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Some Statistical Problems in Research Design
American Sociological Review
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jun., 1959), pp. 328-338
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2089381
Page Count: 11
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Several statistical problems in the design of research are discussed: (1) The use of statistical tests and the search for causation in survey research are examined; for this we suggest separating four classes of variables: explanatory, controlled, confounded, and randomized. (2) The relative advantages of experiments, surveys, and other investigations are shown to derive respectively from better control, representation, and measurement. (3) Finally, three common misuses of statistical tests are examined: "hunting with a shot-gun for significant differences," confusing statistical significance with substantive importance, and overemphasis on the primitive level of merely finding differences.
American Sociological Review © 1959 American Sociological Association