Welcome to Quant 1, as it's known to its friends. This part of the site covers Ian Walker's material, which focuses on research statistics. Knowledge of statistics is vital if we want to understand the world around us because variation is everywhere. Almost every time you look at the world, it is different. If you take two people and measure them somehow, they will provide two different scores. If you take a bank and assess it on two different occasions, it will provide two different measurements. In other words, the data you obtain in research always vary. In the social sciences we use statistics to cope with this variation. Essentially, we are interested in saying:
"Measurements vary all
the time. How much of this variation is interesting? How
much of it is caused by factors that interest us --
economic, psychological or social factors -- and how much
of it is just 'random'?"
This part of the course will help you answer questions this
way. Although it naturally covers the theory behind the
tests, its focus is on giving you practical skills and the
real ability to conduct analyses with data. The course is
based around the popular SPSS software package and will
introduce you to several key methods for analysing data in
a hands-on fashion. By the end of the course you should be
able to choose appropriate analyses for many situations and
carry them out.