Social Science Basics


  1. Announcements and Exhortations
  2. No files without your name and date and description
  3. Social science basics exercise
  4. Tech talks
  5. Workshop

Concepts, Variables, Operationalization, Indicators, Measurement

Remember: most research is about relationships. Remember this table from Bernard

Units of Analysis

a sport; participants; events; religions, communities, practitioners; episodes, people, concepts, stereotypes.

The Big Person-on-the-Street Errors

Sampling on the dependent variable

Percentaging in the wrong direction

Divisor problem

Studying me (and projection, and related) : the ultimate ethnocentrism

Statistical power — on the relationship between effect size and sample size


Take your project as you currently conceive it (however foggy that may be).

Step one: identify three possible units of analysis.

Step two: for one of these three (the one that most grabs you), identify at least two of the following

Internal states
External states
Reported behavior
Observed behavior

Step three: identify at least three different research questions from three different cells.

DON'T stop until you have a really good idea!