By Norman Blaikie
What easy wisdom and talents do amateur researchers in social technology require? How can scholars be helped to over-come `symbol phobia' or `figure blindness'? This beneficiant and continually insightful ebook is designed for social researchers who want to know what strategies to exploit less than what situations, in functional study initiatives. It accomplishes this with no requiring an in-depth knowing of statistical idea, but in addition avoids either trivializing tactics or resorting to `cookbook' options. one of the key gains of the booklet are:- Accessibility- association of the vast, usually bewildering array of equipment of knowledge research right into a coherent and basic scheme of type: forms of research and degrees of dimension- Demystification - the 1st bankruptcy unpacks more often than not taken-for-granted ideas corresponding to `analysis', `data' and `quantitative'- place of equipment in genuine study problemsThe ebook is a effective creation to the idea and perform of quantitative tools. it is going to speedy determine itself as crucial studying for college kids doing social study during the social sciences.`With this ebook Norman Blaikie keeps his recognition because the major rapporteur and raconteur of social learn method. With many different introductory texts, info research turns into simply an workout unto itself, and scholars (sometimes) discover ways to wade through the motions with out quite realizing why. After operating with Blaikie's textual content, beginner researchers will be aware of why quantitative inquiry is necessary' - Ray Pawson, collage of Leeds
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Extra resources for Analyzing Quantitative Data: From Description to Explanation
This is followed by a consideration of the relationship between social reality and the data we collect, and of the types and forms of these data. Included is a discussion of ‘concepts’ and ‘variables’, the ways in which concepts can be measured, and the four levels of measurement. 1 Let us start with the first question. What is the Purpose of Social Research? qxd 1/10/03 10:37 AM Page 11 Social research and data analysis puzzles and/or to solve practical problems. Therefore, the critical issues for any discipline are the following: • • • • What constitutes scientific knowledge?
This is the ‘real’ layer consisting of the structures and mechanisms that produce the regularities that can be observed on the surface. Knowledge of this ‘real’ layer can only be gained by constructing imaginary models of how these structures and mechanisms might operate. Then, knowing what kinds of things are worth looking for, painstaking research will hopefully produce evidence for their existence, and perhaps will eventually expose them to the surface layer. This position is known as scientific realism, and it uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative data-gathering procedures.
Hence, hypotheses provide possible answers to ‘why’ questions. 1 Research questions and objectives Research questions Research objectives Exploration Description Explanation Understanding Prediction Intervention Evaluation Assess impacts What ü ü ü ü ü Why How ü ü ü ü ü In some types of research, hypotheses are developed at the outset to give this direction; in other types of research, the hypotheses may evolve as the research proceeds. When research starts out with one or more hypotheses, they should ideally be derived from a theory of some kind, preferably expressed in the form of a set of propositions.