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Developing A Thesis Chapter 2.1 – In Search of Good Data Learning goal: Write and identify a clear thesis statement/question MSIP / Home Learning: p. 81 #4, 5, 6, 8, 13

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What is a Thesis? Masters degree: major research publication Statistics: an intellectual proposition (question or statement) that research will answer When writing a thesis, ask: Is it specific? Are the main variables identified? How will they be measured? Is there enough data to make an interesting analysis? Is the topic manageable?

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Examples Do students who play team sports have higher marks? Is there a correlation between age and being a safe driver?

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More examples – p. 82 #13 How is the accuracy of a person’s ability to estimate height and distance related to her or his height? Are females better than males at estimating the size of a large crowd? What is the relationship between a student’s mid-term average and his or her favourite subject? Which local fast-food outlet is the best? What do students at your school think about school uniforms?

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Statistical Variables A measurable characteristic that can change Can be categorical, continuous or discrete Identifying the variables involved in a study is a significant task You must be sure that you have all the data you might need

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Culminating Project Your first task is to choose a topic that is neither too simple nor too difficult A project that is too large can be made more specific to reduce the size Once you have a topic you need to develop a thesis – a specific question or idea Without a specific question, the rest of the project will be more difficult

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Hypothesis A prediction of what you expect to find Examples: Thesis: What is the relationship between sports and academics? Hypothesis: Students who play sports at least 3 times per week have higher averages. Thesis: What factors contribute to safe driving? Hypothesis: Safe driving practices will be highest among male drivers aged 30-40.

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Examples of projects… Look at some examples of projects from other schools to give you an idea of where we are going Your project will be produced electronically using a word processor as well as analytic software (Fathom and/or Excel) A presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint is also required

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MSIP / Home Learning Complete p. 81 #4, 5, 6, 8, 13

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) A statistical measure of a weighted average of prices of a specified set of goods and services purchased by wage earners in urban areasstatisticalweighted averageprices serviceswageurban A price index which tracks the prices of a specified set of consumer goods and services, providing a measure of inflationinflation Factors include: gasoline, the purchase and leasing of automotive vehicles, homeowners' replacement cost and natural gas

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Indexes an index is number arbitrarily chosen to represent some data the consumer price index is an example http://www.statcan.ca/english/Subjects/Cpi/cpi-en.htm what type of data would the consumer price index be? interval

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Do now Mr. Hardie has asked you to conduct a survey on whether students from grades 9-12 are using the Learning Commons. Write a thesis statement that you could use to guide your study.

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Examples Note: CPHS = Carleton Place High School Are CPHS students using the Learning Commons? Does using the Learning Commons differ by grade at CPHS? Is there a correlation between grade and use of the CPHS Learning Commons? What subjects are represented among students who use the CPHS Learning Commons?

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Characteristics of Data Chapter 2.2 – In Search of Good Data Learning goal: Describe and identify types of studies Due now : p. 81 #4, 5, 6, 8, 13 MSIP / Home Learning:Read Ex.1 to 3 on pp. 86 - 89 Complete p. 89 # 1-6 and 10

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Collecting data Data - a set of facts or information (variables) that is collected Population - the group of individuals that a study is concerned with e.g., if we want to find the opinions of students at CPHS, the population is all students at CPHS This does not mean we collect data from every student!

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Data Classifications Quantitative data data that can be measured numerically ex: height (continuous) or number of road vehicles at home (discrete) Qualitative data non-numerical data ex: relationship status, eye color Time series data collected repeatedly over a period of time

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Sampling A census can be expensive and/or time-consuming A sample is a part of the population that is chosen to represent the population A representative sample can be used to draw conclusions about the entire population Bias - the sample does not represent the population Can be due to intentional or unintentional influences Choosing the sample randomly avoids bias A conclusion drawn from sample data is called an inference

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Types of Studies Cross sectional Samples different groups of a population at the same time e.g., survey students on the theme of the next school dance Longitudinal A study which samples the same individuals over time e.g., Tell Them From Me survey What are the purposes of each of these?

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Example Which type of study is best for the following situations: cross-sectional or longitudinal? a) Determining what percent of high school students plan to attend university within 3 years? b) Determining the effect of a new pesticide on the growth of tomato plants? c) Testing the effectiveness of a new allergy medication? d) Predicting the results of next month’s election?

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MSIP / Home Learning Read Ex.1 to 3 on pp. 86 - 89 Complete p. 89 # 1-6 and 10

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References Wikipedia (2004). Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 1, 2004 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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Chapter 2 Psychological Research Methods and Statistics

Chapter 2 Psychological Research Methods and Statistics

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