Developing Research Questions
Sociologists get their research topics from areas of interest in their everyday life. There are very few topics that cannot be analyzed sociologically. For this discussion, you are asked to pick a topic that relates to the social world and is interesting to you. This could include any area of your everyday life (television, religion, your academic or career field). Write a research question based on your topic. Remember that you should be asking a sociological question—one that looks at societal implications (rather than psychological or medical). Respond to the following:
- How could you design a sociological study of this topic?
- Would you use a qualitative or quantitative method
Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment is one of many historical research studies criticized on ethical grounds. View the slideshow of the experiment on the Web site (see Resources area) and address the following questions:
- What were the researchers interested in studying?
- What ethical issues can you identify with this experiment?
- Identify an alternative approach to this study.
- What are some of the benefits and limitations of using a different research method? For example, what additional information could the researchers obtain by using a different method? What would they miss?
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