For Friday, 12/11

Our last regular day of class. Last Friday, I’d speculated that we wouldn’t be doing much during the final exam period; I was wrong. This is considered an instructional period, so we’re required to make use of it. Just as well, I suppose: we’ve still got lots of material we could cover.


  • HW due: Complete Draft of the Research Proposal
  • Schutt, Chapter 3
 (‘Research Ethics and Research Proposals’)

As I mentioned in class, you should consult this article for invaluable advice about how to position your research question with reference to a given scholarly literature. The least you ought to do (you owe it to yourself, if you’re honestly trying to do good work) is to check out the aforementioned ‘Index of the Interesting’ (Part II of the article).


  • Lab: TBA

One thing we’ll definitely need to spend time on is causation/internal validity. Internal validity is a core scientific context, and we’ll want to devote special attention to the methods for establishing itHere’s a pop quiz: which tests of internal validity are alluded to in the following description of this recent, fascinating study of print book culture?

Aside from the disappearance of record crates and CD towers, the loss of print books and periodicals can have significant repercussions on children’s intellectual development. Perhaps the strongest case for a household full of print books came from a 2014 study published in the sociology journal Social Forces. Researchers measured the impact of the size of home libraries on the reading level of 15-year-old students across 42 nations, controlling for wealth, parents’ education and occupations, gender and the country’s gross national product.


  • HW: TBA

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