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Course 2016-2017 a.y.

30320 - QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR SOCIAL SCIENCES (MODULE II - STATISTICS)


BIG
Department of Decision Sciences

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 23

BIG (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-S/01)
Course Director:
LORENZO PECCATI

Classes: 23 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 23: REBECCA GRAZIANI


Course Objectives
This course provides an introduction to both the logic and mathematics of statistics, with an emphasis on political science applications. The first half of the course covers introductory univariate statistics, while the second half of the course focuses on the statistical assessment of relationships between two or more variables. In the classroom, the teaching mixes a conceptual instruction of statistics with practical data exercises in STATA. All lectures include sessions of students’ independent work with the computer.
In sum, this course aims to cultivate students’ nascent analytical abilities and develop their statistical reasoning and literacy; equip students with a computational competence in STATA software in a supportive learning environment for all students.

Intended Learning Outcomes
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Course Content Summary
  • Measuring political concepts (quantifying concepts, units of analysis, measurement error).
  • Describing variables (graphs and synthetic measures).
  • Describing the joint behavior of two variables and making controlled comparisons (cross-tabulations and graphs).
  • Thinking probabilistically (elementary probability, the Normal distribution).
  • The foundations of statistical inference (sampling, random selection, point and interval estimation).
  • Significance tests (hypothesis testing, type I and II errors, statistical significance, one sample and two samples t-test).
  • Measures of Association (correlation, chi-square test).
  • Simple Linear Regression (assumptions, ordinary least squares, f-test, t-test on the single coefficient significance).

Teaching methods
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Assessment methods
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Detailed Description of Assessment Methods
The assessment method is different for attending and not attending students.
There are no partial exams.

Attending students
  • Four assignments, of which three take-home and the last one in a IT room. Students are asked to answer questions through an online platform, on the basis of the results of a data analysis with SPSS. Each assignment is graded out of 28 and the final mark is given by the arithmetic mean of the assignment marks.
  • In-class assessed activities: 3 points.
Not attending students
One final general written exam to be taken in an IT room, with open ended questions to be answered on the basis of the results of a data analysis with SPSS, using all the techniques introduced in the course. The general exam is graded out of 31.

Textbooks
  • P. Pollock,  The Essentials of Political Analysis, Sage, 2016, 5th edition.
  • P. POLLOCK, A Stata Companion to Political Analysis, Sage, 2015, 3rd edition.
  • A. AgrestiStatistical Methods for the Social Sciences, Pearson, 2014 , 4th edition, (selected chapters).
  • Lecture Slides made available on e-learning.

Prerequisites
Attendance of the course QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR SOCIAL SCIENCES (MODULE I - MATHEMATICS).
Last change 21/03/2016 12:31