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Frequency Distributions of Nominal Data

The whole idea is to transform raw data into a meaningful and organized set of

measures that can be used to test hypothesis

The first step is to construct a frequency distribution in the form of a table

Ex: Question- Response of young boys to frustration

Table 2.1 Responses of Young Boys to Removal of Toy

Response of a Child Frequency f

Cry25

Express Anger15

Withdraw5

Play with Another Toy5

(Total) N=50

Every table must have title and label by numbers as well

Frequency distribution of nominal data consist of two columns consisting of

oCharacteristics presented (response of child)

oCategories of analysis(cry, anger, withdraw)

oFrequency (# of responses per category)

oTotal number of responses right at the end (N = 50)

Looking at this table, it is evident that more young boys respond by crying or with

anger than withdrawal or playing with another toy

Comparing Distributions

Making comparisons between frequency distributions is often used to clarify results

and add information

Ex: Table 2.2 Response to Removal of Toy by Gender of Child

Gender of Child

Response of a Child Male Female

Cry25 28

Express Anger15 3

Withdraw5 4

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Play with Another Toy5 15

N=50 50

As shown in table 2.2, 15 out 50 girls but only 5 out of 50 boys responded by playing

with another toy in the room

Proportions and Percentages

When a researcher studies distributions of equal size, the frequency data can be

used to make comparisons between the groups

oEx: 50 girls and 50 boys

The most useful method of standardizing for size and comparison distributions are

the proportion and percentage

oProportion: compares number of cases in a given category with the total size

of the distribution

P=

P=

oPercentage: multiply any given proportion by 100

% = (100)

% = (100)

% = 30

Thus, 30 % of girls find alternative toys to play with

To illustrate the utility of percentage s in making comparisons with large and

unequal-sized distributions : Table 2.3

oCollege A has 1.352 engineering majors

oCollege B has 183 engineering majors

Engineering Majors

College ACollege B

Genderf%f%

Male 1,082 80 146 80

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