Ways of Knowing about the Weather This exercise is designed to compare three ways of knowing about the weather.
Part1: Knowledge from Authorities. The night before, see what the experts have to say about the weather for tomorrow by watching a television report, listening to a radio newscast, or checking online. Write what the experts said about tomorrow’s weather (including the temperature, the chances of precipitation, and the amount of wind).
Knowledge from Casual Personal Inquiry. That day, before you go outside, look through only one window for a few seconds but don’t look at a thermometer. After taking a quick glance, turn away, and then write down your perceptions of the weather outside (including the temperature, the amount and kind of precipitation, and the amount of wind).
Knowledge from Research. Although we’re not asking you to approximate the entire scientific method (such as reviewing the literature and sharing your findings with others in are search community), you can use some aspects of the method: specifying the goals of your inquiry and making and recording careful observations.
Your research question is, “What is the weather like outside?” To answer the question, use a method of collecting data (detailed observation of the outside environment) and any tools at your disposal (thermometer, barometer, and soon). Go outside for at least five minutes and make observations. Then come inside and write down your observations of the weather outside (including the temperature, the amount and kind of precipitation, and the amount of wind).
Part2: Comparing the Methods
Write a paragraph comparing the information you obtained using each of the way so knowing. (For example, was there any difference inaccuracy? Was there any difference in ease of collecting data? Which method do you have the most confidence in?)
EXERCISE 2.1 Hypotheses and Variables
1. Name a subfield in the social sciences that holds some interest for you (e.g., marriage and family, crime, aging, stratification, gender studies).
2. Name a topic that you associate with this subfield (e.g., divorce, domestic violence, violent crime, medical care, the cycle of poverty, sharing of domestic work).
3.Form a hypothesis about the topic you’ve named that involves a guess about the relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable (e.g., and this is just an example—you have to come up with your own hypothesis “children whose parents have higher status occupations will begin their work lives as adults in higher-status occupations than will children whose parents have low-status occupations”).
4. What, in your opinion, is the independent variable in your hypothesis (e.g., “parents’ occupation”)?
5.What is the dependent variable of your hypothesis (e.g., “child’s occupation”)?
6.Rewrite your hypothesis, this time in the form of a diagram like the one in Figure2.1, a diagram that connects the categories of your variables.
PRE-RETIREMENT WORK POST-RETIREMENT WORK
Yes No Yes No
Independent variable Dependent variable
FIGURE 2.1 A Diagram of the Hypothesized Relationship Between Pre-Retirement Volunteer Work and Post-Retirement Volunteer Work