Category Archives: Chapter 14

Photos as Data

Do you store your photos on Google Photos?  Do you know that Google doesn’t just store, it also analyzes?  It scans pictures to identify such features as what you are wearing, what you are doing, and whether you are with … Continue reading

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DALY health

What is the cost of disease? It is typical to calculate the cost of illness to society by counting the number of deaths.  The more people killed, the worse the disease.  But when people are disabled by illness, they are losing days … Continue reading

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Googling as Social Data

The horrific tragedy of the April 2013 marathon bombing in Boston sent many people to the web.  In the four days after the bombing, total searches for news rose 50 to 160%, but total searches for religion dropped slightly.  Overall, … Continue reading

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Can Big Data be a Bad Thing?

Have you ever found yourself changing your behavior just to “score points” with your FitBit bracelet, or something similar?  How much do we really learn from postings on Facebook?  Is it just what people want us to see?  What are … Continue reading

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Does Anonymity Change Behavior?

Do you use Yik Yak?  Do you wish everyone did?  This new social media app allows people in a small area–like students in college–post messages without being identified in any way.  It has resulted in some very offensive “yaks,” including … Continue reading

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Movie “Facts” … or Fantasy?

Movies based on true stories often gain a wide audience.  Selma.  American Sniper. The Theory of Everything.  The Imitation Game.  I think you could call each of them a great movie.  But how accurate are they? Research by psychologists has … Continue reading

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Messaging and Emotions

Our social relations are increasingly mediated with technology.  Does this distort our ability to relate to others?  Consider using text messages to communicate.  This truncated form of communication most leaves emotion out of the picture and so makes it difficult … 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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Facelessness and Social Research

Is “the world of faces” dissonant from “the world without faces”?  This question is posed in a New York Times article on the social problem created by our ability to communicate directly with others through social media without actually seeing … 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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