Some statistics are bad. Many are good.

Who are creating databases?

Why? guess or not


Empirical- No value judgment. Facts. What is. Not should be

Normalitive - Subjective - Describe ideal

Identify what the writes should be.

Authors are biased, even in empirical.

Text book p4 Box- have baby- no license

How do we know what we know? Different levels.

1. Direct observation and experience

2. Personal inquiry

3. Tradition.

4. Authority.

Social scientists - Seek reality

Argument and belief.

Read and believe

Scientist- Test what we think

Assume casual relationship

Lung cancer from smoking

Terms Problistic reasoning - Patterns to source and effect

When causes occur the effects occur

But not absolute

Final note on tradition and authority

As child is exposed - good or bad

Errors in reasoning


1. Inaccurate observation.

      Crime scene- No two people agree on a crime scene

:. Write it down.

2. Overgeneralization.

      Get around - Do resurvey to get same results.

3. Select Observation.

*     Stereotypes. Make efforts to look for other cases

4. Illogical reasoning. Gambling If I lose I should win next time.

      Use system logic explicitly

* Foundations of social science

Pre Modern- Things are as they seem

Modern - Human subjectivity - Enlightenment

Post Modern- No objectivity exists  Only our point of view is real.

1. Logic - Theory

2. Observation Data Use given observation (criteria)=> conclusion

3. Data Analysis. Logically observe look for pattern of social regularity.

Exceptions in pattern do not invalidate - People who vote are 18 (but not felons)

Look to total number or aggregate

Patterns are regular but change over time.


Attribute. Describe an object

Variable. Grouping of attributes- Young, female, Asian

Terms P18 Independent variable (IV) =>causes

Dependent variable (DV) explanation - outcome variable. Variable determined by IV

Education IV

Prejudice DV

Idiographic- Explain in detail

Examine a single thing

What caused a person to become a shop lifter

few possible causes something to happen. One can not apply to everyone

Nomothematic - Focuses on a group of events

Can not say about one participant case in a group

Inductive reasoning - Particular to general. Observation to theory

Deductive Reasoning General to particular.