SOCI3317 Introductory Statistics

Course Description

Measures of central tendency and dispersion, elementary probability theory, the binomial and chi-square distribution, tests of hypotheses and parameter estimation and simple correlation and regression. Emphasis is on the application of statistical methods to research in the social sciences.

Purpose: The purpose of this course is to gain an understanding of how statistics can be used to better understand the social world.

Course Credits: 3

PrerequisitesMust have fulfilled first general education mathematics and COSC1335 or permission of instructor.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will become familiar with the statistical techniques that frame social science research, and should specifically understand the place that statistics holds in the research process. This course is also designed to prepare Sociology majors for SOCI 4403 – Social Research Methods, which is the next required course for majors and for which SOCI 3317 is a prerequisite. Students will be able to:

  • Calculate and interpret frequency distributions, and will additionally learn to represent and interpret similar data in various graphical formats.
  • Calculate measures of central tendency and variability, and will be expected to interpret such figures and put them a real-world context.
  • Explain normal distribution, and how it is important to social science research, and additionally will be introduced to the sampling techniques that coincide with the normal distribution.
  • Employ estimation techniques and learn the importance of confidence levels in social science research.
  • Employ estimation techniques and explain the importance of confidence levels in social science research.
  • Apply hypothesis testing, by transforming social science research questions into testable hypotheses, conducting t tests for various social science problems, interpreting the findings of such tests, and identifying potential Type I and II errors in provided examples.
  • Explain cross tabulation, directionality and/or strength of bivariate relationships.
  • Discuss correlation and regression at a basic introductory level. NOTE: Correlation and regression are both complex concepts, this course merely seeks to highlight the major significance of the two to social science research.
  • Use chi-square to compare relationships between nominal and ordinal level variables.