Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Research methods exercise of the day

I had seven groups in class today do the following: come up with a way to test whether peoples’ blaming of the government for an inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina was affected by media coverage.

I think I had about ten answers. Which is as it should be, letting many flowers bloom and all that, and which goes to show that a seemingly simple question can be answered by social science in lots of different ways—sometimes with different answers. One strongly suspects the group that would have exposed different experimental groups to Shep and Anderson Cooper would have found a bit different results than the group that measured self-reported media attentiveness in a sample survey.