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Course Catalog

410.615.01 Research Design in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Health Behavior and Society
3rd term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2013 - 2014
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • W F,  10:30 - 11:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Hee-Soon Juon
Course Instructor:

Two terms biostatistics or consent of instructor. Social or behavioral sciences recommended.


Provides an overview of the design and conduct of research in the social and behavioral sciences, as applied to public health. Drawing primarily from the research perspectives and methodologies of sociology, anthropology, and psychology, students examine the formulation of a research question; selection of a research design, study site, and population; and issues and methods of data collection. Evaluates the major types of social sciences research design (experimental, quasi-experimental, observation), and discusses the ways in which each social science perspective shapes the conduct and results of research, compared to other disciplines in public health, such as epidemiology.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. compare different scientific philosophies in social and behavioral sciences, and the theories and methods of research derived from those philosophies
  2. define and design theory, hypotheses, constructs, and measurement strategies relevant to scientific inquiry in the social and behavioral sciences
  3. evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a wide range of research designs in the social and behavioral sciences, and consider the strength of scientific evidence presented by these research activities
Methods of Assessment:

Student evaluation based on a critique of existing research and on a research design.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required