Social Studies 201

Fall 2003

Computer Problem Set 2

Due: October 22, 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 the problems 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 a frequency distribution, statistics (mean, median, and standard deviation), and histogram, with a normal distribution superimposed, for JOBHOURS (hours per week at job). To obtain this, use Analyze Descriptive Statistics Frequencies for JOBHOURS. Before clicking OK, click on the appropriate statistics and click on Charts-Histogram-with normal curve, then Continue. (b) (i) Using the mean, standard deviation, and frequency distribution, calculate the percentage of cases are within one standard deviation of the mean? What percentage of cases are within two standard deviations of the mean? How do these compare with the rules discussed in class. (ii) Explain how the median study hours can be obtained from the frequency distribution. (iii) In words, identify similarities and differences of the histogram and normal distribution.

2. (a) Question 51 of SSAE contains information about the number of hours of work spent at various activities. Using the same procedures as in question 1, obtain the frequency distributions, statistics (mean, median, and standard deviation), and histograms with normal distribution for the three variables study hours, extracurricular hours, and care of dependents hours. (b) (i) From the statistics on the printout, calculate the coefficient of relative variation (CRV) for each of the three distributions. Comparing the standard deviations and CRV, write a short note comparing the variation in the three distributions. (ii) Which distribution appears most similar to and which most different from the normal distribution? Explain in a sentence or two.


3. (a) Use Analyze-Compare Means-Means to obtain means and standard deviations of the three variables of question 2 (on the dependent list), with sex of the respondent (on the independent list). (b) (i) Using the means of hours spent at various activities, describe the main similarities and differences between male and female use of time. (ii) For the variable, hours spent caring for dependents, which of males or females are more varied.


4. (a) Use Analyze-Compare Means-Means to obtain means and standard deviations of JOBHOURS and DEBT1 (debt at the start of the semester, question 49) by household income. (b) From the means of hours worked at jobs and student debt of (a), write a short note comparing the patterns that students of different incomes appear to use to help finance attendance at university.