SO 308 Principles of Social Research
S2F 2010 QU
Mason, Teresa L.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D. Developmental PsychologyM.A. Developmental Psychology
March 22 - May 23 2010
5:30 - 10:30 PM
Introductory social science class (i.e., SO141, PS101, CJ100, or SW205) and SO307 (Statistics) — MA120 allowed for students under 2006 and previous catalogs.
Textbook: Babbie, E. R. (2010). The practice of social research (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning-Wadsworth. ISBN-10: 0495598410
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Additional Readings as necessary.
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Educational Philosophy: I believe the ideal classroom is one where students add their own ideas to discussions, debate and challenge their fellow students, and actively think through the concepts being discussed. I learn so much from my students and I know they learn a lot from each other as well.
Instructor Learning Outcomes
I. Research Proposal (Core Assessment = 20%)
The Core Assessment for this class requires you to write a detailed proposal for research you could conduct. You will not actually do this research (though it might form the basis for a senior research project or some research relevant to your job), but your proposal should be a “blueprint” detailed enough that you could hand to others and guide them through its successful completion. The research proposal will consist of four sections:
1. Problem Statement: (max. 1500 words) an overview of the topic your research will investigate. It introduces and justifies your research question, key variables, their hypothesized relations, and your guiding theoretical perspective. It explains how your planned research is unambiguous in its goals and methods, concerned with a significant issue that will add to the store of human knowledge, theoretically justifiable and testable, practical and feasible to implement, ethical and respectful of human rights, and builds on existing knowledge in the field.
2. Literature Review: (max. 1500 words) a critical summary of existing research your project will build upon. Your review will evaluate at least five other relevant research projects from original sources in reputable, peer-reviewed journals. The lit review discusses previous research, as it influences the proposed project. It evaluates the methodological, theoretical, or substantive strengths or weaknesses of those studies and explains how they shape your research plans.
3. Ethics & Conduct of Research: (max. 1500 words) summarizes potential ethical dilemmas, political consequences, and practical challenges associated with designing, conducting, implementing, and disseminating your research. It explains where your research process might go wrong and the safeguards you will put into place to minimize those risks.
4. Design & Procedures: (max. 2000 words) describes and justifies your plans for measurement, sampling, design, analysis, and interpretation of results. It explains which data you would collect, when you would collect it, and what you would do with it to make sense of your topic and shed new light on your research question — and how and why. This section is a set of “how to” instructions for actually turning your “good idea” into a real plan for scientifically answering your original question.
Your research proposal is a carefully constructed argument for why your question should be answered and how a valid and reliable answer might be obtained. It should be a meticulous set of instructions for generating an answer according to the rules of scientific method, and it should make the case to interested parties for how such an answer can be achieved.
Link to Class Rubric
II. Data Gathering Project (20%)
Each class member will participate in five common types of data collection and contribute to the final data set. You will use the final data set as the basis for your data report.
1. Experiment (40 points): participate in the experiment, administer that experiment to three other participants, and record and submit those data to your instructor in the form provided. Write up a brief (400 to 500 word) reflection on your findings and the experience of both taking and administering the experiment.
2. Survey (40 points): participate in the survey, administer that survey to nine other participants, and record and submit those data to your instructor in the form provided. Write up a brief (400 to 500 word) reflection on your findings and the experience of both taking and administering the survey.
3. Field Observation (40 points): select two different public locations where members of at least two groups interact with one another. Each observation should last about 30 minutes and you should take copious notes. Write up and submit your detailed field notes in the form provided. Then write up a brief (400 to 500 word) reflection on your findings and the experience of conducting your field observations.
4. Interview (40 points): administer the interview schedule to one person. Your interview should take about 30 minutes to an hour. Write up and submit your detailed interview notes in the form provided. Then write up a brief (400 to 500 word) reflection on your findings and the experience of conducting your interview.
5. Artifact Content Analysis (40 points): select two cultural artifacts that you believe evidence prejudicial attitudes or discriminatory practices. Scan or photograph the artifact (or copy the link, if it is a web page) and embed this in your data submission. Write up and submit your detailed content analysis in the form provided. Then write up a brief (400 to 500 word) reflection on your findings and the experience of conducting your content analyses.
Late Submission of Course Materials:
If an assignment is due on a night that the student is not present, it is the student's responsibility to get the assignment to the instructor on the due date. Five points will be deducted each day an assignment is late. Assignments will not be accepted after three days past the due date without prior approval from the instructor.
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
2: March 31
Ethics Assignment Due
Academic Honesty:Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
Plagiarism:Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
Disability Guidelines:Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .
Last Updated:3/11/2010 11:24:47 PM