Ch 3: Sociology Research Methods

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on sociology research methods and take the brief quizzes to check your progress. Read on for more, and enjoy watching the video lessons!

Research Methods in Sociology

What is sociological research? Do you know what the positivist, interpretive and critical approaches are to sociological research? In these lessons, you will figure out the answers to both of those questions and more. You will learn things like the difference between a cross-sectional study and longitudinal study. In addition, the lessons will cover the following:

  • An overview of research design methodology and the types of research design - archival, case studies, field/naturalistic studies, survey/interview studies, experiments and quasi-experiments
  • A discussion of the aspects of true experimental design, including independent vs. dependent variables, experimental vs. control groups and samples vs. populations
  • The advantages and disadvantages of quantitative vs. qualitative research
  • How to interpret correlations in research results, including the difference between positive and negative correlations and what the number indicates
  • How to assess the quality of a research study with an explanation of internal validity, external validity, ecological validity and reliability

We hope you get the most out of our engaging video lessons. Each one is designed to present the information in a straightforward, accessible manner. Since our video lessons are taught by experts on the subject, including current and former college professors and instructors, the quality of the information is top-notch. Thanks for watching!

7 Lessons in Chapter 3: Sociology Research Methods
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Sociological Research? - Positivist, Interpretive and Critical Approaches

1. What is Sociological Research? - Positivist, Interpretive and Critical Approaches

Human society is a complex network, and there are many ways to study it. In this lesson, we'll look at three approaches to sociology: positivist, interpretive and critical.

Types of Research Design

2. Types of Research Design

There are questions to be answered in all areas of psychology. How are these questions answered by professionals in the field? This lesson covers several different options researchers can use to approach such questions.

True Experimental Design

3. True Experimental Design

Experiments are the classic way to conduct research in almost any field of study. But do you know how true experiments really work? This lesson explains the details of experimental design, such as different types of samples, control groups and independent vs. dependent variables.

What Is Ethnography? - Studying Cultural Phenomena

4. What Is Ethnography? - Studying Cultural Phenomena

Researchers use various methods to answer questions. Some questions cannot be answered through quantitative measures; they are best addressed through qualitative research methods, such as ethnography. This lesson will discuss the defining qualities, methods, and uses of ethnography.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

5. Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

In this lesson, we identify the differences between quantitative and qualitative research methods in the social sciences. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

How to Interpret Correlations in Research Results

6. How to Interpret Correlations in Research Results

Perhaps the most common statistic you'll see from psychology is a correlation. Do you know how to correctly interpret correlations when you see them? This lesson covers everything you need to know.

Validity and Reliability: How to Assess the Quality of a Research Study

7. Validity and Reliability: How to Assess the Quality of a Research Study

Many psychologists and teachers complete research studies. How can you tell if a study was done well? This lesson will cover many criteria for a good quality study, including types of reliability and validity.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.