Social Studies 201

Fall 2003

Computer Problem Set 1

Due: October 7, 2003


This assignment asks you to use data from SSAE98 (Survey of Student Attitudes and Experiences 1998 see the questionnaire from the Survey and the list of variables handout of September 16, 2003), obtain some statistics from these data and make comments on the results. When you have completed 1-6 below, hand in the printout of the SPSS output and the comments. You may wish to copy the SPSS output file to another program such as Word for Windows, write the comments in that file, and hand in a paper copy of this.


For each of the following questions, part (a) refers to what you are to do with SPSS. For part (b) of each of these questions, write the answers and comments in pen or pencil on the printout (or in a Word for Windows file).


1.      (a) Obtain frequency distributions for each of the variables COLLEGE, CREDIT, and PRIORITY by using Analyze Descriptive Statistics Frequencies. (b) In a sentence or two, describe the frequency distribution for each variable.


2.      (a) For each of the first three variables (free trade, affirmative action, gay couples) in the table at the bottom of the first page of Report on the Survey of Student Attitudes and Experiences, obtain a frequency distribution and histogram. (b) Write a note comparing the distributions of these three variables. Also show how the numbers in the table in the Report were obtained from the SPSS output.


3.      (a) Obtain stem-and-leaf displays for AGE (as dependent variable) by YEAR (factor list) by using Analyze Descriptive Statistics Explore for these variables. Also, obtain the histograms of AGE for each YEAR by clicking on Plots, then check Histogram and Continue, prior to clicking OK. (Ignore or delete the boxplot on the output. You could also delete the box giving the descriptive statistics). (b) Using the histograms or the stem-and-leaf displays, write a paragraph comparing the distributions of age by year of program. Use the stem-and-leaf displays to determine the median and the mode of age for each of fourth and fifth year students.


4.      (a) For variables V8 and V9, obtain frequency distributions, histograms and the following statistics: mean, median, standard deviation, and quartiles. (b) Calculate the interquartile range. Using these data, compare the distributions of each of these variables in words comment on whether or not responses to the two questions are consistent with each other.


5.      (a) Obtain all the statistics for the four opinion variables V2, V4, V6, and V7 by using Analyze Descriptive Statistics Descriptives. (b) Write a short note describing the similarities and differences among the measures of centrality and dispersion for these four variables.