Social Science Statistics
Full course description
This course aims to provide a solid understanding of how statistical methods can be used to address social scientific research questions. The course will train students both as consumers and producers of quantitative social science research. As consumers, students will need to have the competence to read and understand quantitatively oriented scholarly research. Thus, as a key requirement it is necessary to know what assumptions are made with different statistical techniques, how the analysis was conducted and how to critically evaluate the output that is being reported in scholarly research. Furthermore, the course will train students from different disciplinary backgrounds to become producers of quantitative social science research. Here emphasis is placed on understanding the match between the research question, the data used for the empirical analysis, the data structure and how to choose the best statistical technique to answer research questions that are relevant within European studies. Furthermore, the course will teach students how to interpret and to effectively report the research results. Thus, both for consumers and producers of social science research, the course will provide an introduction to the fundamentals of statistical analysis.
• read, understand and evaluate the professional literature that uses descriptive and inferential statistics; • critically apply knowledge, understanding and problem-solving abilities to a range of research questions and different datasets; • show the ability to formulate an original research question relevant to the state of the art in European Studies and know how to independently design and execute the empirical analysis of a research project with the aim of testing the substantive theory; • have the skills to independently use and apply quantitative methodologies and to address questions of application and interpretation of statistical analysis in a largely autonomous manner. • have the foundation to learn about more advanced statistical procedures.
Field, Andy (2009) Discovering Statistics Using SPSS. London: Sage Publications.