The Methods and Materials of Demography

Last Updated: 08 May 2020
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The authors of the alternative explanation for the asymmetrical effects in relational demography research have come up with a good debate and suggestion, on how research methods should be improved.  The research methods in this case have been applied to look into the dissimilarities that occur in different groups of employees.  According to Scott,  Derrick, & Patrick (2008), differences in the results, and inaccuracy of research is often realized due to the use of poor methods of measuring dissimilarities as well as in the use of imbalanced group members while carrying out a study.

The authors have suggested that, while using the diversity approach to get the correct impact from any industry as an example, there is need to concentrate on investigating the very clear work group demography, instead of concentrating on relational and relative demography which may lead to negative effects or no effect at all in the industry.

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Jacob (2004) posited that, relational demography method of approach is used to find out the dissimilarity of individual characters and in groups, in demographic variables.  Scott, Derrick, Patrick, (2008) try to explain how the behavioral characteristics of members in a certain interactive group associate with each other.  Behavior may be classified on the individual basis or group basis such as gender or race.  This methodological approach helps to find out the level in which an individual behavior can be different from the other, or how group behaviors may differ where demographic variables are studied.

Other than applying the relational demography method, the authors have suggested use of potential moderators to be applied in of-cited cases of studying relational demography.  This study has been careful to note that, the use of one method, the relational demography may not be effective in all relational studies and has therefore suggested the use of potential moderators.  Racial dissimilarity for instance, was found to have a negative outcome where it would be associated with attendance, and psychological commitment (Jacob, 2004).

The use of relational demography however worked effectively in comparing dissimilarity and the outcomes among white people.  Researchers stated that, whites were more careful about the issue of dissimilarity and the outcome than the blacks.  Therefore, the study has emphasized the importance of using different methods while dealing with different groups.

The study has given an alternative way of approaching the asymmetrical effects in any literature study, to ensure that one does not come up with spurious effects.  The asymmetrical method suggested here should ensure that, a researcher has identified various variables separately, and then use different methods of approach in studying them, either the relational demography or the use of potential moderators in order to achieve the best results.

The authors have presented the alternative explanations for various asymmetric effects that have been applied in other successful studies, and emphasize on the use of proper metrics in conceptualizing dissimilarity.

The measurement issue has also been tackled where the authors have suggested that, there is need to use the proper measuring techniques to by avoiding the use of disproportionate underrepresentation of various minorities in the work groups.  Where the measurement used is appropriate, this would ensure that the asymmetric effect problem is dealt with and that the results obtained will be accurate (Scott, Derrick, & Patrick, 2008).

The authors have used illustrations to show that when the wrong methodology is used, asymmetrical effects may be achieved where they can give false effects which do not exist in real sense.  The authors have at the same time used well illustrated diagrams demonstrating the best methodology that should be adopted in order to realize proper asymmetric effects.

The concept of the D-score formula which measures the demographic similarity by checking the difference in characters of individuals in a group of people in order to get the dissimilarity has been advocated as one way of ensuring a successful research process.  The Monte Carlo stimulation method which has been introduced by researchers ensure that, the collection of data is effective in achieving a typical relational demography while studying the racial dissimilarity.  Various factors have been manipulated in the process to generate the required data.

The authors of the alternative explanation for the asymmetrical effects in relational demography research have done a lot methodological improvements, including the sue of alternative approach of asymmetric effects to ensure correct results are arrived at, use of the Monte Carlo stimulation, the D-score formula among many other improvements to ensure that a research process is successful.  This has had a positive impact in the attainment of the Sekeran research process.


Jacob S. (2004). The Methods and Materials of Demography: Condensed Edition. Published     by Emerald Group Publishing.

Scott, T., Derrick, A., Patrick, M. (2008). An alternative explanation for the asymmetrical          effects in relational demography research. New Jersey:  Published by the State            University of New Jersey.

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The Methods and Materials of Demography. (2018, Sep 12). Retrieved from

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