Behavioral Science



  1. Describe two research methods used in sociology.

Sociologyis the study that involves looking into the behavior of human beings,and the society in a scientific manner. There are plenty of researchmethods that are put into use in sociology. Some of those methods arethe use of questionnaires, and the use of mass media. The use ofquestionnaires incorporates asking of many questions in a bid toobtain important information about the respondent (Giddens &ampSutton, 2010).

Theother research method is the use of mass media. Most of the sourcesof mass media provide little or no data, and some are of great helpto sociologists. There are sources of mass media that dispense a lotof information, and data to sociologists, assisting them with theirresearch. The mass media has been used in research for the purposesof passing information from one point to another. Also, the mediaassists sociologists in identifying different aspects of variouscultures. However, there has been wrong depiction of information fromthe media regarding some of the things in the society (Giddens &ampSutton, 2010). For this reason, some of the sociologists havecriticized mass media regardless of the fact that they are useful intheir research methods.

  1. Discuss the justifications for one of these sociological research methods.

Theuse of questionnaires is salient in spotting sociological researchmethods. There are those questionnaires that are closed while othersare open-ended. For the former, the respondent is limited to specificresponses but, it is not the case with the latter (Giddens &ampSutton, 2010). Additionally, by the use of questionnaires, therespondent is the greatest participant in the research in question.Questionnaires are an effective way of acquiring substantialinformation from individuals within a short period. There arevarious types of questionnaires such as telephone, electronic, andpostal questionnaires (Marvasti, 2004). As prior mentioned, there areclosed, and open-ended questionnaires. Subsequently, there aredifferent types of questions that are incorporated in thequestionnaires. Such questions include open-ended, closed-ended,contingency, and matrix questions.

Open-endedquestions are those that give room to the respondent to give theanswers that they deem fit. These questions do not limit theindividual on specific responses. On the other hand, closed-endedquestions are those that limit the respondents to specific answers.For example they are either given multiple choices or are restrictedto “yes” and “no” or “true” and “false” responses(Marvasti, 2004).

Inaddition, contingency questions are those that depend on the answergiven in the previous question. These questions only have responsesdepending on the answer of the prior inquisition. Also, thesequestions are not asked when they do not apply to the respondentbeing questioned.

Matrixquestions are those that often have multiple questions with similarresponses in different categories.

Inas much as questionnaires have advantages such as efficiency, savingtime, and convenience it also has many disadvantages. Some of thosedisadvantages are low response rates, structural complexity, andcases of dishonest responses among others (Marvasti, 2004).

B.Describe two research methods used in cultural anthropology. (Atleast one of the research methods chosen must differ from those thatyou have identified for the discipline of sociology.)

Culturalanthropology is the branch of anthropology that focuses on theculture of human beings, and their social structure. There are waysin which anthropologists obtain information, and data. They useresearch methods such as linguistic analysis, and cultural immersion(Bernard, 2011).

Incultural immersion, the anthropologists study the cultures ofdifferent people. Through this method, the scientists acquaintthemselves with how people in a certain society carry out their dayto day lives.

Theother method is linguistic analysis. Anthropologists often usepeople’s language while carrying out a study in regard to theaforementioned individuals. The language of a people gives a lot ofinformation about them (Bernard, 2006). Also, through language ranksand statuses in society are thoroughly determined. Additionally, itis important to note that there are those languages that do notaccurately pass certain messages. For this reason, it is necessaryfor the communities to possess different languages (Bernard, 2011).

1.Discuss the justifications for one of these anthropological researchmethods. (The justification must differ from what you have identifiedfor methods in sociology.)

Asaforementioned, cultural immersion is a method used inanthropological research. This method is made possible in differentways. For example, the first anthropologist to obtain informationthrough cultural immersion lived with the specific group of peoplefor about two years. Within that time, he learnt the way of life ofthe community in question (Bernard, 2011).

Additionally,most anthropologists learn the languages of people from differentcommunities as this assists them with the research. Language is agreat part of a community hence it should be incorporated in theprocess of research, and obtaining information.

Incultural immersion, the anthropologists also use interviews to obtaindata, and information. It is mostly the older generation who areoften interviewed as they tell their life stories, and how they livedthroughout the years (Bernard, 2006). Through this method, lessonsare learnt as the people being interviewed speak of their mistakes,and the experiences they learnt. Through these stories, there isobservation that culture change is inevitable.

Moreover,anthropologists define the ways in which people in variouscommunities are akin to one another. Through cultural immersion,anthropologists observe the cultural patterns, and those strugglesthat the people go through in order to make ends meet. With theaforementioned information, anthropologists are able to make accurateconclusions in regard to the community at hand. Looking into kinshipties and relations is important as it lessens the work of thescientists, and eases their study (Bernard, 2011).

C.Compare and contrast sociological and anthropological approaches toresearch based on the methods you have described. Thereare similarities, and differences in regard to the research methodsof sociology, and those of anthropology. According to the researchmethods discussed, there is a comparison in relation toquestionnaires, and cultural immersion. As prior mentioned, the useof questionnaires involves asking questions in order to obtaininformation. In the same way, there are interviews that take place inregard to cultural immersion. Interviews involve the use of questionsin the aim of receiving answers that serve as the requiredinformation. Despite the fact that questionnaires are acquainted tosociology, and the latter to anthropology, there is a similarity inthe two research methods (Giddens &amp Sutton, 2010).

Onthe other hand, there are also differences observed apropos ofanthropological and sociological research methods. By the use of massmedia, sociologists strive to obtain information from a large groupof people. Unlike anthropologists, sociologists often obtain datafrom large groups of people. It may seem impossible for thesescientists to focus on many people’s languages. As a result, theuse of linguist analysis goes to show that anthropologists oftenstudy communities as opposed to large groups of people (Bernard,2011).


Bernard,H. R. (2006). Researchmethods in anthropology: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.

Bernard,H. R. (2011). Researchmethods in anthropology: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.Lanham, Md: AltaMira Press.

Giddens,A., &amp Sutton, P. W. (2010). Sociology:Introductory readings.Cambridge: Polity.

Marvasti,A. B. (2004). Qualitativeresearch in sociology: An introduction.London: SAGE Publications.