American Sociological Review. Dec80, Vol. 45 Issue 6, p995-1005. 11p.

Subjects

LABOR productivity, DEPRESSIONS (Economics), SOCIOLOGY -- Statistical methods, and SOCIAL interaction

Abstract

The article presents comment on the work of sociologists H.F. Franke and J.D. Kaul related to an alternative statistical interpretation. Franke and Kaul show that well over 90% of the variation in the average productivity of the workers involved can be accounted for by just three explanatory variables: two dummies of their own construction, which they interpret as managerial discipline and economic depression; and one experimental variable, scheduled rest time. They conclude that the lack of substantial unexplained variance indicates that the unmeasured supervisory and social interaction variables were not very important economically. Despite uncertainty about the exact form of the relation between productivity and time, and despite very great uncertainty about the magnitudes of the effects of some of the other measured variables, there are two qualitative conclusions concerning the first Relay experiment. The data agree very much better with models, which include a smooth function of time as an explanatory variable than they do with models, which do not.

American Sociological Review. Dec66, Vol. 31 Issue 6, p843-851. 9p.

Subjects

ANALYSIS of variance, STOCHASTIC processes, MATHEMATICAL sociology, SOCIOLOGY -- Statistical methods, MULTIPLE regression analysis, and DUMMY variables

Abstract

Many theoretical questions investigated by sociologists hypothesize that one or more independent variables produce certain effects on a dependent variable. For substantive theories with this kind of structure, an explicit translation into mathematical model form is provided by Coleman's work with continuous-time, discrete-space stochastic processes. The statistical technique most appropriate for estimating the parameters of such a model is exactly the same as multiple regression analysis of dummy variables. Aside from the power which multiple regression brings to multivariate analysis, the major advantage of this convergence is the explicit empirical evaluation it provides for the structure of a substantive theory. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Two distinct criteria are discussed for evaluating the relative importance of several independent variables in determining the variation in a dependent variable. The quantitative criterion is used primarily with numerical data, whereas the causal criterion often appears in theoretical arguments. Simon's method for making causal inferences from correlational data may offer potentialities for combining these criteria. The indiscriminate use of partial correlations and a single multiple regression equation can yield misleading conclusions in evaluating importance. instead, an entire set of simultaneous equations is needed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

American Sociological Review. Jun58, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p306-312. 7p.

Subjects

RECORDING & registration, SOCIOLOGY -- Statistical methods, MARRIAGE records, DIVORCE records, and SOCIOLOGISTS

Abstract

The article discusses significance of nationwide marriage and divorce statistics for the United States. One of the recommendations made by the Committee on Marriage and Divorce Statistics, and subsequently approved by the Publications Committee, for the year 1955-56, has been that an article be prepared for setting forth the issues involved in the establishment of a Marriage Registration and a Divorce Registralion Area, and the sociological benefits to be derived from nationwide marriage and divorce statistics. This presentation will not only contribute to a better understanding of the status of vital statistics, but also enable sociologists to assess their own role in the development of marriage and divorce registration in the U.S. In academics also these statistics will be beneficial as well. Sociological needs relative to the collection, analysis and publication of marriage and divorce statistics has been discussed in the article. But a question remains to be answered that what should sociologists, both individually and collectively, do about furthering the program in this field.

American Sociological Review. Apr52, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p167-177. 11p.

Subjects

MATHEMATICAL models, DISTRIBUTION (Probability theory), SOCIOLOGY -- Statistical methods, SOCIOLOGISTS, SOCIOLOGY -- Methodology, and SOCIAL sciences

Abstract

The argument of this article is that the use of mathematical models for predicting social phenomena requires matching the social and mathematical conditions and that all-or-none elements often help this matching as illustrated in the particular cases of the normal probability distribution and the logistic growth curve. It is assumed that sociologists, being scientists, are trying to predict social phenomena better. It is noted that they are using mathematical models increasingly for such predicting. For a mathematical model to be used as a rational social hypothesis requires both that the model fit the data closely and reliably and that the mathematical conditions match the social conditions. Thus, in the case of the normal curve and the logistic S-shaped growth curve, the mathematical derivation from all-or-none elements can be matched by suitable combining of present-or-absent social variables. Knowing this structure of binary elements enables the social engineer, for example, to convert normally distributed phenomena into logistically distributed phenomena. This suggests that binary elements may become useful tools for changing some social distributions.

American Sociological Review. Apr52, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p156-164. 9p.

Subjects

SOCIAL theory, SOCIOLOGY -- Statistical methods, SOCIOLOGY, SOCIOLOGISTS, STUDENTS, and SOCIAL sciences

Abstract

The ascription of low status to Social Theory is a passing phase in the history of sociology. When the change in the status of Social Theory occurs, it will not mean that Social Theory will return to the position it occupied in the nineteenth century when it held a virtual monopoly on sociological interest. Social Theory will be cultivated as one of the major interests of sociology closely integrated with other fields. It will not mean that every aspiring sociologist will have to try his hand at it. Each generation cannot be expected to produce more than a limited number of creative minds who possess the special gifts required for the construction of general theory. It will mean, however, that each generation will provide opportunities for creative work in Social Theory. It will seek to maintain Social Theory as a going concern by attracting and cultivating potential candidates for this task. This is not the case today when the prevailing emphasis on rapid specialization and the pressure of the demand for technically trained personnel discourages brilliant and creative minds from joining the profession on the one hand and on the other, diverts talented students by giving them neither time nor encouragement to test their abilities for the construction of general theories.

American Sociological Review. Aug71, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p711-713. 3p.

Subjects

PROBLEM solving, SOCIOLOGY -- Statistical methods, EQUATIONS, MATHEMATICAL sociology, and SOCIOLOGY -- Methodology

Abstract

The article presents comments of the author on the article "The Logical Adequacy of Homans' Social Theory," by Ronald Maris. Maris attempts to formalize some theses of scholar George C. Homans' in order to permit deduction of consequences thought to be of pragmatic interest. However, his methods of formalization bear little relationship to the normal roles played by the symbols used, and so he fails to realize that his deductive procedures, although standard for the symbols, are invalid for the uses he makes of them. The outcome is that he must choose between following the notation or rejecting most of his derivations. Maris offers as a derived but apparently self-contradictory statement. He then suggests that it is not really self-contradictory because "it is a logical consequence of the satiation principle the more rewarding an activity in the past, the less rewarding is future activity. The difficulty that lies in Maris' strategy of overcoming logical gaps with empirical derived rules of inference such as Conversion. Once one finds that the sense of one's symbols cannot yield certain conclusions, the next move is to make explicit what further principles are needed to obtain such results and to count them, if they are not themselves logically true, as empirical premises.

American Sociological Review. Aug71, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p709-711. 3p.

Subjects

PROBLEM solving, SOCIOLOGY -- Statistical methods, EQUATIONS, MATHEMATICAL sociology, and SOCIOLOGY -- Methodology

Abstract

The article presents comments of the author on the article "The Logical Adequacy of Homans' Social Theory," by Ronald Maris. Partisans of statistical and mathematical approaches to sociological theory like to regard their writings as major "advances" on the frontiers of scientific sociology. Lest Maris' article be construed as an advance in this or any other realm, some comments should be made on his formal demonstration of the logical adequacy of scholar George C. Homans' theory of interaction. Maris' use of the expression "logical adequacy" in the title of his article is perhaps misleading. He states in a footnote that, strictly speaking, his derivations should be called "logic-like propositions." It is never made clear, however, why the article was not, therefore, entitled "The Logic-Like Adequacy of Homans' Social Theory." The use of "logic-like propositions" in a demonstration of logical adequacy would seem to be analogous to utilizing "mathematic-like equations" in an examination of the mathematical adequacy of some theory of mathematical sociology. The discussion of "mathematic-like equations" or "logic-like propositions" leads us into immense problems of language. For mathematics, it seems clear that outside of a formal system, the notion of "equation" makes little sense.

RESEARCH methodology, RESEARCH methodology evaluation, SOCIOLOGICAL research methods, SCHOLARLY peer review, DATA analysis, and SOCIOLOGY -- Statistical methods

Abstract

The article presents a research response to the methodological criticism issued by Tom Van der Meer, Manfred Te Grotenhuis, and Ben Pelzer included within the issue, challenging the case examples provided in the author's sociological analysis of religiosity and volunteering behavior in the United States. The authors disagree with the conclusions made against their original study but also compliment the methodology suggestions raised by the article and provide alternative paradigms for future studies to correct for the problems.

American Sociological Review. Jun57, Vol. 22 Issue 3, p332-333. 2p.

Subjects

QUANTITATIVE research, SOCIOLOGY -- Statistical methods, SOCIOLOGY, SOCIOLOGISTS, and PERIODICALS

Abstract

In order to get some notions about the nature of the data and the kinds of statistical analysis that do and do not occur in sociological research, an examination has been made of all articles published in the periodical "American Sociological Review," from 1944 through 1953. Roughly 48 per cent of these articles reported data that conceivably could be subjected to some sort of statistical analysis. This classification uses the broadest possible definition of statistical analysis, assuming that any ordering of statistical data, qualitative or quantitative, represents statistical analysis. Included in the 48 per cent are some reports that present incomplete data for purposes of possible statistical analysis but from which it can be inferred that the investigator has more complete data, which he did not present. The other 52 per cent of articles were discussions or studies whose data could not be subjected to any sort of statistical analysis. Included in the 52 per cent are some articles that refer to statistical data and results of statistical analysis in other reports but indicate no statistical manipulation by the writer.