SYA6306: METHODS OF SOCIAL RESEARCH II

Spring 2012

Class:   Tuesday 3:00-6:00 p.m. in Turlington 2303

Lab:     Wednesday 10:40-11:30 a.m. in Weil 408A

 

 

Instructor

TA

Name:

Monika Ardelt, Ph.D.

Hanyao Qiu

Office:

3350 Turlington

3357 Turlington

Phone:

392-0265 ext. 247

 

E-mail:

Ardelt@ufl.edu

hyqiu@ufl.edu

Office Hours:

T, Th 1:55-2:45 p.m. and by appointment

Mo 9:30-11:30 a.m. and by appointment

WWW:

http://web.clas.ufl.edu/users/ardelt/

 

 

 

Course Content


The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to quantitative research methods. We will begin by discussing briefly the logic of quantitative research. Then we will examine two different research methods, experiments and survey research, with primary emphasis on survey research. We will discuss and practice quantitative interviewing and data collection and the analysis of quantitative data. At the end of the course, you should be confident enough to initiate and conduct your own quantitative research project.

 

Required Readings

Bernard, H. Russell. 2000. Social Research Methods. Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

 

Sweet, Stephen A. and Karen Grace-Martin. 2012. Data Analysis with SPSS. A First Course in Applied Statistics, 4th Edition. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

 

Lomand, Turner C. 2007. Social Science Research. A Cross Section of Journal Articles for Discussion and Evaluation, 5th Edition. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak.

 

Course packet (abbreviated as CP) available at Target Copy (1412 West University Avenue right next to Chipoltle Resturant).

 

Highly Recommended Readings

Maimon, Elaine P., Janice H. Peritz, and Kathleen Blake Yancey. 2010. A Writer’s Resource. A Handbook for Writing and Research. 3rd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

 

Requirements

 

Readings and Class Attendance:  It is important to read the assigned chapters and pages before class as this will assist in the understanding of the material and facilitate class discussions. Attendance of lectures and labs is required. 

 

Weekly Assignments:  During the course of the semester I will assign 12 weekly assignments that are worth 2% of your final grade or 2 points each, but parts of the points might be subtracted for incomplete or incorrect work. You are required to submit at least 10 of the assignments, and the maximum number of points that you can earn is 20. However, you will receive up to 1 extra credit point, if you submit more than 10 assignments and earn more than 20 points (I will compute the sum of the 11 assignments with the highest points). All written assignments must be typed (double-spaced, except for tables), without typographical errors, and stapled together.

All due dates (typically one week after the assignment is given) will be announced in class.  If you encounter any difficulties in completing the assignments please contact me early for help.

 

Term Paper:  There will be one individual term paper that is due on April 17 during regular class time. The term paper will consist of a quantitative research project of your choice and an analysis of publicly available quantitative data. Detailed instructions for the term paper will be given in class.

 

Exams:  There will be two exams, one midterm on March 20 during regular class time and a take-home exam that is due on May 2 at 10 a.m. (place the completed exam in my mailbox). The midterm exam will contain multiple choice and short answer questions. The take-home exam will consist of the completion of several exercises.

I do not plan to give any make-up exams. So if you should encounter any difficulties, come and see me early!

 

Cheating:  Although I encourage you to study together with other students and work on projects together, every student needs to write his or her own assignment and paper. I define as cheating copying parts or all of an author’s or another student’s work or allowing another student to copy parts or all of your work.

WARNING: Students who are caught cheating in this way will fail the class immediately!

 

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:  Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

Grading

Requirement

Assignments

Midterm exam

Take-home exam

Research paper

Class presentation of research project

% of Final Grade

20%

20%

20%

30%

10%

 

Plus up to 1 extra credit point added to the final grade for students who submit more than 10 weekly assignments.

 

I will not grade on a curve, i.e. your grade will depend on your absolute performance, not your performance compared to other students.

The points that you will earn can be translated into letter-grades as follows:

 

92.5 - 100.0 = A

90.0 - <92.5 = A-

87.5 - <90.0 = B+

82.5 - <87.5 = B

80.0 - <82.5 = B-

77.5 - <80.0 = C+

72.5 - <77.5 = C

70.0 - <72.5 = C-

67.5 - <70.0 = D+

62.5 - <67.5 = D

60.0 - <62.5 = D-

          <60.0 = E

 

For information on current UF grading policies for assigning grade points, see http://www.registrar.ufl.edu/catalog/policies/regulationgrades.html.

 

 

 

Tentative Class Schedule

Date

Topic

Readings

01/10

The scientific method

Bernard: Ch. 3

01/17

The foundations of social research

Bernard: Ch. 2; Sweet et al.: Ch. 1 & 2

01/24 – 01/31

Experiments

Bernard: Ch. 4; Lomand: Ch. 13-18; Methods II folder on the S-drive: “What’s Really Human?,” “Is it Prozac or placebo?” and (optional) “Why most published research findings are false” and “Contradicted and initially stronger effects in highly cited clinical research”

02/07

Survey Research and
Questionnaire Construction

Sweet et al.: Ch. 2; Lomand: Ch. 2 & 5; Bernard: Ch. 7 (pp. 228-229, pp. 240-247, & pp. 258-283)

02/14

Scales and scaling

Bernard: Ch. 8 & Ch. 16 (pp. 634-639); Sweet et al.: Ch. 4; Lomand: Ch. 30-32;
Methods II folder on the S-drive: ”Empirical assessment of the 3D-WS” and “Respect for data”

02/21

Sampling and Structured interviewing

Bernard: Ch. 5 (pp. 143-162 & pp. 174-185); Bernard: Ch. 7 (pp. 229-239 & pp. 248-258);
Lomand: Ch. 1, 3, 4, 6, & 42-44

02/28

Univariate analysis

Bernard: Ch. 14 (pp. 501-528 & pp. 534-535);
Sweet
et al.: Ch. 3; Lomand: Ch. 9

03/06

SPRING BREAK!

03/13

Introduction to bivariate analysis

Bernard: Ch. 15 (pp. 557-571 & pp. 574-576);
Lomand: Ch. 8 & 22;
Methods II folder on the S-drive: “Publication decisions revisited” and (optional) Antidepressant studies unpublished”

03/20

Midterm!: 3-4 p.m.

Nonparametric measures

 

Bernard: Ch. 15 (pp. 571-575); Sweet et al.: Ch. 5 (pp. 105-116)

03/27

Statistical probability and significance; the t-test and analysis of variance

Bernard: Ch. 5 (pp. 162-174); Ch. 14 (pp. 529-533); Ch. 15 (pp. 546-554); Sweet et al.: Ch. 6; Lomand: Ch. 7, 19-21, & 23

04/03

Bivariate correlations and regressions

Bernard: Ch. 15 (pp. 554-556 & pp. 576-612); Lomand: Ch. 10-12; Sweet et al.: Ch. 5 (pp. 116-124)

04/10

Multivariate analysis

Bernard: Ch. 16 (pp. 613-634 & pp. 650-659); Sweet et al.: Ch. 7; Methods II folder on the S-drive: “The Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome”(optional)

04/17

Class presentations of research findings

05/02

Take-home exam due at 10 a.m.