Survey design

Sociologists use a number of different methods of research in order to gain perspective on social issues going on in society. You will be learning about several different methods, but I want you to pay close attention to the methods discussed in the 36 minute video you will be watching about research. These methods are:
Participant Observations

Doing Sociological Research
This video runs 36 minutes and will teach you how sociologists do research using surveys, interviews, and participant observation. The information will help you complete the research methods assignment.
Gang Leader for a Day
After viewing the 36 minute video, watch the four minute video on “Gang Leader for a Day,” an example of a successful participant observation study. This four minute video describes a sociologist’s participant observation study of the Robert Taylor housing projects in Chicago.
Remember to read the assigned chapter on research as well as it will help you come exam time. Try to think about what significance the research has in larger society. In other words, after sociologists gather their research findings, what might it tell us? What conclusions may be drawn?

I recommend taking notes during the film as they will be helpful to you when you design your own method of research for this week’s assignments.
Formulating a Sociological Question

This webpage shows you how to come up with a sociological question for research.

 Now that you are familiar with how sociologists use surveys in their research, I would like for you to try designing a survey of your own. Don’t worry, you won’t have to implement it, you are just going to create one.
You will need to choose your own sociological topic of interest and then create a research question. Recall the information you learned in the video about operationalizing variables or questions in order to obtain more specific information. For example, if I want to learn about the behavior of people who smoke cigarettes, I will not just ask, “So what time of day do you smoke?” this is too general and will yield too many various answers. Instead, I should operationalize the variable of ‘time of day’ to include as my answer choices:
First thing in the morning
After meals
In the car
While at work
While drinking alcohol
Before bed
I could follow up with a question asking them to rank which one of the above answers they do most frequently.
Here is what I expect for this assignment:

Begin with a research question. Ask yourself what are you trying to find out from this survey? (this is only for me, you wouldn’t put it on a survey you are distributing to others) 3 points
Survey should include at least 10 questions but no more than 15 (5 points)
Number the questions, put proper spacing between questions and options, use proper spelling and complete sentence questions.
Include only one open-ended question, the rest should be close-ended (1 point)
All questions should be relevant to what you are trying to find out from the research question. (8 points)
Include instructions for the person taking the survey such as “check all that apply” or “choose the one answer that best describes you” (for examples) (3 points)

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