Scales, distributions, variance, the normal distribution.
- Using numbers to represent “reality”:
- Key role in science
- Problems and potential political biases.
- Types of numbers:
- Scales: ratio, interval, ordinal, categorical
- Frequencies, frequency distributions
- Characterizing trends in data:
- measures of central tendency; mean (M), mode, median.
- measures of variance: range and standard deviation
- The Normal distribution & statistical decisions
- The critical ratio and hypothesis testing.
Understand all the italicized terms: they will be crucial to the entire statistics section.
The properties of the normal distribution in particular are central to this section.
The lecture notes are here.
Suggested background reading: Your basic statistics chapter(s).
You have multiple modules this week. Working though all of them will help you a lot in comprehending statistical analyses and logic:
Statistics module 1; Introduction and scales.
Statistics module 2; Z and the normal distribution.
Statistics module 3, Statistical reasoning; Plato's Allegory of the Cave
Statistics module 4; Testing hypotheses, the critical ratio
For lecture & Discussion Group:
These are the data you will be using for your paper. You can make up data if you like - or use real data - but keep it as simple as this.
Get a jump on the t-test you have due for next week (and to complete your paper) by going to the assignment for next week and begin working on it now.
Take these data and follow the instructions for this week.
Basic frequency distributions.