midterm_wi05_answers

midterm_wi05_answers - Sociology 549, Paul von Hippel,...

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Unformatted text preview: Sociology 549, Paul von Hippel, Winter 2005 Your name____________________________ Midterm questions (43 points) Time allotted: 90 minutes. Be concise! General grading guideline: Dont be fussy about rounding error. 1. (8 points) The following graph is linked to the White House web site. a. (1 point) Despite its appearance, I would not call this graph a bar chart or histogram. What could it be called instead? ( Hint : What type of information does it contain?) Time series graph. b. (2 points) Taking the graph at face value, summarize the story it tells in a single sentence. Be specific but concise. Over the past two years, per capita income has risen by about $2000 (or 7.5%). (1 point for the length of time, 1 point for the amount of change, in either dollar or percentage terms.) c. (2 points) In drawing the graph, did the artist make any choices that tend to emphasize or exaggerate changes? Point out the artists one most important choice, and explain its effect . The vertical axis has a break between $0 and $26,250, so that a 7% change in income covers almost 100% of the height of the graph. (1 point for noticing the gap, 1 point for explaining how it affects perception.) d. (3 points) Suppose you were promoting a gloomier view of the economy. Redraw the graph, presenting the same information but changing the layout in one way to make the changes in the graph look smaller. Point out the change you have made, and explain its effect . (Dont spend a lot of time drawing; a rough sketch is fine.) 5 10 15 20 25 30 Jan-03 Apr-03 Jul-03 Oct-03 Jan-04 Apr-04 Jul-04 Oct-04 Month Income (thousands) The key is to start the vertical axis at zero and to avoid breaking it. (1 point for saying this, 1 point if the drawing does it.) This way a 7% change takes up closer to 7% of the vertical distance. (1 point for the explanation.) A second-best answer would be to stretch the horizontal axis, so that the slope of the increase is flattened. This is not nearly as effective, though, so it gets half credit for each part of the answer. Zero credit for an unimportant change like relabeling the axes or rendering the graph in three dimensions. 2. (3 points) During the 2004 Presidential campaign, candidates debated the recent federal tax cuts. Democrats claimed that only the very rich received substantial cuts....
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midterm_wi05_answers - Sociology 549, Paul von Hippel,...

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