This new textbook provides a concise but comprehensive guide to quantitative research methods for undergraduate and postgraduate students in all of the social sciences, as well as established researchers. Presented in an interesting and original way, it offers all you need to know about social survey methodology - from planning the research and developing the hypotheses to carrying out the fieldwork and analysing the findings.
Written in a highly accessible and interactive style, the book provides the opportunity to work through each stage of a real survey, downloading materials as required from a dedicated website. This is a hands-on guide written in the belief that methods are best learned through practical experience. Readers will find:
an introduction to all of the issues involved in questionnaire design, sampling, interviewing, coding and using SPSS;
detailed coverage of statistical procedures, including the measurement of the strength of association between variables, inferential statistics and causal modelling using least squares regression;
additional statistical chapters which can be downloaded from the accompanying website;
an extended discussion of the epistemological arguments that surround the use of surveys, and consideration of when surveys are, and are not, an appropriate research tool.
The book assumes no previous knowledge of research methods or statistics - indeed, it assumes that most users will be apprehensive about quantitative methods and possibly even number-phobic. By encouraging users to get involved, and by acknowledging the difficulties and the pitfalls that lie along the way, this book seeks to encourage in students a genuine enthusiasm for empirically based research.show more