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midterm review

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Carleton University
ANTH 1001

Summary Ch. 1 1. Within the context of social research, the purpose of statistics is to organize, manipulate and analyze data so that researchers can test their theories and answer their questions. Along with theory and methodology, statistics are a basic tool by which social scientists attempt to enhance their understanding of the social world. 2. There are two general classes of statistics. Descriptive statistics are used to summarize the distribution of a single variable and the relationships between two or more variables. Inferential statistics provide us with techniques by which we can generalize to populations from random samples. 3. Two basic guidelines for selecting statistical techniques were presented. Variables may be either discrete or continuous and may be measured at any of three different levels. At the nominal level, we can compare category sizes. At the ordinal level, categories and cases can be ranked with respect to each other. At the interval-ratio level, all mathematical operations are permitted. Interval-ratio level variables can be either discrete or continuous. Variables at the nominal or ordinal level are almost always discrete. Summary Ch. 2 1. We considered several different ways of summarizing the distribution of a single variable and more generally reporting the results of our research. Our emphasis throughout was on the need to communicate our results clearly and concisely. You will often find that as you strive to communicate statistical information to others the meanings of the information will become clearer to you as well. 2. Percentages and proportions, ratios, rates and percentage change represent several different techniques for enhancing clarity by expressing our results in terms of relative frequency. Percentages and proportions report the relative occurrence of some category of a variable compared with the distribution as a whole. Ratios compare two categories with each other and rates report the actual occurrences of some phenomenon compared with the number of possible occurrences per some unit of time. Percentage change shows the relative increase or decrease in a variable over time. 3. Frequency distributions are tables that summarize the entire distribution of some variable. It is very common to construct these tables for each variable of interest as the first step in a statistical analysis. Columns for percentages cumulative frequency and/or cumulative percentages often enhance the readability of frequency distributions. 4. Pie and bar charts, histograms, stem and leaf plots and line charts are graphic devices used to express the basic information contained in the frequency distribution in a compact and visually dramatic way. Summary Ch. 3 1. The three measures of central tendency presented in this chapter share a common purpose. Each report some information about the most typical or representative value in a distribution. Appropriate use of these statistics permits the researcher to report important information about an entire distribution of scores in a single, easily understood number. 2. The mode reports the most common score and is used most appropriately with nominally measured v
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