Category Archives: Investigating the Social World 8e Chapters

Trash the Focus of Anthropological Research in New York

New York University anthropologist Robin Nagle has found “a gold mine for garbage pickers.” New York’s Department of Sanitation collects almost 3.5 million tons of trash each year. The contents range from discarded photos of a divorced spouse and bottles … 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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Place matters for poverty

Children who move out of high poverty neighborhoods to low poverty neighborhoods with more resources do better on multiple outcomes, and the younger they are when their families move the better. These conclusions come from a study of the long-term outcomes … Continue reading

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Do social scientists do better than pollsters?

One of the concerns that emerged from the recent scandal about apparently fictitious data in a published poll about support for same-sex marriage was whether public pollsters are less transparent in their methods than social scientists.  Polling organizations are often … Continue reading

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Increasing retractions, increasing fraud??

There has been a 20-25 percent increase in retractions in a total of 10,000 medical and science journals in the past five years (it’s now up to 500-600 retractions per year).  Data has been distorted, faked, and the methods of getting … Continue reading

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Where are our survey methods when we most need them?

Problems with sampling and response rates in phone surveys due to cell phones and answering machines continue to bedevil survey researchers. As the 2016 presidential election approaches, the reliability of election polling is increasingly a focus of concern.  Predictions in some … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Chapter 12, Chapter 16, Chapter 3, Chapter 5, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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Learn (and Teach) by Doing

Learning by “tinkering” has caught on at San Francisco’s Tinkering School. The idea is to enhance education by having children learn by carrying out projects. For example, have students form a construction crew to create a small cardboard city. Or … 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

Posted in Chapter 1, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 14, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 9 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment