1 SOC 201 Introduction to Sociological Statistics Spring 2013 Professor: Kiana Cox Course Time: MWF 8am 8:50am, BSB 4105 Labs: Mondays, 11am 12:50pm, 1pm 2:50pm, BSB 4133 Office: BSB 4126D Office Hours: Mondays, 9am 11am Lab Instructors: Please consult your Lab Instructors for their office hours. Melissa Abad, BSB 4160 Jialin (Camile) Li, BSB Course Overview: The purpose of this course is to give undergraduates a strong introduction to basic sociological statistical analysis. The research skills that you stand to gain in this course, in tandem with those from SOC 300 and 490, are valuable transferable skills for those seeking to attend graduate school in the social sciences or obtain employment in entry level research assistant positions. Given this focus on skill building, the course will feature lectures in addition to consistent periods of active, involved group learning. Additionally, while it is true that this course will have a heavy algebraic component, this course is not designed for you to only do math for math s sake. Rather, the goals of this course are for you to: Learn the role of statistics in the research process Learn to define, classify, graph, and determine statistical relationships between variables Learn how to properly select and interpret the results of statistical procedures and apply your findings sociologically. Course Prerequisites This course assumes that you have completed: SOC 100 or SOC 105; and either MATH 090, MATH 092, MATH 118 or the equivalent, or that you have obtained my consent to join the course. A math review is located in Appendix F of your textbook. Please read it thoroughly. Required Text Frankfort-Nachmias, Chava. Social Statistics for a Diverse Society, 6 th Edition. This text is available at the UIC Bookstore and online at CourseSmart.com. Whether used or new, please purchase whatever will fit in your budget. However, because all of our assignments will rely heavily on the textbook it is extremely important that you get THE 6 TH EDITION.
2 Course Components and Grading This course will require a high level of individual practice. In this course you must learn by doing. Comprehensive pop quizzes, section exams, and homework will be used to assess your progress in the course. In-class research activities and lab sessions will also assist in your mastery of the material. You will need a basic scientific calculator, pencils, and a stapler to aid in the completion of homework, quizzes, and exams. The use of cell phones/pda calculators will NOT be permitted during quizzes or exams. Additionally, the use of laptops, netbooks, or tablet PCs will be restricted during course time. In many of our class sessions we will be working with long and often dense algebraic equations, many of which do not lend themselves easily to word processing. That being said, please come to class prepared to take handwritten notes. Final Grading: Final grades will be determined by your weighted percentage of total points. Letter grades and descriptions are listed below: A = % - Excellent; demonstrates a high level of mastery of course material. B = % - Good; demonstrates a better than average level of mastery of course material. C = % - Average; demonstrates an intermediate mastery of course material. D = % - Poor; demonstrates a weak mastery of course material. F = 59.99% - below Very Poor; does not demonstrate any mastery of course material. In-Class Research Activities These activities are designed to build on and extend the knowledge of statistical principles that you have learned in your individual study. In each class session, you will be divided into groups and given one or more research questions to answer based on the statistical procedures introduced that week. We will use these sessions to get hands-on experience with each of the statistical procedures. The goal is for you to work out any problems you might have with concepts, calculation, and interpretation while in class and with the assistance of the instructor, TAs, and/or your classmates. Comprehensive Pop Quizzes (40%): One comprehensive pop quiz will be given during each of the three sections of the course. They cover everything up to and including that week s content and will be conceptual (interpreting data and/or defining and applying concepts) in format. These quizzes are closed book, will feature essay or short answer questions, and are given to ensure that you grasp the basic concepts of the material. Therefore, all assigned reading must be completed before class. Please pay close attention to the course calendar for assigned readings and each chapter s central questions. Quizzes cannot be made up. Therefore, in order to take the quiz you MUST be present at the beginning of the period. If you come in while the quiz is being administered, you will only be allotted the remaining time. There will be 3 total quizzes worth 20 points each.
3 Section Exams (40%): This course will be divided into three sections with one exam per section: Descriptive Statistics, Inferential Statistics, and Bivariate and Multivariate Relationships. Therefore, your third/final exam will not be comprehensive. Exams will be administered during lab with exams 1 and 3 being data analysis exams to be performed via computer. Exam 2 will be your only handwritten exam and it will require a pencil and a basic scientific calculator. The sharing of computers, cell phones/pdas, and calculators on exams will NOT be permitted. Cheating or suspicion of cheating will result in a failing grade on the exam for all parties involved, no questions asked and no exceptions. All exams are closed book and will be worth 100 points each. Labs Lab attendance, activities, and participation are necessary for your complete mastery of statistical procedures. Specific activities will be determined by your lab instructor; however every lab will include a review of procedures introduced in each chapter as well as hands on experience with data analysis software. We will be using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for all data analysis and most of our on-campus labs are equipped with it. For a complete list of labs equipped with SPSS, please visit: You may purchase SPSS if you like, however it is not required. Additionally, you will be provided with access to all of our data sets via Blackboard. Failure to attend lab will severely impair your ability to do well on exams and thus, in the course. Homework (20%): Homework will be assigned for each chapter and will typically be due at the beginning of lab the following week. For a complete listing of homework assignments and due dates, please see the course calendar at the end of this syllabus. No late homework will be accepted. Homework CANNOT be ed, placed in the professor or TAs mailboxes, or dropped off at the Sociology office. Homework assignments will be worth 30 points each. There will be 14 total homework assignments. Homework Guidelines Because of the technical nature of the course, homework assignments: - Must be completed on blank or ruled loose-leaf paper. - Must be completed IN PENCIL or typed. Must be LEGIBLE and numerical answers must be clearly MARKED with a circle or square. This includes leaving space above and below problems to allow your TAs to write comments or correct your answers. One line between each problem is ideal. TAs are not required to grade illegible assignments. - All homework pages, including SPSS read-outs, MUST BE STAPLED and turned in as one packet, not paper clipped or folded. TAs will not be held responsible for lost pages. If necessary, please place homework in a large envelope or folder with your name and the assignment number clearly printed on the front.
4 Notes on Course Pacing, Student Responsibility, and Course Sequencing I believe in a high level of student agency. This means that this course will require a significant amount of organization, preparedness, and effort on your part. Therefore, it is very important that you carefully read the syllabus and pay close attention to the reading, homework, quiz, and lab schedule to determine if this course is something that you can complete successfully. This is particularly important give the early start time of the course. Regular attendance and serious independent study on your part are absolutely necessary. Over-scheduling on your part, work conflicts, family issues, and/or other personal matters are your responsibility to work out. This being said, please plan your semester and monitor your progress in this course carefully. Each topic in the course builds on previous knowledge. Therefore, if you are confused about material, are not performing well, and/or are having serious personal problems that preclude you from attending class or completing assignments please meet with me ASAP. Your TAs and I are here to assist in your learning process. However, we can be of little assistance to you if we are not aware of your academic concerns. Please do not wait until finals or the last minute to try to make up for lost time. At that time, our ability to help further your understanding of the material will be severely limited. If you promised your parents, your coach, your advisor, etc. that you would do better or if you need to get a certain grade in this course to be eligible for graduation, some other academic activity, or to avoid academic sanctions, then YOU need to start early and invest the time and energy that are necessary in order to obtain that goal. Your final grade will be a direct result of the effort YOU expend on mastering course material. I will not entertain any end-of-the semester emotional outbursts. It is up to you to take responsibility for your learning process and academic progress from day one. Additionally, no extra credit will be offered and there will be no curving of grades. Finally, within your major, it is very important that you take courses consecutively in sequence. SOC 201, 300, and 490 should be taken in a 3 semester sequence. SOC 385 is the only course that can be taken concurrently with these required sociology courses. Proper sequencing helps to ensure the complete attainment of the skill set that is required for someone obtaining a bachelor s degree in sociology. For sociology advising, please contact Elvis Ortega at the LAS advising center, 312/ Resources for Students with Disabilities Students with disabilities must inform the instructor of the need for accommodations during the first week of class. Those who require accommodations for access and participation in this course must be registered with the Disability Resource Center and must present the instructor with documentation of such at the beginning of the course. Please contact them at 312/ (voice) or 312/ (TTY). Religious Holidays Students who wish to observe religious holidays shall notify me by the tenth day of the semester of the date when they will be absent, unless the religious holiday is observed on or before the tenth day of the semester. In such cases, the students shall notify me at least five days in advance of the date when he/she will be absent.
5 Tips on Studying for the Course and Guidelines for Student Meetings 1) Pay close attention to the CENTRAL QUESTIONS In order to help guide your thinking and focus your study, I have developed central questions for each chapter. These questions are listed in the course calendar below. 2) Statistics is not Harry Potter Often students read their textbooks like they read novels. They ignore front and back matter, start on the first page, and read non-stop until they get to the end. They have read the chapter, but they have failed to gain an understanding of what they actually read. This novel reading approach is the least effective method of studying for any course, but it is particularly ineffective for this course. My recommendation is that you first carefully read the central question, then read the chapter outline located at the beginning of the chapter, next read the main points section located at the end of your chapter, and then proceed to read the entire chapter. Throughout your reading, you should be actively seeking to define the terms mentioned in the central question as well as attempting to answer the question in as much detail as possible. You should also make note of any questions or points of difficulty that you encounter as you read. These are questions that you can ask during our class or lab. 3) Pay close attention to steps, rules, processes, AND their exceptions After you have defined the terms featured in the central question and attempted to answer the question, you should next outline the steps, rules, or processes involved in solving the statistical procedure covered in the central question. First, locate these steps/rules/processes in the chapter; next, make yourself a numbered list that outlines each statistical procedure step-by-step. Finally, be sure to pay careful attention to any exceptions to these rules or steps. For example, chapter 4 will state that the mean is the most appropriate measure of central tendency for interval-ratio variables. However, there is one exception to this rule: the mean is not appropriate if you have a distribution with extreme values. If this exceptional case occurs (as it often does), you should use the median as your measure of central tendency. Therefore, you should be sure to note steps/rules/processes AND their exceptions. 4) Practice the processes After you have done your active reading, answered the central question, paid careful attention to the rules and steps of statistical procedures as well as their exceptions, your final step in preparing for this course should be to work on practice problems. First, carefully re-read the in-chapter examples; as you are rereading you should be writing out the sample problems and trying to solve them on your own. Next, compare your work to the sample problem. How do your answers compare? If they are not the same, you should make note of the process that you followed and bring these questions with you to class and lab. 5) Guidelines for Meetings Your TAs and I are more than happy to answer your questions during class, lab, or office hours. However, if you would like to meet with us one-one-one during office hours you should be sure to implement these 4 steps BEFORE our meeting. We can give you maximum assistance when you have SPECIFIC questions that have been informed by your own independent work. Following these steps does not guarantee that you will do well, but they can guarantee that you will not be completely lost. If you are completely lost, come to see us IMMEDIATELY and we will help you figure out where the problems are.
6 SOC 201 Spring 2013 Calendar SECTION I: Descriptive Statistics Week 1 Mon, Jan 14 Wed, Jan 16 Friday, Jan 18 Course Overview Lab: Introduction to SPSS: Locating, Opening, and Saving Data and Output; Generating frequency distributions and graphs Reading: Chapter 1 - The What and Why of Statistics Lecture: The Research Process, Variables, and Variable Properties Homework: Ch.Ex. 2, 3, 8, & 9, Due 1/23 in class In-Class Research: Variables, Causality, and Levels of Measurement Central Questions: What are independent and dependent variables? How do I identify and differentiate between nominal, ordinal, and interval-ratio variables? Week 2 Mon, Jan 21 Wed, Jan 23 Fri, Jan 25 MLK Holiday NO CLASSES Reading: Chapter 2 - Frequency Distributions; Chapter 3 - Graphing Lecture: Frequency Distributions and Graphs Homework: For Chpt. 2, SPSS 2 &4, Ch.Ex. 4, 6, & 8; for Chpt 3, SPSS 2&4, due 1/28 in lab Central Question: What are cumulative distributions and with which levels of measurement should they be used? In-Class Research: Creating Frequency Distributions and Graphs Central Question: Which graphs are most appropriate for nominal, ordinal, or interval-ratio variables?
7 Week 3 Mon, Jan 28 Wed, Jan 30 Fri, Feb 1 Reading: Chapter 4 Measures of Central Tendency Lecture: Measures of Central Tendency Lab: Generating Measures of Central Tendency Homework: SPSS 1&4 (select one measure & explain for a-f), Ch.Ex. 6&8, due 2/4 in lab Central Question: Which measures of central tendency are most appropriate for nominal, ordinal, or interval-ratio variables? What special problems do we encounter when using the mean? In-Class Research: Calculating Measures of Central Tendency In-Class Research: Shapes of Distributions Week 4 Mon, Feb 4 Wed, Feb 6 Fri, Feb 8 Reading: Chapter 5 Measures of Variability Lecture: Measures of Variability Lab: Generating Measures of Variability Homework: SPSS 1, Ch.Ex 4,6,&8, due 2/11 in lab Central Questions: Which measures of variability are most appropriate for nominal, ordinal, or interval-ratio variables? What happens to the shape of distributions as their standard deviations increase? In-Class Research: Measures of Variability for Ordinal Variables In-Class Research: Measures of Variability for Interval-Ratio Variables Week 5 Mon, Feb 11 Wed, Feb 13 Fri, Feb 15 In-Class Research: Exam Study Session Lab: Exam 1 Descriptive Statistics STUDY DAY STUDY DAY
8 SECTION II: Inferential Statistics Week 6 Mon, Feb 18 Wed, Feb 20 Reading: Chapter 6 The Normal Distribution Lecture: Inferential Statistics and the Normal Distribution Lab: Reviewing the Normal Distribution Homework: Chpt. 6, Ch.Ex. 2, 4, 6 a&b, 10; Chpt. 7, Ch.Ex 6 due 2/25 in lab Central Questions: What are the characteristics of the normal curve? How do we apply the concept of standard deviation to the principles of the normal curve? In-Class Research: Using the Standard Normal Table Fri, Feb 22 Reading: Chapter 7 Sampling Distributions (begin at p. 206) In-Class Research: Normal Distribution, Sampling Distributions, and the CLT Central Questions: How important is sample size to our understanding of the normality of a distribution? Week 7 Mon, Feb 25 Wed, Feb 27 Fri, Mar 1 Reading: Chapter 8 Estimation Lecture: Point and Interval Estimation Lab: Generating Confidence Intervals Homework: SPSS 2, Ch.Ex 2, 6, & 12, due 3/4 Central Questions: What exactly are we estimating and why? What are the two types of estimates? In-Class Research: Confidence Intervals for Means In-Class Research: Confidence Intervals for Proportions
9 Week 8 Mon, Mar 4 Wed, Mar 6 Fri, Mar 8 Reading Chapter 9 Testing Hypotheses Lecture: Hypothesis Testing with Z and the one-sample T-tests Lab: Generating T-tests Homework: SPSS 4, Ch.Ex. 8, 10, 12 due 3/11 Central Questions: Under what circumstances do we use t-tests instead of Z- tests? What are the two types of hypotheses and which is always being tested? Lecture: Independent Samples T-test In-Class Research: Hypothesis testing with the Z and T-tests Week 9 Mon, Mar 11 Reading Chapter 14 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) end at pg. 465 Lecture: Hypothesis Testing with ANOVA Lab: Generating ANOVA Homework: Ch.Ex 3&10, due 3/18 Central Questions: How does ANOVA differ from the t-test? Wed, Mar 13 Fri, Mar 15 In-Class Research: Hypothesis testing with ANOVA In-Class Research: Hypothesis testing with ANOVA Week 10 Mon, Mar 18 Wed, Mar 20 Fri, Mar 22 In-Class Research: Exam Study Session Lab: Exam 2 Inferential Statistics STUDY DAY STUDY DAY Week 11: March 25 th 29 th SPRING BREAK NO CLASSES
10 SECTION III: Bivariate and Multivariate Relationships Week 12 Mon, Apr 1 Wed, Apr 3 Fri, Apr 5 Reading: Chapter 10 Crosstabulation Lecture: Exploring Bivariate Relationships with Crosstabulation Lab: Generating Bivariate Tables Homework: SPSS 2 &4, Ch.Ex 1, 6 a&b, & 8 due 4/8 Central Questions: How do we use crosstabs to determine relationships between variables? In what ways will a third variable complicate these relationships? In-Class Research: Crosstabulation with Two Variables In-Class Research: Crosstabulation with Control Variables Week 13 Mon, Apr 8 Wed, Apr 10 Fri, Apr 12 Reading: Chapter 11 Chi-Square Lecture: Testing Hypothesis with the Chi-Square Test Lab: Chi-square Homework: SPSS 2, Ch.Ex 2, 4, 10 due 4/15 Central Questions: How do we determine statistical independence? In-Class Research: Using the Chi-Square Test In-Class Research: Interpreting the Chi-Square Test
11 Week 14 Mon, Apr 15 Wed, Apr 17 Fri, Apr 19 Reading: Chapter 12 Measures of Association for Nominal and Ordinal Variables Lecture: The Properties of Bivariate Relationships Homework: SPSS 2 (ignore gamma or Kendall s question) &4, Ch.Ex. 2 &14, due 4/22 Central Questions: What pieces of information do lambda and gamma provide that will describe the nature of the relationship between two variables? What is PRE? In-Class Research: Working with Lambda In-Class Research: Working with Gamma Week 15 Mon, Apr 22 Wed, Apr 24 Fri, Apr 26 Reading: Chapter 13 Regression and Correlation Lecture: Scatterplots and Correlation Lab: Scatterplots, Correlation, and Bivariate Regression Homework: SPSS 1 &5a, Ch.Ex 10 (exclude item c) & 12, due 4/29 Central Questions: What is a prediction equation and what does each piece of the equation tell us about the relationship between X and Y? What other statistics allow us to characterize the relationship between X and Y? Lecture: Bivariate and Multiple Regression In-Class Research: Working with bivariate regression and multiple regression Week 16 Mon, Apr 29 Wed, May 1 Fri, May 3 In-Class Research: Exam 3 Review/Evaluations Lab: Exam 3 Bivariate and Multivariate Relationships Course Wrap-Up Course Wrap-Up May 6-10: Final Exam Week