Assessing reliability and validity of empirical measurement instruments
Learning different statistical techniques for scale and factor analysis
Applying these techniques on empirical data to study explanatory research questions
Applying the above mentioned aspects to the measurement of social networks
The course introduces some of the main methods of measurement that are used in quantitative sociological research, e.g., scales of political, moral, and social attitudes, trust and interpersonal influence. Various methods to assess the validity (non-random errors) and reliability (random errors)of measurement such as reliability analysis and factor analysis will be discussed. In addition, some issues related to the reliability with respect to the measurement of social networks will be adressed.
The first six weeks of the course will be used for an introduction in these techniques and studying examples from some important research articles. The last three weeks will be used to write a research article that combines some of the techniques.
The weekly assignments deal with examples taken from real life research, where students have to replicate and improve on published analyses. In the last weeks, the students have to write a final paper in which the construction of variables and the incorporation of these variables in explanatory analysis is combined. This assignment should lead to a short research paper including a concrete research question, one or more hypotheses, and tests of these hypotheses. The students meet three times each week: [a] teacher instruction, [b] computer lab practice. [c] seminar with presentation and discussion of (intermediate) results to the assignments. Students prepare a report in pairs on the assignments on a weekly basis.
Formulation theories and hypotheses
Applying knowledge on research method
Interpreting research results
Drawing conclusions from statistical analyses
Reporting on research results
Participating actively in discussions
Giving constructive comments
One basic course in statistics and one advanced course in regression analysis,
basic skills of SPSS including working with syntax.
Sound knowledge of English language.
The course is designed for a joined class of third year sociology students from Utrecht. The language of the instruction and presentations is English, but assignments can be written in Dutch or English.
|Er moet voldaan zijn aan de cursus:|
|One basic course in statistics and one advanced course in regression analysis, basic skills of SPSS including working with syntax.|
Sound knowledge of the English language.
|BoekVocht, A. de, Basishandboek SPSS-18, Utrecht: Bijleveld, 2010. ISBN is 9789055482009 or similar SPSS manual.|
|BoekCarmines, E.G. & R. A. Zeller, Reliability and Validity Assesment, London: Sage, 1979. ISBN is 9780803913714.|
|BoekKim, J.O. & Ch.W. Mueller, Introduction to Factor Analysis, London: Sage, 1978. ISBN is 9780803911659.|
|Computer lab practicum (Verplicht)|
|Instruction lecture (Verplicht)|
|Working group (Verplicht)|