Sociology

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SOCIOLOGY 1

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Definitions

  1. Internal and external validity

Internal validity refers to how well a given experiment is done toavoid confounding. An example is an experiment that investigates drugabuse among adolescents of a given community.

Externalvalidity is the extent to which the findings of an experiment can begeneralized at large. An example is using results of a drug on a ratto determine its effect on pigs or rabbits.

  1. Methodology

Acertain system of methods used to conduct an experiment. An exampleof a methodology is case study methodology.

  1. Random sample

Asubset of samples chosen from a larger population. An example is thenames of 10 students chosen out of a school that has 500 students.

  1. Reliability

Thelevel to which a result of a certain research process is consistent.An example of a reliable result is obtaining a positive result whenrepeating the process several times.

  1. Kinesic and proxemics

Kinesicis an interpretation of body motion communication. An example isobserving raised eyebrows to interpret a feeling of surprise.Proxemics is the study of human space and its effect on behavior.Examples are public territories, home territories and body/individualterritories.

  1. Corporative principle

Itis a principle suggested by Grice Maxim stating that participantswill make a “conversational contribution as is required, whenrequired and accepted by the other party”. An example is theexpectation that if discussing animals, each party expects the otherto contribute towards the topic without diverting, for example, topolitics.

  1. Display rules

Theseare unwritten rules about a social group’s norms that address when,where and how members should show emotions. Examples are anexpectation of anger and annoyance when abused.

  1. Paralanguage

Acomponent of communication, which serves to modify meaning, showemotions, or highlight important elements of speech. Examples ofparalanguage are pitch, intonation and volume.

  1. Fallacy of concreteness

Fallacyof concreteness is the error of treating something with concretenessthat it does not deserve. An example is when a creation of humanityis described as a fact of nature or a manifestation of heavenly will.

Definitionssourced from DeLamatar &amp Myers, 2011.

Short answer questions

  1. What are the basic procedures involved in scientific research? Why is it important for science to be systematic?

The basic procedure of a scientific research are problemidentification, review of literature, clarification of the problem,definition of the concept, definition of the population, design ofmethodology, data collection, analysis, discussion and conclusionwith recommendations. Science has to be systematic to enableresearchers and scholars to build/organize knowledge logically forthe benefit of understanding phenomena.

  1. What are four possible objectives of research? Explain each.

One objective is to test hypothesis. This is an objective that isgeared towards investigating the validity of a hypothesis, as well asto determine the conditions under which the hypothesis is true orfalse. Another one is to expand knowledge on a topic. Becausescientific knowledge is vitally inexhaustible, scholars areconstantly gathering new information to help improve humanity’sunderstanding of the universe from time to time.

A third objective is to find solutions to problems. Fundamentally,scientific studies are designed to help people to find solutions toproblems such as illnesses, abnormal events and the way differententities relate to the universe. The fourth objective is to makepredictions. Besides developing descriptions, scientific scholarsmake predictions through research. These are made in terms ofhypotheses, testing variables and determining the nature ofrelationship between various factors (independent and dependent).

  1. Define causal relationship. What must you show to prove a causal relationship? Why is it hard to show a causal relationship?

Causal relationship is an explanation that one event is the result ofthe occurrence of the other event (DeLamatar &amp Myers, 2011).Scientist must use statistics to determine causal relationship. Someof the statistical tests used to prove causal relationships aret-test and regression. The problem with causal relationships is thatthe researcher may not always guarantee that their particularmanipulation of a variable was the only reason for a perceivedoutcome. As well, in complex experiments, it is difficult to isolatethen neutralize the influence of confounding variables.

  1. Which two characteristics must a study have before it is a true experiment? Difference between a lab experiment and a field experiment.

The two characteristics that a study must have to be a trueexperiment are that it has to use randomized samples, and themethodology must avoid bas in results (DeLamatar &amp Myers, 2011).These ensure that the experiment has a high level of validity. Alaboratory experiment is carried out within a controlled environment,where the researcher has a high level of manipulation of thevariables. A field experiment is carried out in the real world, wherethe researcher has little or no influence over the variables.

  1. Difference between denotative and connotative meaning? How does context affect meaning?

Denotative meaning is the literal meaning of a word within a certaincontext, while connotative meaning is the suggested, or impliedmeaning, with a particular context (DeLamatar &amp Myers, 2011).Context affects meaning by defining an image subjectively. By doingthis, it influences an individual’s perception of objects, henceadjusting the meaning variably.

  1. Four forms of nonverbal communication. Describe each one.

The first form is paralanguage. This is the vocal but non-verbalbehavior that is involved in speaking. The second one is bodylanguage, which is the silent motions of the body. The third form isinterpersonal spacing, which is the positioning of the body atvarying distances from other people. The fourth form is choice ofpersonal effects. This form describes the selection and display ofobjects that other people easily associate with you (Michener,DeLamatar &amp Myers, 2011).

Essayquestions

1.

The social topic of interest is human behavior, particularly, drugabuse and its effect on academic performance in the community. Thistopic can be investigated using surveys, experiments and naturalisticobservation (DeLamatar &amp Myers, 2011). Surveys can be used tocollect information from the students themselves, and using the datato determine the causal relationship between drugs and performance.The particular strengths for this method are high validity, highrepresentativeness and convenience. The main disadvantages areinflexible design, participant aggression and possibleinappropriateness of questions.

Theresearcher may also use experiments to investigate the topic. Anexample of experiment is administering short exams to determine thedifference in performance between drug abusers and non-abusers. Themain advantages of this method is better insight into the issue,control over variables and better transferability of information. Themain disadvantages are high human error probability, a lot of timedoing the research and ethical concerns. The third method isnaturalistic observation. Using this method, the research willobserve the students’’ school-attending patterns, as well asclass participation. The main advantages of this method is that theresearcher will not interfere with the participants, low cost andhigh reliability. The main disadvantages are difficulty in obtainingconsent from the authorities, unreliability due to lack ofcontrolling variables and level of skill needed to use the method.

2.

Whenconducting research, the three ethical issues that should beconsidered are physical harm, psychological harm and breach ofconfidentiality (DeLamatar &amp Myers, 2011). In research, informedconsent is the process of obtaining permission before going aheadwith a research. A researcher, for instance, may seek informedconsent from a hospital and a patient before investigating the effectof drugs on his/her illness.

Someof the criteria that would be used to balance potential risk withbenefits is measurement of direct benefit to the participants,indirect benefit and benefit to others. By determining these threecategories of benefits, the researcher may make an informed decisionas to whether to go ahead with the research or to terminate italtogether. A researcher uses the guidelines of the IRB to evaluatethe potential benefits of a research. Some of the guidelines aredetermination of the risks and how to minimize them, identificationprobable benefits, determination of the reasonable amount of riskassociated with a given research and assuring subjects of benefits.

3.

Todetermine that the couple is fighting, the observer looks for cluesby studying their non-verbal communication. Two of the major cues ofnon-verbal communication, that in this case, may indicate that thecouple is fighting, are paralanguage and body language (kinesics).For instance, speed in speech and facial expressions may indicatefighting. These behaviors are interpreted by paying attention to thecouple’s auditory and visual channels.

Thepartners interpret each other’s behaviors by applying thecooperative principle and display rules (DeLamatar &amp Myers,2011). The cooperative principle, developed by Grice Maxim, suggeststhat people make a conversational contribution as is required.Therefore, each party expects the other to be angry, hencecontributing to the conversation in the same manner. As well, byusing display rules, the two couples will apply social norms thatinform how, where and when to show emotions.

4.Islands of meaning

Thetwo islands that I use to understand the world are chunks of spaceand blocks of time (Zerubavel, 1991). While using chunks of space, Iunderstand how people take and value their defined areas, asresidences, professions and responsibilities. By using blocks oftime, I understand how people divide one of the universe’ mostimportant resources, time. This is why the world is defined by theperiod of events, such as evolution, growth and social development.The social categories that I use to make sense of people and eventsin life are age and profession. Particularly, I use age to determinehow people will interpret matters, and profession to determine howthey will relate with me and other people. These categories are realas they do not depend on bias. If I deconstructed these socialcategories, I would consider applying age-groups, group affiliationsand interests/hobbies to make sense of people in my life. If I didthis, some of my social relations, such a group meetings, would makemore sense in my life. This would replace my dependence on judgmentto know people and interpret events, hence making me more social andless-judgmental.

References:

DeLamater, J.D. &amp Myers, D. (2011). Social psychology,(7th Ed.). Wadsworth, U.K: Cengage Learning.

Zerubavel, E. (1991). Islands of meaning. In Inside social life:Readings in sociological psychology and micropsychology, (4thEd.). Pp.12-28. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury Publishing.