What is meant by the term triangulation in the reading on positivism? Make sure you address the issue of External Validity.


Students will be required to address all of these key issues when analyzing the research papers that they have been assigned.


o       Research may start at any point in the wheel

o       Conceptualization and Operationalization

         Validity and Reliability Issues

o       Deductive vs. Inductive Approaches

         Micro vs Macro Perspectives(See Nomothetic vs. Idiographic)

         Grounded vs. Theoretically linked

o       Theory – Hypotheses – Data Collection Stages

         Research begins at ANY stage

         May be generated from hypotheses from other research

        Intentional vs Impulsive crimes

        The Comfort Hypothesis

o       Methods and Stats determined by nature of research

         Spirituality/Religiosity

         Date Rape

How to Measure REALITY

         I.    The building blocks of Science

         Concepts

         Generalizations

         Theories

         Research can either test established theory(ies)(DEDUCTIVE)

     or research that starts from the empirical realm or from concepts to

     hypothesis to   generalizations to theories (INDUCTIVE)

         Research can be micro or macro level(symbolic interactionism or

      conflict/functional theories)

         Conceptualization & Operationalization Process of Transforming the

       abstract into the concrete

o        Restating concepts as variables

o        VARIABLES are empirical representations of concepts

         Education = No of years of school completed

         Social Bonds/ Intensity of Bonds

         Outlining the Stages

         Stage ONE: Deductive or Inductive Beginnings (Conceptualization)

o        Conflict/Marxist Theory?  Functionalist Theory?

o        Patterns of Religiosity? Alienation? Perception of Soc Degree?

o        Definition of primary concept(s) including population to be studied

         Religiosity (i.e.Differences between men & women)

         Stage TWO:  Complexity of concepts requires further differentiation

Which are identified as NOMINAL Definitions(Conceptualization)

o        Religiosity involves multiple dimensions

         Core beliefs of adherents(Define: Ideological Dimension)

         Knowledgeability (Define: Scriptures, Core Writings)

         Ritualistic (Define: Practices required of believers)

         Experiential dimension( Revelational component)

         Stage THREE: Operationalization level.  Putting measurement

Techniques to the concepts provided above. Transforming definitions into

VARIABLES.   Your MI is to Identify the levels of  Measurement below?

        Ideological Dimension of Religiosity

o       Survey of students

o       Closed Ended Questions (Operational Definitions)

o        (i.e. “I Have NO doubt that………”

         Likert Scale Measurement

        Q for Students( Level of Measurement?)

        Knowledgeability Dimension

o       Open Ended Survey questions

o       Questions ask (Operational Definitions)

         “List ……….

         Recite the 23rd Psalm

        Ritualistic Dimension

o       Survey or Participant Observation

o       Pastors or Parishioners or Student Observers

o       Church Attendance; Participation in Communion

        Experiential Dimension

o       Survey or Participant Observation or Focus Group

o       Nominal Definitions here also

         Confirming Experience

         Ecstatic Experience

         Prophetic Experience

Answer the following questions:

1) Knowing the flaws and issues with good definitions of concepts and research design is often critical to avoid being manipulated by “fake news and Data” … after reading the article on the study of immigration – what were the problems associated with the analysis of immigrants on welfare? 

2) What is meant by the term triangulation in the reading on positivism? Make sure you address the issue of External Validity. 

3) What are the primary differences between documentary films and social science researchers?

4) Where does science begin the process of research?

5)  Which area of the wheel of science is best suited to develop and test hypothesis?

6) What is the difference between a primary and a nominal conceptual definition?

7) How can one’s religious spirituality be measured? Give examples

8)  What is the difference between explanatory versus exploratory research? Where are they most likely found on the Wheel of Science?

9)  Does the Comfort Hypothesis begin from a theoretical orientation or from a data collection starting point? I am looking for you to google up the Comfort Hypothesis – write what the hypothesis is…. and what does it predict. Since the example provided on the PowerPoint focused on Religiosity – which is linked to the Comfort Hypothesis(both focus on religion) – what patterns do you see as regards to who is more likely to seek comfort in religion? Men or Women? Older or Younger? Richer or Poorer? Dominant or Subordinate (Majority vs Minority groups)?

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