Social Research Methods


textbook is “Social Research Methods; qualitative and quantitative approaches”6th edition by W. Lawrence Neuman

These questions are from chapter 11. Nonreactive research and secondary analysis.




Lesson 11

1. An example of unobtrusive data collection is(are)

a. an interview with college freshmen to determine why they selected a

particular school

b. a laboratory experiment designed to determine whether people really prefer Pepsi

or Coke

c. a mailed survey designed to discern students’ attitudes toward a planned change in

the school’s calendar

2. Which of the following modes of observation does NOT require the researcher to

intrude to some degree on whatever he or she is studying?

a. Experiments

b. Survey research

c. Complete participant observation

d. Complete observer in field research

e. All of these choices require the researcher to intrude

3. Unobtrusive measures can reduce the problem (s) of

a. the researcher’s impact on the phenomenon being studied

b. invalid operationalization of concepts

c. unreliable measurements

d. corroboration

e. the ecological fallacy

4. Which of the following is (are) illustrative of unobtrusive observations?

a. examining the floor tiles at a museum to determine which exhibits are the most


b. examining the number of beer cans in the university garbage collections to

determine beer consumption patterns

c. examining the wear on the tires of squad cars to determine the extent of police

d. examining the radio dial settings of cars brought in for oil changes to determine

the popularity of radio stations

e. all of these choices illustrate unobtrusive observations

5. If we wanted to determine whether states that pass clean air legislation (no smoking in

public areas) are more likely to enact laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets than

are states that had not passed clean air legislation, the unit of analysis would be

a. the individual states

b. the individual act of legislation

c. passage or nonpassage of the clean air legislation

d. the clean air legislation

e. states that passed clean air legislation

6. You are interested in doing a content analysis on the characteristics people seek in a

partner by examining the personals section of three newspapers. Your unit of analysis


a. the three newspapers.

b. The characteristics desired in a partner.

c. The individual ads

d. The personals section of the paper

e. The person who wrote the ad

7. Professor Perlman was interested in comparing two textbooks to determine whether

one used more sexist language than the other. Perlman counted the number of ties a

gender reference (ex: “he”, “she”, “chairman,” etc.) appeared in each book. Perlman was


a. latent content coding

b. manifest content coding

c. quota sampling

d. the ecological fallacy

e. base counting

8. Which of the following levels of measurement(s) may be employed in content


a. nominal

b. ratio

c. interval

d. ordinal

e. all of these choices are correct

9. In which of the following analyses is content analysis LEAST likely to be useful?

a. themes in newspaper editorials

b. the wording of this exam

c. topics covered in class lectures

d. the theme of love as discussed in song

e. dating patterns among high school seniors

10. In comparison to coding the manifest content of communication, coding the latent


a. has a disadvantage in terms of validity

b. has an advantage in terms of reliability

c. is better designed for tapping the underlying meaning of communication

d. has an advantage in terms of specificity

e. all of thee choices are true

11. The categories used in content analysis should be

a. Mutually exclusive

b. Exhaustive

c. Nominal

d. Mutually exclusive and exhaustive

e. Mutually exclusive and nominal

12. Content analysis can be done on newspaper materials and government documents but

NOT on diaries and letters

a. True

b. False

13. As a mode of observation, content analysis is essentially a coding operation

a. True

b. False

14. Coding in content analysis involves

a. conceptualization and operationalization

b. inductive methods

c. selecting a level of measurement

d. deductive methods

e. all of these choices are involved in coding in content analysis

15. The weaknesses of content analysis include:

a. a researcher cannot use it to study change over time

b. its use influences that which is being studid

c. if you make a coding error, you cannot recode your data

d. it requires special equipment

e. none of these choices is a weakness of content analysis

16. Standard probability sampling techniques should NOT be used in content analysis

a. True

b. False

17. All content analysis results in counting

a. True

b. False

18. Existing statistics can be used

a. as the main data for social scientific inquiry

b. to provide a historical context for research

c. to provide a conceptual context for research

d. as a supplemental source of data for social scientific inquiry

e. all of these choices are correct

19. Logical reasoning and replication are used to handle the problem of validity in the

analysis of existing statistics.

a. True

b. False

20 A friend of yours is doing a term paper to compare the infant mortality rates in the

United States, Japan, Bolivia, and Pakistan. You tell your friend that a good source to

check is

a. Common Cause

b. the Demographic Yearbook

c. the Statistical Abstract of the United States

d. the Gallup poll

e. the Almanac

21. Many existing statistics can be found on the internet.

a. True

b. False

22. After examining the FBI Crime Reports for a 30=year period, Professor Hall claimed

that the incidence of rape has increased. After examining the same reports, Professor

Shine claimed that the reporting of rape, not the incidence of rape, has increased. This


a. the problem of reliability in using existing statistics

b. the problem of validity in using existing statistics

c. the need to replicate existing statistics

d. the ecological fallacy

e. pretesting

23. Professor Jenner was interested in using Census Bureau data to examine the trend in

unemployment rates in the United States. However, Jenner’s definition of unemployment

did not match the one used by the Census Bureau. Jenner was dealing with the issue of

a. reliability

b. validity

c. the ecological fallacy

d. ideal types

e. verstehen

24. Only official government documents should be used in historical analyses

a. True

b. False

25. According to Weber, an ideal type indicates the characteristics that the phenomena

should strive to attain.

a. True

b. False

26. Unobtrusive measures reduce the impact of the researcher on the phenomena being


a. True

b. False

1. Below is a list of measures on the French influence in New Orleans. Which of the

measures is NOT an Unobtrusive Measure?

a. the wear on novels in the New Orleans Public Library written in French

b. walking down a street in New Orleans and noticing that most of the signs in

stores in a neighborhood are in French or French-Cajun

c. a survey using a three-page questionnaire partly written in French that was

distributed to residents of a neighborhood

d. a box of 300 letters written by people living in New Orleans to relatives living

in French speaking areas outside the state (e.g., Quebec. between 1980 and 1985

(Page Ref: 321)

Refer to the following paragraph to answer the questions below.

Dr. Simpson conducted a content analysis of the New York Times newspaper between

1980 and 2000. She first identified relevant articles involving government regulation of

business. After finding 2,000 such articles, she systematically sampled articles with a

sampling interval of 5. She then coded each sampled article based on the subjective

meaning it expressed, as pro- or anti-government regulation using a 1 to 10 scale (1 =

very anti-regulation, 10 = very pro-regulation).

2. In this study, Dr. Simpson used __________ to identify articles as pro- or antigovernment regulation.

a. latent coding

b. manifest coding

c. generic coding

d. intervention strategy coding

(Page Ref: 326)

3. How many articles did Dr. Simpson code?

a. 200

b. 400

c. 1,000

d. 4,000

Social Research Methods

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