Includes bibliographical references (p. 287) and index.
Part 1 Introduction - how does anybody know anything: purpose - what are we trying to do-- assumptions - what we believe about how we know. Part 2 Discovery and communication of research finding - where do errors come from?: observation - seeing is not believing-- communication - writing adds other problems-- interpretation - ... and then you read it. Part 3 The nature of error - what kinds are there: bias - a systematic error-- noise - the other type of error. Part 4 Factually accurate information - can you believe it?: subject matter - what is being studied?-- measurement - how does it size up?-- description - are the results summarized fairly?-- relationships - more informative, but more difficult to understand-- control - rival explanations ... is something else at work?-- inference - are the results real ... or could they have been caused by noise?. Part 5 Useful information - should you apply it?: generality - do the results apply to you? being practical - going beyond error. Part 6 Applications - how to do evaluations: a step-by-step guide for evaluation-- questions to ask-- practicing-- sample evaluations-- practice articles.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
This book introduces students to social science research from the consumer's point of view. The authors believe that while social science may not require that every student of the discipline will have to conduct research studies, it is still essential for students to successfully read, understand and evaluate the research published in their field. To that end, the authors of this text have streamlined their narrative, omitting the burden of technical jargon, and focusing on the broad elements common to all kinds of social science research, such as experimental, survey, and case study. Questions to Ask, found at the end of each chapter, highlight the specific criteria to consider when evaluating research and offer a clear and accessible presentation of the general principles in social science research. (source: Nielsen Book Data)