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_.,-~ ,-- -- I ;: ..Topics Chapter 8 Experiments Chapter Outline eTopics Appropriateto Experiments eThe ClassicalExperiment eSelectingSubjects e Variationson ExperimentalDesigns eAn Illustrationof Experimentation e"Natural" Experiments eStrengthsand Weaknesses of the ExperimentalMethod Appropriate to Experiments eProjectswith limited andwell-definedconcepts. eProjectsthat are exploratoryratherthandescriptive. eStudiesof small groupinteraction. Componentsof Experiments Three Pairs e Independentand dependentvariables ePretestingandposttesting e Experimentalandcontrol groups Experimental and Control Groups e Must beas similar aspossible. eControl grouprepresentswhatthe experimentalgroupwould havebeenlike had it not beenexposedto the experimentalstimulus. SelectingSubjects e Probabilitysampling e Randomization eMatching Randomization and Matching e May not know which variableswill be relevantfor matchingprocess. e Most statisticsusedto analyzeresultsassumerandomization. e Randomizationonly makessenseif youhavea largepool of subjects. Posttest-onlyControl Group Design elncludesGroups3 and 4 of the Solomondesign. e With properrandomization,only thesegroupsareneededto control the problemsof internal invalidity andthe interactionbetweentestingand stimulus. "Natural" Experiments e Importantsocialscientificexperimentsoccuroutsidecontrolledsettingsand in the courseof normal socialevents. e Raisevalidity issuesbecauseresearchermusttakethingsas they occur. Experimental Method Strengths: .. e Isolationof the ex~rimenta1variableovertime. eExperimentscanbereplicatedseveraltimesusing differentgroupsof subjects. Experimental Method Weaknesses: e Artificiality of laboratorysetting. eSocial processesthat occurin a lab might not occurin a morenaturalsocial setting. 2 .Chapter 8 Experiments Key Terms 8Pretesting The measurementof a dependentvariable among subjects before they are exposedto an independentvariable. \ \ .8Posttesting The remeasurementof a dependentvariable among subjects after they've beenexposedto an independentvariable. 8Experimental group A group of subjectsto whom an experimental stimulus is administered. 8Control group A group of subjectsto whom no experimental stimulus is administered and who resemble the experimental group in all other respects. 8 Dou ble-blind experiment An experimental design in which neither the subjects nor the experimenters know which is the experimental group and which is the control. 8 Randomization A technique for assigning experimental subjectsto experimental and control groups randomly. 8Matching In connection with experiments, the procedure whereby pairs of subjects are matched on the basis of their similarities on one or more variables, and one member of the pair is assignedto the experimental group and the other to the control group. 8 Internal invalidity Refers to the possibility that the conclusions drawn from experimental results may not accurately reflect what went on in the experiment itself. 8 External invalidiw Refers to the possibility that conclusions drawn from experimental results may not be generalized to the "real" world. 3 \ : Chapter 9 Survey Research Chapter Outline .Topics Appropriate to Survey Research .Guidelines for Asking Questions .Questionnaire Construction .Self -administered Questionnaires eInterview Surveys Chapter Outline .Telephone Surveys eNew Technologies and Survey Research .Comparison of the Different Survey Methods .Strengths and Weaknessesof Survey Research .Secondary Analysis Topics Appropriate to Survey Research .Descriptive e Exploratory eExplanatory Guidelines for Asking Questions .Choose appropriate question forms. .Make items clear. .Avoid double-barreled questions. .Respondents must be competentto answer. Guidelines for Asking Questions .Respondents must be willing to answer. eQuestions should be relevant. eShort items are best. .Avoid negative items. .Avoid biased items and terms. Guidelines for Questionnaire Construction eOne question per line. eUse contingency questions when necessary. .Format matrix questions so they are easily answered. .Be aware of issues with ordering items. .Include instructions for the questionnaire. .Pretest all or part of the questionnaire. Acceptable Response Rates .50% -adequate for analysis and reporting .60% -good e70% -very good Guidelines for Survey Interviewing .Dress in a similar nianner to the people who will be interviewed. eStudy and become familiar with the questionnaire. eFollow question wording exactly. .Record responsesexactly. .Probe for responseswhen necessary. Training for Interviewers " 4 , : 8 Discussion of general guidelines and procedures. 8Specify how to handle difficult or confusing situations. 8Conduct demonstration interviews. 8Conduct "real" interviews. Telephone Surveys Advantages: 8Money and time. 8Control over data collection. Disadvantages: 8Surveys that are really ad campaigns. 8 Answering machines. New Technologies and Survey Research 8CAPI -computer assistedpersonal interviewing. 8CASI -computer assistedself interviewing. 8CSAQ -computerized self-administered questionnaires. 8mE -touchtone dataentry. 8 VR -voice recognition. Strengths of Survey Research 8Useful in describing the characteristics of a large population. 8Make large samplesfeasible. 8 Flexible -many questions can be asked on a given topic. Weaknesses of Survey Research 8Can seldom deal with the context of social life. 8Inflexible in some ways. 8Subject to artificiality. 8Weak on validity. Chapter 9 Survey Research Key Terms 8Respondent Personwho provides data for analysis by responding to a survey questionnaire. 8Questionnaire Instrument designedto elicit information that will be useful for analysis. 80pen-ended questions Respondentis askedto provide his or her own answer to the question. !' !' 8Closed-ended questions Respondentis askedto select an answer from among a list provided by the researcher. 8Bias Refers to any property of questions that encouragesrespondentsto answer in a particular 5 way. 8Contingency question Survey question intended only for some respondents, detennined by tIleir response to some oilier questions. 8Response rate Number of people participating in a survey dived by tIle number selected in tIle sample. I \ 8Interview A data-collection encounter in which one person (an interviewer) asks questionsof anotIler (a respondent). 8Probe A request for elaboration. 8Secondary Analysis Font} of researchin which tIle data collected and processedby one researcherare analyzed -often for a different purpose -by anotIler. "" 6 Chapter 10 Qualitative Field Research Chapter Outline eTopics Appropriate to Field Research eSpecial Considerations in Qualitative Field Research eSome Qualitative Field ResearchParadigms eConducting Qualitative Field Research e ResearchEthics in Qualitative Field Research eStrengths and Weaknessesor Qualitative Field Research Topics for Field Research e Attitudes and Behaviors best understood in a natural setting. eSocial processesover time. Elements of Social Life Appropriate to Field Research ePractices: talking, reading a book eEpisodes: divorce, crime, illness e Encounters: people meeting and interacting eRole: occupations, family roles eRelationships: friendships, mother-son Elements of Social Life Appropriate to Field Research eGroups: cliques, teams, work groups eOrganizations: hospitals, schools eSettlements: neighborhoods,ghettoes eSocial worlds: "wall street", "the sportsworld" eLifestyles (or subcultures): urban, homeless Field Research Paradigms eNaturalism e Ethnomethodology eGrounded theory eCase studies and the extended casemethod e Institutional ethnography eParticipatory action research Preparing for Field Work eFil1 in your knowledge of the subject. e Discuss the group you plan to researchwith an informant. e Develop an identity with the people to be studied. e Realize that your initial contact with the group can influence your observations. Seven Stages of Interviewing e Thematizing e Design e Interviewing ~ :,c'" eTranscribing eAnalyzing e Verifying and checking facts e Reporting Advantages of Focus Groups eSocially oriented researchmethod eFlexible ;,i ' ~\~;:: 7 ; .8 8High face validity 8Speedy results 8Low in cost Disadvantages of Focus Groups 8Less control than individual interviews. 8Data can be difficult to analyze. 8 Moderators must be skilled. Disadvantages of Focus Groups 8 Difference between groups can be troublesome. 8Groups are difficult to assemble. Discussion must be conducted in a conducive environment. Guidelines -Taking Research Notes 8 Don't trust your memory. -Take notes while you observe. 8Take notes in stages. -Take sketchy notes in the field and rewrite them later, filling in the details. Guidelines -Taking Research Notes 8 Record everything. -Things that don't seem important may turn out to be significant after all. 8Realize that most of your field notes will not be reflected in your final project. Strengths of Field Research 8 Pemlits a great depth of understanding. 8 Flexibility -research may be modified at any time. 8Inexpensive 8 Has more validity than surveys or experiments. Weaknesses of Field Research 8Qualitative and not appropriate for statistical descriptions of populations. 8Has potential problems with reliability since field researchmethods are often personal. Is It Ethical? 8To talk to people when they don't know you will be recording their words? 8To g(i:tinformation for your own purposes from people you hate? 8To see a severeneed for help and not respondto it directly? Is It Ethical? 8To be in a situation but not commit yourself wholeheartedly to it? 8To be strategic in your relations with others? 8To take sides or avoid taking sides in a factionalized situation? Is It Ethical? 8To "pay" people with tradeoffs for accessto their lives and minds? 8To "use" people as allies or informants in order to gain entreeto other people or to elusive understandings? 8 Chapter 10 Qualitative Field Research Key Terms f t; i;";; eNaturalism Approach to field researchbased on the asswnption that an objective social reality exists and can be observed and reported accurately. eEthnography A report on social life that focuses on detailed and accuratedescription rather than explanation. e Ethnomethodology An approachto the study of social life that focuses on the discovery of implicit, usually unspokenasswnptions and agreements. eGrounded Theory An inductive approachto the study of social life that attemptsto generatea theory from the constantcomparing of unfolding observations. eCaseStudies In-depth examination of a single instance of some social phenomenon, such as a village, a family, or a juvenile gang. eExtended case method Technique in which case study observationsare used to discover flaws in and to improve existing social theories. eInstitutional ethnography Researchtechnique in which the personal experiencesof individuals are used to reveal power relationships and other characteristics of the institutions within which they operate. eParticipatory action research Approach to social researchin which the people being studied are given control over the purpose and proceduresof the research. eQualitative interview An interaction betweenan interviewer and a respondentin which the interviewer has a general plan of inquiry but not a specific set of questions that must be asked with particular words and in a particular order. .,. eFocus Group A group of people are brought together in a room to engagein guided discussionof a topic. 9 ; .historical Chapter 11 Unobtrusive Research Chapter Outline 8Content Analysis 8Analyzing Existing Statistics 8 Historical/Comparative Analysis Three Types of Unobtrusive Research 8Content analysis -examine written documents such as newspapereditorials. 8Analyses of existing statistics. 8Historical/comparative analysis -main resources for observation and analysis are records. Strengths of Content Analysis 8 Economy of time and money. 8It's simple to repeata portion of the study if necessary. 8Permits you to study processesoccurring over a long time. 8Researcher seldom has any effect on the subject being studied. 8 Reliability. Weaknesses of Content Analysis 8 Limited to the examination of recorded communications. 8 Problems of validity are likely. Analyzing Existing Statistics 8 Existing statistics can be the main sourceof date or a supplemental source of data. 8Problems with validity -Often existing data doesn'tcover the exact question. 8 Reliability is dependenton the quality of the statistics. Historical/comparative Analysis Cautions: 8Can't trust the accuracyof records -official or unofficial, primary or secondary. 8 Must be wary of bias in data sources. Chapter 11 Unobtrusive Research Key Terms 8Unobtrusive research Methods of studying social behavior without affecting it. 8Content AnalysisI Study of recorded human communications. ? , 8Coding Processof transforming raw data into a standardizedform. 8Manifest content The visible, surface content. 10 .Latent content The underlyingmeaningof the content. .Historical/Comparative analysis Involvesthe useof historicalmethodsby sociologists,political scientistsand othersocial scientists. \ I t I .. " 11 Chapter 12 \ \ Evaluation Research Chapter Outline 8Topics Appropriate To Evaluation Research 8Formulating the Problem 8Types of Evaluation ResearchDesigns 8 The Social Context 8 Social Indicators Research Evaluation Research 8Appropriate for any study of planned or actual social intervention. 8Goal is to determine whether a social intervention has produced the intended result. 8Results are not always well received. Types of Measurement in Evaluation Research 80utcome (responsevariable) 8Experimental Context -aspects of the context of an experiment that might affect the experiment. 8 Experimental Stimulus (interventions) 8 Population -demographic variables as well as variables defining the population. Evaluation Research Designs 8 Experimental designs 8Quasi -experimental designs -Time-series design -Nonequivalent control groups -Multiple Time-Series designs 8Qualitative evaluations Ethical Issues 8Social interventions being evaluated may raise ethical issues. 8 Evaluation researchmay be a mask for unethical behavior. Why Results Are Ignored 8 Implications may not be presentedin a way that nonresearcherscan understand. 8 Res~ts sometimes contradict deeply held beliefs. 8 Vested interest in a program. Social Indicators Research 8 Provides an understandingof broader social processes. 8 Researchersare developing more refined indicators. 8 Researchis being devoted to discovering the relationships among variables within whole societies. . 12 Chapter 12 Evaluation Research Key Tenns 8 Evaluation research A process of detennining whether a social intervention has produced the intended result. 8Quasi experiments .Nonrigorous ~ inquiries somewhatresembling controlled experiments but lacking key elements such as pre- and posttesting and/or control groups. 8Time-Series designs Studies that involve measurementstaken over time. 8Non-equivalent control group A control group that is similar to the experimental group but is not created by the random assignmentof subjects. 8Multiple time-series designs The use of more than one set of data that were collected over time, as in accident rates over time in severalstates or cities, so that comparison can be made. 8Social indicators Aggregated statistics that reflect the social condition of a society or social subgroup. jO " 13 i Chapter 13 Qualitative Data Analysis Chapter Outline 8 Linking Theory and Analysis 8Qualitative Data Processing 8Computer Programs for Qualitative Data 8The Qualitative Analysis of Quantitative Data Qualitative Data Analysis 8Searches for explanatory patterns. 8Links data collection, analysis and theory. Six Ways to Discover Patterns 8 Frequencies 8 Magnitudes 8 Structures 8 Processes 8 Causes 8 Consequences Grounded Theory Method (GTM) Four Stages: 8Comparing incidents applicable to eachcategory. 8Integrating categories and their properties. 8 Delimiting the theory. 8Writing the theory. Matching Signs and Their Meanings SIGN e1. Poinsettia 82. Horseshoe 83. Blue ribbon e4. "Say cheese" 8S. "Break a leg" MEANING 8a. Good luck 8b. First prize 8C. Christmas 8d. Acting 8e. Smile for a picture Semiotics 8The "science of designs". 8Signs are anything t)1atis assigneda special meaning. Conversation Analysis Fundamental Assumptions: 8Conversation is a socially structured activity. -Conversations must be understood contextually. -Structure and meaning of conversations must be transcribed. Coding Methods 14 8 Memoing -writing notes about the project. 8Concept mapping -graphically classifying individual pieces of data. Three Kinds of Memos for GTM 8Code Notes -identify code labels and their meanings. -Theoretical Notes -reflect meaning of conceptsand theories. 80perational Notes -methodological issues. , I .Key Chapter 13 Qualitative Data Analysis Terms 8Qualitative analysis Methods for examining social researchdata without converting them to a nwnerical format. 8 Variable-oriented analysis Focus of analysis is on interrelations among variables and the people observed would be the carriers of those variables. -Case oriented analysis Analysis that aims to understanda particular case or several casesby looking at the details of each. 8Cross-case analysis . Analysis that involves an examination of more than one case, either a variable-oriented or case-orientedanalysis. 8Grounded Theory Method (GMT) An ind\lctive approachto researchin which theories are generated solely from an examination of data rather than being derived deductively. 8Constant comparative method Component of the Grounded Theory Method in which observationsare compared with one another and with the evolving inductive theory. 8Semiotics Study of signs and and the meanings associatedwith them. 8Conversational Analysis (CA) Meticulous analysis of the details of conversation, based on a complete transcript hat includes pauses,hems and also haws. 8Memoing Writing memos that becomepart of the data for analysis in qualitative researchsuchas ~~-- , "C", 15 grounded theory. eOpen coding Initial classification and labeling of concepts in qualitative data analysis. Codes are suggestedby researchersexamination and questioning of the data. eConcept Mapping Putting concepts in a graphical fomlat. , , .. I I I 16 Chapter 14 Quantitative Data Analysis Chapter Outline 8Quantification of data 8 Univariate Analysis 8SUbgroup Comparisons 8Bivariate Analysis 8 Introduction to Multivariate Analysis Developing Code Categories Two basic approaches: 8 Beginning with a coding schemederived from the researchpurpose. 8Generate codes from the data. Codebook Construction Purposes: 8 Primary guide used in the coding process. 8Guide for locating variables and interpreting codes in the data file during analysis. Entering Data 8Data entry specialists enter the data into an SPSS data matrix or Excel spreadsheet. 8Optical scan sheets. 8 Part of the process of data collection. Quantitative Analysis 8Univariate -simplest fo~describe a case in terms of a single variable. 8 Bivariate -subgroup comparisons, describea casein terms of two variables simultaneously. 8Multivariate -analysis of two or more variables simultaneously. Univariate Analysis 8Describing a casein terms of the distribution of attributes that comprise it. Example: 8Gender -number of women, number of men. Presenting Univariate Data Goals: 8 Provide reader with the fullest degreeof detail regarding the data. 8 Presentdata in a manageablefrom. Subgroup Comparisons 8 Describe subsetsof cases,subjects or respondents. Examples 8 "Collapsing" responsecategories. 8Handling "don't knows." Bivariate Analysis 8Describe a casein terms of two variables simultaneously. 8 Example: -Gender -Attitudes toward equality for men and women Constructing Bivariate Tables 8Divide casesinto groups according to the attributes of the independentvariable. 8Describe each subgroup in terms of attributes of the dependentvariable. 17 8Read the table by comparing the independentvariable subgroupsin tenus of a given attribute of the dependentvariable. Multivariate Analysis 8Analysis of more than two variables simultaneously. 8Can be usedto understandthe relationship betweentwo variables more fully. ,\ .. Chapter 14 Quantitative Data Analysis Key Tenns ., 8Quantitative analysis Numerical representationand manipulation of observationsfor the purpose of describing and explaining the phenomena that those observations reflect. 8Codebook Document that describesthe locations of variables and lists the assignmentsof codesto the attributes composing those variables. 8 Univariate analysis Describes a case in tenus of a single variable -the distribution of attributes that comprise it. 8Frequency distribution Description of the number of times that the various attributes of a variable are observed in a sample. 8Average Measure of central tendency. 8Mean Result of diving the sum of the values by the total number of cases. 8Mode The most frequently occurring attribute. 8 Median Middle attribute in the ranked distribution of observed attributes. 8Dispersion Refers to the way values are distributed around some central value. "' , 8Standard deviation Index of the amount of variability in a set of data. 8Continuous variable Increases steadily in tiny fractions. " , 18 8Discrete variable Jwnps from category to category without intervening steps. 8 Bivariate analysis Analysis of two variables simultaneously. Focus is on the variables and the empirical relationships. 8Contingency tables Values of the dependentvariable are contingent on values of the independentvariable. .i \ ! 8 Multivariate analysis Analysis of more than two variables simultaneously. p p -"C- ".. 19 Chapter 15 ; : .Steps The Elaboration Model Chapter Outline 8The Origins of the Elabomtion Model 8The Elaboration Paradigm 8Elaboration and Ex Post Facto Hypothesizing Steps in the Elaboration Model -A relationship is observedto exist betweentwo variables. -A third variable is held constant in the sensethat the casesunder study are subdivided according to the attributes of that third variable. in the Elaboration Model -The original two~variable relationship is recomputed within eachof the subgroups. -The comparison of the original relationship with the relationships found within each subgroup provides a fuller understanding of the original relationship itself. Possible Outcomes of Elaboration Analysis 8Replication -A set of partial relationships is essentiallythe same as the corresponding zero-order relationship. 8Explanation ~A set of partial relationships is reduced essentially to zero when an antecedentvariable is held constant. Possible Outcomes of Elaboration Analysis 8Interpretation -A setof partial relationships is reduced essentially to zero when an intervening variable is held constant). 8Specification -One partial relationship is reduced, ideally to zero, and the other remains about the sameas the original relationship or is stronger. Replication 8The result when partial relationships are essentially the sameas the original relationship. 8The original relationship has beenreplicated under test conditions. Explanation .When an original relationship is shown to be false through the introduction of a test variabl~. Requires two conditions: -The test variable must be antecedentto both the independentand dependent variables. -The partial relationships must be zero or significantly less than those found in the original. Interpretation 8The outcome in which a test or control variable is discoveredto be the mediating factor through which an independentvariable has its effect on a dependentvariable. 8 Does not deny the validity of the original causal relationship but clarifies the process through which that relationship functions. Specification j 8 Partial relationships that differ significantly from eachother. 8Example: one partial relationship is the sameas or strongerthan the original twovariable relationship, and the secondpartial relationship is less than the original and may be reduced to zero. 8Specifies the conditions under which the original relationship holds. Ex Post Facto Hypothesizing " """, 20 8Development of hypotheses "predicting" relationships that have already beenobserved. 8Invalid becauseit's impossible to disconfirm them. Chapter 15 The Elaboration Model Key Terms ; 8Elaboration model A logical model for understanding the relationship betweentwo methods by controlling for the effects of a third. 8Test variable A variable that is held constant in an attempt to clarify further the relationship between two other variables. 8Partial relationship In the elaboration model, this the relationship betweentwo variables when examined in a subsetof casesdefined by a third variable. 8Zero-order relationship In the elaboration model, this is the original relationship betweentwo variables, with no test variables controlled for. 8 Replication A technical term used in connection with the elaboration model, referring to the elaboration outcome in which the initially observed relationship betweentwo variables persists when a control variable is held constant, thereby supporting the idea that the original relationship is genuine. 8Explanation An elaboration model outcome in which the original relationship betweentwo variables is revealed to have beenspurious, becausethe relationship disappearswhen an intervening test variable is introduced. 8 Interpretation A technical term used in connection with the elaboration model. It representsthe research outcome in which a control variable is discovered to be the mediating factor through which an independentvariable has its effect on a dependentvariable. " 8 Specification A technical term used in connection with the elaboration model, representingthe elaboration outcome in which an initially observed relationship betweentwo variables is replicated among some subgroups created by the control variable but not among others. 21 eSuppressorvariable In the elaboration model, a test variable that preventsa genuine relationship from appearing at the zero-order level. eDistorter variable In the elaboration model, a test variable that reversesthe direction of a zero-order relationship. .eEx ; i post facto hypothesis A hypothesis created after confirming data have already beencollected. It is a meaninglessconstruct becausethere is no way for it to be disconfinned. ,. " p 22 Chapter 16 SocialStatistics \ Chapter Outline eThe Origins of the Elaboration Model eThe Elaboration Paradigm eElaboration and Ex Post Facto Hypothesizing Descriptive Statistics eUsed to summarize data being studied. eCan be used to summarizethe following: -Distribution of attributes on a single variable. -Associations betweenvariables. Measures of Association eDescriptive statistics that summarize the relationships betweenvariables. eBased on a proportionate reduction of error (PRE) model. Proportionate Reduction of Error Model Comparison: .Number of errors we would make if we knew the distribution of attributes on that variable. .Number of errors we would make if we knew the joint distribution overall and were told for each casethe attribute of one variable eachtime we were asked to guessthe attribute of the other. Regression Analysis eRelationships betweenvariables in the form of equations, which can predict the value of a dependentvariable on the basis of values of independentvariables. eComputed on the basis of a regressionline, the actual location of points in a scattergram. Types of Regression Analysis e Linear regressionanalysis eMultiple regressionanalysis ePartial regressionanalysis eCurv,ilinear regressionanalysis Other Multivariate Techniques eTime series analysis -study of processesoccurring over time. ePath analysis -a method of presenting graphically the networks of causalrelationships among several variables. eFactor analysis -a method of discovering the general dimensions representedby a collection of actual variables. Inferential Statistics eUsed to estimate generalizability of findings arrived at through analysis of a sample to the larger population from which the sample was selected. eInferences about ~me characteristic of a population must indicate a confidence interval and a confidence level. Statistical and Substantive Significance eSubstantive -observed associationis strong, important and meaningful. eStatistical -make assumptions about dataand methods that are almost never completely satisfied by social research. I 23 Chapter 16 The Elaboration Model Key Terms 8 Descriptive statistics Statistical computations describing either the characteristics of a sample or the relationship among variables in a sample. ; I 8Proportionate reduction of error (PRE) A logical model for assessingthe strength of a relationship by asking how much knowing values on one variable would reduce our errors in guessingvalues on the other. 8 Regression analysis Method of data analysis in which the relationships among variables are representedin the form of an equation, called a regressionequation. 8Linear regression analysis A form of statistical analysis that seeksthe equation for the straight line that best describesthe relationship betweentwo ratio variables. 8Multiple regression analysis A form of statistical analysis that seeksthe equation representingthe impact of two or more independentvariables on a single dependentvariable. 8 Partial regression analysis A form of regressionanalysis in which the effects of one or more variables are held constant, similar to the logic of the elaboration model. 8Curvilinear regression analysis A foml of regressionanalysis that allows relationships among variables to be expressed with curved geometrical lines instead of straight lines. 8Path analysis A form of multivariate analysis in which the causal relationships among variables are presented in graphic format. 8Time-series analysis An analysis of changes in a variable (e.g., crime rates) over time. 8Factor analysis,,? A complex algebraic method for determining the general dimensions or factors that exist within a set of concrete observations. 8Nonsampling error Those imperfections of data quality that are a result of factors other than sampling error. 24 eStatistical significance A general tenD referring to the likelihood that relationships observed in a sample could be attributed to sampling error alone. eTests of statistical significance A class of statistical computations that indicate the likelihood that the relationship observed between variables in a sample can be attributed to sampling error only. , : eLevelofsignificance The degree of likelihood that an observed,empirical relationship could be attributable to sampling error. ?"