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4434Critical Thinking Exercises
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=477462
Critical thinking in my class refers to the ability to answer why and how questions such as why do people commit crimes and why do people vote the way they do. Critical thinking also refers to the ability to develop organized and logical arguments and to test hypotheses using the scientific approach. In my class there are two papers that revolve around the analysis of quantitative data. On this site I have posted the assignments I have used in five semesters along with the data sets that are used in these assignments. These assignments could be used in a critical thinking class or any class that included a component that involved the analysis of quantitative data.SPSS - Interactive Introduction to SPSS Statistical Software
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=479390
The SPSS: Interactive Introduction to SPSS Statistical Software Module is designed to provide an introductory level, interactive lesson that operates within SPSS in order that students can do the exercises, using the regular version of SPSS, during the lesson. While it is designed for social science students who have successfully completed a lower division introductory statistics course, the Module could be used in a variety of settings, including lower division research methods, upper division applied research, or master's thesis supervision groups. The Module is divided into 8 sections, learning how to set-up a data entry page, working with variables, i.e. combine or move, performing descriptive statistical analysis, and conducting a simple analysis.Exercise Using SPSS to Explore Conceptualization, Measurement and Relationships Among Variables
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=477882
The goal of this exercise is to think about a concept typically called religious fundamentalism and to consider how we might measure this concept using data from the General Social Survey. Once we have decided on a measure, then we will explore the relationship between this variable and various forms of religious behavior and opinions on various social issues. The data set used in this exercise is gss0204_subset_for_classes.sav which is a combination of the 2002 and 2004 General Social Surveys. (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.) The data have been weighted according to the instructions from the National Opinion Research Center. This exercise uses RECODE to combine categories in existing variables, SELECT CASES to select out a subset of cases, and CROSSTABS to explore the relationships among variables. In CROSSTABS, students are asked to use percentages, Chi Square, and an appropriate measure of association.Exercise Using SPSS to Explore Relationships Among Variables
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=477834
The goal of this exercise is to explore the relationship between religiosity and other variables using crosstabulation. This exercise will focus on two-variable relationships and then on three-variable relationships. The concepts of explanation, spuriousness, and replication will also be explored. The data set used in this exercise is gss0204_subset_for_classes.sav which is a combination of the 2002 and 2004 General Social Surveys. (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.) The data have been weighted according to instructions from the National Opinion Research Center. This exercise uses RECODE and CROSSTABS in SPSS to explore relationships among variables. In CROSSTABS, students are asked to use percentages, Chi Square, and an appropriate measure of association. Two-variable and three-variable relationships will be explored, along with the concepts of explanation, spuriousness, and replication.Exercises Using SPSS to Explore Measurement, Validity, and Relationships Among Variables
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=477831
The goal of this exercise is to create a measure of religiosity. We will also validate our measure. Validity refers to whether we are measuring what we think we are measuring. If we can show that we are measuring what we say we are measuring, that we have validated the measure. Once we have validated the measure, we’ll see how it is related to other variables. The data set used in this exercise is gss0204_subset_for_classes.sav which is a combination of the 2002 and 2004 General Social Surveys. (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.) The data have been weighted according to the instructions from the National Opinion Research Center. This exercise uses RECODE and IF in SPSS to create new variables and CROSSTABS to explore the relationships among variables. In CROSSTABS, students are asked to use percentages, Chi Square, and an appropriate measure of association. You could also skip the part of the exercise that involves the creation the new measure of religiosity, since that variable (RELIGOS) is included in the data set. Then you could go directly to Parts III and IV which deal with validity.Public Opinion on Social Issues, 1975-2010 (Updated August 2011)
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=478449
This module was designed to introduce students to the basics of data analysis. The focus is on two and three variable crosstabulations. Chi square and measures of association (Gamma, Cramer's V) are introduced and may or may not be used as the instructor wishes. The codebook includes some variables in both recoded and unrecoded form (age, education) so the instructor may teach recoding or not teach it. Variables have been created and added to the data set for religiosity and tolerance. There are two data sets--one that includes only the 2010 file and the other that includes data from sixyears (1975, 1982, 1989, 1996, and 2002/2004 combined to represent 2003, and 2010). Instructors can choose to focus on a detailed analysis of a single year or on change over time. The focus of the module is on developing and testing hypotheses. These materials will be useful in the classes that focus on social problems and in research methods and social statistics classes. Instructors are free to adapt the materials to their classes in any way they would like to. Representation in California's State Legislature
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=478887
This module offers you ways to learn more about the theory and practice of popular government. It focuses upon political representation and legislative behavior and allows you to compare representative policymaking in the California state legislature with the making of policy through the direct democratic device of the initiative process. It utilizes demographic data from the U.S. census, from election returns for the state legislature, from rollcall votes in the legislature, and from votes for and against popular initiatives. The focus on Analyzing Legislative Behavior includes Party Behavior, Interest Groups, Region or Area, Policy Issues, District Ideology, District Partisanship, Election Outcomes, Member Characteristics, and Member Voting Behavior. There is also an extensive discussion of statistical procedures. Pedagogical significance of module. Substantively, the REPR module provides students with data that can be used to study the concept of representation in courses on empirical theory, the legislative process, and California politics. Methodologically, it provides students with ratio level data that can be used in univariate analysis, comparisons of means, least squares (regression) analysis, and the creation of various graphic displays of information.