aswe do. We tend to treat our own reality way of living asnatural or normal. Field researchin familiar surroundingsis of difficult because a tendencyto be blinded by By studying other cultures, rethe familiar. encounterdramaticallydifferent assearchers sumptions about what is important and how things are done.This confrontationof cultures, or culture shock,has two benefits:It makesit and it facilitates easierto seecultural elements adoptthe attitudeof Researchers self-discovery. to strangeness gain thesebenefits.The attitude meansquestioningand noticing of strangenes.s ordinary details or looking at the ordinary helps Strangeness ofa throughthe eyes stranger. the boredom of observovercome a researcher ing ordinary details.It helpshim or her seethe of aspects ordinary in a newway, one that reveals of which membersare not conthe setting adoptsboth a A sciouslyaware. field researcher an insider'spoint ofview and stranger's Peoplerarely recognizecustomsthey take gives when someone for granted.For example, thank you and praisethe gift. By us a gift, we say contrast,gift-giving customsin many cultures include complainingthat the gift is inadequate' helpsmakethe tacit The attitude of strangeness example,that gift giversexculture visible-for pectto hear"Thankyou" and "The gift is nice," andbecomeupsetotherwise.

to a also Strangeness encourages researcher socialworld. Immerhis reconsider or her own sion in a different setting breaksold habits of thought and action. He or shefinds reflection when and and introspectioneasier more intense whetherit is a difthe encountering unfamiliar, through ferentcultureor a familiar culture seen eYes. a stranger's Building Rapport buildsrapportby gettingalong A field researcher with membersin the field. He or she forgesa the friendly relationship,shares samelanguage, members.This is a and laughs and cries with step toward obtaining an understandingof to and movingbeyondunderstanding members from feelingevents and empathy-that is, seeing persPective. another's It is not alwayseasyto build rapport. The socialworld is not all in harmony,with warm, friendly people.A settingmay containfear,tension,and conflict.Membersmaybe unpleasant, untrustworthy, or untruthful; they may do An things that disturb or disgusta researcher. prepared a rangeof for is researcher expeiienced evints and relationships.He or she may find' a to that it is impossible penetrate sethowever, members. Settings ting or get really close to and sympathy, collaboration wherecooperation, requiredifferenttechniques.v areimpossible needs soChqrm nnd Trust, A field researcher to build rapport. cial skills and personalcharm and beingwell liked faTrust, friendly feelings, cilitate communicationand help him or her to of the understand inner feelings others.Thereis no magicalway to do this. Showinga genuine beinghonest, concernfor and interestin others, but are and sharingfeelings goodstrategies, theJ setthe specific on arenot foolproof. It depends ting and members. Many factorsaffecttrust and rapport-how the himselfor herself; role presents a researcher the events for he or she chooses the field; and limit, or make it impossibleto that encourage,

2 86

pA RTT HRE E,/ c o N D U c l N c e u AL trA T r vE E S E A R cH R

Members who are cool at first may warm up later.Or theymayput on a front of initial friendliness, their fears and and suspicions surface only position.Early later.A researcher in a delicate is in a project,when not yet firlly awareof everydoesnot thing about a field site,the researcher form closerelationships because circumstances Yet, if he or shedoesdevelopclose may change. friends,they can becomeallieswho will defend presence help him or her and the researcher's gain access. monitors how his or her A field researcher members.For exactionsor appearance affects ample,a physically attractiveresearcher inwho teractswith membersof the oppositesexmay flirting, and jealousy. or He encountercrushes, field relations shedevelops awareness these an of them. and learnsto manage In addition to developing socialrelationmust be ableto breakor ships,a field researcher withdraw from relationshipsas well. Ties with Normalizing Social Research. A field reone membermay haveto be broken in order to searchernot only observes and investigates forgetieswith othersor to exploreother aspects membersin the field but is observed As and invesof the setting. with the end of any friendly retigated by members as well. In overt field lationship,the emotionalpain of socialwithresearch,members are usually initially undrawal can affect both the researcher and the comfortablewith the presence a researcher. member. The researcher must balancesocial of Most are unfamiliar with field research goals. sensitivity and the research and fail to distinguishbetweensociologists, psychologists,counselors, socialworkers.They may and relationships develop Small Favors. Fscchange seethe researcher an outsidecritic or spy,or as in the field, in which smalltokensor favors,inasa savioror all-knowingexpert. and are cluding deference respect, exchanged. A An overt field researcher must normalizeso- researcher may gain acceptance helping out by cial research-that is, help membersredefinesohelps when access to in small ways.Exchange cial researchfrom something unknown and issues limited. A researcher offer is may sensitive threatening somethingnormal andpredictable. smallfavorsbut not burden members asking to by He or shecanhelp membersmanage for return favors.As the researcher and memresearch by presentinghis or her own biography,explaining bersshareexperiences seeeachother again, and field research little at a time, appearingnona members recallthe favorsand reciprocate alby Duneier(1999)used threatening,or acceptingminor deviancein the lowing access. example, For setting(e.9., minor violations officialrules). the small favor of watchingthe tablesof street of vendorswhenthey had to leavefor a short time, suchasto usethe bathroom. MaintainingRelations SocinlRelations, With time, a field researcher develops and modifies social relationships. Conflictsin theFielil. Fights,conflict,and disagreements erupt in the field, or a researcher can

peratures,filthy and dilapidatedliving conditions, dysentery and mosquitoes.Shefelt isolated,shecried a lot, and shegained30 pounds from compulsiveeating.After months in the field, shethought shewasa total failure;shewas distrustedby membersand got into fights with the campadministration. Maintaininga "marginal" statusis stressful; it is difiicult to be an outsiderwho is not firlly involved,especially when studyingsettings of full intensefeelings(e.g.,political campaigns, religiousconversions, etc.).The loneliness isoand lation of fieldwork may combinewith the desire to developrapport and empathyto cause overinvolvement.A researcher may "go native" and drop the professional researcher's to berole comea firll memberof the group beingstudied. Or the researcher may feel guilt about learning intimate detailsas membersdrop their guard, and may cometo overidenti$'with members.




? '8 7

may study groupswith opposingpositions.In senses, noticing what is seen,heard, smelled, suchsituations, researcher feelpressure tasted,or touched.Theresearcher the will becomes inan to takesidesand will be testedto seeif he or she strumentthat absorbs sources information all of can be trusted.In such occasions, researcher a A field researcher carefully scrutinizesthe usuallystays the neutralsidelines walksa on and physical settingto captureits atmosphere. or He tightropebetweenopposingsides.This is beshe asks:What is the color of the floor, walls, cause oncehe or shebecomes alignedwith one ceiling?How large is the room? Where are the side, the researcher will cut off access the to windows and doors? How is the furniture other side.In addition,he or shewill seethe sitarranged, what is its condition (e.g.,new or and uation from onlyone point of view. old and worn, dirty or clean)? What type of lighting is there? Are there signs, painiings, AppearingInterested. Fieldresearchers mainplants? What arethe soundsor smels? tain an appearance interest of inthe field. An exWhy bother with such details?you may perienced researcher appears be interested to in have noticed that storesand restaurants often and involved with field eventsby statements and plan lighting, colors,and piped-in musicto crebehaviors(e.g.,facialexpression, going for cofatea certainatmosphere. Muyb. you know that fee,organizingaparty, etc.) evenif he or sheis used-car sales peoplespraya new-carscentinto not truly interested.This is because field relacarsor that shopsin shoppingmalls intentiontions may be disruptedif the researcher appears ally sendout the odor of freshlymadecookies. to be boredor distracted. Putting up sucha temThesesubtle,unconscious signals influencehupora'ryfront of involvementis a common small man behavior. deception dailylife and is part of beingpolite. in Observing field research often detailed, in is Of course,selective inattention (i.e., not tediouswork. Insteadof the quick flash,motivastaringor appearing to notice)is alsopart of not tion arises ofa deepcuriosityabout the deout actingpolite. If a personmakesa socialmistake tails.Good field researchers intrigued are about (e.g.,accidentally uses incorrectword, passes details that reveal "what's going on here" an gas, etc.),the polite thing to do is to ignoreit. Se- throughcarefrrl listeningandwatching.Fieldrelectiveinattentionis usedin fieldwork,aswell. It searchers believethat the core of soiial life i, givesan alertresearcher opportunity to learn an communicated through the mundane, trival, by casuallyeavesdropping conversations on or everydayminutia. This is what people often obsen'ingevents meantto be public. not overlook,but field researchers to learnhow need to notice. In additionto physical surroundings, field a researcher observes people their actions, and notOBSERVINGAND COLLECTING ing eachperson'sobservable physicalcharacterDATA istics:age,sex,race,and stature.peoplesociahy This sectionlooksat how to getgoodqualitative interact differently dependingon whether anfield data.Fielddataarewhat the researcher exotherpersonis 18,40,or 70years old; maleor feperiences and remembers, and what are male;White or non-White;shortandfrail or tall. recorded field notesand becomeavailable in for heavyset, muscular. and When noting suchcharsystematic analysis. acteristics, researcher included.For examthe is ple, an attitude of strangenessheightens sensitivity a group'sracialcomposition. reto A Watching and Listening searcher who ignoresthe racialcompositionof a Observing. In the field, researchers attenpay group of Whites in a multiracialsociety because tion, watch, and listen carefully.They useall the he or shetoo is White isbeingraciallyinsensitive.

28 8


c oNDUc r lNc


recordssuchdetailsbecause The researcher It mightberevealed. is of something significance than to igbetterto err by including everything For nore potentiallysignificantdetails. example, "The tall, White muscular l9-year-old male sprintedinto the brightly lit room just as the short, overweight Black woman in her sixties into a batteredchair" saysmuch more eased anothersatdown." than "One personentered, notesaspects ofphysical A fietd researcher dress' and hairstyle suchasneatness, appearance messages canaffectsothat they because express Peoplespenda greatdeal of cial interactions. time and money selectingclothes,styling and combinghair, groomingwith make-up,shaving, ironing clothes,and using deodorantor perof fumes.Theseare part of their presentation or self.Evenpeoplewho do not groom, shave, and wear deodorantpresentthemselves senda No by symbolicmessage their appearance. one sugor dresses looks"normal." Sucha statement is the gests that a researcher not seeing social or of world through the eyes a stranger is insensitiveto socialsignals. Behavior is also significant. A field renoticeswhere peoplesit or stand,the searcher pace at which they walk, and their nonverbal socialinformacommunication.Peopleexpress tion, feelings,and attitudesthrough nonverbal facial excommunication, including gestures, pressions, how one standsor sits (standing and position,etc.).People stiffly,sittingin a slouched by relationships how theypositionthemexpress in selves a group and through eyecontact.A remay readthe socialcommunicationof searcher peopleby noting that they arestandingclosetoand gether, looking relaxed, makingeyecontact. also A field researcher noticesthe contextin Who just occur:Who waspresent? which events Was the room hot and arrivedor left the scene? asstuffy?Suchdetailsmay help the researcher why an eventocsign meaningand understand curred. If they are not noticed, the details are of lost, asis a full understanding the event. Serendipityis important in field research. does Many times,a field researcher not know the

of relevance what he or she is observinguntil later. This hastwo implications.First is the imnotes and portance ofkeenobservation excellent to evenwhen "nothing seems be at all times, is happening."Second the importanceof looktime and learning to appreciate ing back over say wait time. Most field researchers that they lot of time "waiting." Novice field respenda get searchers frustratedwith the amount of time they seemto "waste," either waiting for other to peopleor waiting for events occur. must be attunedto needs researcher A field on operate otherpeoof the setting, the rhythms and observehow eventsoccur ple's schedules, within their own flow of time. Wait time is not time. Wait time is time for reflecwasted always social details,for developing tion, for observing rapport, and for becomrelations,for building ing a familiar sightto peoplein the field setting. is that a researcher comWait time alsodisplays is perseverance a significant mitted and serious; needto cultivate.The retrait field researchers impatient to get in, get the remay be searcher over,and geton with his or her "real life" search but for the peoplein the field site,this is reallife. his should subordinate or her The researcher of to the demands the field site. wants personal listenscarefiilly to Listming. A field researcher and incorrectgrammar,listenphrases, accents, ing both to what issaidand howit is saidorwhat was implied. For example,people often use phrases suchas"you know" or "ofcourse" or "et knows the meaning cetera."A field researcher He phrases. or shecan try to hear behind such but everything, listeningis difficult when many occurat onceor when eavesdropconversations usuand events themes ping.Luckily,significant ally recur. Taking Notes dataarc in the form of field Most field research notes.Full field notescan contain maps,diataperecordings, interviews, photographs, grams, from the or objects memoq artifacts videotapes,




Direct Observation Notes. The basicsourceof field dataare notesa researcher writes immediately after leaving the field, which he or shecan add to later. The notes should be ordered chronologically with the date,time, andplaceon eachentry. They serveas a detaileddescription ofwhat the researcher heard and sawin concrete,specific terms.To the extentpossible, they are an exactrecordingofthe particular words, phrases, actions. or Typesof Field Notes. Field researchers take A researcher's memoryimproveswith pracnotesin many ways.l0The recommendations tice.A new researcher soonrememberexact can here (alsoseeBox 11.4)are suggestions. phrasesfrom the field. Verbatim statements Full field noteshaveseveral tlpes or levels. Fivelevels should be written with double quote marks to will be described. is usuallybest keepall the It to distinguishthem from paraphrases. Dialogue notesfor an observation period togetherand to (nonverbalcommunication,props, accessories distinguishtypes of notes by separate pages. tone, speed, yolume, gestures) should be Someresearchers includeinferences recordedaswell. A researcher with direct recordswhat was observations they aresetoffby a visibledevice actuallysaidand doesnot cleanit up; notesinif suchasbrackets coloredink. The quantity of or clude ungrammatical speech, slang,and misnotesvariesacross types.For example, hours (e.g.,write, "IJh, I'm goin' home, six statements in the field might resultin 1 pageofjoued notes, Sal,"not "I am goinghome,Sally''). 40 pages direct observation, pages reof 5 of A researcher puts concretedetailsin notes, searcher inference, and2pages total for methodnot summaries. example, For insteadof, "We ological,theoretical, personal and notes. talkedaboutsports,"he or shewrites,"Anthony arguedwith Sam and |ason.He said that the lotted Notes. It is nearly impossible to take Cubswould win next weekbecause they traded good notesin the field. Evena known observer for a new shortstop,Chiappetta. alsosaid He

field, notesjotted in the field, and detailed notes written awayfromthefield.A field researcher expects fill manynotebooks, the equivalent to or in computermemory.He or shemay spendmore time writing notesthan beingin the field. Some researchers produce40 single-spaced pages of notesfor threehours of observation. With practice,evena newfield researcher producesevcan eralpages ofnotes for eachhour in the field. Writing notesis often boring, tediouswork that requiresself-discipline. The notescontain extensive descriptivedetail drawn from memory. A researcher makesit a daily habit or compulsion to write notesimmediatelyafterleaving the field. The notesmust be neatand organized because researcher return to them over the will arld over again.Oncewritten, the notesareprivateand valuable. researcher A treatsthem with care and protectsconfidentiality.Field notes may be of interestto hostileparties,blackmailers,or legalofficials,so someresearchers write field notesin code. A researcher's stateof mind, levelof attention, and conditionsin the field affectnote taking. He or shewill usuallybegin with relatively short one- to three-hourperiodsin the field before writing notes.

in a public setting looks strangewhen furiously writing. More important, when looking down and writing, the researcher cannotseeand hear what is happening.The attentiongivento note writing is taken from field observationwhere it belongs. specific The settingdetermines whether notes in the field can be taken. The reany searcher maybeableto write, andmembers may expectit, or he or shemay haveto be secretive (e.g., to the restroom). go are Jottednotes written in the field.They are short, temporary memory triggers such as words, phrases, drawingstaken inconspicuor ously, often scribbledon any convenientitem (e.g.,napkin, matchbook).They are incorporatedinto directobservation notesbut arenever substituted them. for



Record notesassoonas possible aftereachperiodin the field, anddo not talkwithothersuntil observations recorded. are

2. Beginthe recordof eachfield visit with a new
page, with the date andtime noted.

flow" and write quicklywith1 0. "Let your feelings out worrying aboutspelling "wildideas." or Assume that no oneelse seethe notes. use will but pseudonyms. 'l . Never I substitute taperecordings completely for field notes. diagrams mapsof the setting,and or I 2. Include outline your own movements thoseofothand ersduringthe periodof observation. the own 1 3. Include researcher's wordsand behavfeelings ior in the notes.Also recordemotional section. and privatethoughtsin a separate 14. Avoidevaluative summarizing words. Instead of "Thesinklooked say, disgusting," "Thesinkwas rust-stained lookedas if it had not been and in of cleaned a longtime.Pieces food and dirty dishes lookedas if they had beenpiledin it for several days." notesperiodically recordideas and genI 5. Reread eratedby the rereading. I 6. Alwaysmakeone or more backupcopies,keep and storethe copies them in a lockedlocation, in differentplaces caseof fire. in

3. Usejotted notesonly as a temporarymemory
aid,with keywordsor terms,or the first and last things said.

4. Use wide margins makeit easyto add to to
notesat anytime.Co backandaddto the notes if you remember something later.

5. Planto type notesand keepeachlevelof notes
separate it will be easyto go backto them so later.

6. Record eventsin the order in whichthey occurred, and note how longthey last (e.g., 1 5a minute wait,a one-hour ride). 7. Makenotesasconcrete, complete, compreand hensible oossible. as paragraphs quotation 8. Usefrequent and marks. Exactrecallof phrasesis best, with double quotes; single use quotes paraphrasing. for

9. Record small or routines talk that do not appear
to be significant the time;they may become at imoortant later.

that the team was better than the Mets, who he thought had inferior infielders. He cited last week's game where the Cubs won againstBoston by 8 to 3." A researcher notes who was present) what happened, where it occurred, when, and under what circumstances.New researchers may "nothing important hapnot take notesbecause pened." An experiencedresearcherknows that events when "nothing happened" can reveal a lot. For example, members may expressfeelings and organize experience into folk categories evenin trivial conversations.

Inference Notes. A field researcher Researcher listens to members in order to "climb into their skin" or "walk in their shoes." This involves a three-step process. The researcher listens without applying analytical categories; he or she compares what is heard to what was heard at other times and to what others say; then the researcherapplies his or her own interpretation to infer or figure out what it means. In ordinary interaction, we do all three steps simultaneously and jump quickly to our own inferences.A field researcherlearns to look and listen without in-

C H A P T E R1 . I /



ferringor imposingan interpretation. or her His observations without inferencesgo into direct observation notes. A researcher records inferences a separate in sectionthat is keyedto directobservations. People never seesocialrelationships, emotions,or meaning.They seespecificphysicalactionsand hear words, then use background cultural knowledge, cluesfrom the context,and what is doneor saidto assign socialmeaning. examFor ple, one doesnot see loveor anger; one sees and hearsspecificactions(red face,loud voice,wild gestures, obscenities) draw inferences and from them (the personis angry). Peopleconstantlyinfer socialmeaningon the basisof what they seeand hear,but not alwayscorrectly. example, niece For my visitedme andaccompanied to a storeto buy a kite. The me clerk at the cashregistersmiled and askedher whether she and her "Daddy'' (looking at me) weregoingto fly the kite that day.The clerk observed our interaction, then inferred a father/daughter,not an uncle/niece relationship. She saw and heard a male adult and a female child, but she inferred the social meaning incorrectly. A researcher keepsinferred meaningseparate from direct observation because meanthe ing of actions is not always self-evident. Sometimes, peopletry to deceive others.For example,an unrelatedcoupleregister a motel as at Mr. and Mrs. Smith.More frequently,socialbehavior is ambiguousor multiple meaningsare possible. example, see White maleand feFor I a male,both in their late twenties, out of a car get and enter a restaurant together.They sit at a table,order a meal,and talkwith serious expressions in hushedtones,sometimes leaning forward to heareachother.As they getup to leave, the woman,who hasa sadfacialexpression and appearsready to cry, is briefly huggedby the male.They then leavetogether.Did I witnessa couplebreakingup, two friends discussing a third, two peopletrying to decide what to do because theyhavediscovered their spouses that are

having an affair with eachother, or a brother and sisterwhosefatherjust died? Analytic Notes. Researchers make many decisions about how to proceedwhile in the field. Someactsareplanned(e.g., conductan interto view, to observea particular activity, etc.) and othersseem occuralmostout ofthin air. Field to researchers keep methodologicalideasin analytic notesto record their plans,tactics,ethical and proceduraldecisions, and self-critiques of tactics. Theory emerges field research in during datacollectionand is clarifiedwhen a researcher reviewsfield notes.Analytic noteshave a running accountof a researcher's attemptsto give meaning to field events.He or she thinks out loud in the notes by suggesting links between ideas,creatinghypotheses, proposingconjectures,and developing new concepts. Analytic memosare part of the theoretical notes.They are systematic digressions into theory, where a researcher elaborates ideasin on depth, expands ideaswhile still in the field, on and modifiesor develops more complextheory by rereading and thinking aboutthe memos. Personal Notes. As discussed earlier,personal feelings emotionalreactions and become part of the data and color what a researcher seesor hearsin the field.A researcher keeps sectionof a notes that is like a personal diary. He or she records personallife eventsand feelingsin it ("I'm tensetoday.I wonder if it's because the of fight I had yesterday with Chris," "I've got a headache this gloomy,overcast on day''). Personal notes servethree functions:They provide an outlet for a researcher a way to and copewith stress; they area sourceof dataabout personalreactions;and they give him or her a way to evaluate direct observation inference or noteswhenthe notesarelaterreread. examFor ple, if the researcher in a goodmood during was observations, might color what he or sheobit (see served Figure11.2).




FIcURE 1 1.2

lnference Kay seems today, friendly She humming. solemn becomes I and watchful. thinksheputson the radiowhen nervous. Analytic Womenare afraidof men who comein alonesincethe robbery. PersonalJournal It is raining. I am feeling comfortable with Kay but am boredtoday.

DirectObservation October4. KaY's Sunday, Kafe3:00pm.Large Whitemalein mid-4Os, He enters. overweight, wearswornbrownsuit. sits He is alone; at booth asks, #2.KaycomesbY, "What'll be?"Man it says,"Coffee,blackfor now."She leavesand he and lightscigarette reads 3:15Pm.KaY menu. turnson radio.

often Maps and Diagrams. Field researchers or drawdiagrams picturesof the makemapsand tlvo of features a field site.This serves purposes: in events the field otganize It helpsa researcher a field siteto others.For exand it helpsconvey observinga bar with. 15 ample, a researcher and number 15 circlesto simstoolsmay draw pliS' recording(e.8.'"Yosukecamein and saton on was itool 12;Phoebe already stool10").Field typesof mapshelpful:spafind researchers three tial, social,and temporal.The first helpsorient the data;the latter two arepreliminaryforms of A data analysis. spatial map locatespeople, andthe like in termsof geographical equipment, physical spaceto show where activities occur the Asocialmapshows number inig"t. 11.3A). people and the arrangements or variety of friendship,diamongthem of power,influence, so on (Figure11'3B)'A vision of labor, and ebb map showsthe and flow of people, temporal or communications, schedand goodr,services, 11.3C). ules(Figure

the field. They cannot be introduced into all field sites,and can be used only aftet a researcherdevelops rapport. Recordersand videotapesprovide a close approximation to what occurred and a p.r-un.rrt record that others can review' They ,a-a ut "jotted notes" to help a researcherrecall events and observe what is easy to miss' Nevertheless,these items can create disruption and an increased awarenessof surveillance' Researchers probwho rely on them must addressassociated (e.g.,ensurethat batteriesare fresh and there lems are enough blank tapes). Also' relistening to or viewing tapes can be time consuming' For example, it may take over 100 hours to listen to 50 iro,rr, ,".orded in the field. Transcriptions of tape are expensive and not always accurate; they do not always convey subtle contextual meanings or mumbled words. Duneier (1999) had a tape recorder on all the time in his study of New York City streetvendors. He made others aware of the machine and took reponsibility for what behaviors he focusedon, and he left the machine visible' The taping mayhave createdsome distortion but it also provided a record of everydayroutines' He Machine Recordingsto SupplementMeffiory' also had a collaborator who took a large collection Tape recordersand videotapescan be hetpful Theyneversubsti- of photographs of his field site and informants' in supplements field research. which heiped him to seethings differently' in presence notesor a researcher's

t"ta fot field

F I G URE 11. 3 A SpatialMap

Typesof MapsUsedin FieldResearch

lwong \-/

6 \_/

EmPtY Chair



De Onis




B Social Map

Apartment A Friendship Patternof 'l 1 People

O t",""
C Temporal Map

r"r"t"" @M
Day of Week, Buzz's Bar



Neighbors ano Bridge Players




me?Is there anythingthat saylngthat to please his spontaneity? might limit take Field researchers subjectivityand conas they evaluatecredibility' text into account or statements actions Theyknow that a person's Data Quality by subjectiveperceptions.Stateare affected mentsaremadefrom a particularpoint of view Reliability in FieldResearch. The reliabilityof Inthe Are researcher and coloredby an individual's experiences. field dataaddresses question: to eachstatement seeif it is steadof evaluating about a memberor field eventinobservations usefulin finds statements true. a field researcher Internal conternally and externallyconsistent? and statements acEveninaccurate refersto whetherthe data are plausible themselves. sistency be revealingfrom a researcher's givenall that is known about a personor event, tions can eliminatingcommon forms of human decep- perspective. As mentionedbefore, actions and statetion. In other words, do the piecesfit together by ments are shaped the context in which they into a coherentpicture?For example,are a is saidin one settingmay differ in What appear. over time and in member'sactionsconsistent when asked"Do For example, other contexts. is Externalconsistency different socialcontexts? a membermay sayno in a public observa- you dance?" by achieved verifyingor cross-checking setting full of excellentdancers,but yes in a tions with other, divergentsourcesof data. In semiprivatesettingwith few good dancersand other words, doesit all fit into the overallcondifferentmusic.It is not that the memberis lying text?For example,can othersverifr what a reby is but that the answer shaped the context. about a person?Does other observed searcher (1999)haswarnedus to avoid the Duneier observations? confirm the researcher's evidence ethnographic Reliability in field researchalso includes fallacy.It occurswhen a field reSuch searchertakeswhat he or she obervesat face what is not said or done,but is expected. value,doesnot questionwhat peoplein a field omissionscan be significantbut are difficult to detect.For example,when observinga cashier site say, and focusessolely on the immediate detailsof a field settingwhile ignoring concrete end her shift, a researchernotices that the largersocialforces.Duneiernoted that he tried moneyin the cashdraweris not counted.He or to avoid the fallacyby being awareof largersoshe may notice the omission only if other cial contextand forces.Thus,he studiedpeople cashiers alwayscount the money at the end of who took responsibilty for their own failures the shift. (such as dropping out of schoolin the ninth depends a reon Reliabilityin field research Duneier was grade) and blamed themselves. and suspicions, insight, awareness, searcher's many other studiesof the larger firlly awarefiom questions. He or she looks at membersand eventsfrom different angles(legal,economic, forces (e.g., family situation, violence,poor joblessness) that questions: quality school,racialprejudice, political,personal)and mentallyasks offailure'l1 experience Where doesthe money come from for that? oftencontributedto their What do thosepeopledo alt day? dependon what members Valiility in Field Research. Validityin field reField researchers placedin a researcher's is the tell them.This makes credibilityof members search the confidence the representing and dataas accurately part and their statements of reliability.To check analysis is Replicability not a criworld in the field. social Doesthe asks: membercredibility,a researcher is field terion because research virtually impossipersonhavea reason lie?Is shein a positionto to aspects the field of ble to replicate.Essential know that?What are the person'svaluesand context change, change:The socialeventsand Is what shesays? he just how might that shape conductsfield InterviewNotes, Ifa researcher the he interviews(to be discussed), or shekeeps interviewnotesseparate.

C H AP TE R l l




the members are different, the individual rediffers,and so on. Therearefour kinds searcher ecologi accutaclr: of validity or testsof research naturalhistory, membervalidation, calvalidity, and competentinsiderperformance.

t I



validity' Validity is achievedby t Ecological All Details describingthe studied social world in a in the what itwouldbe withmannerthat matches Field validity Ecological presence. out a research I would and interactions that suggests events there occur the samewithout a researcher -+Amount of Timein the FieldSite+ study' without beingpart of a research and by t Natural history.Validity is achieved ofonly afterbeing in the field and ops hlpotheses a highly detaileddescriptionof how fering it firsthand. At first, everything experiencing Natural history the risearchwasconducted. attenrelevant;later, however,selective seems readers a close-up view of a reoffers and questions themes. specific on tion focuses and actions,assumptions, procesearcher's for evaluation. dures often use nonSampling. Field researchers by t Membervalidation.Validity is achieved suchassnowballsampling. probabilitysamples, of askingmembers a field siteto reviewand is Manytimes the field research samplingdifferverifr the accuraryof the descriptionof may takea ent tfpes of units. A field researcher limitatheir intimate socialworld. Possible smaller. selectiveset of observationsfrom all tions of member validation are that difor possible observations, sampletimes, situaferent members may have conflicting typesofpeople, tions, typesofevents,locations, may objectto 11unmembers perspectives, a For of or contexts interest. example, researcher lavoiable portrayal their social world, or a time by observing settingat different samples parts of a demembersmay not recognize at times.He or sheobserves all times of the day, go beyondtheir own narrow scription that to on everydayof theweek,and in all seasons get perspective.l2 or the same of a full sense how the field sitestays Validity is insiderperformance. t Competent when samIt changes. is often best to overlap interactingidentiby achieved a researcher timesfrom 7:00e.u. pling (e.g., havesampling to "passing"asan insider or memcally to or e'vt.,from from 8:00, to 10:00 to,t., ber of the field site.This form of validity is etc.). to 9:00n.rvr. I l:00n.tvn., truly underreachedwhen a researcher locationsbeoften samples A researcher knowsand acts assumptions, insider stands one cause locationmay givedepth'but a narrow basedon tacit local socialrules or knowlperspective. Sittingor standingin differentlocatell and getinsiderjokes' edge,and can get iioni h"lps the researcher a senseof the the wholesite.For example, peer-to-peerbehavusuallyoccursin a faculty ior ofschool teachers and SamPling Focusing lounge,but it also occursat a local bar when temporarily gatheror in a classroom teachers first Focusing. The field researcher getsa genIn addition, reused for a teachermeeting. probon eralpicture,then focuses a few specific to tracethe pathsof members various A (seeFigure11.4). researcher searchers lemsor issues and questions devel- field locations. research on decides specific





ended,informal, and long. Generally,they inbeingpresent, occurin volveoneor morepeople field,and areinformal andnondirective(i.e., the maytakethe interviewin various the respondent directions). A field interview involves a rnutual sharing A might sharehis or of experiences. researcher her background build trust and encourage to the informant to open up, but doesnot force answersor useleadingquestions. Sheor he enguides a process of mutual couragesand discovery. In field interviews, membersexpress themin the forms in which they normally speak, selves reality.A researcher retains think, and organize jokes and narrativestoriesin their members' them into natural form and doesnot repackage a standardized format.Thefocusis on the memand In bers'perspectives experiences. order to stay close to a member's experience,the rein exsearcher asksquestions termsof concrete "Could you amplesor situations-for example, tell me things that led up to your quitting in fune?"insteadof "Why did you quit your job?" Field interviewscan occur in a seriesover THE FIELD RESEARCHINTERVIEW time. A researcher beginsby building rapport conversation awayfrom evaluative So far, you havelearnedhow field researchers and steering probobserveand take notes. They also interview or highlysensitive topics.He or sheavoids members, field interviews but differ from survey ing inner feelingsuntil intimary is established, research interviews. This sectionintroducesthe and eventhen,the researcher expects apprehenfield interview. sion. After several meetings,he or shemay be issues ableto probe more deeplyinto sensitive and seekclarificationof lesssensitive issues. In The Field Interview later interviews,he or shemay return to topics Fieldresearchers unstructured, by use nondirective, and checkpast answers restatingthem in a in-depth interviews,which differ from formal nonjudgmental tone and asking for verifica"The lasttime we talked,you survey researchinterviews in many ways (see tion-for example, Table 11.1).The field interviewinvolvesasking saidthat you started takingthingsfrom the store questions,listening, expressing your pay.Is that right?" afterthey reduced interest,and recordingwhat wassaid.It is a joint production The field interview is closer to a friendly of a researcher a member.Membersareacand than the stimulus/response model conversation interview.You arefative participants whoseinsights, found in a surveyresearch feelings, coand operation are essential parts of a discussion miliar with a friendlyconversation. hasits own It (1) process that reveals subjective informal rulesand the following elements: a meanings. ("Hi, it's good to seeyou again");(2) greeting Field research interviews go by many names: the absence an explicit goal or purpose (we of unstructured, depth,ethnographic, open Fieldresearchers peopleby focusing sample their attentionon differentkinds of people(olotimers and newcomers, and young, males old and females, leadersand followers).As a researcher identifiestypesof people,or people with opposingoutlooks,he or shetriesto interact with and learn about all types.A field researcheralso samples various kinds of events, suchasroutine,special, unanticipated. Rouand (e.g., tine events openingup a storefor business) happeneveryday and shouldnot be considered unimportant simply because they are routine. Special events(e.g.,annualoffice parry) zre announcedand plannedin advance. They focus member attention and revealaspects social of life not otherwisevisible.Unanticipatedevents are thosethat just happento occur while a researcher present(e.g.,unsupervised is workers when the manager getssick and cannotoversee workersat a storefor a day).In this case, rethe searcher something sees unusual,unplanned,or rareby chance.





don't say,"Let's now discuss what we did last weekend"); (3) avoidanceof repetition (we don't say, "Could you clarifr what you said about"); (4) questionasking("Did you seethe race yesterday?"); expressions interest (5) of ("Really? wish I could havebeenthere!"); (6) I expressions ofignorance("No, I missed What it. happened?"); turn taking,sothe encounter (7) is (one persondoesnot always quesbalanced ask tions and the other only answer);(8) abbreviations ("I missedthe Derby,but I'm goingto the Indy," not "I missedthe KentuckyDerby horse racebut I will go to the Indianapolis500 auto-

motive race"); (9) a pauseor brief silence when neitherpersontalksis acceptable; a closing (10) (we don't say,"Let's end this conversation"; instead, givea verbalindicator beforephysically we leaving:"I've got to get backto work now-see ya tomorrow"). The field interview differs from a friendlv conversation. has an explicit purpose-to It learn about the informant and setting.A researcher includesexplanations requests or that divergefrom friendly conversations. examFor ple,he or shemay say,"I'dlike to askyou about . . ." or "Could you look at this and seeif I've

SurveyInterviewsversusField ResearchInterviews

l . It hasa clearbeginning end. and questions asked 2. The same standard are ofall respondents the samesequence. in

1. The beginning end arenot clear. and The interview be pickedup later. can 2. The questions and the order in whichthev are askedare tailoredto specific peopleand situations. 3. The interviewer showsinterestin responses, encourages elaboration. 4. It is likea friendlyconversational exchange, but with more interviewer questions. 5. lt canoccurin group settingor with othersin area,but varies. 5. lt is interspersed jokes,asides, with stories, diversions, anecdotes, and whichare recorded. 7. Open-ended questions common, are and probesare frequent. 8. The interviewer member jointly control and the paceand directionof the interview. 9. The socialcontextof the interview noted is and seenas importantfor interpreting the meaning responses. of

3. The interviewer appears neutralat all times.
4. The interviewer asksquestions, the and respondent answers. It is almostalways with one respondent alone.

6. It hasa professional tone and businesslike focus;
diversions ignored. are 7. Closed-ended questions common, are with rare probes. 8 . The interviewer alonecontrolsthe paceand directionof interview.

9. The socialcontextin whichthe interview occurs
is ignoredand assumed makelittle difference. to

10. The interviewer attemptsto moldthe framework 1 0. The interviewer adjusts the member's to communication pattern into a standard. normsand language usage.
Source:Adapted Briggs 986), Denzin 989), Douglas 985), Misher 9g6), spradley from (l (1 (l (1 (1979a).




written it down right?"The field interviewis less balanced.A higher proportion of questions more who expresses comefrom the researcher, repeti ignoranceand interest.Also, it includes asks tion. and a researcher the memberto elaborateon unclearabbreviations. (2003)useddepthinterviews her in Kissane field study of low-income women in Philadelphia (discussed Chapter6). Interviewslasted in noted from 30 minutesto three hours. Kissane they that she askedthe women what services used,and then namedspecificagencies. Often a say she was aware of the woman would then namedagency. asked womento describe She the when with various agencies, their experiences if theywould useservices they had usedthem or and of various agencies, what other socialservicesthey used.Open-ended interviewingallowed her to seethe women'sdecision-making process. Types of Questions in Field Interviews Many field researchers three tlpes of quesask tions in a field interview:descriptive, structural, All and contrastquestions. are askedconcurrently,but eachtypeis more frequentat a differprocess(seeFigure ent stagein the research pri11.5).During the earlystage, researcher a questions, marily asks descriptive then gradually

FIcURE 1 1.5

TypesofQuestionsin FieldResearch lnterviews

Numberof Questions

Time in the Field

adds structural questionsuntil, in the middle has stageafter analysis begun,they make up a majority of the questions.Contrast questions in beginto appear the middle of a field research study and increaseuntil, by the end, they are more than any other type.l3 asked question usedto explorethe is A descriptite setting and learn about members.Descriptive questions be abouttime and space-for excan ample,"Where is the bathroom?""When does the delivery truck arrive?" "What happened Monday night?" They can alsobe about people and activities:"\,Vhois sitting by the window?" "What is your unclelike?""What happens durThey canbe about ing the initiation ceremony?" "Which "When do you usea saber saw?" objects: tools do you carry with you on an emergency water leakjob?" Questionsaskingfor examples "Could example, aredescriptive:.questions-for of you giveme an example a greatdate?""What as were your experiences a postalclerk?"Descriptivequestionsmay ask about hypothetical "If situations: a studentopenedher book during the exam,how would you deal with it?" They about the argotof the setting: alsoaskmembers "What do you call a deputy sherif,R"(The answeris a "county Mountie.") question introduces structural a A researcher after spendingtime in the field and starting to orgadata. It begins after a researcher analyze nizesspecificfield events,situations,and conversations into conceptual categories.For of observations a highexample,a researcher's revealed that the emway truck-stoprestaurant ployees informally classify customers who patronizethe truck stop.In a preliminary analya sis, he or she creates conceptualcategoryof and hasmembersveriff the kinds of customers A with structuralquestions. common categories way to posea structural questionis to ask the includeselements whethera category members identified-for exin addition to those aheady other ample,"Are there any typesof customers pit than regulars,greasers, stoppers,and long asks In haulers?" addition, a researcher for cona firmation: "Is a greaser type of customerthat

C H A P T E RI 1

, / F I E L DR E S E A R C H


you serve?""Would a pit stopper ever eat a three-course dinner?" The contrast question builds on the analysis already verifiedby structuralquestions. Contrast questions focuson similarities differences or between elementsin categories betweencateor gories.The researcher asksmembersto verifii the similarities and differences: "You seemto hayea number of different kinds of customers come in here. I've heard you call some customers'regulars'and others'pit stoppers.' How are a regularand a pit stopperalike?"or "Is the differencebetweena long hauler and a greaser that the greaser doesn'ttip?" or "Two typesof Customers stopto usethe restroom-entire iust families and a lone male. Do you call both pit stoppers?" Informants An informant or key actor in field research a is memberwith whom a field researcher develops a relationshipand who tellsabout,or informs on, the Who makesa good informant?The idealinformant hasfour characteristics: 1. The informant is totally familiar with the culture and is in position to witnesssignificanteyents. or shelivesandbreathes He the culture and engages routines in the setin ting without thinking aboutthem. 2. The individual is currently involvedin the field. Ex-memberswho have reflectedon the field mayprovideusefulinsights, the but longerthey havebeenawayfrom direct involvement, the more likely it is that they havereconstructed their recollections. 3. The person can spend time with the researcher. Interviewing may take many hours, and somemembersare simply not availablefor extensive interviewing. 4. Nonana\tic individualsmakebetter informants.A nonanalyticinformant is familiar with and usesnative folk theory or pragmatic common sense. This is in contrastto the analyticmember,who preanalyzes the

setting, using categories from the media or education. A field researchermay interview several typesof informants.Contrastingtypesof informants who provide usefulperspectives include rookiesand old-timers,peoplein the centerof eyents and thoseon the fringesof activiry people who recentlychangedstatus(e.g.,through promotion) and thosewho are static,frustrated or needypeopleand happyor secure people, the leaderin chargeand the subordinatewho follows.A field researcher expects mixed messages whenhe or sheinterviews rangeof informants. a lnterview Context Field researchers recognizethat a conversation in a private office may not occur in a crowded lunchroom. Often, interviewstake placein the member's homeenvironmentsothat he or sheis comfortable. This is not always best.If a member is preoccupied or there is no privacy, a researcherwill move to another setting (e.g., restaurant universityoffice). or The interview's meaning is shapedby its Gestaltor whole interactionof a researcher and a memberin a specificcontext.For example,a researcher notesnonverbalforms of communicationthat add meaning,suchasa shrug,a gesture, and so on.

LEAVING THE FIELD Work in the field can last for a few weeksto a dozenyears.In either case, somepoint work at in the field ends.Someresearchers (e.g.,Schatzman and Strauss, 1973)suggest that the end comesnaturallywhen theorybuilding ceases or reachesa closure; others feel that fieldwork could go on without end and that a firm decision to cut offrelationsis needed. Experiencedfield researchers anticipate a process disengaging exitingthe field. Deof and pendingon the intensityof involyementand the


pA RTT HREE,/ c o N D U c rrN c e u A L trAT tvER E S E A R cH ished until the processof disengagementand exiting is complete.

lengthof time in the field,the process be discan ruptive or emotionallypainful for both the reA may searcher and the members. researcher experience emotionalpain of breakingintithe mate friendshipswhen leavingthe field. He or shemay feel guilty and depressed immediately beforeand after leaving.He or shemay find it difficult to let go because personaland emoof tional entanglements. the involvementin the If field wasintenseand long, and the field sitediffered from his or her native culture. the researcher may needmonthsof adjustment before feelingat home with his or her original cultural surroundings. Once a researcher decidesto leave-because projectreaches natural end and little the a new is beinglearned, because or externalfactors forceit to end (e.g., ofajob, gatekeepers end order the researcher etc.)-he or shechooses out, by a methodof exiting.The researcher leave can a quick exit (simply not return one day) or slowly withdraw, reducing his or her involvement overweeks. or shealsoneeds decide He to how to tell membersand how much advance warning to give. The exit process dependson the specific In field settingand the relationships developed. general, researcher members a lets know a short period aheadof time. He or shefulfills any bargains or commitments that were made and leaves with a cleanslate.Sometimes, ritual or a ceremony, suchasagoing-awayparryor shaking handswith everyone, helpssignalthe break for members.Maintaining friendshipswith membersis alsopossible and is preferredby feminist researchers. A field researcher awarethat leavingafis fectsmembers. Somemembers may feelhurt or rejectedbecause closesocialrelationshipis a ending. They may reactby trying to pull a researcher backinto the field and makehim or her more of a member,or they may becomeangry and resentful.They may grow cool and distant because ofan awareness the researcher rethat is ally an outsider.In anycase, fieldworkis not fin-

FOCUS GROUPS Thefocusgroup is a specialqualitativeresearch in technique which peopleareinformally "interFocus viewed"in a group-discussion has group research grown overthe past20years. gatherstoThe procedureis that a researcher gether6 to 12peoplein a room with a moderaMost focusgroupslast a tor to discuss fewissues. about 90 minutes.The moderatoris trained to be nondirectiveand to facilitatefree,open discussionby all group members(i.e.,not let one Group mempersondominatethe discussion). but bers shouldbe homogenous, not include In closefriendsor relatives. a tlpical study,a regroups.Focus usesfour to six separate searcher grouptopicsmight includepublic attitudes(e.g., personal beworkplaceequalrty), racerelations, dealingwith AIDS), a new product haviors(e.g., (e.g., or cereal), political candidate, a a breakfast often comnumber of other topics.Researchers bine focus groups with quantitative research, has and the procedure its own specificstrengths (see andweaknesses Box 11.5). yearsago, I conductedan applied Several study on why parentsand studentschoseto attend a private high school.In addition to collecting quantitative survey data, I formed six focus groups,eachwith 8 to 10 studentsfrom modthe high school.A trainedcollege-student elicitedcommentsfrom eratoraskedquestions, and one groupmembers, prevented personfrom The dominatingdiscussions. six groupswerecoed and containedmembersof either one grade (e.g.,freshmenand grades levelor two adjacent their reasons Studentsdiscussed sophomores). for attendingthe high schooland whetherspethe cific factorswereimportant. I tape-recorded which lastedabout45 minutes,then discussions, what the stuanalyzed tapesto understand the In dentssawasimportant to their decisions. ad-



many ethical dilemmas. The dilemmas arise when a researcheris alone in the field and has lit_ tle time to make a moral decision. Althoueh he or she may be aware of general ethical issuJsbe_ Advantages fore entering the field, they arise unexpectedly in r The natural settingallows people express to opinthe course of observing and interacting in the ions/ideas freely. field. We will look at four ethical issueJin field r Openexpression among members marginalized research: deception, confidentiality, involve_ of social groupsis encouraged. ment with deviants,and publishing reports.r6 r People tend to feelempowered, especially ac_ in tion-oriented research projects. Deception r Surveyresearchers provideda windowinto are how peopletalk about survey topics. Deception arises several in fieldresearch: in ways r The interpretation quantitative of survey results is The research may be coveru it may assume a facilitated. falserole, r Participants may query one anotherand explain their answers eachother. to

Limitations r A "polarization effect" exists(attitudesbecome moreextreme aftergroupdiscussion). r Only one or a fewtopicscanbe discussed a foin cusgroupsession. r A moderator mayunknowingly open,freeex_ limit pression group members. of I Focusgroup participants producefewer ideas than in individual interviews. I Focus groupstudies rarelyreportallthe details of study design,/procedure. : Researchers cannotreconcile differences the that arisebetweenindividual-only and focus group_ contextresponses.

name, or identity; or it may mislead membersin someway. The most hotly debated of the ethicalissues arisingfrom deceptionis that ofcovert versusovert field r.r"ur.i. So-. support it and seeit as necessary entering for into and gaininga full knowledge many areas of of sociallife. Othersopposeit ind arguethat it undermines trust between a researcheis so_ and ciety.Although its moral statusis questionable, there are somefield sitesor activiiiesthat can onlybe studiedcovertly. Covertresearch never is preferable and never easier than overt research because the difficultiesof maintaininga front of and the constantfearofgetting caught.

Confidentiality A researcher learnsintimate knowledgethat is given in confidence.He or she hasl moral obligationto uphold the confidentialiwof data. This includeskeepinginformation confidential from othersin the field and disguising mem_ bers'names field notes. in Sometimes a"field re_ searcher cannot directly quote a person.One strategyis insteadofreporting the sourceasan informant, the researcher find documentary can evidencethat saysthe samething and use the document (e.g.,an old memo, u ,ra*rpup", article, etc.) as if it were the source of ifr. information.

dition, the data helped when interpreting the surveydata.

ETHICAL DITEMMAS OF FIELD RESEARCH The direct personalinvolvement of a field researcher the sociallivesof other peopleraises in


pA RTT H R EE,/ c o N D U c l N c e u A L rr A TrvE E S E A R cH R

crackusers), this may not be possible, rebut searchers must respect memberprivacy.On the otherhand,censorship self-censorship be or can a danger.A compromiseposition is for a researcher publishtruthful but unflatteringmato terialafterconsideration only ifit is essential and to the researcher's arguments.

You can now appreciateimplications of saying that in field research,the researcheris diResearcherswho conduct field research on derectly involved with those being studied and is viants who engagein illegal behavior face addiimmersed in a natural setting. Doing field retional dilemmas. They know of and may search usually has a greater impact on the resometimes be involved in illegal activity. This searcher's emotions, personal life, and senseof guilty knowledgeis of interest not only to lawselfthan doing other types ofresearch. Field reenforcement officials but also to other desearch is difficult to conduct, but it is a way to viants.lT The researcher faces a dilemma of study parts of the social world that otherwise building trust and rapport with the deviants, yet could not be studied. not becoming so involved asto violate his or her Good field researchrequires a combination basic personal moral standards. Usually, the reof skills. In addition to a strong senseof self, the searcher makes an explicit arrangement with possess incredible ability an best field researchers the deviant members. to listen and absorb details, tremendous patience, sensitivity and empathy for others, suPublishing perb social skills, a talent to think very quickly FieldReports "on one's feet," the ability see subtle interconThe intimate knowledgethat a researcher obnections among people and/or events,and a sutainsand reportscreates dilemmabetween a the perior ability to expressoneself in writing. right of privacy and the right to know. A reField researchis strongestwhen a researcher searcher does publicizemembersecrets, not viostudies a small group of people interacting in the Iate privacy, or harm reputations.Yet, if he or present. It is valuable for micro-level or smallshe cannotpublish anything that might offend group face-to-face interaction. It is lesseffective part of what the researcher or harm someone, when the concern is macro-level processesand learnedwill remain hidden,and it may be diffisocial structures. It is nearly uselessfor events cult for others to believethe report if a rethat occurred in the distant past or processes searcher omits critical details.Someresearchers that stretch acrossdecades.Historical-comparaaskmembers look at a report to verifr its acto tive research, discussed in the next ch4pter, is curaryandto approve oftheir portrayalin print. better suited to investigating these types of For marginalgroups(e.g.,addicts, prostitutes, concerns.

Involvement with Deviants

K e y T e rms
analytic memos appearance ofinterest attitude of strangeness contrast question descriptive question direct observation notes ecologicalvalidity ethnography ethnographic fallary ethnomethodology external consistenry field site

CONCLUSION In this chapter, you learnedaboutfield research (choosing site process and the field research a and gainingaccess, relationsin the field, observing and collectingdata,and the field interview). Field researchers begin data analysis and theorizing during the datacollectionphase.





focus group go native guiltyknowledge internal consistency jotted notes member validation naturalism normalize social research structural question

E ndnotes
l. For studies of these sites or topics, see Neuman (2000, 2003). On studies of chidren or schools, seeCorsaro (1994), Corsaro and Molinari (2000). Eder (1995), Eder and Kinney (1995), Kelle (2000),and Merten (1999).On studiesof home_ lesspeople, seeLankenau (1999), and on studies of female strippers, seeWood (2000). 2. Ethnography is described in Agar ( I 9g6), Franke (1983), Hammersley and Atkinson (19S3), San_ day ( 1983), and Spradley (1979a:3-12, 1979b:3_ l6 ). 3. For a general discussionoffield researchand nat_ uralism, seeAdler and Adler (1994), Georgesand lones (1980), Holy (1984), and pearsall (Ig7U. For discussions of contrasting tFpes of field re_ search,seeClammer (1994), Gonor (1977), Hol_ stein and Gubrium (1994), Morse (1994), Schwandt (1994), and Straussand Corbin (l9g 4). 4. SeeLofland (1976:13-23) and Shaffir and colleagues( 1980:18-20) on feeling marginal. 5. SeeAdler and Adler (1987:67_78). 6. SeeHammersley and Atkinson (19g3:42*45) and Lofland and Lofland (1995:16-30).

7. For more on gatekeepers and access,see Beck (1970:1119), Bogdan and Taylor (1975:30_32), and Wax (t97t:367). 8. Negotiation in the field is discussed in Gans ( I 982), Johnso (197 n 5:58_59, 6_7T),and Schaz_ 7 man and Strauss(1973:22-23). 9. See Douglas (1976), Emerson (1981:367_36g), and fohnson (1975:124_129)on the question of whether the researchershould alwayste patient, polite, and considerate. 10. For more on ways to record and organize field data, seeBogdan and Taylor (1975:AO_23),Ham_ mersley and Atkinson (1983144_173), and Kirk and Miller (1986: 49-59). 11. SeeDuneier (1999:342_343)for detailed discus_ sion. 12. Fo_r-more validity in field research,seeBriggs on (.1986:24),Bogdan and Taylor (1975), Oouglas (1976), Emerson (1981:361-363), and Sariiek


I 3. Thetypesof questions adapted are from Spradley (r979a,r979b). 14. Field research informantsare discussed Dean in and associates (1969),Kemp and Ellen (1984), Schatzman and Strauss (1973), Spradley (1979a:46-54), Whyte ( 1982). and 15. For a discussion offocus groups,seeBischoping and Dykema(1999),Churchill (1983:179_i84), Krueger(1988), Labaw(1980:54_58), Mor_ and gan(1996). 16. See Lofland and Lofland (1995:26, 63, 75, 168-177), Miles and Huberman(1994:2g8197), andPunch(1986). 17. Fetterman(1989) discusses idea of guilty the knowledge.

Historica-Comparative | Research
Introduction Research Appropriate Historical-Comparative for Questions Research The Logic of Historical-Comparative Research The Logicof Historical-Comparative Research Quantitative and Research The Logicof Historical-Comparative Research Interpretive and Research A DistinctHistorical-Comparative Approach Steps in a Historical-Comparative Research Project Conceptualizing Objectof Inquiry the Locating Evidence Evaluating Qualityof Evidence Organizing Evidence Synthesizing Writing a Report Data and Evidence in Historical Context Typesof Historical Evidence Research Secondary with Sources Research with Primary Sources Comparative Research Types of Comparative Research The UnitsBeingCompared Datain Cross-Cultural Research Equivalence in Historical-Comparative Research The lmportance Equivalence of Types of Equivalence Ethics Conclusion


CHAPTER1 2 , /

H I S T O R I C A L - C O M P A R A T I V EE S E A R C H R


Why did current social arrangements take a certain form in some societies but not in others? Somestudentsfind historical-comparative reFor example, historical-comparative researchers searchdifficult and uninterestingbecause they have addressedthe questions ofwhat causedsodo not know much about various countriesor cietal revolutions in China, France, and Russia history which is often necessary appreciate (Skocpol, 1979); how major social institutions, to this typeofresearch studies and that useit. They such as medicine, have developed and changed may feelthat historical-comparative studiesare over two centuries (Starr, 1982);how basic social beyond their immediate daily experiences and relationships, such as feelings about the value of not relevant. Yet, explainingand understanding children, change (Zelizer, 1985); how recent major events the world around them-an atin changesin major cities, such as Newyork, Lontack by terrorists,a nation going to war, the don, and Tokyo, reveal the rise ofa new global sourceof racism,large-scale immigration, viourban system (Sassen, 2001), and, as the study lencebasedon religioushatred,urban decaydiscussedin Chapter 2 by Marx (1998) asked, dependon historical-comparative research. why Brazi, South Africa, and the United States The classic socialthinkersin the nineteenth developed different racial relations. I century such as Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Historical-comparative research is suited and Max Weber,who founded the socialscifor examining the combinations of social factors ences, used a historical and comparative that produce a specific outcome (e.g., civil war). method.This methodis usedextensively a few in It is also appropriate for comparing entire social areasof sociology(e.g.,socialchange, political systems to seewhat is common across societies sociology, socialmovements, and socialstratifiand what is unique. An H-C researchermay apcation) and hasbeenappliedin many others,as ply a theory to specific cases illustrate its'useto well (e.g.,religion, criminology, sexroles,race fulness. He or she brings out or reveals the relations, and family). Although much socialreconnections between divergent social factors or search focuses currentsocial in onecounon life groups. And, he or she compares the same social try, historical and/or comparativestudieshave processesand concepts in different cultural or becomemore common in recentyears. historical contexts. For example, Switzerland Historical-comparative socialresearch a is and United Stateshave been compared in terms collectionof techniques and approaches. Some of the use of direct democracy and women's blend into traditional history, others extend right to vote. Similar forms of lcoal government quantitativesocialresearch. The focus of this allowed direct democracy to spread in parts of chapteris on the distinct type ofsocial research both countries (Kriesi and Wisler, 1999). Althat puts historical time and/or cross-cultural though some U.S. statesgranted women to right variation at the centerof research-that is, the to vote in the 1800s,the Swisswomen did not eet tlpe of research treatswhat is studiedaspart that the right to vote until 1990 because,unlike ihe of the flow of history and situatedin a cultural U.S. movement, the Swiss suffrage movement context. believed in consensuspolitics and local autonomy and relied on government parties for direction (Banaszak, 1996). ResearchQuestions Appropriate for Researchersalso use the H-C method to H istorical-Com parative Resea rch reinterpret data or challenge old explanations. Historical-comparative By asking different questions, finding new eviresearch a powerful is method for addressing questions: dence,or assemblingevidencein a different way, big How did major societalchangetake place? the H-C researcherraisesquestions about oid What fundamental features common to most societies? explanations and finds support for new ones by are





interpreting the data in its cultural-historical context. research can strenHistorical-comparative gthenconceptualization theorybuilding. By and looking at historical eventsor diversecultural can a new contexts, researcher generate concepts Concepts and broadenhis or her perspectives. historical likely to be restricted a single to areless time or to a singleculture;they canbe grounded culin the experiences peopleliving in specific of tural and historicalcontexts.2 A difficulty in readingH-C studiesis that a of one needs knowledge the pastor other culwho are them. Readers turesto firlly understand familiarwith onlytheir own culturesor contemporarytimes may find it difficult to understand theorists. examFor the H-C studies classical or ple, it is difficult to understand Karl Marx's The CommunistManifestowithout a knowledgeof the conditionsof feudalEuropeandthe world in which Marx waswriting. In that time and place, serfs lived under severe oppression. Feudalsocidress in etyincludedcaste-based codes citiesand that forced serfsto give a a systemof peonage largepercentoftheir product to landlords.The landholdone and only Church had extensive ings, and tight familial ties existedamong the aristocracy,landlords, and Church. Modern might ask,Why did the serfsnot flee if readers requiresan conditionsweresobad?The answer understanding the conditionsat the time. The of serfshad little chanceto survive in European forestsliving on roots, berries,and hunting. beAlso,no one would aid a fleeingserfrefugee causethe traditional societies not embrace did strangers, fearedthem. but

method there a distinct historical-comparative and logic? The Logic of Historical-Comparative Researchand Quantitative Research Quantitativ e versusHistorical-Comp arative Research. One sourceof the confusionis that both positivist quantitativelyoriented and interpretive(or critical) qualitativelyorientedreissues. studyhistoricalor comparative searchers rejectthe ideathat thereis Positivistresearchers variables, a distinct H-C method.Theymeasure analyzequantitativedata, and test hypotheses, laws to replicateresearch discovergeneralizable They see hold acrosstime and societies. that no fundamental differencebetweenquantitaand historical-comparative tive socialresearch research. sociallife in examines Most socialresearch presentin a singlenation-that of the rethe research be can Historical-comparative searcher. three dimensions:Is the focus organizedalong on what occursin one nation, a smallsetof naIs tions, or many nations? the focuson a sin$e many years,or a period in the past,across time primarperiod?Is the analysis based recenttime quantitative or qualitative data? ily on The Logic of Historical-Comparative Researchand Interpretive Research A distinct, qualitative historical-comparative differsfrom the positivist type of socialresearch approachand from an extremeinterpretiveapresearchers who proach.Historical-comparative qualitativedatamay depart studies and usecase is from positivist principles.Their research an number of intensiveexamination of a liriiited in cases which socialmeaningand context are studies, evenon one nation,canbe critical.Case hisvery important. Casestudiescan elaborate and torical processes specifyconcretehistorical (see Box 12.1). details who adoptthe positivistapproach Scholars criticizethe historical-comparto socialscience

THE LOGIC OF HISTORICALCOMPARATIVERESEARCH The termsusedfor H-C research be confuscan ing. Researchers may mean different things when they say historical, comparative, and The historical-comparative. key questionis: Is



H I S T O R I C A L - C O M P A R A T I V EE S E A R C H R


ln Women the Klan,Kathleen of Blee(1 99't) noted that, prior to her research, one had studiedthe no estimated500,000 womenin the largestracist, right-wing movement the UnitedStates. in Shesuggested that this mayhavebeendueto an assumption that women wereapolitical passive. sixyears and Her of research into the unknownmembers a secret of society over 60 years ago showsthe ingenuity needed historical-sociological in research. Bleefocused the state of Indiana, on whereas manyas 32 percentof White Protestant women weremembers the Ku KluxKlanat its oeakin the of 1 920s. In additionto reviewing published studies on the Klan,her documentary investigation included newspapers, pamphlets, and unpublished reports. Sheconducted libraryresearch primaryand secon ondary materials over half a dozencollege, at government,and historicallibraries. The historical photographs, sketches, and mapsin the book give readers feelfor the tooic. a Finding information difficult. was Blee not have did accessto membership lists. She identifiedKlan womenby piecingtogethera few surviving rosters, locating newspaper obituaries that identified women as Klanmembers, scrutinizing public notices antior Klandocuments the names Klanwomen, for of and interviewing surviving womenof the Klan.

To locatesuryivors yearsafter the Klanwas 50 active,Bleehad to be persistent and ingenious. She maileda noticeabout her research everylocal to newspaper, churchbulletin, advertising supplement, historical society, and publiclibraryin Indiana. She obtained3 written recollections, unrecorded i interviews, I 5 recorded and interviews. Most of herinformants wereoverage80. Theyrecalled Klanas the an importantpart of their lives. partsof Bleeverified theirmemories throughnewspaper otherdocuand mentary evidence. Membership the Klanremains in controversial. In the interviews, did not reveal opinions Blee her about the Klan.Althoughshe wastested,Bleeremained neutral and did not denounce Klan. the Shestated, "My own background Indiana in (whereI livedfrom primaryschoolthroughcollege)and white skin led informants assume-lackingspokenevidence to to the contrary-that I shared their worldview" S). (p. She did not find Klanwomenbrutal,ignorant,and full of hatred.Bleegot an unexpected response a to questionon why the womenhad joined the Klan. Most were puzzledby the question.To them it neededno explanation-it wasjust "a way of growing up" and "to get togetherand enjoy."

ative approachfor using a small number of cases. They believethat historical-comparative research inadequate is because rarelyproduces it probabilisticcausalgeneralizations that they take as indicating a "true" (i.e., positivist) science. Like interpretivefield researchers, H-C researchers focuson culture,try to see throughthe eyes ofthose beingstudied,reconstruct lives the of the peoplestudied, and examine particularindividuals or groups.An extremis