Sociology101 Chapter 2 Difference Between Correlation and Causality Essay
1. In Chapter 2, the problem of respondent honesty was discussed. Imagine that you are designing a survey about an uncomfortable topic such as pornography use, plagiarism, or abortion. How would you adequately prepare your research project in a manner that maximizes respondent honesty?
2.Let’s discuss correlation and causality. To explain this, we can use an example of illness. When doctors see some symptoms in the patient, they may or may not be clear about the disease. If the doctors are clear about what disease the patient has, they can cure the disease. However, often doctors treat symptoms, not the cause of the disease. They are dealing with a correlation, not causality. Do you see the difference between correlation and causality? Next, let’s discuss spurious relationship. Can you give an example of it? In this thread, provide either an example that illustrates a difference between correlation and causality or an example of spurious relationship. Make sure to come up with your own example. If it’s used by someone else, do not use it. Post early to get your original ideas in!
3.We are bombarded with news saying “according to research …” Take a look at major newspapers such as The New York Times or The Washington Post, and find an article that uses social science research. Do you find any conflation between correlation and causality? Are there any other methodological problems? Does the research have a random (representative) sample? Research findings are not generalizable unless they are based on a random sample. Aren’t researchers generalizing their findings regardless of the sample they have? Explain.
You do not have to answer all of these questions. Review the concepts in the textbook again. Focus on just one question.
4.Think about a topic of contemporary relevance in which you may be interested (for example, poverty, juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, or racial neighborhood segregation). Using what you learned in Chapter 2, create a simple research question about the topic. Match your research question to an appropriate research method. Be sure to explain in great detail why your chosen research method is the most appropriate.
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