Foundations of Social Science

Andrew Austin

Tentative Study Guide for Exam Two


Version 1.1


What is the term that specifies a concept in a manner that renders it measurable? What is the term that specifies what we mean when we use a particular term?  What is the difference between conceptualization and operationalization? What have we achieved when our measure measures what it is designed to measure?  What is the difference between reliability and validity? What is the type of validity based on the ability of a researcher to predict the behavior of the dependent variable?  What are other types of validity? What are the different levels of measurement? What are the differences between them?


What do we call variables that have no obvious single indicator? What are the different types of composite measures?  What is the type of composite measure that assigns values based on patterns of responses and assumes that some measures of a concept indicate more of that concept than other measures?  What are other types of scales? What is the difference between indices and scales, according to Babbie?  Why do we use indices and scales? Which types of scales ask respondents to choose between two opposite positions using qualifiers to bridge the distance between the two opposites? What is the basic method of factor analysis?  Why do we use factor analysis?


Know the types of probability and nonprobability sampling strategies. What is the chief difference between descriptive and inferential statistics?  Parameter is to population what statistic is to what? What is the basic principle behind probability sampling? What is the list of elements from which a probability sample is drawn?  What are the other terms associated with populations and samples? What is the difference between a parameter and a statistic?


What is correlation?  What does a positive correlation tell us?  What about a negative correlation? What are some of the ways of determining causation? What are the four methods covered in class attributed to John Stuart Mill? What are the core elements of the classic experimental condition?  What are the advantages to experimental methods?  What are some of the drawbacks?  What is internal and external validity?  What is a double-blind study? What is the difference between matching and randomization? Given certain conditions, which is preferred and why? What is a control group?


Know the types of evaluation research?  The objective/quantitative scientific approach is the most common.  What are some other types? Needs assessment is one kind of assessment, and it is often the first part of a more comprehensive assessment project.  What are some of the other types of assessment and where do the fit in to the larger assessment project?  What is formative evaluation?  What is summative or impact evaluation? What is the planning evaluation cycle? What is the response variable?


According to Babbie, why do we do survey research? What is the type of question in which the respondent next goes to another later question based on her answer is called what? In constructing a questionnaire, what are question formats to be avoided? According to Babbie, do face-to-face interviews have any advantage over self-administered surveys? What is an adequate response rate for a mail distributed self-administered survey, according to Babbie?


Of the observer roles, the only one that potentially leaves a social situation unaffected by the researcher is the complete observer.  What are other observer roles? What is reactivity? In the method of ethnomethodology, experiments are used to test hypotheses about the tenacity of the social order.  What are these experiments called?  Of the qualitative methods, content analysis relies most heavily on recorded human communications.  What are other the other major qualitative research methods?  What is the difference between obtrusive and unobtrusive methods? According to Skocpol, among the three logics of comparative history, the method of contrast of context is least associated with causal analysis.  What are the other logics of comparative history?  Which among them represent the method found in multivariate statistical analysis.  Who is John Stuart Mill?  What were his methods?


Why does Babbie say that qualitative research answers questions that escape the scope of survey techniques or laboratory observation? Qualitative analysis involves a continual interplay between theory and analysis.  What are examples of this process?  Grounded theory rests on the constant comparative method.  What is the analytic induction method?  What is domain analysis? What is sufficient and necessary causation?  What is the difference?  What is participatory research action? What is its purpose or goal?  How does this fit with Diesing's notion of democratic science? What is praxis?


What are the three types of statistical averages?  What is the most frequent attribute in the ranked distribution of observed attributes?  What is dispersion?  What are the different types? In measuring dispersion, what does a higher standard of deviation tell us?


What is the type of quantitative analysis that considers two variables simultaneously?  What is the difference between univariate and bivariate analysis? Which type does a frequency table represent?  Which type does a cross-tabulation (or contingency) table represent? In measuring bivariate associations, what is the metric appropriate for either interval or ratio level data analysis? What is lambda, gamma, and Pearson’s r? What are examples of multivariate analysis techniques?  In measuring bivariate association, what is the appropriate metric for nominal level data analysis? What is it for ordinal data?  What is it for interval level data?