Sociology | Charts, Graphs & Tables
S110 | 20287 | Heacock


ABOVE SECTION OPEN TO FRESHMEN AND SOPHMORES ONLY

Knowledge is both consumed and produced.  As educated citizens, it is
important for us to be knowledgeable consumers of information; after
all, individuals make decisions and act based on information.
Scientists attempt to better understand the social world, and as such
act as producers of knowledge.  Almost always, numbers are used to
illustrate and convey relationships interesting to researchers.  These
numbers must be presented in an accessible and interpretable fashion.
Charts, graphs, and tables are effective ways to present empirical
results.

A basic understanding of empirical information and the scientific
research process is invaluable, whether you want to be a knowledgeable
citizen, a scientist, or just someone who is able to produce an
informative research project for your boss.  Science is nothing more
than a set of procedures for gathering (empirical) information about
the world.  Therefore, we must understand this process to become
knowledgeable consumers and producers of information.  This course
will prepare you to become a good producer of scientific knowledge.
Perhaps more importantly, you will also become a knowledgeable and
critical consumer of information.

Far from being a traditional research methods and/or introduction to
statistics course, this course will not only cover basic research
procedures and statistical techniques but focus on students learning
the underlying logic of such procedures and techniques.  The focus of
the class is on thinking empirically, not knowing methods.  The main
objective of the course is for students to become competent and
confident consumers and producers of empirical knowledge.  Towards
this end, students will learn procedures to gather data, strengths and
weaknesses of the different procedures, a variety of basic statistical
techniques, how to properly interpret results of these techniques, and
finally the limitations of the procedures and techniques.  Throughout
all, the focus will be on why social scientists do what they do rather
than just how they do it.

This is not a math course.  Rather, it is a class that focuses on
quantitative reasoning.  Throughout the semester, we will focus less
on the mathematics behind producing numbers and more on the underlying
logic of the mathematical procedures.  Accordingly, students will
learn some elementary statistical techniques, how and when to use
them, and various techniques available for presenting your results.
Finally, students will apply what they have learned and be able to
make correct conclusions about aspects of our social world.