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Discussion: Frequencies/Percentages (Discrete or Non-Continuous)

One of the first examples of applying statistical analysis in the social sciences comes from W.E.B. Du Bois, a renowned African American scholar and civil rights activist. In 1899, he published The Philadelphia Negro, a groundbreaking study of the population of the 7th ward of Philadelphia. Du Bois relied on survey data he collected himself from 5000 residents. By relying on quantitative analyses, Du Bois was able to provide evidence that prevalent, contemporary discriminatory policies along with unequal opportunity created and perpetuated poverty and low socio-economic status. This research challenged the racist views held by many white Philadelphians at the time that African Americans were somehow inferior.

Using survey data based on sound research design allows scholar-practitioners to compute frequencies and percentages in order to explore social problems and potentially reshape how people define problems in ways that can effect positive social change.

Reference: Du Bois, W. E. B. (1899). The Philadelphia negro. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

For this Discussion, use the US Demographic Information dataset in the Learning Resources.

To Prepare:

  • Please note that a red state is the term given to a U.S. state in which a majority of the electorate votes for the Republican candidate in a statewide election, whereas a blue state is the term given to a U.S. state in which a majority of the electorate votes for the Democratic candidate in a statewide election. In contrast, a purple state (or swing state) is the term given to a U.S. state in which both the Democratic and Republican candidates have a good chance of winning and is considered key to the outcome of a presidential election. Using the US Demographic Information dataset, add a column (categorical variable) to your dataset that indicates the political affiliation of each state (i.e., red, blue, or purple). Then, save the dataset with the new column and title it, “US Demographic Information _PA” dataset. You will use this new dataset again in Week 9.
  • Search the Internet for a reliable, current source containing the political affiliation for each state. Input the overall political affiliation (i.e., red, blue, or purple) for each state included in your dataset.
  • Compute the frequency and percentage by political affiliation of all states. Then compute the percentile rank and standardized score by political affiliation for all states.
  • For students using the PSPP statistical software program, review the Learning Resources document Working With Datasets Job Aid for information about how to complete the tasks identified in the To Prepare and Post activities. 

By Day 4,

Post the frequencies and percentages of the variable political affiliation, using data from all the states. Next, create and post a bar chart depicting the frequencies of the political affiliation variable.

Note: The only variable to be involved is political affiliation, which has three levels: red, blue, or purple. You will need to report the frequencies and percentages of the red, blue, and purple states.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources and identify current relevant literature to support your work.

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