Outcome: The Scientific Method

Describe and apply the scientific method to sociology

While some results of sociological studies might seem like common sense, hopefully you’ve learned by now that sociologists rely on systematic research processes to evaluate social behavior. Whereas “common sense” relies on myths, traditions, subjective opinion, or amateur observations, social scientists carefully examine and investigate in order to draw accurate conclusions about society as a whole. The primary aim in this section is to illustrate how sociologists go beyond common sense understandings in trying to explain or understand social phenomena. They do not see the world as we normally do, they question and analyze why things happen and if there is a way to stop a problem before it happens.

What You’ll Learn To Do:

  • Explain how scientific evidence challenges common sense
  • Define what reliability and validity mean in a research study
  • Describe the process of the scientific method


The learning activities for this section include:

  • Reading: Introduction to Sociological Research
  • Reading: The Scientific Method
  • Video: The Scientific Method
  • Self-Check: The Scientific Method