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by: Carly Carlson

Notes1 SOC 3112

Carly Carlson
The U
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About this Document

Notes up until exam 1
Social Statistics
Tom Quinn
Class Notes
central tendency, frequency, Variability




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carly Carlson on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 3112 at University of Utah taught by Tom Quinn in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Social Statistics in Sociology at University of Utah.

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Date Created: 09/27/16
Scientific method: helps avoid human bias, empirical in nature, sea rches for contradictory evidence **Statistics can be used to lend an air of credibility to otherwise unbelievable claims** Predictions and conclusions are only as good as their theoretical assumptions à why independent and dependent events are important to acknowledge Bad interpretations of data is worse than no data Statistics are used in our everyday lives such as in coupon and weather predictions **Theory explains a relationship** Levels of Analysis • Level on which research focuses - consistent across theories, variables and conclusions • Refers to size of social unit • Units of Analysis- refers to one unit Variables • Basic units of statistics • Measurable and takes on more than one value • 3 different ways o Independent vs. Dependent § Independentà cause § Dependentà the effect • Rules of Cause/Effect relationship o Cause has to come before effect time wise o Empirical relationship o Can’t attribute relationship to other factors or variables o Levels of Measurement § Many types of variables, all providing different amounts of information • NOMINAL o Represents qualitative distinction between two values o Values cannot be ranked in a meaningful way o Examples: religion, race, gender, favorite color o Pie chart, Frequency, Prop/Relative (allows for comparison) • ORDINAL o Qualitative distinction between two values o Can be ranked o Difference between to values cannot be measured o Examples: social class o Bar graph, Frequency, Relative, Cumulative frequency • INTERVAL/RATIO o Qualitative distinction between two values o Can be ranked o Difference between two measures can be measured o Examples: height in ft, GPA o Histogram (can only be used w/ interval/ ratio data, like a bar graph except the distance between variables is meaningful and it could be redrawn as a curved line) o Continuous vs. Discrete § Continuous- can take on all possible numerical values in a given interval § Discrete- have a minimum sized unit of measurement, can’t be sub-divided Population vs. Sample • Population- every possible member of a given group • Sample- a small subset representative of a population Descriptive statistics- a means of summarizing existing data, samples or populations Inferential statistics- involves an educated guess Data Visualization- Frequency tables: organize jumbled data to make it more understandable (raw frequency, relative frequency, cumulative frequency, cumulative percent) Cumulative frequency and percent -tables representing ordinal or interval/ratio data can include cumulative frequency, tells you how many or what percent of respondents fall at a given level or below, useful for figuring our percentile ranks. Graphs- convey a lot of information with just a quick look à pie charts, bar charts, histograms Central tendency: the most common value of a distribution or, in some cases, the middle of said distribution 3 measures: mode, median and mean Mode = the most common score (nominal, ordinal, or interval -ratio) Median = the middle score Mean = the “average” score (Strength: The mean uses all of the available information from the variable Weakness: The mean is affected by every score Symmetrical (Mean = Median = Mode) Negatively (example: years of education) mean < median Positively (example: income) mean > median for a nominal variable, the mode is the only measure that can be used. For ordinal variables, the mode and the median may be used. The median provides more information (taking into account the ranking of categories.) For interval-ratio variables, the mode, median, and mean are available. The mean provides the most information about the distribution, but the median is preferred if the distribution is skewed. Range= difference between highest and lowest values IQR- 75 percent- 25 percent Variance- only for interval/ratioà x x-mean (x-mean) sum/n Standard deviation- square root of varianceà puts it back in original metrics


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