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University of Toronto St. George
Brent Berry

SOC 202 TEST 1 CHAPTER ONE Stats is about obtaining an accurate sense of proportion in regard to reality Statistical imagination: an appreciation of how usual or unusual an event , circumstance, or behaviour is in relation to a larger set of familiar events, and an appreciation of an events cause and consequences Sociological imagination : an awareness of the relationship of the individual to the wider society and history Any statistic is culturally bound or normative (its interpretation depends on the place time and culture in which it is observed)statistical norms are measurement of social norms statistical ideals often reflect social values (it is a socially desired rate of occurrence of a phenomenon) The statistical imagination, with its awareness of the linkages between statistical measurement and social facts, requires a degree of scepticism. Purpose of statistical analysis Descriptive statistics: used to tell us how many observation were recorded and how frequently each score or category occurred inferential statistics: used to show cause and effect relationship and to test hypotheses and theories A good scientific theory accomplishes two thing it provides a sense of understanding about a phenomenon it allows us to make empirical predictions to answer the question of under what condition and to what degree a phenomenon will occur Science has limitation, restricted to examining empirical phenomena many sound factually based scientific arguments lack political or taxpayer support ethical dilemmas often arise creating resistance to its application Variable: measurable phenomena that vary or change over time, or that differ form place or from individual to individual (features of the object or subject under study) variation: refers to how much the measurement of a variable differ among study subjects. Constant: characteristics of study subjects that dont vary. The research process: involves organizing ideas into a theory, making empirical predictions that support the theory, and then gathering data to test these predictions this is a cumulative process (a continual process of accumulation of knowledge) o Specify the research question (raise a questionidentify the dependent variable)
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