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Chapter 4

# SOC 3142 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Frequency Distribution, Cumulative Frequency Analysis

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 3142
Professor
Geoffrey Mc Carney
Chapter
4

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A picture really is worth a thousand words
Visually representing a distribution of scores as well as how to use different types
of graphs to represent data
Frequency distribution: a method to tallying and representing how often certain
score occur. Scores are usually grouped into class intervals, or range of numbers
Class interval: a range of numbers, and the first step in the creation of a frequency
distribution is to define how large each interval will be
General rules in the creation of a class interval:
1. Select a class interval that has a range of 2,5,10,15 or 20
2. Select a class interval so that 10 to 20 such intervals cover the entire range of
data
3. Begin listing the class interval with a multiple of that interval
4. The largest interval goes at the top of the frequency distribution
Histogram: a visual representation of the frequency distribution where the
frequencies are represented by bars
A frequency polygon: a continuous line that represents the frequencies of scores
within a class interval
Drawn using curved lines
Appears more dynamic than a histogram
Cumulative frequency distribution: based on the same data as a frequency
distribution but with an added column
New column called cumulative frequency
Start at the bottom, # of frequencies [ex. 1] cumulative frequency=1, next
one # of frequencies [ex. 2] therefore the cumulative frequency is 3 [2+1] --
the one below it, add the occurrences
Plot the midpoint of each class interval as a function of the cumulative
frequency
Bar charts: should be used when you want to compare the frequencies of
different categories with one another
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com

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