Social Studies 201

Fall 2006

Optional problem set for extra credit – Due December 13, 2006


If you decide to answer all or part of this problem set, you can obtain up to four (4) percentage points of extra credit toward your final grade.  That is, whatever you obtain on these problems (out of 4) will be added to the grade you would otherwise receive.  Answering some or all of these problems cannot lower your grade, but could raise it.

The following problems ask you to analyze the connection between federal political preference (variable fv – the last variable in the data file) and some attitude/opinion variables in the ssae98.sav file located in folder t:\students\public\201.  Data on federal political preference come from question 16 but have been re-classified into four categories: Liberal, NDP, Conservative, and None.  The following problems ask you to examine the relationship between the federal political preference of students and several opinion variables from question 15 of the questionnaire: V1 (views on free trade), V2 (opinion about people helping themselves), and V8 (user fees for health care). 

  1. First, obtain frequency distributions and histograms for the four variables fv, V1, V2, and V8.  Also obtain the means and standard deviations for the latter three opinion variables.  Briefly describe the distribution of responses.
  2. Use Analyze—Compare Means—Means to obtain the means of each of V1, V2, and V8, classified by fv.  Briefly describe the patterns of the means, that is, comment on how those with different federal political preferences respond to the three opinion variables.  For one of the opinion variables (V1, V2, or V8), obtain interval estimates of the mean for the four categories of fv.  You could do this by hand or by using Analyze—Descriptive Statistics—Explore.  (Under Display, clicking on Statistics eliminates the stem-and-leaf tables and, by clicking on the Statistics button in Explore, you can change the confidence level).  Briefly comment on the results of these interval estimates.
  3. Obtain a table for each of the opinion variables V1, V2, and V8, cross-classified by fv.  For each table, request the chi-square statistic, along with the expected count.     Describe your findings about the relationships between federal political preference and each of the three opinion variables.  (To obtain the cross-classification table and chi-square statistic, use Analyze—Descriptive Statistics—Crosstabs.  Using Statistics, check the Chi-square box and using Cells, click on Observed and Expected).
  4. Use Analyze—Compare Means—One-Sample T Test to obtain two tests of a mean.  Test whether (a) the mean response of undergraduates to statement V2 exceeds 3, and (b) the mean response of undergraduates to statement V8 differs from 2.   Describe the tests and the findings from the tests.
  5. Write a short summary report on what you find concerning the relationship between fv and the three opinion variables.   Comment on any similarities or differences among the results of questions 1-4.


November 29, 2006