SOC282 Description

Social inquiry often relies on strongly upon statistical methods. We often make use of large surveys, public opinion polls, and census data in order to document, describe, and explain a wide range of social phenomena. Students in the social sciences must therefore have a basic understanding of statistics, whether to understand, critique, or conduct quantitative social research.

To that end, this course teaches not only the mechanics of descriptive and inferential statistics, but places a strong emphasis on understanding the role of statistical measures in the social research process. It isn‟t enough to just know how to calculate a certain statistic. Students in the social sciences need to know when and why to calculate a certain statistic – what tests are appropriate for a given situation? What does this number mean? What do these findings really tell us?

This course will provide you with these fundamental skills. In addition, we will use a statistical software package (SPSS) to analyze real data. One of the primary goals for the course is to provide students with knowledge and appreciation for how statistics are applied by using everyday examples.