Questioning Numbers: How to Read and Critique Research by Karin G. WilkinsQuestioning Numbers: How to Read and Critique Research by Karin G. Wilkins

Questioning Numbers: How to Read and Critique Research

byKarin G. Wilkins

Paperback | December 1, 2010

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Questioning Numbers: How to Read and Critique Research is a critical companion for students in research methods courses in any of the social sciences. This book helps teach students how to read and critique research that employs numbers in the course of empirical argument. Author Karin GwinnWilkins provides a list of guidelines for reading research and also presents a critical approach to judging and using numbers in navigating and changing social worlds. Illuminating the agendas and politics that can inform how research is conducted and interpreted, this text shows readers how to read and critique research contexts, research design, sampling strategies, definitions, research implementation, data analysis, and interpretation. It also provides strongpedagogical support, including key terms, review exercises, and end-of-chapter reflection questions.A flexible supplement to more comprehensive research texts, Questioning Numbers helps students to become more critical consumers and producers of quantitative research across the social sciences.

About The Author

Karin Gwinn Wilkins is a Professor in the Department of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Details & Specs

Title:Questioning Numbers: How to Read and Critique ResearchFormat:PaperbackDimensions:128 pages, 5.51 × 8.19 × 0.51 inPublished:December 1, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199747393

ISBN - 13:9780199747399

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Table of Contents

Preface1. How to Read and Critique ResearchUnderstanding numbersDeductive and inductive processesIntrinsic valueThe Political context of researchResearch illustrationsNumerical literacyKey TermsReflection QuestionsExercise2. Why Do Research? Questioning the Research ContextWho produced the research?Researchers' home institutionsFunding institutionsPermission granting institutionsWhat is the purpose of the research?What are the research questions?How is the research justified?Why the Research Context MattersKey TermsReview QuestionsReflection QuestionsExercise3. What Can We Know? Questioning the Research DesignWhat is the research design?What are the internal validity concerns?Experimental designQuasi-experimental cross-sectional designQuasi-experimental longitudinal designCase study designQuestioning research designsWhy Research Design MattersKey TermsReview QuestionsReflection QuestionsExercise4. Who is the Research About? Questioning Selection StrategiesWho or what is the subject of the research?Vulnerable populationsHow are subjects selected?Probability samplingNon-probability samplingWhat are the limitations of the sample?Why Selection Strategies MatterKey TermsReview QuestionsReflection QuestionsExercise5. What is the Research About? Questioning Key TermsHow are key concepts defined?How are variables operationalized from concepts?What do we know about key variables?MeasurementAssessmentWhy Definitions MatterKey TermsReview QuestionsReflection QuestionsExercise6. How was the Research Conducted? Questioning Research ImplementationHow are data gathered?How do researchers gain access to data?DeceptionVoluntary participationInformed consentPublic spaceHow do researchers document their observations?Recording observationsConfidentiality and anonymityWhy Research Implementation MattersKey TermsReview QuestionsReflection QuestionsExercise7. What Do We Know? Questioning Analysis and InterpretationWhat do we know about patterns across variables?SignificanceCausalityWhat do we still need to know?Why Analysis and Interpretation MatterKey TermsReview QuestionsReflection QuestionsExercise8. Questioning ResearchGuideline of questionsQuestioning the research contextQuestioning the research designQuestioning the selection strategyQuestioning key termsQuestioning the research implementationQuestioning analysis and interpretationWhy the Political Context MattersGlossaryReferences