1. From the following lists of variables, choose one dependent variable from
column one, and three independent variables from column two. Justify your
The variable you choose as your dependent variable will largely decide the subject of your assignment. For example, if you choose trstplc, then your assignment will focus on analyzing factors associated with different levels of trust in the police. This will make selecting readings, choosing variables, and reporting the research easier. Treat the assignment as telling a short story through a preliminary research report, with the course dataset.
Your three independent variables are variables which you think may be related to or may explain variation in your outcome (dependent variable). For example, levels of happiness (happy) may be influenced by whether someone has reported feelings of depression (fltdpr), or marital status (maritalb). Some of the independent variables can be used to explain a number of dependent variables: age may be related to levels of happiness (happy), or to religiosity (rlgdgr), and so on.
There is no single way, or no ‘correct’ choice of variables to match from column one to two, they can be combined in many different ways. Your choices of variables, should, however, be justified. ‘Justify your choices’ means state why your three chosen independent variables may be related to your dependent variable – use literature and empirical evidence for justification.
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2. Specify three null and three alternative hypotheses (one for each relationship) to be tested using your chosen variables derived from literature. Formulate some testable hypotheses about the associations/correlations/relationships under study. This should be largely based on prior empirical knowledge and/or theoretical considerations. Please cite articles on these topics when you deduce the hypotheses.
Each of your three hypotheses should specify a relationship between your dependent variable, and one of your independent variables. For example, let’s say you have chosen rlgdgr as your dependent, and agea as one of your independents. Your hypothesis could be constructed as follows:
Ha1: there is a statistically significant, relationship between religiosity and age
Ho1: there is no statistically significant relationship between religiosity and age
3. Provide graphs, and descriptive statistics with a brief commentary, for each of your chosen variables.
For each of your chosen variables, give a graphical summary (a bar chart, histogram, boxplot etc.) Be creative. If you wish – split the results of a bar chart by categories or limit your selection of cases in a histogram. Pay attention to the level of measurement of the variable – certain types of chart are only appropriate for certain kinds of variables.
Provide appropriate descriptive statistics for your variables with a short discussion of the results – you may wish to report the mean, median, mode, range, or standard deviation, depending on the level of measurement of the variable. You could also use frequency tables.
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