Midterm Examination


MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTIONS (1 point each for a total of 20 points)

 Answer All Questions

    1.     Methodology is best described as:

a.   the science of knowing

b.   the science of finding out

c.   the discovery of reality through agreement

d.   the discovery of reality through personal experience

e.   the logical aspect of science                                             

      2.   A probabilistic explanation takes the form:

a.   x is always y

b.   x is never y

c.   x tends to be y

d.   x is y if a and b are true

e.   y is always x                                             

    3.     A study reported in American Sociological Review (1994) was entitled “Race Differences in Sexual Activity Among Adolescent Women.” The dependent variable was probably:

a.   race

b.   sexual activity

c.   adolescence

d.   women

e.   there is no independent variable

       4. In comparison to nonscientific inquiry, scientific inquiry:

a. takes special precaution to avoid error

b.   is a semiconscious activity

c.   is an activity where we are less concerned about making mistakes

d.   guards against all errors

e.   none of these choices                               

    5.     An independent variable is a:

a.   theoretical concept

b.   variable influencing other variables

c.   variable influenced by other variables

d.   set of attributes

e.       either a variable influencing other variables or a variable influenced by others  

    6.         Which of the following outlines the steps in the traditional of science model?

a.   Empirical observations, theoretical understanding, operationalization of concepts, a testable hypothesis

b.   Theoretical understanding, a testable hypothesis, operationalization of concepts, empirical observations

c.   Theoretical understanding, operationalization of concepts, a testable hypothesis, empirical observations

d.   Operationalization of concepts, a testable hypothesis, empirical observations, theoretical understanding

e.   A testable hypothesis, operationalization of concepts, empirical testing, theoretical understanding                   

7.      A ____ is a testable statement about a relationship between two variables.

a.       theory

b.      paradigm

c.       relationship

d.      empirical correlation

e.       hypothesis

8.         If we can establish that variable X comes before variable Q in time, then we can say:

a.   variable X is a cause of variable Q

b.   variable X is not a cause of variable Q

c.   variable Q is a cause of variable X

d.   variable Q is not a cause of variable X

e.   variable Q may cause variable X

9.     The following are the characteristics that must be satisfied when using the scientific method:

a) logical

b) confirmable

c) repeatable

d) scrutinizable 

e) all of the above

10.       In Sweden, there is a very strong correlation between the number of storks and the number of babies born. However, both of these variables are associated with region (rural vs. urban). This illustrates:

a.   that the number of storks is causally related to the number of babies born

b.   that the number of babies born precedes the number of storks in time

c.   that there is no causal relationship between the number of storks and the number of babies

d.   that storks really do bring babies

e.   none of these choices

11.       There is a strong correlation between the number of firefighters that show up at a fire and the amount of damage produced by the fire.  The size of the fire influences both the number of firefighters and the amount of damage.  This illustrates that the relationship between the number of firefighters and the amount of damage is:

a.   caused by a third factor

b.   causal

c.   not correlational

d.   a real relationship

e.   cannot tell from the information given                            

  12.     In cases where one variable seems to cause another, yet the relation between two makes no sense, there is a:

a.   spurious relationship

b.   synthetic relationship

c.   nomothetic relationship

d.   causal relationship

e.   correlational relationship               

  13.     When a researcher is faced with the question from whom or what will the information be gathered, that researcher is dealing with which stage of the research design process?

a.   Purposes of research

b.   Units of analysis

c.   Topics for research

d.   Time dimension

e.   Motivations for research                                    

  14.     If a researcher was conducting a study of women’s attitudes toward abortion, the unit of analysis would be:

a.   the individual

b.   attitudes

c.   each abortion

d.   the women’s attitudes

e.   the society                 

  15.     Explanatory studies are designed to find answers to which of the following questions?

a.   What is the educational profile of people who change careers in midlife?

b.   Why are people changing careers in midlife?

c.   How many people change careers in midlife?

d.   Does the occupational prestige of a career tend to increase for midlife career changers?

e.   All of these choices are questions that an explanatory study is designed to examine.  

16.       The use of a selection of newspaper articles on racial discrimination as a unit of analysis would be an example of:

a.   social artifact

b.   individuals

c.   groups

d.   organizations

e.   populations                               

  17.     The final stage of the research process is:

a.   Operationalization

b.   Application

c.   Analysis

d.   Data Processing

e.   Conceptualization         

  18.     Which of the following is NOT true regarding closed-ended and open-ended questions?

a.   Closed-ended questions are more easily quantifiable.

b.   Open-ended questions need not be coded before analysis

c.   Open-ended questions lead to a greater variety of responses

d.   Closed-ended questions are usually limited to three or four choices

e.   Closed-ended questions are often given a choice of “other”

19.    On a survey measuring respondents’ fear of crime, including a question about one’s political views would be an example of which problem in survey research?

       a.       double-barreled question

       b.      questions should be relevant

       c.       avoid biased items

       d.      avoid negative items 

     e.       questions should be open-ended

        20.     In contrast to interviews, self-administered questionnaires have the advantage(s) of:

a.   being more effective in dealing with complicated issues

b.   producing fewer incomplete questions

c.   dealing with the context of social life

d.   handling sensitive issues more effectively if the surveys are anonymous

e.   all of these choices are advantages of self-administered questionnaires


 Essay Questions

Answer the 4 Questions below (20 points each)

 Note: Your answers must provide sufficient details. I strongly discourage one or two sentence answers and will not assign credit for such answers.

 1. Discuss how scientific inquiry tries to avoid the common pitfalls that produce error in nonscientific inquiry.

 2.  Conceptualize, operationalize and measure 2 of the following concepts: Education, religiosity, affluence, or stress 

 3.    a. State four simple hypotheses. Then,

        b. Identify the independent and the dependent variables in each of the stated hypotheses,

        c. Finally, state the expected effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable in each of those hypotheses.

 4.   Describe the strengths and weaknesses of survey research. Survey research includes using questionnaires and interviews used in survey research.

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