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Week1_Notes - Psych 100A Week 1 Discussion Notes Dawn Chen...

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Psych 100A Week 1 Discussion Notes Dawn Chen October 2, 2009 Information about the Section and Course The purpose of the discussion section is to clarify lecture material, answer student questions, and show how to solve problems. Podcasts for the course can be found at http://www.bruincast.ucla.edu , scroll down to find “Psychology 100A – Lec 2.” Ways of Categorizing Data It is important to know how to categorize data so that we can choose the appropriate statistical analysis and interpretation for the data. Three ways of categorizing data were introduced in lecture: (1) Qualitative vs. quantitative (2) Nominal vs. ordinal vs. interval vs. ratio (3) Discrete vs. continuous Qualitative data are about qualities that the subject under study possesses (e.g., a person’s gender, ethnicity, or favorite flavor of ice cream). Qualitative data are measured using nominal scales, in which there are different named categories that each piece of data could fall into. Because of this, qualitative data are also discrete. Quantitative data are numerical data or quantities about the subject under study. Quantitative data are measured using three different scales: ordinal, interval, and ratio. Ordinal data are always discrete, whereas interval and ratio data could be discrete or continuous. This is summarized in the following diagram: Distinguishing between ordinal, interval, and ratio scales Let’s say that a psychologist develops a scale to measure a person’s level of depression. This is an example of an interval scale. That is, the difference in depression level between someone who scores a 5 on the scale and someone else who scores a 10 on the scale is the same as the difference in depression level between the person with a score of 10 and someone else with a score of 15. This is because each unit on an interval scale has the same length, whereas on an ordinal scale, the difference between someone with a rank of 1 (least depressed) and Qualitative Quantitative Nominal Discrete Ordinal Discrete Interval Ratio Dis.
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