and applied research is sociology.
research is conducted to expand knowledge and understanding by either
developing or testing theory. Its focus is knowledge for knowedge's sake. It is typically what we think of
when we think of scientific research.
is a carefully constructed set of interrelated concepts and statements
that explain or interpret some phenomenon.
is never proven, only supported.
are constantly challenging and questioning existing theory.
goal of basic research is to develop theory that is supported by
empirical evidence, or more precisely, that empirical evidence does not
contradict or refute.
in a given field consists of those theoretical statements and
propositions that have not yet been refuted.
theories are based on assumptions.
and interpretive assumptions.
are abstract symbols (words) that represent some phenomena, idea, or
can be very abstract (romantic love) or they can be more concrete
can be complex and multidimensional (political liberalism) or simple
and unidimensional (weeks
unemployed). Often concepts that appear simple can be conceived and
defined more complexly (gender).
that represent phenomena that can take on different values,
quantities, or intensities are called variables.
different values variables can take are called their attributes.
and propositions make declarations about relationships between
concepts and variables.
and propositions are often causal, but may also be correlational
or even declarative in nature.
and propositions may be simple or complex.
in the scope and abstractness of theory.
and sensitizing concepts.
theories attempt to explain social phenomena by making statements
about causal relationships between two or more variables.
explanation and prediction.
versus single causes.
sufficient, and contributing causes.
and time order.
and extraneous factors.
theory attempts to describe and interpret social phenomena, thereby
increasing understanding. It tends to be narrative and discursive,
with little interest in causality.
and definitional theory.
and classification schemas.
relationship between theory and research in basic research.
"wheel of science."
and deductive logic.
importance of both theory and research.
alone is speculation or at best philosophy.
alone is blind empiricism, offering little in terms of real
research is research conducted to further the development of effective
policies and programs. It collects and analyzes empirical data to provide
knowledge that can be used to develop new policies and programs or
evaluate existing ones.
are policies and programs.
of applied research.
evaluation and outcome assessment.
patient, employee, and product satisfaction research.
research and organizational analysis.
research and utilization studies.
opinion and political polling.
research uses the same methods of data collection and analysis as basic
research, but applies them slightly differently.
- Theory in applied research.
steps in the design and implementation of sociological research.
a topic or problem.
the relevant literature.
research questions and hypotheses.
a strategy for collecting data.
a strategy for managing and analyzing your data.
a research proposal to get approval and/or funding.
the research and publish the results.