Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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

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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

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Getting Going to Fight Poverty

Imagine that you are managing a health clinic and need to recruit health workers who not just know their stuff, but are genuinely interested in helping the community.  Would you include in your ad the statement, “Job provides great opportunity … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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A Mad Rush to Publish

There’s nothing worse for the progress of science than finding that published results were based on outright fraud or overhyped findings. The editors of a site termed Retraction Watch estimate that an average retraction rate of one scientific paper per … Continue reading

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The rush to celebrate “eureka” moments

Yet another article on the problem of replication.  If a study is designed with research methods that have been implemented appropriately and reported clearly, repeating that study with the same methods, the findings should be similar.  Right?  This has always been a … Continue reading

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Talking Can Be Good for You, but Maybe Not so Much

A common concern about publications in scientific journals, even those with very high standards, is called “the file drawer problem.” The problem is that studies that find something interesting are more likely to be selected for publication than studies that … Continue reading

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