Category Archives: research methods

What is a Likert Scale?

A Likert* scale is a multiple-indicator or multiple-item measure of a set of attitudes relating to a particular area. The goal of a Likert scale is to measure intensity of feelings about the area in question. A Likert scale about … Continue reading

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Validity in Social Research

Validity refers to the extent to which an indicator (or set of indicators) really measure the concept under investigation. This post outlines five ways in which sociologists and psychologists might determine how valid their indicators are: face validity, concurrent validity, convergent validity, construct validity, and predictive validity.  Continue reading

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Britain in Statistics (2017)

Just a look back at what some of the official statistics and opinion polls told us about life in Britain in 2017…selected so they’re relevant to families and households, education and crime and deviance… The proportion of women aged 18 … Continue reading

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Concepts in Quantitative Sociological Research

Concepts are the building blocks of theory, and are the points around which social research is conducted. Concepts are closely related to the main sociological perspectives, and some of the main concepts developed by different perspectives include: Functionalism – social … Continue reading

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What is an Indicator?

An indicator provides a measure of a concept, and is typically used in quantitative research. It is useful to distinguish between an indicator and a measure: Measures refer to things that can be relatively unambiguously counted, such as personal income, … Continue reading

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Are female surgeons better?

New research suggests that women make better surgeons than men. For the study, a team at the University of Toronto compared like for like procedures performed by 3,314 surgeons at a single Canadian based hospital over an eight-year period. This … Continue reading

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The most popular A Levels of 2017

Maths wins, with 88, 000 entries, followed by English (74, 000 entries) and just to prove we truly live in an uncritical, individualised society, Psychology comes in at 3rd with 57,000 entries. Here’s a tree map I knocked up showing … Continue reading

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Explaining the Increase in Sex Crime Prosecutions

A fifth of Crown Prosecution cases are alleged sex crimes or domestic abuse. In fact, the proportion compared to all prosecutions has nearly trebled in the last decade. Alleged sex crimes and domestic abuse offences now account for nearly 20% … Continue reading

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Sugata Mitra’s Hole in the Wall Experiment

In 1999 Sugata Mitra put a computer connected to the internet in a hole in the wall in a slum in Delhi and just left it there, to see what would happen. The computer attracted a number of illiterate, slum … Continue reading

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Postmodern Methods in Louis Theroux Documentaries

Louis Theroux documentaries are a great example of ‘postmodern’ research methods. I say this for the following reasons: Firstly, these documentaries select unusual, deviant case studies to focus on, which is especially true of the latest series – ‘Dark States’ … Continue reading

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