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QUANTITATIVE DATA

ANALYSIS
Chapter 11

LEVELS OF MEASUREMENT
Variable attributes: the characteristics or
qualities that describe a variable
Variable attributes can be defined at four
different levels of measurement
Nominal
Ordinal
Interval
Ratio

Nominal Measurement
The lowest level of measurement
Attributes or response categories of a
variable are
mutually exclusive

Ordinal Measurement
Second highest level of measurement
Attributes or responses categories or a
variable are
Mutually exclusive
Rank ordered

Interval Measurement
Third highest level of measurement
Attributes or responses categories or a
variable are
Mutually exclusive
Rank ordered
Equal distance from each other

Ratio Measurement
Highest level of measurement
Attributes or responses categories or a
variable are
Mutually exclusive
Rank ordered
Equal distance from each other
Based on a true 0 point

COMPUTER APPLICATIONS
Variables must be coded (assigned a
distinct value) for data to be processed by
computer software
The researcher must know the level of
measurement for each variable to
determine which statistical tests to use

DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS
Summarize a variable of interest and
portray how that particular variable is
distributed in the sample or population
Frequency distributions
Measures of Central Tendency
Measures of Variability

Frequency Distributions
A counting of the occurrences of each
response value of a variable, which can be
presented in
Table form
Graphic form (Frequency Polygon)

Measures of Central Tendency

The value that represents the typical or
average score in a sample or population
Three types:
Mode, Median, and Mean

Normal Curve: a bell-shaped frequency

polygon in which the mean, median, and
mode represent the average equally (See
Figure 17.4)

Mode
The score or response value that occurs
most often (i.e., has the highest
frequency) in a sample or population
Minimum level of measurement is nominal

Median
The score or response value that divides
the a distribution into two equal halves
Minimum level of measurement is ordinal

Mean
Calculated by summing individual scores
and dividing by the total number of scores
The most sophisticated measure of central
tendency
Minimum level of measurement is interval

Measures of Variability
A value or values that indicated how
widely scores are distributed in a sample
or population; a measure of dispersion
Two common types
Range
Standard Deviation

Range
The distance between the minimum and
maximum score in a distribution
The larger the range, the greater the
amount of variation of scores in a
distribution
Minimum level of measurement is ordinal

Standard Deviation
A mathematically calculated value that
indicates the degree to which scores in a
distribution are scattered or dispersed
The mean and standard deviation define
the basic properties of the normal curve
Minimum level of measurement is interval

INFERENTIAL STATISTICS
Make it possible to study a sample and
infer the findings of that study to the
population from which the sample was
randomly drawn
Based on chance or probability of error
Commonly accepted levels of chance are
p < .01 (1 in 100) and p < .05 (5 in 100)

Statistics that Determine

Associations
Statistics that determine whether or not a
relationship exists between two variables
The values of one variable co-vary with
the values of another variable
Chi-square (2)
Correlation (r)

Chi-Square ( )
2

Used with nominal or ordinal levels of

measurement
Provides a measure of association based
on observed (actual scores) and expected
(statistically estimated) frequencies
The direction or strength of the
relationship between the two variables is
not specified

Correlation (r)
Typically used with interval and ratio levels
of measurement
A measure of association between two
variables that also indicates direction and
strength of the relationship
r=0 (no relationship), r=1.00 (perfect
relationship)
A +r value (a direct relationship), -r value (an
inverse relationship)

Statistics that Determine

Differences
Statistics used to determine whether
group differences exist on a specified
variable
Differences between
Two related groups: Dependent t-test
Two unrelated groups: Independent t-test
More than two groups: ANOVA

Dependent t-test
Used to compare two sets of scores
provided by one group of individuals
Example: pretest and posttest scores

Independent t-test
Used to compare two sets of scores, each
provided by a different group of individuals
Example: Fathers and Mothers

One-Way Analysis of Variance

Used to compare three or more sets of
scores, each provided by a different group
of individuals
Example: Fathers, Mothers, and Children

SUMMARY
Statistics are used to analyze quantitative
data
The level of measurement must be
specified for each variable
Descriptive and Inferential statistics are
used to build knowledge about a sample
or population