Evaluating social science research
We often decide what to believe and what to question on the basis of a simple rule of thumb like believe the trustworthy source or trust the expert. Sometimes, however, reliable and well-informed sources support both sides of the controversy. Whom are we to trust? How can we make a decision on the issue at hand? The second edition of Evaluating Social Science Research provides methods for thinking critically about claims of factual knowledge and drawing appropriate conclusions.The authors have added new sections to the book to reflect the new developments in the field since the appearance of the first edition sixteen years ago. Included is an expanded discussion of observational method that addresses the issues of validity that are now more clearly understood. There is an explicit discussion of quasi-experimental research design, including an added distinction between equivalent-group and nonequivalent-group experiments. New explanations of the logic of multiple regression analysis, casual modeling, and meta-analysis have been provided as well.The new edition, while recognizing the limits of each research method, retains its emphasis on the importance of observations that may be repeated and checked by other researchers. It treats the reader as a key actor who can advance knowledge by cross-checking observations and interpretations.
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Methods of Gathering Scientific Evidence
Evaluating Scientific Evidence in the Published Literature 95
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abstractions aggression alternative explanations analysis appeal to authority arrest policies Baron and Straus baseline period battering behavior between-subjects experiment bias causal compared conclusions concretized correlational study crime criminal justice crowding dependent deterrent domestic assault domestic violence drug Dunford evaluating example experimental period extraneous variables follow-up gender Gini Index Hawthorne effect homicide rate hospital hypothesis identify incidents independent variable interaction internal validity interviews involved labeling theory legitimate violence lence look manipulated measure mediation ment mental disorders meta-analysis methods Minneapolis naturalistic observation offenders officers Omaha operational definition organismic variables patients percent police action police intervention population possible problem pseudopatients psychiatric question random randomly assigned recidivism records regression relationship repeat response retrospective case study sample study sampling bias scientific evidence scores southern staff statement subjects suspects Table theory tion treatment victim reports within-subjects experiment