By Johann Mouton, H. C. Marais
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Extra resources for Basic Concepts in the Methodology of the Social Sciences (HSRC studies in research methodology)
Despite the fact that the subjects believed that the pupils were being shocked in an extremely painful manner, more than 60 % were prepared to continue with the experiment right up to the end. Milgram’s conclusion was that people could be induced to display aggressive behaviour when it occurred under the instruction of an authority figure. Although this study gave rise to a lengthy debate on the subject of research ethics, it remains nonetheless, an excellent example of how a researcher, stimulated by a puzzling situation, conducted original research.
For the exact reason that groups possess their own characteristics, it is necessary to try to understand and explain the functioning of either families or gangs in terms of those characteristics. It would, quite simply, be wrong to attempt, for example, to consistently try to understand the behaviour of groups in terms of the characteristics of the individual. za Formal social organizations such as companies, churches, universities, academic departments, factories, and supermarkets are frequently used as the unit of analysis.
The term validity is probably the most useful to convey the meaning of verisimilitude. In this we follow Cook and Campbell (1979: 37) who say: We shall use the concepts of validity and invalidity to refer to the best possible approximation to the truth or falsity of propositions ... In chapters 2 and 5 a detailed analysis is presented of the factors which present obstacles to the attainment of valid findings, as well as ways in which these factors may be controlled. The methodological dimension While the epistemological dimension refers to the status of scientific statements, the methodological dimension concerns what may be called the “how” of social sciences research.
Basic Concepts in the Methodology of the Social Sciences (HSRC studies in research methodology) by Johann Mouton, H. C. Marais