Social Research Skills I

 
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  1. a) Variables may take different levels of measurement including scale (ratio, interval) variables, nominal and ordinal variables. Scale variables are categorized such that it is possible to place variables in ranks of greater to lesser. In addition, such variables have to be numeric, whereas the data values are computable. There is mutual exclusivity of data categories. Examples of scale variables include height and age among others. Ordinal level data is composed of data values that can be arranged in a certain intrinsic order such that it is impossible to define the measure of difference between the categories. Data categories exhibit mutual exclusivity. Ordinal values may include strongly disagree, agree, strongly agree. Finally, nominal data values can not be categorized in any intrinsic order. It is impossible to describe data from greater to lesser. A respondent’s name is the best example of a nominal data value (Healey & Prus, 2010).
  2. b) The 2008 British Social Attitudes Survey dataset contains ratio, nominal and ordinal levels of measurement. Variables that have ratio measurement include: Serial, age, NumCh, NCh415, NCh318, HhCh04, HhCh511, HhCh1215, HhCH1617, leftrigh, libauth, Age. Nominal: Rsex, WhPaper, GOR2, Country, Religion, ReligSum, Vote05sc, Welfare2, PrSch100, HiPay100, ChPov100, RNSEGGrp, FTREL. Ordinal: IncomGap, MumPoor, Pen1Poor, MumOn130, LpWkAge, WkJbHrsl, UnionSA, LIFESAT, Tea2, FathWk.
  3. c) Scale level variables help in computing quantitative statistical analyses whereas ordinal and nominal variables help in computing qualitative statistical analyses.

The total number of respondents in the 2008 British Social Attitudes Survey is 4,486 respondents (Table 1). According to Table 1, the mean age of the sample was 50.33 years with a standard deviation of 17.936. Table 2 and Figure 1 show that 57.1 percent of the respondents in this survey were females.

  1. a) According to Table 1, the youngest respondent is 17 years whereas the oldest respondent is 95 years.
  2. b) Recoded ages were categorized as follows: 1 represents 18-24, 2 for 25-34, 3 for 35-44, 4 for 45-54, 5 for55-64 and 6 for 65+.
  3. c) For respondents who are in the 35-44 category, 22.6 percent of the respondents are members of a trade union or a staff association (Table 4).
  4. a) Table 5 indicates that the minimum hours a respondent works per week is 0 hours whereas the maximum number of hours worked is 90 hours. The mean number of hours worked in a week is 20.47 hours with a standard deviation of 21.135 while the median number of hours a respondent’s works per week is 16.00 hours.
  5. b) The confidence interval of the mean number of hours respondents work per week is -1.96 to +1.96 since the tests are conducted at 95% level of significance.
  6. c) Confidence interval (CI) is the range of probability values that a given experiment is said to be valid. Thus, CI helps in determining the validity of a given outcome in an experiment (Leech, Barrett & Morgan, 2005).
  7. a) To test significance, it is first important to state the null and alternate hypotheses. Secondly, the alpha values are stated, i.e. -1.96 to 1.96 followed by computing the probability values for a given data set. The p values are then compared with the alpha value thus forming a basis for accepting or rejecting the null hypothesis.
  8. b) When interpreting a statistically significant finding, social scientists should consider the degrees of freedom (df) and the alpha value as well as the probability value (Field, 2009).

The valid number of voters who did not vote in England was 257, those who voted for Conservative in England were 196, those who voted for Labour were 242, Liberal-Democrat voters were 91 while those who voted for other party were 20. In Scotland, 21 voters did not vote, 15 voted for Conservative, 26 voted for Labour, 9 voted for Liberal Democrat while 18 voted for other party. In Wales, 10 voters did not vote, 12 voted for Conservative, 17 voted for Labour, 5 voted for Liberal Democrat while 6 voted for other party (Table 6).

There is no statistically significant association between the respondent’s country of resident and the party they voted for in 2005 general elections. This is because the Chi-Square test indicates that 2 cells had expected count less than 5 (Table 7). This is despite the Pearson Chi-Square 66.348, df 8 and p =.001 being significant (Weinberg & Abramowitz, 2008).

  1. a). The Mann-Whitney test indicates that more females are concerned about how old a child should be before the parent goes back to work (Female mean rank of 1354.32 against males mean rank of 1594.67). The difference is statistically significant (Mann-Whitney U= 865157.00, Z = -7.789 and 2-tailed significance of .001) (Table 8).
  2. According to Mann-Whitney’s test, females believe that a greater proportion of under 16 are living under poverty i.e. 1820 against 1402 males (Table 8). From Table 9 the difference is statistically significant (Mann-Whitney U = 1001165.50, Z = -10.539 and 2-tailed significance of .001).

The respondent’s mean authoritarian/libertarian scale differs according to how he/she voted. This is indicated by the non-significant Levene statistic 1.997, df 4 p =.093. According to Table 11, the ANOVA test showed a significant difference (F = 9.790, df 4, p <.001) on how voters voted as a factor of mean authoritarian/libertarian scale.

  1. A 2-tailed Pearson Correlation between a respondent’s left-right score and the proportion of children under sixteen they believe are living in poverty shows that a statistically significant relationship exists. There is a negative relationship (rp=-.244, p =.001, which is significant) between left-right scale ABCD and children 16, who live in poverty (Table 13).

 

 

 

Bibliography

Field, A. P. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. Sixth edition. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Healey, J. F. and Prus, S. G. (2010). Statistics: A tool for social research. First Canadian edition. Canada: Nelson Education Ltd.

Leech, N. L., Barrett, K. C. and Morgan, G. A. (2005). SPSS for intermediate statistics: use and interpretation. Second edition. New York, NY: Routledge.

Weinberg, S. L. and Abramowitz, S. K. (2008). Statistics using SPSS: an integrative approach. 2nd edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Appendix

Table 1: Descriptive Statistics

Statistics
SEX OF respondent :Q45 What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46
N Valid 4486 4466
Missing 0 20
Mean 1.57 50.33
Median 2.00 49.00
Mode 2 42
Std. Deviation .495 17.936
Variance .245 321.696
Minimum 1 17
Maximum 2 95

 

 

Table 2: Respondent’s Sex

SEX OF respondent :Q45
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Male 1926 42.9 42.9 42.9
Female 2560 57.1 57.1 100.0
Total 4486 100.0 100.0

 

 


Table 3: Descriptive for Recoded Age

What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid 1 313 7.0 7.0 7.0
2 661 14.7 14.7 21.7
3 886 19.8 19.8 41.5
4 772 17.2 17.2 58.7
5 749 16.7 16.7 75.4
6 1103 24.6 24.6 100.0
17 2 .0 .0 100.0
Total 4486 100.0 100.0

 

 

Table 4: Cross Tabulation of Respondent’s Age and Membership of a Trade Union

What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 * Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 Crosstabulation
Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 Total
Yes, trade union Yes, staff association No
What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 1 Count 17 7 286 310
Expected Count 53.5 8.6 247.9 310.0
% within What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 5.5% 2.3% 92.3% 100.0%
% within Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 2.2% 5.6% 8.0% 6.9%
% of Total .4% .2% 6.4% 6.9%
2 Count 107 22 529 658
Expected Count 113.6 18.3 526.2 658.0
% within What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 16.3% 3.3% 80.4% 100.0%
% within Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 13.9% 17.7% 14.8% 14.7%
% of Total 2.4% .5% 11.8% 14.7%
3 Count 174 31 678 883
Expected Count 152.4 24.5 706.1 883.0
% within What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 19.7% 3.5% 76.8% 100.0%
% within Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 22.6% 25.0% 19.0% 19.8%
% of Total 3.9% .7% 15.2% 19.8%
4 Count 199 24 549 772
Expected Count 133.2 21.4 617.3 772.0
% within What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 25.8% 3.1% 71.1% 100.0%
% within Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 25.8% 19.4% 15.4% 17.3%
% of Total 4.5% .5% 12.3% 17.3%
5 Count 154 19 575 748
Expected Count 129.1 20.8 598.1 748.0
% within What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 20.6% 2.5% 76.9% 100.0%
% within Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 20.0% 15.3% 16.1% 16.7%
% of Total 3.4% .4% 12.9% 16.7%
6 Count 120 21 953 1094
Expected Count 188.8 30.4 874.8 1094.0
% within What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 11.0% 1.9% 87.1% 100.0%
% within Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 15.6% 16.9% 26.7% 24.5%
% of Total 2.7% .5% 21.3% 24.5%
17 Count 0 0 2 2
Expected Count .3 .1 1.6 2.0
% within What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 .0% .0% 100.0% 100.0%
% within Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 .0% .0% .1% .0%
% of Total .0% .0% .0% .0%
Total Count 771 124 3572 4467
Expected Count 771.0 124.0 3572.0 4467.0
% within What was respondent’s age last birthday? :Q46 17.3% 2.8% 80.0% 100.0%
% within Are you now a member of a trade union or staff association? Q993 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
% of Total 17.3% 2.8% 80.0% 100.0%

 

 

 

Table 5: Number of Hours worked per week, including overtime

Statistics
How many hours R normally work a week including overtime :Q968
N Valid 4368
Missing 118
Mean 20.47
Std. Error of Mean .320
Median 16.00
Mode 0
Std. Deviation 21.135
Variance 446.669
Range 90
Minimum 0
Maximum 90

 

 

Table 6: Cross Tabulation of Country of respondent and Party voted in 2005 General Elections

Country of interview     England, Scotland or Wales? :Q31 * Which party voted for in 2005 general election? D2.25 Crosstabulation
Which party voted for in 2005 general election? D2.25 Total
Did not vote Voted- Conservative Voted- Labour Voted- Liberal Democrat Voted- other party
Country of interview England, Scotland or Wales? :Q31 England Count 257 196 242 91 20 806
Expected Count 245.6 190.2 243.1 89.6 37.5 806.0
Scotland Count 21 15 26 9 18 89
Expected Count 27.1 21.0 26.8 9.9 4.1 89.0
Wales Count 10 12 17 5 6 50
Expected Count 15.2 11.8 15.1 5.6 2.3 50.0
Total Count 288 223 285 105 44 945
Expected Count 288.0 223.0 285.0 105.0 44.0 945.0

 

 

 

Table 7: Chi-Square Test for Country and Party Voted

Chi-Square Tests
Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 66.348a 8 .000
Likelihood Ratio 45.646 8 .000
Linear-by-Linear Association 18.599 1 .000
N of Valid Cases 945
  1. 2 cells (13.3%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 2.33.

 


Table 8: Mann-Whitney Test for Sex and How Old a Child Should Be Before the Parent Goes Back to Work

Ranks
SEX OF respondent :Q45 N Mean Rank Sum of Ranks
How old should child be before parent work? [shld seek wk] :BCD383 Male 1238 1594.67 1974196.00
Female 1674 1354.32 2267132.00
Total 2912

 

 

 

Table 9: Mann-Whitney U

Test Statisticsa
How old should child be before parent work? [shld seek wk] :BCD383
Mann-Whitney U 865157.000
Wilcoxon W 2267132.000
Z -7.897
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) .000
  1. Grouping Variable: SEX OF respondent :Q45

 


Table 10: Mann-Whitney Test for Children under 16 Who May Live In Poverty and Sex

Ranks
SEX OF respondent :Q45 N Mean Rank Sum of Ranks
Of every 100 children under 16, how many live in poverty? :ACD557 Male 1402 1415.60 1984668.50
Female 1820 1762.41 3207584.50
Total 3222

 

Test Statisticsa
Of every 100 children under 16, how many live in poverty? :ACD557
Mann-Whitney U 1001165.500
Wilcoxon W 1984668.500
Z -10.539
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) .000
  1. Grouping Variable: SEX OF respondent :Q45

 

 

 

Table 11: Levene’s Statistic

Test of Homogeneity of Variances
Libertarian-authoritarian scale ABCD
Levene Statistic df1 df2 Sig.
1.997 4 932 .093

 


Table 12: ANOVA Test for Libertarian-Authoritarian Scale

ANOVA
Libertarian-authoritarian scale ABCD
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 14.524 4 3.631 9.790 .000
Within Groups 345.658 932 .371
Total 360.182 936

 

 

 

 

Table 13: Pearson Correlation between a Respondent’s Left-Right Score and the Proportion of Children under Sixteen They Believe are Living in Poverty

Correlations
Left-right scale ABCD Of every 100 children under 16, how many live in poverty? :ACD557
Left-right scale ABCD Pearson Correlation 1 -.244**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 3902 2830
Of every 100 children under 16, how many live in poverty? :ACD557 Pearson Correlation -.244** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 2830 3222
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

 

Figure 1: Percentage of participants according to sex

Figure 2: A bar graph of Recoded Age Categories

 

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