Mentioned in class

From Tuesday:

Henrich, Heine, and Norenzayan. (2010) The Weirdest People in the World? Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 33: 61-135 [doi:10.1017/S0140525X0999152X] abstract excerpt: Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world’s top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers – often implicitly – assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified?

From Thursday:

Sampling and Census 2000: The Concepts‘, from American Scientist.

Do Cell Phones Affect Survey Research? A short piece (with some links to further reading) from the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

Course Description

Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30pm – 2pm
South Hall, Room 205

Professor Jenna Burrell (e-mail: ude.yelekreb.loohcsinull@annej)
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 4pm-6pm, Room 312

This course will focus on the use of qualitative methods for research on the development, diffusion, and use of information technologies as well as information and management practices. Its core concern is with an epistemological question – how do we arrive at credible knowledge through qualitative research practices? The methods covered will include interviewing, focus groups, participant observation, and ethnography. Along the way we will confront the issues of quality, validity, and rigor.

This course has several goals: 1) to help students develop a better understanding of how data relates to knowledge 2) to negotiate the logistical limits and respect the ethical issues inherent in any research practice 3) to generate an awareness of the inevitable imperfections and alterations that are introduced by the structures imposed in any research design. 4) to give students hands-on experience with these methods.