Theory and Reseach Methods

Essay by dragon2University, Bachelor'sA, January 1996

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Theory and Research


This paper will focus on the quantitative correlation study method used in survey based researches such as the attached article entitled 'Horatio Alger lives'. Social research is a collection of methods people use to systematically combine theories and ideas to produce knowledge. Because of it's complexity, researchers must be able to carefully select a method or methods that will best suit their study objectives. Quantitative research method consists of: experiment, content analysis, existing statistics (correlation), and survey. The correlation and survey will be the two main methods that will be emphasized. In a survey research, people are asked questions either through the use of questionnaires or during an interview. Unlike the experiment approach, the condition and situation in a survey requires no manipulation. All the subject have to do is to answer questions. Good quantitative research is determined by validity and reliability of the research method used (Teevan, 1995:161).

Therefore, the straight correlation study method used in the survey research of 'Horatio Alger lives' lack components of validity and reliability.

News Article Summary

This article entitled 'Horatio Alger lives' is basically a survey correlation study done on two distinct social classes; sons of wealthy fathers and sons of lower income fathers. The goal in this research was to determine which sons of the two distinct social groups mentioned, were to likely make more money in the future. Therefore, they surveyed 400,000 males age 16 and 19 that was still living with their fathers. After the eleven year period the same groups of men were again surveyed, and their incomes was correlated with their fathers. The research revealed that overall sons of wealthy fathers was more likely to earn higher salaries than their dads. Based on this fact the researcher further generalized that sons...