Conducting A Research Study

  • You are preparing to conduct a study on residential eviction in West Coconut Grove. The following concept will become your dependent variable: residential eviction. Although you will examine the relationship of several independent variables (such as “race”) to residential eviction, for this specific assignment you will focus on only one concept that will become an independent variable: poverty.
    • Briefly state your theoretical perspective based on Mills’ “Sociological Imagination.”
    • Within your theoretical perspective, what is your research question? Evaluate the worth of your research question according to the three criteria for doing so.
    • What is your hypothesis? Write the hypothesis in each of the three standard forms.
  • Based on the required steps, conceptualize and operationalize:
  • Poverty. What are the decisions to consider in view of the four basic measurement types? How would you address measurement validity and reliability? How might you use mixed methods and triangulation?
  • Residential eviction. What are the decisions to consider in view of the four basic measurement types? How would you address measurement validity and reliability? How might you use mixed methods and triangulation?
  • Unit of analysis: households
  • How would you conduct a simple random (probability) sample of households? What is the advantage of conducting a probability sample?
  • Let’s say you weren’t able to draw a random sample, so you’d draw a snowball sample. How would you do so? What’s the disadvantage of such a sample? What would you have to write so that readers of your study would be aware of this disadvantage?
  • Your study’s unit of analysis is households. If somebody asks, “What can you conclude from your study about individual persons in West Grove?,” how would you answer in order to avoid committing a logical fallacy and why?
  • Research design: What would be a cross-sectional design for your study, and what would be a longitudinal design?
  • Possible results
  • What would be a positive relationship and a negative relationship between poverty and residential eviction?
  • How would a graph indicate no relationship between poverty and residential eviction?
  • What ethical issues would your study have to address in light of the Belmont Report, and how would you address them?
  • What challenges would your positionality present, and how would you try to address them?
  • Can a cross-sectional survey design establish plausible causality? Why or why not in view of the criteria (especially the first three) for establishing plausible causality? In view of those criteria, why would even a longitudinal survey design be unable to establish plausible causality?
  • What five basic steps of scientific method would your study encompass?


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