SOC 201

Introduction to Research Methods

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to research methods involved in social inquiry. Topics covered include the scientific method, research design, data collection, and data analysis. In addition to focusing on qualitative methods, students will be introduced to the basics of inferential statistics and statistical computing. By the end of the semester, students should be familiar with the process of producing and consuming research in the social and behavioral sciences. 

 

Office Hours: MW 12-1p and by appointment

Location: LLB 14




Course Syllabus Download Link (updated 4/23)

R Video Tutorial

Final Exam

Final Exam Review Sheet

Final Exam Template (practice)

Homework

Homework 1

Tame and Wicked Question Examples

Homework 2

Homework 3 (data download)

Homework 4

Homework 5 (optional)

     - example article

     - example hwk

Experimental Research Proposal

Experimental Research Proposal Prompt

   1) Research Question Prompt (Meeting #1) -Feb 21

   2) Literature Review Prompt (Meeting #2) -March 14

   3) Theory and Hypotheses Prompt (Meeting #3) - April 4

   4) Research Methods Prompt (Meeting #4) -April 23

Word template for experimental research proposal

LaTeX template for experimental research proposal (copy/paste into blank Overleaf document)

Jan 29, 2018

Week 1, Mon.

Introduction

Jan 31, 2018

Week 1, Wed.

Social Inquiry and the Scientific Method

Readings 1: Rittel, Horst W. J., and Melvin M. Webber. "Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning." Policy Sciences, vol. 4, 1973, pp. 155-169. (link)

Readings 2: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 5-19. (link)

Viewing: Esther Duflo: Social experiments to fight poverty (YouTube)

Lecture 1: Social Science and the Scientific Method

Feb 05, 2018

Week 2, Mon.

Lit Reviews and Research Question

Reading 1: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice

of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 27-37. (link)

 

Reading 2: Denney, Andrew S, and Richard Tewksbury. "How to Write a Literature Review." Journal of Criminal Justice Education, vol. 24, no. 2, 2012, pp. 218-234 (link)

Lecture: Lit Review and Research Questions

Feb 07, 2018

Week 2, Wed.

Library Resources

NO READING

Feb 12, 2018

Week 3, Mon.

Theory Construction and Causation

Reading: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 27-58. 

Viewing: How Ice Cream Kills! Correlation vs. Causation

Lecture: Theory vs Hypothesis

HOMEWORK# 1 IS DUE ON THIS DAY

Feb 14, 2018

Week 3, Wed.

Research Design

Reading 1: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice

of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 172-192.

Reading 2: Goldthorpe, John H. "Causation, Statistics, and Sociology." European Sociological

Review, vol. 17, no. 1, 1 Mar. 2001, pp. 1-20. 

Lecture: Theory, Causation, and Research Design

Feb 19, 2018

Week 4, Mon.

Conceptualization

Reading 1: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice

of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 94-106.

Reading 2: Pierre Madden: What is poverty exactly? 

Lecture: Conceptualization

Feb 21, 2018

Week 4, Wed.

Measurement

Reading 1: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 106-129

Reading 2: Adcock, Robert, and David Collier. "Measurement Validity: A Shared Standard for Qualitative and Quantitative Research." American Political Science Review, vol. 95, no. 03, 2001, pp. 529-546.

Lecture: Measurement

Feb 25, 2018

Week 5, Mon.

Sampling I

Reading 1: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice

of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016,  pp. 135-158. 

Viewing: Types of Sampling Methods 

Lecture: Sampling

Feb 28, 2018

Week 5, Wed.

Sampling II

Reading 1: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice

of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 158-166. 

Reading 2: Holden, Constance. "America’s Uncounted Millions." Science, vol. 324, no. 5930, 2009, pp. 1008-1009. 

Lecture: Sampling II

Mar 05, 2018

Week 6, Mon.

True Experiments

Reading 1: Chapin, F Stuart. "The Experimental Method and Sociology." The Scientific Monthly, vol. 4, no. 2, 1917, pp. 133-144. 

Reading 2: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 198-206.  

Lecture: True Experiments

Mar 07, 2018

Week 6, Wed.

Natural and Quasi-Experiments

Reading 1: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 206-213.

Reading 2: Dunning, Thad. "Natural Experiments in the Social Sciences." International Encyclopedia of Political Science, 2012. 

Lecture: Natural and Quasi-Experiments

In-class reading: Why Trump’s steel tariffs may end up helping him politically

Mar 12, 2018

Week 7, Mon.

Survey Research I

Reading: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 230-253. 

Listening: Tovia Smith: "Rutgers Survey Underscores Challenges Collecting Sexual Assault Data" (optional)

Lecture: Survey Research

Mar 14, 2018

Week 7, Wed.

Survey Research II

Reading 1: Schutt, Russell K. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research. 7th ed., Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 253-272. 

Reading 2: Kate Zernike: Do Polls Lie About Race? (optional)

Group Meeting 2: Literature Review

No Lecture Slides

Mar 26, 2018

Week 8, Mon.

Mar 28, 2018

Week 9, Wed.

Introduction to Univariate Statistics

Viewing: Getting Started With R

Lecture: Univariate Statistics using R

Download Data for class exercise

Download Data 2 for class exercise 

R script file used during class exercise 

Apr 04, 2018

Week 10, Mon.

Data Analysis in R

Exercise: Datacamp Free Introductory R Course (Complete first 3 sections) 

Class Exercise: Script File

Data: USArrests

Apr 09, 2018

Week 11, Mon.

Inferential Statistics

Reading: None

Lecture: Inferential Statistics and Hypothesis Testing

Class Video 1: P-values

Class Video 2: Hypothesis Testing

Class Exercise: Difference of Means Test -R Script

Apr 16, 2018

Week 12, Mon.

Regression Analysis

Reading: None

Lecture: Regression Analysis

Exercise: Regression Analysis in R

Apr 18, 2018

Week 10, Wed.

Apr 23, 2018

Week 13, Mon.

Qualitative Analysis

Reading: Marvasti, Amir B. "What Is Qualitative Research?" Qualitative Research in Sociology: An Introduction, SAGE, 2004, pp. 1-13. (Chapter 1) 

Lecture: Qualitative Analysis

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© 2017 by Cyrus Mohammadian