Social Research Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-17, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/socialresearch/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 2 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2017.

 

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Control


core definition

Two meanings of the term control:

1. Social control: Control refers to a desire to restrain the activities of an individual or group.

2. Experimental/statistical control: Control refers to the attempt to elminate the effects of extraneous variables so that one may be sure than any results found are due only to the independent variables being tested.


explanatory context

Social control

A large amount of social theory is linked to views of the social world that are concerned about the nature and workings of social control mechanisms, see consensus theory, functionalism, structural functionalism, Durkheimian approach, social disorganisation

 

Control in statistical analysis

Methods of 'physical control' include using the same subject under all experimental conditions, using matched pairs, keeping an extraneous variable constant (e.g., by using only men) and randomly allocating subjects to the different groups.

 

A control group is a group of people as similar as possible to an experimental group and treated in exactly the same way except that they are not given the experimental treatment. The control group thus furnishes a base line against which the effects of this treatment may be measured. The degree of control is related to the extent to which the research situation is structured by the researcher.

 

Methods of 'statistical control' (e.g. control at the analysis stage) include seeing if a result holds goods for all groups in a sample (e.g., if the result holds good for boys and girls then the extraneous variable gender can be having no effect), matching out an extraneous variable at the analysis stage or making allowance for the effects of an extraneous variable by special statistical methods.


analytical review

Colorado State University (1993–2013) defines control group as:

A group in an experiment that receives not treatment in order to compare the treated group against a norm.

 

Raynet Sociology Glossary (undated) defines social control as follows:

Social control is the means and processes by which a group secures its members' conformity to its expectations - to its values, its ideology, its norms, and to the appropriate roles that are attached to the various status positions in the group. Some examples of social control are rejection, use of facial expressions, demotion of status position, gossip, murder, etc.


associated issues

 


related areas

See also

Researching the Real World Section 8


Sources

Colorado State University, 1993–2013, Glossary of Key Terms available at http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=90, accessed 1 February 2013, still available 16 December 2016.

Raynet Sociology Glossary, undated, available at http://www.raynet.mcmail.com/sociology_gloss.htm, no longer available 20 December 2016.


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2017


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