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Reference%20Appendix - REFERENCE APPENDIX In this appendix...

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REFERENCE APPENDIX In this appendix, we present a brief overview of the SDA software. We begin with a discussion of the SDA Archive. The Archive page lists the datasets available for analysis on the SDA website. Next, we describe the main features of what we call the SDA Main Page. The Main Page is where all of your data analyses are specified. The rest of the appendix defines statistical concepts introduced in this workbook as well as describes the SDA steps necessary to conduct specific analyses. Consider this appendix a resource for you. You can turn to it when you need a refresher on specific concepts or techniques. Put another way, this appendix is best used when you already have some familiarity with SDA and data analysis concepts. Thus, we recommend that you start by reading and completing the analyses in Chapter 1. As you progress through the workbook, refer to this appendix as needed. THE SDA ARCHIVE To use the SDA software, go to http://sda.berkeley.edu. Once there, you need to select a dataset from the SDA Archive. Click on the Archive button to see the page that lists the datasets available for analysis. Notice there are a variety of datasets available, ranging from national omnibus surveys that cover a wide array of political and social topics to more focused surveys on racial attitudes. To learn more about a particular survey, click on (Abst), which stands for abstract. This will open a new window that contains a brief description of the survey. THE SDA MAIN PAGE Once you select a dataset, the SDA Main Page will appear. Since this is the location where you will specify what analyses you want to conduct and because this is the page you will 1
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see most often while using SDA, we will spend some time now discussing the primary elements of the Main Page. Variable Selection (Left Hand Side of the Main Page) There are two sections to the Main Page, separated by a vertical line. The left hand side is labeled "Variable Selection." Logically enough, this is where you can examine specific variables in the dataset and select the ones that you want to analyze. To explore the variables that are available in your datafile, you have two choices. First, you can peruse the variable list that appears in the bottom of this Main Page section. The variables are grouped into categories. Clicking on the plus sign next to any of the category titles will open up either a list of more categories or a list of variables. Once you have identified your variable of interest (or a potential variable of interest), click on it. The variable will then appear in the Selected box at the top of the left hand side of the Main Page. Your second choice for identifying a variable to analyze is to use the SDA search feature, also located in the Variable Selection area of the Main Page (just above the list of variables). In the Search box, type in a keyword or two, then click on Go. A new window will appear, containing the variables that include your search word(s). Examine this new list. When you have found a variable that suits your analysis needs, click on the button containing the variable name.
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