Category Archives: Chapter 12

Research Findings Too Good to be True

The level of popular acceptance of same-sex marriage has increased dramatically in recent years, but remains low in many areas. What if same-sex marriage proponents sent gay canvassers into neighborhoods to persuade opponents of gay marriage to change their potential … Continue reading

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Affective Realism?

Is seeing believing?  It’s natural to feel that when we observe events, or conduct lengthy interviews to learn what people saw or heard, we’re learning about the social world as it “really is.”  But recent experiments by psychologists demonstrate a … Continue reading

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Can We Save (More) Babies?

800 cities and towns have adopted a home visiting program for young mothers in an ambitious effort to reduce infant mortality in the U.S.  Although home visiting programs have been used for more than a century, their popularity increased dramatically … Continue reading

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Measurement Validity for Twitter?

Twitter messages are being used increasingly to track public mood and interests. Social media and Big Data enthusiasts–and those of us who care about measurement validity–will be interested to know that a new investigation provides evidence of the validity of … Continue reading

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Why Use Mixed Methods?

My SAGE Webinar on this topic is available at: http://youtu.be/oO3cspRrq4E Primary Sources: Schutt, Russell K. 2015. Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research, 8th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book242232?siteId=sage-us&prodTypes=any&q=schutt&fs=1 Schutt, Russell K. 2011. Homelessness, Housing … Continue reading

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Big Data, Technology, and Teaching

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s New York Times bestseller, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (W. W. Norton) argues that we are at an inflection point of exceptional change in society due … Continue reading

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How Low Can It Go?

Field researchers like to talk about the joys of “getting your hands dirty” by immersing yourself in the ongoing social life of a community.  But I’ll bet many researchers would balk at climbing down into sewers to collect their data! … Continue reading

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Rigorous Evidence Should Inform Spending

Ron Haskins began the new year on a positive note.  The co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, Haskins reports that “a growing body of evidence shows that a few model social programs” work, and … Continue reading

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Health Care Myths and Randomized Trials

Once people have health insurance, they are going to be less likely to go to the emergency room for acute health problems and will instead see doctors in their offices and use more preventive care services. Right? Well, it seems … Continue reading

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The Person Particle?

We all value our individuality, so it might be disconcerting to know that in new research about crowd behavior, some physicists have improved understanding of human behavior by thinking of people as particles.  Using cameras and analyses of big data sets … Continue reading

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