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Social scientists play a huge role in the society development, since they normally conduct research on issues that affect people of all social strata. Nevertheless, many concepts used by social scientists are often very complex and have varied meanings. This usually makes…
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Communication Study Communication Study Chapter Six Social scientists play a huge role in the society development, since they normally conduct research on issues that affect people of all social strata. Nevertheless, many concepts used by social scientists are often very complex and have varied meanings. This usually makes measuring of these concepts quite challenging. Therefore, in order for researchers to obtain a wide and comprehensive coverage of the various social science concepts, there is usually the need to employ multiple indicators to ascertain the adequacy and validity of variables. Indices and scales are two types of composites normally employed by researchers in measuring variables. This chapter attempts to explore the use of indexes and scales as a measure of variable in social science research. It also discusses the various typologies employed in both qualitative and quantitative research (Babbie, 2012).
Indices in this case are used to measure an individual item in relation to their importance in the concept being established. Babbie (2012) notes that indexes are normally used to measure a given social issues affecting people in the society. A scale, on the other hand, is used as a tool for ascertaining the intensity of emotions or attitude of an individual. Babbie (2012) reveals that the scales employed by the social scientists in research are normally constructed in the ordinal data level. Likert, semantic differential and Bogardus Social Distance Scales, are the typically examples of scales normally used by social scientists in their studies according to Babbie (2012).
Babbie (2012) also considers the effectiveness of scales and indexes as a measure of variables in this chapter. In this regard, it comes out that scales are perceived to work better than indexes. This is because scales take into consideration the feelings being measured, as well as the intensity of the question asked, according to Babbie (2012).
Chapter Seven
There are normally several data collection methods used by social scientists. Sampling is one of the most popular methods used for data collection. Sampling refers to the data collection method in which a given small sample is taken as a representative of an entire population according to Babbie (2012). In this chapter, Babbie (2012) explores sampling as a data collection technique used by social scientists. It also attempts to examine the various sampling techniques used by researchers, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of sampling as a data collection technique.
Babbie (2012) reveals that sampling technique has been developing hand in hand with the political polling over the years. Babbie (2012) argues that social researchers have always employed sampling in conducting opinion polls concerning the popularity on politicians competing for office. In this regard, researchers normally take only a small sample of say 2,000 respondents who are poled in a given state or area to represent the entire population. This has been a custom in the U.S. at any given time during a run up to the general election. Normally, the final results usually falls within the confidence level provided by the researchers as was evident during the last U.S. general election that pitted Obama against Romney. However, Babbie (2012) notes that sampling is not only used in political polling but also in conducting researches that involve a large population, where only a given sample is taken to represent the entire population.
In this chapter, Babbie (2012) also gives the advantages associated with sampling as a research technique used by social scientists. In this regard, Babbie (2012) reveals that sampling is preferred to other methods because it does not require studying the entire population, which may be complex and time consuming. The method is also advantageous because it gives accurate result that can be relied on for further decision-making.
The other aspects analyzed in the chapter include the various sampling techniques in use. The methods include non-probability, convenience, judgmental, snowball, probability and quota sampling (Babbie, 2012).
Reference
Babbie, E.R. (2012). The practice of social research. Manson: Cengage Learning. Read More
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