Soc 202 Syllabus

Soc 202 Syllabus - Sociology 202: Statistical Methods in...

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Sociology 202: Statistical Methods in Sociology Spring 2010 Course meeting time: Monday/Wednesday 3:50 to 5:10 pm Room: Social and Behavioral Sciences N436 Instructor: Josh Murray Email: josmurra@ic.sunysb.edu Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesday 2:45-3:45 pm (and by appointment); SBS N428 “Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that”- Homer J. Simpson This course is designed to introduce undergraduate students the application of quantitative methodology to social scientific research. In doing so, we will learn how sociologists engage in a decision-making process that uses theory and makes assumptions to create statistics and their resulting inferences. We will also focus on statistical literacy, and how the ability, by us as citizens, to evaluate and critique the numbers we read is integral to a functioning democracy. In this course, we will discuss quantitative analysis from a "holistic" perspective. This means we will learn (1) how to theoretically determine the appropriateness of the various procedures given the research problem, (2) how to correctly apply the procedure once one is chosen, and (3) how to clearly and accurately interpret and present the results. We will also consider the potential misuses and misinterpretations of these techniques. Learning Objectives: Upon completion of the course, students will be able to: 1. Identify an appropriate statistical technique for particular research questions 2. Calculate and interpret descriptive and inferential statistics 3. Understand the logic of hypothesis testing 4. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing statistical procedures 5. Critically evaluate statistical claims by applying your knowledge to academic and popular press reports of research findings How to Approach the Course: This course requires a great deal of work and commitment. Mastering statistical methodology is a cumulative process; comprehension of material presented later is largely dependent on your command of previously introduced concepts. Thus, it is critical for you to keep pace with the material. This is one class where it is not good to fall behind. Above all, please read the book and seek extra help early if concepts are unclear or if you find that the class is moving too quickly. Evaluation: Your final grade will be calculated as follows.
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Requirement Percentage Homework assignments (5 at 5% each) 25% Exams (3 at 25% each) 75% Total 100% Attendance and Lateness: Being present for all lectures and classroom exercises is crucial to your success in this course. You are responsible for any and all materials and information presented in class, including announcements. If you have to miss class, it is in your best interest to get notes from a classmate in order to prepare yourself for the weekly quizzes. I will not provide notes or schedule special meeting times to review material that is missed due to a non-university sanctioned (or non-medically documented) absence. Note, that in the case of medically documented absences, I will only make special
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Soc 202 Syllabus - Sociology 202: Statistical Methods in...

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