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INITIAL ANSWER:
One of the standard steps in producing a scientifically verifiable research study is to conduct a review of the existing literature.  However, as we debated in the first Discussion, authority and documentation are sources of knowledge that may have their weaknesses.  Written treatises are not infallible and may lack the empiricism and objectivity of the scientific method.  Even if they are based on observable evidence and follow the scientific method, part of the literature review process is to critique the studies and potentially find flaws or gaps that were not addressed.  So, why do we do this in the first place?

1). Describe the multitude of reasons we conduct a literature review, from determining what was already discovered; to developing a theoretical framework; to finding flaws in the instrumentation, validity, reliability, and analysis and interpretation of data; and finding gaps in the literature.  How does this position us as researchers to conducting a comprehensive inquiry?  What benefit does it provide to discuss why we expect either similar or different results to the existing study?

2). What about sampling?  What are the pros and cons of conducting a census to generate parameters about your population?  What are the pros and cons of pulling a sample from the population to generate statistics?

3). What would you consider adequate sample size and sampling technique if you were conducting a nationwide poll on perceptions of Sociology degree holders?  What would an adequate sample size and sampling technique if you wanted to find out why Sociology programs include research methods courses?  Who would you talk to to get that data?

     

Answer: 

        The world is significantly evolving, resulting in the replacement of ancient techniques with the latest inventions which are more effective and contribute to better results. Research is the background of any invention or improvements on the current approach. Specific parameters such as the selection of the study population, methodology, sample size estimation, and literature review are standard for any form of study. A comprehensive analysis of the aspects of sociological research sheds light on the relevance of literature review and sample size in the quality of research.

            Literature review entails the examination of data from studies conducted in a similar field and comparing the findings. The reasons for a literature review include identifying the gaps that need to be addressed in interest, ensuring that the study to be conducted does not reinvent the wheel, identify the expected limitations of the study, and provision of criticism on previous research (Kalman 2020). The gaps identified challenges the researchers to conduct a comprehensive inquiry that will fill in the details that have been left out on former studies. Besides increasing the quality of research, a literature review enables the researchers to realize the factors that might affect the accuracy of data and put in the prophylactic measures required to reduce the study limitations (Kalman 2020). It applies to point out any expected improvements from the previous studies since the approach acts as an illustration that the study will be more comprehensive and less biased.

        Sampling involves selecting a subset of the population to act as the representatives in the research. The entire study population can also be involved in activities such as census, which has the advantage of comprehensive and specific data despite the high costs. The advantage of sampling is reduced costs and efforts required to reach out to individuals, but the information is generalized (Kalman 2020). Selecting an adequate sample size depends on the number of people in the study area. I would ensure a representation of ten percent when conducting a nationwide poll on sociology degree holders. I would use simple stratified sampling to determine why sociology programs include research programs, and there will be a representation of individuals from every group. I will talk to the sociology students and graduates to obtain data. Therefore, any research should include a selection of sampling techniques and a comprehensive review of the literature to influence the pattern of the study and improve on the results accuracy.

Reference(s):

Andrassy, Kalman Julius. 2020. Guide to Research Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. 1st ed.

INITIAL REPLY, COLLEAGUE 1&2:

COLLEAGUE 1:
As usual, I enjoyed your post. Do you ever get tired of hearing this? We both seem to have stressed the importance of the times and conditions of our society with respect to the need for current research. Interestingly, I feel I may have understood the last question differently, so I approached my answer differently. thus I was looking at the national population’s attitudes regarding those who have Sociology degrees. Either way, I felt that without the resources for a national consensus, a portion of the population must be sampled. However, I feel that your approach would yield a good sample of those who are in the field of Sociology. It would be important to gather information from both the students and the professors to establish well-rounded opinions and reduce bias.

MY REPLY:
I appreciate your honesty, NOPE.. challenges me to search for more approaches to answering a question. The last question answered from your unique perspective was a scoping of precision. Analyzing all data-sets extracted from unbias from both senior-philosophers, and juniors yields an immense calibrated and comprehensive context worth debriefing. Furthermore, Sampling sizes and techniques used in data-collection vary depending on the nature of the research. For instance, the appropriate sample size in conducting nationwide polls about sociology degree holders’ perceptions should be about ten percent of their total population.

        Systematic-sampling is also an appropriate technique for the study because it involves selecting members of populations by researchers at regular intervals, which are determined in advance. Sampling-intervals are calculated by dividing populations by their sample-sizes. Sometimes, data can be obtained through talking, especially in research that entails finding out facts about research programs like sociology, including research methods courses.

COLLEAGUE 2:
Great post. You are correct a literature review entails an examination of data from other research studies that have already been conducted in a similar field in which you compare and contrast findings in the the research. I was intrigued when you mentioned  that gaps identified in a literature review exposes challenges researcher to conduct a comprehensive inquiries that would lead to details left out from the former studies in the research process. I agree that sampling involves selecting a subset of population to act as the representatives. Last, you are correct that selecting an adequate sample size depends on the number of people in the same study are important for data purposes. 

INSTRUCTOR”S REPLY:
Very Good, When you mean representation, do you mean 10% each relevant demographic or 10% of the whole 330 million population?  The latter would be a bit excessive and prohibitive in cost and time. 

Rebuttal
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