Chapter 1 Social Statistics

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Statistics
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a set of procedures used by social scientists to organize, summarize and communicate information
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Data
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information represented by numbers, which can be the subject of statistical analysis
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Research Process
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a set of activities in which social scientists engage to answer questions, examine ideas, or test theories.
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Empirical Research
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Research based on evidence that can be verified by using our direct experience.
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Theory
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an elaborate explanation of the relationship between two or more observable attributes of individuals or groups.
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Hypothesis
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a tentative answer to a research problem.
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Variable
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a property of people or objects that takes on two or more values. The variable can be social class, monthly income, religion, gender. etc.
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Dependent variable
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the variable to be explained (the \”effect\” ). It is always the property that you are trying to explain; it is always the object of research.
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Independent Variable
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the variable expected to account for the \”cause\” of the dependent variable. The IV is often seen as influencing directly or indirectly, the dependent variable. It usually occurs earlier in time that the DV.
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Nominal Measurement
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Numbers or other symbols are assigned to a set of categories for the purpose of naming, labeling, or classifying the observations. Ex. Gender, Political Party, Race, Religion. ( Mode, IQV)
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Ordinal Measurement
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Numbers are assigned to rank ordered categories ranging from low to high. Ex. Social Class: upper, middle, lower. Likert scale. (Mode, Median, Range, IQR, Measure of Central tendency preferred is MEDIAN. Measure of Variability preferred is Range).
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Interval-ratio measurement
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Measurements for all cases are expressed in the same units. Example: Age, Income, SAT scores. (Mode, Median, and Mean, Range, Median is preferred if the distribution is skewed . Mean is preferred if the distribution is symmetrical. IQV, IQR, Variance, Standard Deviation
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Dichotomous Variable
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A variable that has only two values. Example Gender
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Discrete Variables
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Have a minimum-sized unit of measurement, which cannot be sub-divided. Example. No. of children per family or wages..
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Continuous Variables
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Do not have a minimum sized unit and it can be sub-divided into smaller fractional values. Ex. Length
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Population
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The total set of individuals, objects, groups, or events in which research is interested.
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Sample
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a relatively small subset selected from a population.
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Descriptive Statistics
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Procedures that help organize and describe data collected from either a sample or a population.
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Inferential Statistics
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The logic and procedures concerned with making predictions or inferences about a population from observations and analyses of a sample.

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