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SOCL 211 EXAM 1
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Gravity
Key Concepts:
Terms in this set (51)
Statistics
a set of procedures used by researchers to organize, summarize, and communicate information
data
information represented by numbers, which can be the subject of statistical analysis
research process
set of activities in which researchers engage to answer questions, examine ideas, or test theories
empirical research
research based on information that can be verified using direct experience
hypothesis
a tentative answer to a research problem
theory
is an explanation of the relationship between two or more observable attributes that attempts to establish a link between what we observe and our conceptual understanding of why these attributes are related
variable
a property of a person or object that takes on two or more values
dependent variable
the variable to be explained, it can be thought of as "the effect"
independent variable
the variable expected to account for the dependent variable; it can be thought of as "the cause"
exhaustive
when there are enough categories to classify every observation
mutually exclusive
when every observation should only fit into one category
level of measurement
identifies the variable's measurement properties, which determine the kind of mathematical operations that can be used
nominal level of measurement
numbers are assigned to a set of categories for the purpose of naming, labeling, or classifying observations
ordinal level of measurement
numbers are assigned to rank-order categories ranging from low to high
interval-ratio level of measurement
the categories or values of a variable can be rank ordered and the measurements for all the cases are expressed in the same units
descriptive statistics
procedures that help us organize and describe data collected
inferential statistics
procedures concerned with making predictions or inferences about a population from observations and analyses of a sample
population
a population is the total set of individuals, objects, groups, or events in which the researcher is interested
sample
a subset of the population
unit of analysis
the level of social life on which social scientists focus, examples of different levels are individuals, groups, organizations, and countries
unit of analysis
the level of social life on which social scientists focus; examples of different levels are individuals, groups, organizations, and countries
dichotomous variable
a variable that has only two values
discrete variable
a variable that has a minimum sized unit of measurement which cannot be subdivided; examples are a number of children and wages
continuous variable
a variable that does not have a minimum sized unit of measurement, whose range of values can be subdivided into fractional units; examples are length and weight
frequency distribution
a table reporting the number of observations falling into each category of the variable
absolute frequency
the number of observations in each category of a variable
total frequency
the total number of observations in all categories of a variable
proportion
a relative frequency obtained by dividing the frequency in each category by the number of cases
percentage
a relative frequency obtained by dividing the frequency in each category by the number of cases and multiplying by 100
percentage distribution
shows the percentage of observations falling into each category of a variable
cumulative frequency distribution
shows the frequency at or below each category of the variable
cumulative percentage distribution
shows the percentage at or below each category of the variable
rate
a number obtained by dividing the number of actual occurrences in a given time period by the number of possible occurrences
measures of central tendency
numbers that describe what is average or typical about a distribution
mode
the category or score with the highest frequency or percentage in the distribution
median
the score that divides the distribution into two equal parts so that half the cases are above it and half are below it
mean
the arithmetic average obtained by adding up all the scores and then dividing by the total number of scores
frequency distribution curve
a substitute for a frequency histogram or polygon in which we replace these graphs with a smooth curve
symmetrical distribution
the frequencies at the right and the left tails of the distribution are identical such that each half of the distribution is the mirror image of the other
skewed distribution
a distribution with a few extreme values on one side of the distribution
positively skewed distribution
a distribution with a few extremely high values
negatively skewed distribution
a distribution with a few extremely low values
measures of variability
numbers that describe diversity or variability in a distribution
IQV (Index of qualitative variation)
a measure of variability for nominal level variables. it is based on the ration of the total number of differences in the distribution to the maximum number of possible differences in the same distribution
range
a measure of variability for interval-ratio level variables. It is the difference between the highest (maximum) and lowest (minimum) scores in the distribution
percentile
the score in the distribution at or below which a specific percentage of the distribution falls; the nth percentile is the score below which n% of the distribution falls, so that n% of the cases are below it.
interquartile range
a measure of variability for interval ratio level variables that only takes into account the middle fifty percent of the distribution
upper quartile
the score in the distribution below which 75% of the distribution falls.
lower quartile
the score in the distribution below which 25% of the distribution falls.
variance
a measure of variation for interval-ratio variables. it is the average squared deviations from the mean. variance can be thought of as how "spread out" the responses are from one another- with higher variance meaning the responses are more spread out or more different from one another, and lower variance meaning the responses are more similar to each other.
standard deviation
a measure for interval-ratio variations. standard deviation is the square root of the variance. the standard deviation also measures how "spread out" or different responses are from one another. the reason we more commonly use the standard deviation (instead of variance) is because the standard deviation has the same units or metric as the original variable
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