1. Sociology is more than a perspective; it is also a form of investigation that uses the logic of science to learn about the social world.
2. The logic of science is an important foundation of all sociological research and, more broadly, a valuable means of evaluating information we encounter every day.
3. There are three basic requirements of sociological investigation: (1) being aware of the larger social world; (2) using the sociological perspective; and (3) being curious and asking questions about society.
4. There are many different ways of knowing, including personal experience, faith, acceptance of information provided by experts, and social agreement. Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence, and as such, may contradict to our common sense.
5. The logic of science makes use of concepts and variables. Concepts are abstract ideas that represent elements of society; concepts that vary in value are called variables. Measurement is the process of determining the value of a variable in any specific case. Sound measurement has the qualities of reliability and validity.
6. The logic of science seeks to specify the relationship among variables. Ideally, researchers seek relationships of cause and effect in which one factor (the independent variable) is shown to cause change in another factor (the dependent variable). In many cases, however, sociological investigation can only demonstrate that two variables vary together - a relationship called correlation.
7. The logic of science demands objectivity on the part of a researcher. While issues chosen for investigation may reflect personal interests, personal values and biases must be suspended in conducting the research.
8. The logic of science was developed primarily through studying the natural world. Although science can be used to study social behaviour, it has important limitations for doing so.
9. Curiosity and imagination, necessary for all successful research, spring from the human mind and not from the logic of science. Moreover, all human reality is based on patterns of meaning. The process of 'interpretation is therefore part of all sociological investigation.
10. All sociological research has ethical implications.
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