Renáta Németh, Dávid Simon
A social researcher is expected to interpret statistical information. Even if conducting research is not a part of his/her job, he/she may still be expected to understand other people's research reports. The goal of this course is to prepare students for these tasks. It gives an introduction to basic statistics showing how statistical concepts are used to interpret social issues.
The textbook incorporates real research examples from international research projects (ESS, ISSP, GSS) and from official data collections (e.g. Eurostat). We discuss only descriptive methods, do not touch statistical inference. The last two topics cover different systems of statistical indicators and some of the most important data sources. By the end of the course students should know the basic tools for analyzing social science data, the ways how to interpret the results, as well as the most typical misinterpretations.
The main reading is Chava Frankfort-Nachmias, ‘Social Statistics for a Diverse Society’ (Sage, 1997). Additional readings recommended to particular topics are given in the corresponding sections.
Lectures 1-6 are written by Renáta Németh, while the other six lectures are written by Dávid Simon. The textbook was reviewed by Gábor Kende.