A new research resource for those who learn by example

By Melissa Crowley, Marketing Manager, SAGE

Are you the type of person who learns a new concept by seeing it applied in real life? When it comes to research concepts, would witnessing experienced scholars do their work help you teach and learn new methods?

cases screenshotFor all you “real-life” teachers, learners, and librarians out there, last month, we were delighted to introduce you to SAGE Research Methods Cases. This new collection includes hundreds of case studies of real social research commissioned and designed to help students, researchers, and instructors teach and learn often abstract methodological concepts by seeing how they have been used in actual projects. While other methods content, such as the resources found in SAGE Research Methods, can teach researchers how to perform a particular research technique, Cases illustrates methods nuances and hurdles by applying them to real-world settings.

For example, with Cases, you can:

  • Learn how to do a content analysis by reading about researcher Shanyang Zhao’s content analysis of Facebook pages;
  • Learn about ethnographic methodology by reading about  Karen O’Reilly, Rob Stores, and Katherine Botterill’s study of British migrants in East Asia;
  • Learn how to develop an online survey by reading about Paul Devine and Katrina Lloyd’s experience recording children’s attitudes.

Let’s take a closer look with our fictional undergraduate “Amy” studying public health. Amy needs to write up a research proposal for her intro Research Methods course. She wants to look at the effects of sodium on blood pressure, and thinks she will measure blood pressure among her classmates who eat a steady diet of that undergrad staple, sodium-laden ramen, versus those who eat a more balanced diet.

Amy has learned how to measure a correlation coefficient from her Andy Field textbook.  To make sure she fully understands how to design a study around this calculation, however, she searches SRM Cases for a case appropriate for an Introductory Undergraduate using Correlation.

cases searchShe comes across, “The Uses and Misuses of Bivariate Correlations: The Case of Video Game Violence Research” by Christopher J. Ferguson. This grabs her attention, because she’s seen the headlines on mainstream media blaming popular video games for adolescent violence and wants to make sure she’s using bivariate correlations correctly in her own project.

The author talks about the difficulties of showing a direct link between violent video games bringing out violent behavior for a number of reasons:

  • There’s the chicken and egg issue—does playing violent video games lead to aggression, or does an aggressive nature lead one to play violent video games?
  • The way aggression can be measured in a lab setting is dubious, because researchers cannot let subjects start hitting each other.
  • At the same time studies are blaming violence on the popularity of violent video games, sales data shows that while video games sales overall have sky-rocketed, adolescent violence is at a 40-year low.

She starts to think her own research question is too simplistic. Students who eat a balanced diet of whole foods are also probably more likely than those who rely on processed convenience foods like ramen to make other healthy strides: regular exercise, adequate sleep, etc.

She decides to spend a little more time reading the literature and refines her research question. Amy is well on her way!


More Cool Features of SAGE Research Methods Cases

  • Cases  is fully integrated onto the SAGE Research Methods platform, so methods content and Cases show up side-by-side in searches
  • Every Case includes learning objectives and discussion questions, making them perfect for in-class use
  • Search for Cases by discipline, academic level, and/or methods used, or find them via the Methods Map
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