Social Science 10

Data Collection and Analysis in the Social Sciences

John Pfister

Winter 1997

Course Goals

The general purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the tools necessary to conceptualize, conduct, interpret, and communicate research in the social sciences.

General Policies and Expectations

Required text: Moore, D. The Basic Practice of Statistics, W.H. Freeman, 1995.*

Recommended texts:

Cozby, P.C. Methods in Behavioral Research, Fifth edition, Mayfield, 1993.

Phillips, How to Think About Statistics, Revised edition, W.H. Freeman,1992.

*There is now a Student Study Guide available for Moore. Not everyone finds it useful, but there are explanations of how to do some of the odd numbered exercises and may provide others with a more structured preparation for the exams.
The instructor: My office is 214 Gerry (X1659), and office hours for this course are MWF"s: 10-11am. I will also try to hold official office hours one evening a week (usually on Wednesday, 7:30-8:30pm).

The assistants: Rose Clark's office is 317A Silsby (X3431) and Jennifer Tickle's office is 318 Silsby (X3431). Office hours will be announced as soon as possible.

Class meetings: Class meetings will be in Rocky 1 on M-W-F: 8:45-10:00. Our X-hour, when needed, is scheduled for Th: 9-9:50pm.

Technical Support: You will need a scientific calculator and it should contain statistical functions and memory. It will be needed for the homework and in-class exercises. While this is not to be considered an endorsement, I have always gotten by with a simple TI-25 or TI-30X. More sophisticated calculators are also welcome, but are useless unless you know how to use them.

Later in the semester you may need WORMSTAT Version 2.0, a licensed application controlled by Dartmouth's Keyserver. Follow the filepath "Public>Licensed Software>Site Licensed Software>Wormstat 2.0.sit" to find it. The file needs to be decompressed. For added information, copy the manual to the computer you use. We will try to hold a Wormstat clinic once or twice a semester for students who express interest.

Requirements: The requirements for Social Science 10 will be: 5 take-home exercises (20% of your grade), four exams (60% of your grade) a research project (15% of your grade), and optional project presentation (5% of your grade).


There will be four scheduled exams. Tests will consist of a combination of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, short answer and essay questions. These exams will cover both the class meetings and the readings for one part of the course. Each exam is cumulative.

Policy for missed exams is very stringent. For those few individuals who have legitimate reasons (illness, etc.) for not being able to take an exam at the scheduled time, arrangements for the taking of the exam prior to its scheduled time must be made with me as soon as you know that you cannot make the exam. If a student misses an exam without an excuse, a grade of zero will result.


On five occasions during the semester, you will be given a take-home assignment to complete. In some cases the assignment will concentrate on a writing assignment (explaining a scientific abstract, identifying a flaw in an experiment, etc.) and in other cases, the assignment will be a series of problem from the end of each chapter. Exercises are usually collected a week after they have been handed out and late exercises will be assessed a penalty of 5% per day. Homework answers will be posted in our course file kept within the Psychology folder on Public. You are allowed (and even encouraged to work with others on these assignments).


In order to apply the principles that you have learned during the course of the semester, we will require you to complete a research project of your own. This assignment will require you to formulate a hypothesis, design an experiment, collect data, analyze that data and communicate your results. This sounds challenging, but it can be the most interesting part of the semester. We'll discuss the details of this project later in the semester. The final project will be due sometime during the last week of classes.

Alternative abilities: I truly encourage those students with disabilities (as defined by the Academic Skill Center), including "invisible" disabilities like chronic diseases and learning disabilities, to discuss with me after class or during my office hours appropriate accommodations that might be useful to them.

Course Schedule

Dates Topic

1/6 Introduction

1/8 The language of science, numbers, and the systematic study of data (Moore: Chp.1.1; Optional: Cozby: Chps. 1, 2, 3, pp.158-159; Phillips: Chps. 1 & 2).

1/10 The art of the visual display of numbers and how to describe distributions (Moore: Chp. 1.1, 1.2; Optional: Cozby: pp.139-144: Phillips: Chps. 3, 4). Exercise 1 handed out.

1/13 The normal distribution (Moore: Chp.1.3; Optional: Phillips: Chp. 5).

1/15 The relationship between numbers: Correlation (Moore: 2.1, 2.2; Optional: Cozby: Chps.10, Appendix B; Phillips: Chps. 9, 10).

1/17 The relationship between numbers: Regression (Moore: 2.3, 2.4, 2.5). Exercise 1 collected. Exercise 2 handed out.

1/20 Martin Luther King Jr. Day

1/22 A brief overview of experimental designs, surveys and sampling (Moore: Chp. 3; Optional: Cozby: Chps. 4, 5, 6).

1/23 X-Hour (9-9:50am): A brief overview of experimental designs, surveys and sampling (Moore: Chp. 3; Optional: Cozby: Chps. 4, 5, 6).

1/24 Catching up, catching our breath, reviewing, and reflecting. Exercise 2 collected.

1/27 EXAM 1 (MATERIAL FROM 1/6 to 1/24)

1/29 Randomness, probability, and random variables (Moore: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3).

1/31 Getting from probability to inferential statistics I: the binomial distribution and its relatives (Moore: 4.4, 4.5). Exercise 3 handed out.

2/3 Getting from probability to inferential statistics II: the binomial distribution and its relatives (Moore: 4.4, 4.5).

2/5 Estimating with confidence (Moore: 5.1)

2/6 X-hour (9:00-9:50): Understanding inference and your first statistical test (Moore: 5.2, 5.3; Optional: Cozby: pp.144-148; Phillips: Chp. 6).

2/10 Catching up, catching our breath, reviewing, and reflecting. Exercise 3 collected.

2/12 EXAM 2 (MATERIAL FROM 1/27 to 2/10)

2/14 Errors of inference (Moore: 5.4; Optional: Cozby: pp.153-158).

2/17 More on inference (Moore: 5.4; Optional: Cozby: pp.153-158). Exercise 4 handed out.

2/19 The t-distribution and inference for a population (Moore: 6.1; Optional: Cozby: 148-152, Appendix B).

2/21 Comparing two means and a few last words about experimental design (Moore: 6.2, 6.3; Optional: Cozby: pp. 148-152, Appendix B; Phillips: Chp. 7).

2/24 Nonparametric tests and tests of proportion (Moore: 7.1, 7.2; Optional: Cozby: Appendix B).

2/26 Chi-square tests (Moore: Chp. 8, Optional: Cozby: Appendix B; Phillips: Chp. 8, pp. 86-89).

2/27 X-hour (9:00-9:50): Catching up, catching our breath, reviewing, and reflecting. Exercise 4 collected.

2/28 EXAM 3 (MATERIAL FROM 2/14 to 2/27)

3/3 Analysis of Variance I: Single factor designs. (Moore: Chp. 9; Optional: Cozby: Appendix B; Phillips: Chp. 8, pp. 90-109). Exercise 5 handed out.

3/5 Analysis of Variance II: Two factor designs and permutations (Optional: Cozby: Chp. 7, Appendix B; Phillips: Chp. 8, pp. 90-109).

3/6 X-hour (9:00-9:50): Catching up, catching our breath, reviewing, and reflecting.

3/7 Project presentations. Exercise 5 collected.


Course Resources

Reserve Desk: Copies of our texts and additional reading will be available for loan. Look for our material in a folder marked MSS10.

Material on Public: Check out our Public file (Courses & Support>Academic Departments & Courses>Psychology). We will be using this file to post homework assignments, answers, review questions, data, etc.

Study Groups: The Academic Skills Center will eventually offer a study group led by a former Social Science 10 or Psych 10 student. While studying in groups is not for everyone, it can be an additional resource for some. -:- 6188 Hinman Hanover, NH 03755-0331 -:- FAX: (603) 646-1312
Summer 1996