Mod7 for my intro to sociology class.

Of the seven principles, principle 5, “seek informed consent when data are collected from research participants or when behavior occurs in a private context” would be of concern to me.  I feel that this is a very personal topic and that many people would be uncomfortable being observed or answering questions about it.  One thing that would help participants is principle 2, “respect the subject’s right to privacy and dignity.”  There are people, on the other hand, who are very open and this topic would not bother them, so I believe this topic would not be too difficult to find information on, just as long as the researcher looks in a large enough area for willing participants.

          Max Weber specified the need for neutrality in the interpretation of data as to avoid a sociologist’s biases from affecting the results of an experiment.  Without neutrality many, if not all, research results might be considered unreliable.  Sociologists need to keep their own beliefs out of their work to maintain validity.  “Rossi’s commitment to rigorous research methods and objective interpretation of data has sometimes led him to controversial findings that are not necessarily supportive of his liberal values.”

Complete value neutrality might be achievable by some, but I feel it is not completely possible in all of sociological research.  Certain beliefs held by a person can be too strong for them to overcome contradicting results, although this is one thing that all sociologists need to work on in order to be acknowledged as a reliable researcher.  Researchers need to try to overcome their own biases to the extent that it will not affect the final research results.  If a sociologists bias shows through in the work, it cannot be taken as valid research data.

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