Week 3: Descriptive Statistics

Imagine you have finished your degree and are seeking your next vocational opportunity. You search various websites that provide you information on mean and median salaries along with standard deviations for job titles you are interested in across different geographic locations. But what do these statistics really tell you? What is your possible earning potential within this job title? How do salaries vary across different locations? Where can you make the most money? What percentages of people in that job title have the salary you are looking for? Descriptive statistics provide you with the answers to these basic questions.
You are exposed to descriptive statistics every day and in many different ways. As Wheelan (2013) suggested, “descriptive statistics give us insight into phenomena that we care about” (p. 31). As you consider descriptive statistics in your daily life, also think about how understanding these data can propel you to the next level of developing your knowledge and skill set in quantitative analysis.
In this week, you will examine descriptive statistics to measure central tendency and variability. You also will explore the results of the data to determine implications for social change.
Learning Objectives
Students will:

Analyze measures of central tendency 
Analyze measures of variability
Analyze implications for positive social change 
Analyze descriptive statistics of categorical data

Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Leon-Guerrero, A. (2018). Social statistics for a diverse society (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
· Chapter 3, “Measures of Central Tendency” (pp. 63-93)
· Chapter 4, “Measures of Variability” (pp. 94-127)
Wagner, W. E. (2016). Using IBM® SPSS® statistics for research methods and social science statistics (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
· Chapter 4, “Organization and Presentation of Information” 
· Chapter 11, “Editing Output” 
Wheelan, C. (2013). Naked statistics: Stripping the dread from data. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
For this Discussion, you will examine central tendency and variability based on two separate variables. You will also explore the implications for positive social change based on the results of the data.
To prepare for this Discussion:

Review      this week’s Learning Resources and the Descriptive      Statistics media program.
For      additional support, review the Skill      Builder: Visual Displays for Categorical Variables and the Skill Builder: Visual Displays for Continuous      Variables, which you can find by navigating back to your      Blackboard Course Home Page. From there, locate the Skill Builder link in      the left navigation pane.
Review the      Chapter 4 of the Wagner text and the examples in the SPSS software related      to central tendency and variability. 
From the      General Social Survey dataset found in this week’s Learning Resources, use      the SPSS software and choose one continuous and one categorical variable Note: this dataset will be      different from your Assignment dataset).
As you      review, consider the implications for positive social change based on the      results of your data.

By Day 3
Post, present, and report a descriptive analysis for your variables, specifically noting the following:
For your continuous variable:

Report the      mean, median, and mode.
What might      be the better measure for central tendency? (i.e., mean, median, or mode)      and why?
Report the      standard deviation.
How      variable are the data?
How would      you describe this data?
What sort      of research question would this variable help answer that might inform      social change?

Post the following information for your categorical variable:

A      frequency distribution.
An      appropriate measure of variation.
How      variable are the data?
How would      you describe this data?
What sort      of research question would this variable help answer that might inform      social change?

Be sure to support your Main Post and Response Post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA Style.

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