Evidence - Summary and Key Ideas

The book "Evidence" by Howard S. Becker explores the process of scientific inquiry, focusing on how social scientists use data, evidence, and ideas to form theories and convince others of their validity. It discusses the methods of data collection, the transformation of data into evidence, and the role of ideas in interpreting evidence.

The target group of this book, Evidence, appears to be social scientists, researchers, and students in related fields who are interested in understanding the process of data collection, analysis, and interpretation in social science research.

Buy the book

Key ideas


The process of converting raw data into substantial evidence in social science research presents significant challenges.


The best social science research combines elements from both the Linnaean and Buffonian models.

Play in App

The debate over qualitative versus quantitative research methods in sociology originated from differing viewpoints of Herbert Blumer and Samuel Stouffer.

Play in App

Social scientists should adopt rigorous methods from natural sciences to improve the accuracy and reliability of their findings.

Play in App

The quality and authenticity of collected data can be influenced by the motivations and interests of those collecting it.

Play in App

A census is a sincere attempt to gather accurate data, despite its inherent challenges and limitations.

Play in App

Government data, despite potential biases, can provide valuable sociological insights when critically analyzed.

Play in App

In social science, data collection methods can influence accuracy, bias, and context of human behavior studies.

Play in App

A chief investigator collects high-quality data through flexible research design to produce reliable research in social groups and organizations.

Play in App

Qualitative research is a flexible, evolving process that requires awareness of potential pitfalls and personal biases.

Play in App

Common blunders in social science research can be transformed into opportunities for learning and improving future studies.

Play in App

Play in App
Get the App!
Access all 12 key ideas for free! 🥳

Summary & Review

SUMMARY: "Evidence" by Howard S. Becker is a comprehensive guide on the importance of evidence in social science research. The book emphasizes the need for researchers to be meticulous in their data collection, interpretation, and presentation. Becker discusses the interdependencies of data, evidence, and ideas, and how they form a circle of validation in research. He also highlights the importance of avoiding errors and correcting mistakes in research. The book provides insights into the process of turning data into evidence and using it to support theories or ideas.

Howard S. Becker

Howard S. Becker is a renowned American sociologist known for his qualitative research in the field of sociology. His work primarily focuses on the sociology of deviance, art, music, and qualitative research methods.

Explore more book summaries

The Genetic Lottery

The Genetic Lottery explores the role of genetics in shaping social inequality and argues for the importance of understanding genetic influences on human outcomes to create a more egalitarian society.

No-Drama Discipline

No-Drama Discipline is a book that provides a comprehensive guide to better parenting by focusing on teaching and building skills rather than punishment. It emphasizes the importance of connecting with children, understanding their emotions, and redirecting their behavior to foster personal growth, empathy, and better decision-making.

How to Take Smart Notes

How to Take Smart Notes is about a simple technique to boost writing, learning, and thinking by effectively taking and organizing notes, which in turn helps develop ideas and insights for students, academics, and nonfiction writers.

Die Genetische Lotterie

The Genetic Lottery untersucht die Rolle der Genetik bei der Entstehung sozialer Ungleichheit und argumentiert, wie wichtig es ist, die genetischen Einflüsse auf menschliche Leistungen zu verstehen, um eine egalitärere Gesellschaft zu schaffen.


"Lifespan" is a book by David Sinclair that explores the science of aging, questioning whether humans can overcome decay and degeneration. It provides insights into how we age, the possibility of slowing or even reversing aging, and the potential for humans to live beyond one hundred years.

Mensch sein

"Mensch sein" ist eine philosophische Erforschung der menschlichen Verfassung, die die Komplexitäten des menschlichen Bewusstseins, der Emotionen und unserer Beziehung zur Welt um uns herum untersucht.