Why Do Social Research?
This chapter includes articles and interviews to provide some insight into why and how social research is a superior way of knowing about the social world. For example, common sense would lead us to believe that young people who attend church and Sunday school regularly, pray frequently, and have parents who are churchgoers are more likely than others to remain active in church as adults. However, Thomas O’Connor and his colleagues find that none of those variables impact adult church involvement. Carl Mazza, in his interview, is quite persuasive regarding the importance of research for social work practitioners. Because he was able to demonstrate the program’s effectiveness with numerical data that came from a rigorous research design, his agency implemented it, foundations funded it, and he received national attention, which resulted in requests from agencies across the country who wished to replicate his success.