Sociological Research Methods: Sociological Research Methods
For this project, you dipped your toe into survey research. You didn’t have a lot of time and you are just learning the techniques, but you can do some things with your data and you can evaluate your methods and draw some conclusions.
- After collecting your data and downloading it into a spread sheet (see the Module on how to do this), you are going to go through a list of questions and instructions.
- You will be using information and knowledge from the course material and notes, as well as what you learned in your previous statistics class to do some basic statistical analysis. Make sure you read Chapter 8 and the Quantitative Data Analysis notes in the Module
- For your final project, write up your answers to the questions listed below and include any analyses or graphs required. Provide an answer or product for everything below.
- If the question asks you to write a paragraph, you must write in complete sentences.
- For all other questions, you don’t need to write in complete sentences. But if your answers are not clear enough, you may lose points.
- See each question for its point value. The total number of points available is 13 (with the 2 points from submitting your survey, that makes 15 points for the Survey Project).
- There is an extra credit question at the end that involves more extensive data analysis and is worth up to 3 points.
- Number your answers, include your graphs at the end (be sure to label them), upload your answers and graphs to the assignment “Survey Project.”
Remember that 15 points is only a small portion of the overall points available in the class (and, if you turned in a link, you already have 2 of those points).
Make a full effort, answer all the questions, and do every graph. I know this is a learning experience and the effort you put forth makes a big difference, even if you don’t get everything exactly right.
See the questions and instructions on the next two pages
(use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman or Arial, please)
ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND UPLOAD YOUR ANSWERS AND GRAPHS TO THE ASSIGNMENT DROPBOX.
DATA AND METHODS
Sampling & generalizability: (3 points total)
- Ideally, who is your population? (Not your sample, but the population from which they come.) [.5 pts]
- How did you sample respondents from your population? Be specific (How did you identify people for your sample? Who makes up your sample? Not specific names but their general characteristics and how you chose them) [1 pt]
- What types of bias might this introduce into your sample? (What are the problems with not getting a representative sample of your population) [.5 pts]
- How confident would you feel generalizing results from your sample to your ideal population? (think about how you found your, how big a sample you had, whether you think they are representative and then whether you say something about the whole ideal population based on what you learned about your sample)? [1 pt]
Data cleaning: (1 point total)
- How much missing data did you have? (questions that weren’t answered) Do you think it makes sense to do listwise deletion? Why or why not? [.5 pts]
- Did you find any contradictory responses within individual participants (a participant gave answers that seem to contradict itself)? Even if you didn’t, how might contradictory responses bias your results? [.5 pts]
TESTING A HYPOTHESIS
Research Question/Hypothesis/Variables 5.5
- Choose two variables you think might have a relationship with each other. State your research question. (i.e., Is there a relationship between ___________ and _____________?) [.5 pts]
- Why do you think these two variables might be related? (Draw on your literature review if applicable to explain why you might expect to see a relationship between them. Otherwise, provide a theoretical or logical reason). [1 pt] Note: This should be one or two complete sentences
- Why would it matter if a relationship did exist between these two variables? In other words, what is the social importance of asking this research question? [1 pt]
- Are the variable categorical or continuous/numerical? [1 pt]
Variable 1: ______________
Variable 2: ______________
- Display each of your variables graphically (a separate graph for each plotting the responses) [1 pt] Note: for categorical variables, you can do a bar graph; for numerical or continuous variables, you can do a bar graph or a line graph.
- Describe the distribution you see in each graph: (for categorical variables, report the percentage of the distribution in each category. For numerical variables, report the mean and median, standard deviation or IQR, and direction of skew (if any). [1 pt]
Examining the relationship between two variables: 3.5 points
- State your hypothesis (i.e., how you predict these variables are related to each other; this is basically a re-wording of your research question into a statement) [.5 pts]
- Generate a graph depicting the relationship between your two variables of interest. (i.e., a line graph or a double bar graph depending on the type of variables) [1 pt]
- Describe the relationship you see in your graph: Do the two variables appear to be correlated, and if the variables are numerical, is the correlation positive or negative?[1 pt]
- What are the implications of your findings – i.e. what do your findings say about the social world (no more than a paragraph)? [1 pt] NOTE: You will have three graphs total (two distribution graphs from question 9 and one relationship graph from question 12.
statistical testing (up to 2 points):
Conduct the appropriate statistical test of association given the two variables you’re examining. This could be crosstabs or correlation depending on your variables.
Present the results of these analyses, and briefly interpret your results (a paragraph or less).
To which broader population do your results apply? In other words, if your sample is not generalizable to your ideal population, which population does your sample likely represent?