SO308 Prin of Social Research

for U1B 2013

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


SO 308 Prin of Social Research


U1B 2013 BL


Fernando Chavez


Ajdunct Faculty


ABD Business Administration, Northcentral University
M.A. Management, Webster University
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, New Mexico State University

Office Location

Classroom before and after class

Office Hours

Before and after class

Daytime Phone

915-478-0523 (Cell)

Other Phone

915-852-9255 (Home)


Semester Dates

June 03 – July 28, 2013

Class Days


Class Time

5:00 - 10:00 PM


Introductory social science class (i.e., SO141, PS101, CJ100, or SW205) and SO307 (Statistics). MA120 allowed for students under 2006 and previous catalogs

Credit Hours



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 Resources:


McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
SO 308 Principles of Social Research: An application of the scientific method to social science with the focus on hypothesis formulation, research design, data collection and data analysis. Replication of research studies or completion of a research problem, or both. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: SO307

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor's educational philosophy is that class interaction through lectures, discussions, class presentations, examinations, and argumentative debate are the basis for learning. The instructor will engage each learner in interactive discussion to facilitate learning and encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues, arguments, and theoretical concepts.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop an understanding of practical research methods
  2. Introduce and develop an appreciation for academic research
  3. Apply research methods to everyday work situations
  4. Identify and differentiate basic research designs and determine which is appropriate for a given research problem.
  5. Apply the principles of the scientific method to social science research.
Class Assessment:


IA #1 – Chapter Summary for Chapters 1 - 5
IA #2 – Survey and interview paper
IA #3 – Chapter Summary for Chapters 6 - 9
IA #4 – Experiment paper
IA #5 – Chapter Summary for Chapters 10 - 14
IA #6 – Observation paper
IA #7 – Core Assessment – Research proposal
IA #8 - Final examination
Quizzes (Three, one in weeks two, four, and six)
W2, 4, and 6
Individual Presentations (Once)
Attendance, class participation, group work

I. Core Assessment (200 points = 20% of grade)

Research Proposal: The Core Assessment for this class requires you to write a 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 various sections including:

1. Problem Statement: (150 word minimum) 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: (250 word minimum) 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: (250 word minimum) 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: (350 word minimum) 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. 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.

II. Data Analysis projects (3 total, 75 points each for 225 points total = 22.5% of grade)

Each student will write a 350 word minimum paper on three common types of data collection. Each of these papers will be on the general topic of prejudice and discrimination. This topic was chosen for three reasons:

  • It remains a topic of vital importance in all our lives,
  • It was an historically important area of research for the development of social psychology as a field, and
  • It illustrates the immediate importance for applied social psychological research.

1. Survey and interview (75 points): Write a 350 word minimum paper on how a survey and interview on the topics of prejudice and discrimination could be conducted. In your paper, you can mention the following.   

a. How to compose a survey and an interview sheet and how to administer the survey to ten participants.  

b. How to compose a set of interview questions and how interview two subject matter experts. Other parameters include your interview should take no less than 30 minutes with discussion on how to write detailed interview notes.  

2. Experiment (75 points): Write a 350 word minimum paper on how an experiment on prejudice and discrimination could be conducted using three differing population subjects.


3. Field Observation (75 points): Write a 350 word minimum paper on how a field observation on acts of prejudice and discrimination could be conducted. In your paper, discuss the selection of two different public locations where members of at least two groups interact with one another. Other parameters include your observation should take no less than 30 minutes with discussion on how to write detailed observation notes.  

III. Comprehensive Final Examination (100 points = 10%)
Complete and submit a multiple choice question final examination comprehensive of all materials from the course text book. 100 points.

IV. Chapter summaries (75 points x 3 = 225 points or 22.5%)
Complete and submit a chapter summary of the assigned readings on time and according to instructions for 75 points each, 225 points total.

V. Individual presentation (75 points = 7.5%)
Present one of your chapter summaries or written projects twice throughout the eight week time period for 75 points.

VI. Participation, group exercise (All weeks, 75 points or 7.5%)
Attend each class and actively participate in all discussions/group exercises each week according to instructions, for a possible 75 for the entire class (in class and online, at your instructor's discretion).

VII. Weekly quizzes (33 or 34 points x 3 = 100 points or 10%)
Complete each of the three multiple choice quizzes on time and according to instructions for a possible 33 or 34 points each, 100 points total.


Total Points Possible = 1000

A >= 900
B = 800-899
C = 700-799
D = 600-699
F <= 599

See class assessment above for assignments due in this class and their requirements. Additional information on these assignments will be posted in eCompanion prior to the week the assignment is due. All assignments must be submitted through the "Dropbox" in the online course shell for grading.

The course grade for students will be based on the overall average of homework and tests taken during the course in accordance with the weighting of the various requirements as stated in the syllabus.


Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late assignments will be penalized up to 10% grade deduction for each week the assignment is late unless you have made prior arrangements with me. Anytime you feel that you might be falling behind in the course, please contact me to discuss your situation.


Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1. Come to class on time.

2. Please notify me if you will not be able to attend class.

3. Students missing the final examination will have to present a written excuse and gain approval from the instructor (me) before being allowed to take a make-up examination.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

All Written Assignment due prior to class start on Friday.


Topic and corresponding textbook chapter

Assignment due


Introduction, ethics, research questions. Chapters 1 - 3


Research Design & Measurements. Chapters 4 and 5

Chapter summary #1

In class Quiz #1-Friday


Scales and surveys. Chapters 6 and 9

Survey and Interview


Sampling and experiments. Chapters 7 and 8

Chapter summary #2

In class Quiz #2-Friday


Qualitative & Unobtrusive Research. Ch. 10 -11



Qualitative & Quantitative Data Analysis. Ch. 13 – 14

Chapter summary #3

In class Quiz #3-Friday


Statistical analysis & Research into practice. Chapters 16 and 17



Evaluation research & the Elaboration model. Chapters 12 and 15

Core Assessment- Proposal
Final Examination (Friday)














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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 97

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. from Park University 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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: .


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Last Updated:5/22/2013 2:28:59 PM