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Sociology 2206A/B
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William Marshall
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Lecture 9

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Sociology

Sociology 2206A/B

William Marshall

Spring

Description

March 1, 2017
Quantitative Techniques
Obtained through:
- Experiments- explanatory research involving group comparisons, definitive data,
numbers
- Surveys- descriptive research asks many people numerous questions, number one in
sociology
- Content analysis- assessment of written, pictorial or symbolic material, manifest or latent
- Existing statistic- using previously collected information to examine old or create new
findings
Role of Statistics
- Statistics are one of the most important means by which research and theory interact
- Quantitative research is impossible without statistics
- Permit us to analyze data, identify relationships and revise theories
Levels of measurement
- Nominal~ non-parametric, lowest
- Ordinal~ non-parametric
- Interval~ distance is meaningful
- Ratio~ absolute zero, highest
Results with One Variable
- Frequency distribution
- Descriptive statistics
- Univariate statistics
- Frequency distribution
- Histogram/bar chart/pie chart
- Frequency polygon
- Figure 10.1
- Description helps make more sense, 2 columns have 99 options,
computer reads instead
- Code books tells you what it means, tells computer information
- General Social Survey is on OWL
- Figure 10.2 Univariate Stats
Measures of Central Tendency
- Mean~ arithmetic average, interval or ratio level, very sensitive to extreme values
- Median~ 50th percentile, ordinal, interval, or ratio
- Mode ~ most common or frequent occurring score, lowest level
Figure 10.3, mode, median, mean, tail, if skewed use median
Measures of Variation
- In general, variation is defined as the spread, dispersion, or variability around center of
distribution
- Range~ distance between smallest score and largest group
- Percentiles~ scores at a specific place within the distribution: a 25th percentile might
indicate that 25% of respondents were under age 26 - Standard deviation~ average distance of each score from the mean, requiring interval or
ratio level data
- Z score~ standardized score, and it represents the number of standard deviations of a
particular score above or below the mean
Results with Two Variables
- Bivariate statistics indicate relationships between two variables that may exist due to
covariation or independence
- Covariation is when two variables go together or are associated statistically
- Independence means that there is no association between two variables, it is the
opposite of covariation
- Scattergram is a graph on which a social researcher plots each case or observation;
each axis represents the value of one variable, and can be used for variables that are
measured at the interval or ratio level
What can be learned from a scattergram
- form~ relationship can take three forms: independence (no relationship), linear (forming
a straight line), or curvilinear (forming either a u or s curve)
- Direction~ can be one of two values: positive or negative
Reading a Percentage Table
- First look at table, variable names, any background information
- Look at direction
- Look at percentages?
- Look for independent and dependent variables, columns are independent, rows
and dependent, percentage down, calculate column percentages
Measures of Association
- Single number that expresses the strength, often direction, or relationship between two
or more variables
- Measures of association are lambda, gamma, tau, chi (squared), and rho
- Strong association means that there is a definite pattern in predicting scores on
dependent from variations in independent
Stages in Sample Survey Research
1. Planning~ topic, variables, research
2. Sample selection~ probability sampling techniques
3. Questionnaire development
4. Pre-testing~ similar to people in your sample, test, problems
5. Field-work
6. Preparation for analys

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