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Making Sense of the Social World is an engaging and innovative introduction to social research for students who need to understand methodologies and results, but who may never conduct the research themselves. It provides a balanced treatment of qualitative and quantitative methods, integrating substantive examples and research techniques, and is written in a less formal style than many comparable texts, with examples drawn from everyday experience: a text that students actually like to read!The text covers all the essential elements of social research methods including validity, causation, experimental and quasi-experimental design, and techniques of analysis - topics cited as most challenging for students. A student study site with journal articles and online interactive exercises, and chapter examples with emphasis on everyday experiences and current newsworthy issues assist student's understanding.This Third Edition now contains:- A new chapter with revised material on evaluation research- A new chapter on research ethics.- More contemporary web-based research instruction.- Updated End-of-chapter exercises, including new ethics exercises.- Boxed features: "When Things Go Wrong in Social Research"
Table of Contents
About the Authors
Science, Society, and Social Research
What Is the Problem?
Can Social Scientists See the Social World More Clearly?
How Well Have We Done Our Research?
The Process and Problems of Social Research
What Is the Question?
What Is the Theory?
What Is the Strategy?
What Is the Design?
But Is It Ethical?
Ethics in Research
Conceptualization and Measurement
What Do We Have in Mind?
How Will We Know When We've Found It?
How Much Information Do We Really Have?
Did We Measure What We Wanted To Measure?
How Do We Prepare to Sample?
What Sampling Method Should We Use?
Causation and Experimental Design
What Causes What?
What If a True Experiment Isn?t Possible?
What Are the Threats to Validity in Experiments?
How Do Experimenters Protect Their Subjects?
Why Is Survey Research So Popular?
How Should We Write Survey Questions?
How Should Questionnaires Be Designed?
What Are the Alternatives for Administering Surveys?
A Comparison of Survey Designs
Ethical Issues in Survey Research
Elementary Quantitative Data Analysis
Why Do Statistics?
How to Prepare Data for Analysis
What Are the Options for Displaying Distributions?
What Are the Options for Summarizing Distributions?
How Can We Tell Whether Two Variables Are Related?
Analyzing Data Ethically: How Not to Lie with Statistics