SOCI 5304 - Social Statistics


Course Description
This course provides a graduate-level introduction to the use of multivariate statistics in the social sciences.  We will begin by reviewing univariate and bivariate descriptive and inferential statistics.  Topics include the organization and presentation of data; measures of central tendency and variability; populations, samples, and sampling distributions; and estimation and hypothesis testing.  The course focuses on multivariate descriptive and inferential statistics – ordinary least squares multiple regression and binary logistic regression in particular.  You will calculate statistics with the help of a calculator and statistical software (i.e., Microsoft Excel and SPSS – Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).  Prerequisites: three hours of undergraduate statistics.

Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to: (1) identify strengths and weaknesses in existing statistical research, (2) identify appropriate statistical techniques for particular research questions (bivariate and multivariate), (3) calculate and interpret descriptive and inferential statistics (bivariate and multivariate), (4) describe fundamental statistical terms including central tendency, variability, association, and inference, and (5) use statistical software (SPSS) to manage and analyze data. 

Handouts and Downloads



The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is available in the Business and University Hall computing labs.  See the OIT web page for lab locations and hours.  Although you may use SPSS in these labs, some prefer to install SPSS on their own computer.  Purchasing the software is quite expensive, but it is possible to rent SPSS for a reasonable price (approximately $40 for 6 months).  If you choose to rent the software, the "statistics base grad pack" is all that would be needed for this course.  Please note that we will not be using the student version of the software because it does not allow the use of syntax.

Web Pages

Statistics and Data
European Social Survey
The Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)
The National Opinion Research Center
    The Official General Social Survey Site

UCLA Stat Computing Portal: SPSS Portal

Random number generator

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