1. Read the abstracts (initial summaries) of five articles below. On the basis of the abstract only, classify each research project represented in the articles as primarily descriptive, exploratory, explanatory, or evaluative. Note any indications that the research focused on other types of research questions.
- McPherson, Miller, Lynn Smith-Lovin, Matthew E. Brashers. 2006. “Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades.” American Sociological Review, 71(3): 353-375.
- Ling, Rich, and Gitte Stald. 2010. “Mobile Communities: Are We Talking About a Village, a Clan, or a Small Group?” American Behavioral Scientist, 53:1133-1147.
- Leakey, Tricia, Kevin B. Lunde, Karin Koga, and Karan Glanz. 2004. “Written Parental Consent and the Use of Incentives in a Youth Smoking Prevention Trial: A Case Study From Project SPLASH.” American Journal of Evaluation, 25(4):509-523.
- St. Pierre, Robert G. and Peter H. Rossi. 2006. “Randomize Groups, Not Individuals: A Strategy for Improving Childhood Programs.” Evaluation Review, 30:656.
- Rodriguez, Havidan, Joseph Trainor, and Enrico L. Quarantelli. 2006. “Rising to the Challenges of a Catastrophe: The Emergent and Prosocial Behavior following Hurricane Katrina.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 604:82-101.
2. Find a report of social science research in an article in a daily newspaper. What are the motives for the research? How much information is provided about the research design? What were the major findings? What additional evidence would you like to see in the article to increase your confidence in the research conclusions?
3. Complete the Interactive Exercise for Chapter 1.
4. Now, select a journal article from edge.sagepub.com/schutt9e and read its abstract. Identify the type of research (descriptive, exploratory, explanatory, or evaluation) that appeared to be used. Now scan the article and decide whether the approach was quantitative or qualitative (or both) and whether it included any discussion of policy implications.