cohort | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Research Methods

In the social research context, a cohort is a group of people who share a common characteristic or experience within a defined period of time.


For example, a cohort might consist of all the people who were born in a particular year, or all the people who graduated from college in a particular year.

Cohorts are often used in social research to study the effects of various factors on a group of people over time. By comparing different cohorts, researchers can examine how factors such as age, education, or socioeconomic status affect the experiences and outcomes of individuals.

One of the advantages of using a cohort design in research is that it allows researchers to control for the effects of time, which can be an important factor in understanding the relationships between variables. For example, if a researcher is interested in studying the effects of a particular intervention on a group of people, a cohort design can allow the researcher to compare the outcomes of the intervention group to the outcomes of a control group, while controlling for the effects of time. This can help to eliminate the potential confound of changes that may occur over time that could affect the outcomes of the study.


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Last Modified: 01/08/2023

 

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