There are two categories of research methods: quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative data collection usually involves numbers, graphs and charts, whereas, qualitativedata collection methods deals with feelings and other non-quantifiable elements.

The most popular qualitative methods of data collection and analysis  are interviews, focus groups, observation, case studies, games and role playing etc.

Popular quantitative methods of data collection and analysis, on the other hand, include correlation analysis, regression analysis, mean, mode and median and others.

Questionnaires can be used as qualitative, as well as, quantitative method. Specifically, if open-ended questions are used qualitative methods will be used for data analysis. Alternatively, if questionnaire consists of closed-ended questions, then quantitative approach is adopted for data analysis.

Using the ASA Code of Ethics worksheet

  1. Go to the American Sociological Association website

  2. Find the Code of Ethics 

  3. Review the Code of Ethics and; 

  4. Complete the worksheet

  1. Do you think it is appropriate to ask prisoners to take part in a research study? Why or why not?           
  2. If you were a researcher and police demanded to see notes you had taken as part of your research, would you turn the notes over to the police, or would you refuse to do so at the risk of being arrested? Explain your answer.

​b. Explain how various methods are used to conduct research in sociology.​

Code of Ethics Assignment Directions:

Writing Prompt

Sociological Research

- Conduct Sociological Research

by Questionaire (Structured Interview)

Sociological Research

​​CREATIVE EVIL - The Stanford Prison Experimentone of the most notorious in the history of science. ​

The Topic

  • Research your topic

  • Create in-depth questions regarding the topic (at least 10)

Form Creation

  • See the attached directions if you have not used Jotform before

  • Use Jotform to create the questionnaire

  • Make sure the questionnaire is spelling, grammar and error free

Data Collection

  • Collect data in-person. You must enter the data during an interview.

  • Collect at least 10 responses


  • Analyze your Data.

  • Complete a written analysis of data

  • 250-word minimum

  • Typed

SD School Sociology Program

Program 3: Research & Societies​

Structured Interview Assignment Directions:

Key Ethical Considerations Before Conducting Research

c. Evaluate the strengths and weakness of the methods of sociology research​

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d. Explain the importance and influence of ethics in guiding research and data collection in sociology.​

Ethical considerations are of particular importance to sociologists because of the subject of investigation - people. Because ethical considerations are of so much importance, sociologists adhere to a rigorous set of ethical guidelines. The most important ethical consideration of sociological research is that participants in sociological investigation are not harmed. While exactly what this entails can vary from study to study, there are several universally recognized considerations. For instance, research on children and youth always requires parental consent. Research on adults also requires informed consent and participants are never forced to participate. Confidentiality and anonymity are two additional practices that ensure the safety of participants when sensitive information is provided (e.g., sexuality, income, etc.). To ensure the safety of participants, most universities maintain an institutional review board (IRB) that reviews studies that include human participants and ensures ethical rigor.

It has not always been the case that scientists interested in studying humans have followed ethical principles in their research. Several studies that, when brought to light, led to the introduction of ethical principles guiding human subjects research and Institutional Review Boards to ensure compliance with those principles, are worth noting, including the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, in which 399 impoverished black men with syphilis were left untreated to track the progress of the disease and Nazi experimentation on humans. A recent paper by Susan M. Reverby found that such unethical experiments were more widespread than just the widely known Tuskegee study and that the US Government funded a study in which thousands of Guatemalan prisoners were infected with syphilis to determine whether they could be cured with penicillin. Ethical oversight in science is designed to prevent such egregious violations of human rights today.

Sociologists also have professional ethical principles they follow. Obviously honesty in research, analysis, and publication is important. Sociologists who manipulate their data are ostracized and can have their memberships in professional organizations revoked. Conflicts of interest are also frowned upon. A conflict of interest can occur when a sociologist is given funding to conduct research on an issue that relates to the source of the funds. For example, if Microsoft were to fund a sociologist to investigate whether users of Microsoft's product users are happier than users of open source software (e.g., Linux, LibreOffice), the sociologist would need to disclose the source of the funding as it presents a significant conflict of interest. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, as several high profile cases illustrate (e.g., the Regnerus Affair). But the disclosure of conflicts of interest is recommended by most professional organizations and many academic journals. A comprehensive explanation of sociological guidelines is provided on the website of the  American Sociological Association

TUSKEGEE STD: US government experiments illegally on black men with syphilis for 40 years. ​

At the micro level, researchers should consider their own conduct and the rights of individual research participants.

At the meso level, researchers should consider the expectations of their profession and of any organizations that may have funded their research.

At the macro level, researchers should consider their duty to and the expectations of society with respect to social scientific research.

a. Identify the major research methods used in sociology.​

  • Potential ethical issues in sociological research are normally not as serious as those in medical research, but sociologists must still take care to proceed in an ethical manner in their research.

  • The guideline that informed consent must be obtained from potential research subjects is a special issue for vulnerable populations such as prisoners.

Conduct a Sociological Observation

It's full steam ahead into the sociology research process. Let's say you have a theory about how the world works. Now what? Time to do a little research. You'll find out how sociologists create a hypothesis, search for literature and observe their subjects. Then we'll travel back in time as we cover the different types of societies that have existed throughout history, like hunter/gatherer societies.   

Unit 1: Foundations a​​nd Research
SSSocFR2: Research Methodologies​

a. Identify the major research methods used in sociology.
b. Explain how various methods are used to conduct research in sociology.
c. Evaluate the strengths and weakness of the methods of sociology research
d. Explain the importance and influence of ethics in guiding research and data collection in sociology.