Category Archives: Chapter 4
Mathematics or “Citizen Statistics”?
Does learning mathematics help to master the statistics necessary to understand the social world we live in? Political scientist Andrew Hacker thinks this is a “math myth” that has led to requirements at the high school level that turns off … Continue reading
A Picture of the Sociology Society at City College in New York
On February 14, 1949, Jackie Robinson spoke to the Sociology Society at City College in New York. It was 31 months after he became the first African American player in modern professional baseball and in the same year that he … Continue reading
Fighting Extreme Poverty
Half a billion people live on less than 75 cents per day. Termed the “ultrapoor,” they often have too few resources to send their children to school or to save any money. What would it take to improve their conditions? … Continue reading
Political Polling: Still Viable?
Polling has captured the news as never before during the current presidential primary season. But at the same time that polls are more popular than ever before, their reliability is lower than ever. As you know from Chapter 8 on … Continue reading
Measurement in Health Care and Education: Solution or Problem?
The desire to measure outcomes to monitor performance and improve health care and teaching is more than understandable: It would seem to go without saying for a research methodologist. But there can be too much of a good thing, as … Continue reading
The Significance of Touch
We live in a language-centered culture and so it is no surprise that the methods we use to investigate our social relations focus largely on language. From survey methods to life histories, from content analysis to conversation analysis, we seek … Continue reading
Cities, Nature, and Mental Health
Is a walk in the woods good for you? It used to be a part of everyday life for people all over the world, but as civilization has progressed and people mostly live in urban areas, contact with nature has … Continue reading
Perception and Measurement about Mental Illness
Does it surprise you to learn that a large longitudinal survey of parents has led to the conclusion that the rate of severe mental illness among children and adolescents has dropped considerably in the last generation? The study involved ratings … Continue reading
Psychics and Pseudoscience
With concerns about reproducibility of results and exposure of instances of fraud–not to mention conflicting research results about what you should eat and how often you should be tested, it is easy to become cynical about the value of scientific … Continue reading
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