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HHS4M1 Research Methods Time Spans

Unit 1
a. Cross Sectional Approach NOTES

A research strategy in which individuals of different ages

are compared at one time

 E.g. IQ, memory, peer relations, life satisfaction

b. Longitudinal Approach

A research strategy in which the same individuals are studied

over a period of time

 E.g. life satisfaction, aging

c. Sequential Approach

Combines cross sectional and longitudinal approaches.

Involves the use of “control” groups over time.

E.g. evolution of baby boomers, life satisfaction of individuals

born during the Great Depression

Keys to Effective Research and Analysis

1. Be cautious about what is reported in the media à

2. Recognize how easy it is to over generalize from a small or clinical sample à

3. Remember causal conclusions cannot be made from correlation studies

e.g. Divorce Causes children to have problems in school
supposedly this headline was a result of a research study BUT research does not
involve a random sample so the research sample examines how two variables, school
and divorce, are related THUS the headline should read

4. Always consider the credibility of the source

5. Be precise e.g. good old days

HHS4M1 Research Methods Time Spans
Unit 1

Possible Sources of Bias in the Research Process

a) the section of the problem being researched – when studying problems, some
phenomena are judged as more important than others. E.g. researchers are
more likely to study violent events and behaviours than cooperative ones
b) the sample design – Researchers must be aware of androcentrism (viewing the
world from an exclusively male perspective), sexism, and other “isms” in their
c) Funding Decisions – society values some research more than others, and
funding reflects this fact. Researchers may choose their research problems
based on financial considerations
d) Data Collection – researchers must avoid providing clues to the responses they
want in data collection, or else they might distort the results. Researchers must
also avoid specifying the hypothesis of the study to the respondents because the
results might be biased
e) Data Analysis – researchers might make random errors (accidental error) and/or
systematic errors (distorting data in one particular direction) when analyzing the
f) Reporting Findings – academic journals decide what studies to print while
refusing others. The popular media also interprets and misinterprets research
g) Use of research findings – Findings can be misrepresented by those with a
particular position in society
HHS4M1 Research Methods Time Spans
Unit 1