FASS508d Quantitative Research Methods 1 (online distance learning)
- Uncertainty and probability.
- Random sampling and random variables. Different approaches to sampling. What is a "random" sample and why is it important for statistical inference?
- Variable types - discrete vs. continuous.
- Distributions - what they are and why they are important.
- Basic descriptive statistics - mean, median, mode, standard deviation, interquartile range.
- Credible intervals. The difference between probability and effect size. Credible intervals as limits of (un)certainty. Factors affecting the width of credible intervals.
- Simple hypothesis testing using credible intervals - the single mean, single proportion, difference between two means, and difference between two proportions.
Aims and objectives
To provide students with:
- a fundamental understanding of probability
- a basic understanding of random sampling and why it is important.
- an introduction to basic descriptive statistics
- a simple introduction to inferential statistics for one- and two-sample problems, based around the notion of credible intervals.
- To teach students how to perform the relevant calculations using a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc).
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- Understand what probability is.
- Distinguish between probability and effect size.
- Understand how and why researchers take random samples from larger populations.
- Have a general idea of what a distribution is.
- Understand what basic descriptive measures (means, medians, modes, standard deviations, and interquartile ranges) can tell us.
- Understand what a credible interval is and what it can tell us.
- Know how to use a credible interval to test simple one- and two-sample hypotheses.
- Carry out the above calculations using a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc).
Franklin, J. (2009), What Science Knows and How It Knows It, New York, Encounter Books. [Mainly chapters 1 and 10.]
Hand, D. (2008), Statistics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Paulos, J.A. (1995), A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper: Making Sense of The Numbers in the Headlines, London, Penguin.
Savage, S.L. (2009), The Flaw of Averages: Why We Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty, Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley.
Timing and Location
16/10/17 - 24/11/17
Number of sessions:
6 x 1 hour sessions Runs weekly, starting in week 2
Timing and Location:
online distance learning
Minimum quota: 6
Apart from delivery mode, the syllabuses for FASS508: Quantitative Research Methods Introduction (face-to-face) and FASS508d: Quantitative Research Methods 1 (online distance learning) are basically identical, so you should only need to take one of these. Either will provide the background necessary to prepare you for FASS512: Quantitative Research Methods 2.