Social Studies 201

Fall 2003

Problem Set 3

Due: October 20, 2003

1. The data in Table 1 come from several opinion polls prior to the 2000 federal election.  Using these data,

a.       Calculate the mean, standard deviation, and coefficient of relative variation of per cent support for each of the Conservative party, Liberal party, and the NDP.

b.       A political analyst examining Table 1 argues that support for the Conservatives was more variable than support for the Liberals, with support for the NDP the least variable of these three parties.  Comment on the analyst’s statement using the measures of part a. and the data in Table 1.

# Table 1.  Federal Parties’ Popular Support, Canada, 1997-2000

 Political Party Supported Per Cent Support for Each Party at Various Dates June 1997 June 1998 May 1999 July 2000 Early September 2000 Late September 2000 Early October 2000 Conservative 19 15 13 10 8 9 8 Liberal 38 49 49 45 45 44 52 NDP 11 11 12 11 9 9 8 Alliance 19 14 14 24 25 25 20 Bloc Québecois 11 10 10 10 11 10 10 Other 2 1 2 1 2 3 1

Source:  The Globe and Mail, October 17, 2000, p. A7.

2. Table 2 gives distributions of opinions about same-sex marriage for Edmonton and Southern Alberta – this is the same table as on the first midterm.  From Table 2, and using the numerical codes for opinion, calculate the standard deviation of opinions for each of the two regions.  In a sentence or two, compare the variability of opinions in the two regions.

Table 2. Opinions on same-sex marriage and registration, number of respondents with each opinion in two regions of Alberta

 Opinion on same-sex marriage Number in each region of Alberta Edmonton Southern Alberta Strongly support (1) 56 10 Somewhat support (2) 56 18 Somewhat oppose (3) 38 11 Strongly oppose (4) 117 46 Total 267 85

3. The data in Table 3 come from Statistics Canada, 2000 General Social Survey, Cycle 14: Access to and Use of Information Communication Technology.  Calculate the mean, standard deviation, and coefficient of relative variation for each type of household.   Using these measures, briefly describe the similarities and differences of education between those connected and not connected to the internet.

Table 3. Per cent of Saskatchewan households connected or not connected to internet classified by number of years of primary or secondary

education completed by respondent

 Years of primary or secondary school completed Per cent of households: Connected to internet Not connected to internet None through seven 0.7 5.5 Eight 0.7 11.2 Nine through eleven 16.3 30.0 Twelve 82.3 53.3 Total 100.0 100.0

4. Explain which concept of probability (theoretical, frequency, subjective) appears to be implied by the word in bold print in each of the following quotes.

a.       Witness says Thatcher no risk to most people.  Moose Jaw Times-Herald, September 26, 2003, p. 1.

b.       In a deck of cards with fifty-two cards, the probability of obtaining a straight flush (five cards of the same suit in sequence) in a poker hand of five cards is 9/649740.  (From web site Poker Probabilities,  http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~nsaa/poker.html).

c.       In an article entitled “Babies in bed with adults are in peril,” it is reported that “Babies who sleep in adult beds are 40 times more likely to die of suffocation than those who sleep in their own cribs.”  The Globe and Mail, October 6, 2003, p. A10.

d.       An Ipsos-Reid survey of Canadian consumer confidence reported that “14 per cent of Canadians are likely to buy a home at this time.”  The Globe and Mail, October 6, 2003, p. B6.

e.       A recent Canada study stated that “individuals from higher-income families are much more likely to attend university.”  Statistics Canada, The Daily, October 3, 2003, from web site http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031003/d031003b.htm