Rowan Cabarrus Community College Sociology Data Collection Techniques Paper

  1. Complete the assigned readings from Practical Skeptic – Reader and Practical Skeptic – Core Concepts, and view all of the multimedia and other materials for this module.
  2. What is meant by “good research” and the “good researcher”?
  3. Choose one of the following data collection techniques; then answer the questions below as they pertain to your selected technique: surveys, experiments, observational studies.
    1. Explain the following concepts within the context of your selected data collection technique:
      • Generalizability
      • Support for cause and effect
    2. Describe your chosen data collection technique.
    3. Describe the varieties (where applicable) of that data collection technique.
    4. Describe its strengths and weaknesses.
    5. Describe the degree of control exercised by the researcher, and the kind of research problems for which it is best suited.
  4. Consider the following: The media in this country frequently report on or discuss data collected in informal surveys on the Internet or collected as answers to the “question of the hour” on certain cable news programs. Further, we are bombarded with data collected in surveys conducted by popular magazines such as Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, etc. Select an example of such “popular” uses of research (any talk show poll, any survey from a popular magazine, etc.) and critique it from the standpoint of the principles of good research covered in this module.
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