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Scientific Method in Sociology

The scientific method is used in research papers in the field of sociology, as well as many other disciplines. Paper Masters has expert writers that understand how to conduct the methodology section of a research paper and can custom write this for you.

Knowledge is gained in the field of science through observation. Though scientific knowledge is not the only path to enlightenment in social research, the logic of the scientific method is the most widely accepted way to integrate new forms of knowledge into acceptance in the academic world.

Scientific Method in Sociology

Aspects of the scientific method include the following:

  1. Inductive and deductive reasoning which stress the observation (inductive)
  2. Logical and mathematical representation (deductive) of information.

Within the confines of data gathered, there are two types of knowledge gained through observation:

  1. Quantitative - Quantitative data is information that can be represented numerically and consists of the following four methods: experimentation, survey methods, content analysis and secondary data analysis.
  2. Qualitative - Qualitative data is information that is described or represented through written word, pictures or other nonmathematical means and consists of the following two methods:
    1. Historical comparative research
    2. Fieldwork

The scientific method also encompasses various purposes to the research. Pure research is one such method which attempts to establish knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Applied research is data gathering for a specific reason or to prove a certain point. Likewise, there are various levels of research and units of analysis that are undertaken in scientific study. All research, no matter the level or the purpose, seeks to establish causation. Causation is the affect of a particular phenomena on the behavior of another. This causation encompasses relationship, temporal order and elimination of alternatives. Finally, all scientific research must ultimately be evaluated for its reliability and its validity. These two factors establish the overall worth of the research in light of the consistency of the measure (reliability) and the accuracy of the measure (validity).

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