June 22, 2024
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA

Multiple Choice Single Answer (Reading)

  1. Social Scientists
    Social scientists use particular methods to gather qualitative evidence, from observation to interview,
    but they also use autobiographical accounts, journalism, and other documentary material to flesh out and
    add meaning to statistics. As with reading numbers, reading textual evidence requires us to practice, to
    set time aside to learn how to do it, and to understand the conventions of writing which operate in the
    different forms of writing we encounter. One of the main problems with reading textual evidence,
    though, is that, unlike the relationship most of us have with numbers where we may use them at a pretty
    basic level, most of us are, if anything, over-familiar with words. When we want to understand their value
    as social science evidence we need to forget how familiar we are with first person accounts and
    everyday speech – for example, in newspapers, magazines, and books – and learn a different approach
    to them. Social scientists use observation, interviews and even print journalism as evidence for the
    claims they make. They may collect evidence through questionnaires with pre-set questions and by
    open-ended interviews which allow respondents to speak for themselves. They may observe social
    relations explicitly as social scientists or may participate themselves in a particular community to gain
    ‘inside’ information. Social scientists also draw on print journalism on occasion and may use the same
    sources, for example official statistics, and the work of other social scientists to support their claims. We
    need to remember, though, that journalists do not need to present the same rigorous referencing and
    support for their claims as social scientists are required to do. Most importantly, newspaper and
    magazine articles are written under commercial pressures; for example they must help to sell the
    newspaper by being deliberately provocative, or by reflecting the dominant views of its readers.
    According to this passage, what do social scientists use written sources to do?
    A) Formulating questionnaires and interview questions.
    B) Advising them on how to collect qualitative evidence.
    C) Adding information to other data they have collected.
    D) Change their understanding of numbers.