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Research Methods


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Our experiment tested people's obedience to authority. The results showed that most obey all orders given by the authority-figure, despite their unwillingness. The conclusion is that, contrary to common belief, personal ethics mean little when pitted against authority.

Current theories focus on personal characteristics to explain wrong-doing and how someone can intentionally harm others. The author wanted to test this claim. Can people harm others because they are merely obeying orders? Can people be ordered to act against their moral convictions?

The experiment will test whether a person can keep administering painful electric shocks to another person just because they are ordered to do so. The expectation is that very few will keep giving shocks, and that most participants will disobey the order. Participants There were 30 male participants. Instruments A "shock generator" was used to trick the participants into thinking that they were giving an electric shock to another person in another room.

The shock generator had switches labeled with different voltages, starting at 30 volts and increasing in volt increments all the way up to volts. The switches were also labeled with terms which reminded the participant of how dangerous the shocks were.

Procedures The participant met another "participant" in the waiting room before the experiment. The other "participant" was an actor. Each participant got the role as a "teacher" who would then deliver a shock to the actor "learner" every time an incorrect answer to a question was produced.

The participant believed that he was delivering real shocks to the learner. The learner would pretend to be shocked.

As the experiment progressed, the teacher would hear the learner plead to be released and complain about a heart condition. Once the volt level had been reached, the learner banged on the wall and demanded to be released.

Beyond this point, the learner became completely silent and refused to answer any more questions. The experimenter then instructed the participant to treat this silence as an incorrect response and deliver a further shock.

When asking the experimenter if they should stop, they were instructed to continue. Of the 40 participants in the study, 26 delivered the maximum shocks. All 40 participants continued to give shocks up to volts. Most of the participants became very agitated, stressed and angry at the experimenter. Many continued to follow orders throughout even though they were clearly uncomfortable. The study shows that people are able to harm others intentionally if ordered to do so.

It provides evidence that this dynamic is far more important than previously believed, and that personal ethics are less predictive of such behavior. A short summary of the article. Current theories about the topic. What were the results obtained? What are our thought about the results compared to other relevant theories. The interviewer can also press for relevant additional information when a response seems incomplete or not entirely relevant. In an interview the interviewer has control over the order in which the questions are considered since in some cases it is important for the respondents not to know the nature of later questions because their responses to earlier questions may influence earlier responses.

Interviews supply large volumes of in depth data in a short space of time. They may say want they think the interviewer wants to hear.

The interviews are prone to interviewer bias since the interviewer may reward, correct or encourage responses that fit his or her expectations Ary et al through verbal and nonverbal cues.

In an interview there is no anonymity hence the respondents might fail to cooperate fully for fear of victimization.

An interview may seem intrusive to the respondent. It carefully specifies beforehand the categories of behaviors or events under study and under what circumstances they should be assigned to those categories. Observations are then fragmented or coded into more managerial pieces of information which are later aggregated into usable quantifiable data.

Certain phenomenon can be accessed and properly understood only through observation ,for example interaction can be meaningfully assessed and understood only through observation. Croll observes that ,the presents of the researcher may influence the phenomenon itself.

In other words those people under study may change their activities in the presence of the researcher. At times the researcher has to wait until the appropriate event takes place ,hence the exercise will be time consuming and labor intensive.

However the researcher choose this method so that she gets certain behaviors in their natural state. The targeted population was the teachers of mathematics, Heads of mathematics department, Heads of selected schools in Gokwe South central cluster and District officer of Gokwe south central cluster. The cluster sampling technique was used to select the schools. Among the three schools chosen. Therefore a sample is part of a population. The purposive sampling technique was adopted. Chiromo posits that ,purposive sampling is a judgemental form of sampling in which the researcher purposely selects certain groups of individuals for their relevance to the issue being studied.

The researcher was interested in the Heads of the schools, Heads of the mathematics department , the teachers of mathematics and pupils learning mathematics at ordinary level. It enables the selection of the key informants on the basis that they understand the challenges faced by teachers in the teaching of mathematics.

According to Ary etal purposive sampling also known as judgment sampling, sample elements judged to be typical or representative are chosen from the population. The assumption is that errors of judgment in the selection will counter balance one another. It is useful in attitude and opinion surveys. Three Head teachers of schools, six mathematics teachers, three heads of the mathematics department and one District officer were interviewed and thirty pupils responded to questionnaires.

The District education officer was automatically selected because of his or her responsibilities and relevance to the study. In selecting pupils for sampling, a hat method was used where by pupils were asked to write their names and put the names in a hat according to gender. A boy was picked by the researcher at random and was asked to pick five names of girls in the hat, one at a time likewise a girl was randomly chosen to pick five names of boys in a hat and the chosen pupils were the ones representing a sample at a school.

Five girls and five boys represented a school. For anonymity purposes selected schools were named A, B and C. The names of the participants were not written on the questionnaires. From there she visited the District office to sought permission to visit the schools and proceeded to the schools to collect data.

The interviews were conducted and the questionnaires were administered and collected immediately after completion. It took the researcher three days to complete the process of data collection. On the issue of reliability the researcher followed proper research procedures and observed the ethics.

Anonymity on the questionnaires was highly observed so as to allow the respondents to give accurate information. As for validity the researcher made sure that the methods used complemented each other. Under the discussion the following topics were dealt with, research design, research instruments, population, sample and sampling techniques, research ethics, data collection procedure and data analysis. The next chapter will look at data analysis and presentation of data collected.

Cengage Learning Fowler, F. Volume 33, 7 p Leedy, P.


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The research methods section of the AS sociology (2) exam (research methods and topics in sociology) consists of one short answer question (out of 4 marks) and one essay question (out of .

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Research methods (RM) are a critical concept in the research process. It requires that the researchers be cognizant of how data will be analyze, assess, and applied in a study. Moreover, the strength of statistical, internal, construct and external validity are grounded in RM.

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Under the discussion the following topics were dealt with, research design, research instruments, population, sample and sampling techniques, research ethics, data collection procedure and data . Research Methods Essays: Over , Research Methods Essays, Research Methods Term Papers, Research Methods Research Paper, Book Reports. ESSAYS, term and research papers available for UNLIMITED access.

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A short essay on three research methods in qualitative: Interview, focus group and ethnography This essay discuss about three research method in qualitative. They are . One quarter of the papers I have accepted for publication in ASR since becoming editor in draw on more than one research method. This brief essay highlights some of the ways that authors have employed such multi-method1 research to provide a more informative account of the social world.