The Simm31 – Self-test

30 Questions

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The Simm31  Self-test

In this quiz based on 30 questions you may test your knowledge in methods and its links to theory and theory of science. We have created this quiz as a service to you making it possible to grasp our expectations of what you should at least bring with you into the course at start. The first three questions are test ones and of a type to which you may turn to undergraduate methods books in the social sciences for more information. The next 27 are based on; Bryman, Alan (and Jean McNiff) (2004), Quantity and quality in social research, London Routledge. It is part of the course literature and available as e-book. Your test results are not reviewed by us on an individual level and are not a requirement for the admittance to the course. However, it is without say a gre


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Social research is about understanding the world as we live it. When it comes to reveal understanding by measuring things, the research work should be based in observable matters as well as in a capacity of defining variables able to say something about the issue at hand. Which one of the following combinations is to be considered empirical or systematic?
    • A. 

      Gather and organize data, and testing hypotheses

    • B. 

      Inspiration and testing of hypotheses

    • C. 

      Logic and common knowledge

  • 2. 
    • A. 

      Cause and effect are always easy detectable.

    • B. 

      A well-structured study may outweigh badly chosen variables.

    • C. 

      Chosen variables may have questionable connection to anticipated relationships.

  • 3. 
    • A. 

      Theories are helping us predict actual behavior in groups of individuals by logical deduction.

    • B. 

      The ability of a theory to explain events is limited by the reach and quality of the research supporting it.

    • C. 

      Theories are used only to generate hypotheses.

  • 4. 
    • A. 

      Phenomenology

    • B. 

      Positivism

    • C. 

      Symbolic interactionism

    • D. 

      Ethnomethodology

  • 5. 
    • A. 

      Naturalism

    • B. 

      Empiricism

    • C. 

      Phenomenology

  • 6. 
    • A. 

      Text analysis

    • B. 

      In-depth semi-structured interviews

    • C. 

      Survey

    • D. 

      Observation

  • 7. 
    In some theoretical traditions “the bottom up” approach is prevailing, which means that it is not the theoretical level that defines the path of the research, but to some extent the field as it reveals itself is the determinant factor. Which of the following theoretical schools regard the actor’s interpretation of his or her actions and its motivational background as the cornerstone of the research? (p. 13-14, 50-54)
    • A. 

      Naturalism

    • B. 

      Symbolic interactionism

    • C. 

      Positivism

    • D. 

      Phenomenology

  • 8. 
    Which one of the following methods would the phenomenological approach most probably employ, taking “the bottom up” logic into consideration? (p.50)
    • A. 

      Life-story interviews

    • B. 

      Survey

    • C. 

      Experiment

    • D. 

      In-depth semi-structured interviews

  • 9. 
    Another theoretical tradition with a “bottom up” logic focus primarily on interaction and on the meanings actors give to interaction. Which of the following would it be? (p. 13, 19, 50, 54)
    • A. 

      Symbolic interactionism

    • B. 

      Positivism

    • C. 

      Phenomenology

    • D. 

      Conflict theory

  • 10. 
    Which method would you most probably use if you want to do research in line with the theoretical tradition of symbolic interactionism? (p. 54)
    • A. 

      Discourse analysis of tests

    • B. 

      Participant observation

    • C. 

      Survey

    • D. 

      Interviews

  • 11. 
    Part II. Between quality and quantity Qualitative and quantitative approaches are used extensively in the social sciences. In our course we strongly focus on the interactivity between them and the need for research designs utilizing the strengths of them in cooperation. There are a number of methods that are associated with one or the other approach, depending on what kind of data the researcher intend to gather to allow for a specific type of analysis.
    • Question: A quantitative approach has several characteristics which make its findings credible. One of them is the harsh requirement of validity already at the design phase. Which of the following questions is the closest to the validity issue?  (p. 29-30, 37)
    • A. 

      Is it possible to repeat the research in the same settings and achieve the same result?

    • B. 

      Does the researchers measure what they are supposed to according to their research question?

    • C. 

      Is it possible to repeat the research in a certain time period and receive the same result?

  • 12. 
    There is an important and ongoing discussion of validity and reliability issues in qualitative research methods. Although the nature of the qualitative and quantitative traditions is quite different, some researchers try to make them meet by applying similar quality requirements. One way to “justify” qualitative methods in the research is to perform or at least discuss the possibility of replication. How would you understand the purpose of it? (p.37)
    • A. 

      To check if the researcher has investigated what he was supposed to according to the research questions

    • B. 

      To check if the researcher is using the most appropriate methods for a certain research question

    • C. 

      To check the extent to which findings are applicable to other contexts

  • 13. 
    Quantitative methods are believed to lead to findings which are possible to generalize on a population, while findings gained with qualitative methods are problematic to be used in such a fashion. However, there are “techniques” that can be applied to check if a generalization of a case-study is possible. What are they? (p.35)
    • A. 

      More than one case is studied, the case is studied by more than one researcher, and the case may be studied as a clustered analysis of typical characteristics

    • B. 

      At least four cases are compared, some form of official statistics is included, and the cases may be chosen as untypical cases

    • C. 

      Structured interviews are used, an existing typology is utilized, and a minimum of two researchers may be involved in the analysis of the case

  • 14. 
    Social researchers tend to take different stand on whether to use predominantly qualitative or quantitative methods in their research. Some of them argue, as we do, for the possibility of a combination. What would such combination depend on? (p.126)
    • A. 

      Time and money

    • B. 

      The object under investigation

    • C. 

      The objective of the study and the specified research questions

    • D. 

      The theoretical background that the researcher is using

  • 15. 
    Continuing the idea of combinations in the previous question, some researchers choose to validate their findings using an approached called triangulation. How would you define it? (p.130)
    • A. 

      Using more than one method

    • B. 

      Using only qualitative methods

    • C. 

      Using only quantitative methods

    • D. 

      Using both qualitative and quantitative methods in the research

  • 16. 
    Theories are tools in our endeavors of systematic understanding the world we live in. There is a specific concept used to describe the process wherein subjective explanations are used to make claims of causal relationships. Which? (p.35, 106, 132)
    • A. 

      Reliability

    • B. 

      Validity

    • C. 

      Inference

    • D. 

      Deduction

    • E. 

      Induction

  • 17. 
    Part III. Quantitative research methods It is associated with a number of different approaches and with a number of techniques to collect quantitative data. Quantitative methods are often related to positivistic scientific approach, which argues that methods used in social and natural sciences should be the same. The following questions are related to the measuring of data.
    • Question: There are two commonly and widely used quantitative methods. Which are they? (p. 11)
    • A. 

      Observation and shadowing

    • B. 

      Survey and experiment

    • C. 

      Case study and in-depth interviews

    • D. 

      Experiment and participant observation

  • 18. 
    Unlike “the bottom up” logic of research, as mentioned earlier, most quantitative approaches are top down and start with theory. Below you can see a simplified illustration of a quantitative research process. (Line A  is a stage and Line B what is done in the stage). What is missing in the sequences? (p.20)
    • Line A: Theory ------ ____ ---- Data collection ---- Data analysis ------ Findings  
    • Line B: Deduction -- ____ ---- Data processing --- Interpretation ---- Induction
    The gap in Line A relates to What you in a quantitive approach have to relate a testing to, while the gap in Line B relates to the process in which you formulate the “what” in Line A.
    • A. 

      A: Question – B: Answering

    • B. 

      A: Hypothesis – B: Operationalization

    • C. 

      A: Model – B: Designing

  • 19. 
    A concept must go through a process of reformulation in order to be measured:
    • The concept --- >  dimensions --- >   indicators (maybe indices)  
    • But it is also possible to follow an opposite process (in survey for example) moving from indicators to dimensions. What is such technique called? (p.28, 33)  
    • A. 

      Regression analysis

    • B. 

      Factor analysis

    • C. 

      Cluster analysis

  • 20. 
    The preoccupation of quantitative scientists in making the world measurable has brought them to lengthy discussions of consistency in both scaling and timing. The issue is to make the results trustworthy. What concept captures this? (p 30-31, 35)
    • A. 

      Causality

    • B. 

      Generalization

    • C. 

      Reliability

  • 21. 
    An old maxim is that correlation cannot imply cause. However, there are three main conditions that have to be met to claim causality. Two are; there must be relationship between variables, and the temporal order has to be established between variables.  Which one is the third? (p. 31)
    • A. 

      That a relationship between two variables is not linked to a single dimension

    • B. 

      That two variables are correlated

    • C. 

      That a relationship between two variables is not produced by a third one

  • 22. 
    Part IV. Qualitative research methods Qualitative research gained its popularity when an increasing disillusionment with the outcomes of the “scientific approach” was emerging and a promotion of self-reflection emerged. The qualitative approach commitment to view things from the subject’s perspective is a fundamental characteristic.
    • Question: There are several techniques closely associated with a qualitative research approach. Which are they? (p. 46)
    • A. 

      In-depth interviews, text analyses and participant observations

    • B. 

      Experiments, surveys and observations

    • C. 

      Fieldwork, structured interviews, statistics

  • 23. 
    Qualitative methods are sometimes intertwined or systematically combined, thus helping to grasp “the real world” better. A researcher may take on several different roles. As a “total researcher” you may on distance observe a village festival, and as a “researcher participant” you may be part in festival committee meeting as an observant. What could be expected from you as a “total participant”?
    • A. 

      Cooking your food in your hotel room in the village

    • B. 

      Speak your ideas in a committee meeting as an expert

    • C. 

      Be the guest at the village wedding

  • 24. 
    A qualitative approach does not accept an assumption that people are to be understood only through observed facts and processes. How would a phenomenological approach explain that? (p.50)
    • A. 

      People make the world meaningful through interpretation, thus research needs to focus on these experiences to capture a social reality

    • B. 

      People can think, feel, dream, plan etc. All this makes our reality very complex and in need of systematic research

    • C. 

      People reflect on their actions and their lives, thus it makes decisions complex and behavior hard to foresee.

  • 25. 
    What method is closely related to the phenomenological approach? (p. 52)
    • A. 

      Experiment

    • B. 

      Participant observation

    • C. 

      Focus-group interview

  • 26. 
    Within “the bottom up” tradition of symbolic interactionism a famous dictum by Thomas prevails saying: “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”.  Which two processes are involved in directing behavior in line with this dictum? (p. 52)
    • A. 

      Examination and deliberation

    • B. 

      Participation and observation

    • C. 

      Experiments and focus

  • 27. 
    Max Weber recognizes two forms of understanding in his theorizing arriving at a causal explanation of social action: direct and explanatory understanding. The first would help to understand the meaning of a given act and the second to understand the actual course of action. What combination of methods would a researcher most probably use to reach both forms of understanding? ( p. 56)
    • A. 

      Observation + experiment

    • B. 

      Observation + interview

    • C. 

      Experiment + interview

  • 28. 
    There is a naturalistic trait within the qualitative tradition. It holds that the researcher should treat a phenomenon as naturally as possible to minimize disturbances in a setting. Which method would you apply in order to fulfill such a requirement? (p. 57)
    • A. 

      Focus-group interview;

    • B. 

      In depth interview;

    • C. 

      Participant observation.

  • 29. 
    When the “world-view” of people is a focus for study, it may include a need of capturing multiple world-views (several subjects), which could lead up to a series of complications depending on for example gender, age, race, class characteristics of the researcher. Which one of the following methods can at least partially support a participant researcher in these difficulties of seeing through the eyes of the subject? (p. 61)
    • A. 

      Interview

    • B. 

      Survey

    • C. 

      Text analysis

  • 30. 
    As a researcher in the qualitative tradition is dedicated to the participants’ perspective, the process is believed to be an important component. Life is not static, thus research are not supposed to be so either. What is the kind of research called when research strategy includes investigation throughout a certain time period? (p. 65)
    • A. 

      Latitudinal

    • B. 

      Longitudinal

    • C. 

      Experimental