Research Assignment Data Analysis (10 % points; about 6-10 pp.)
FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY, step by step. Use these nine sections to format your paper.

For data analyses, use IBM SPSS or:


  1. Title your paper. Briefly state your general topic / research question.
  2. Reference and briefly describe a relevant scholarly article (or two) or book that in some way justifies or guides your research question and analyses or helps to make your approach to it more credible. Briefly indicate how it pertains to your topic or justifies your paper in some way, such as: the topic’s importance; what is not known about it; the article’s independent, dependent, or “control” variables and how they were operationalized / measured; or its findings, etc. Use good grammar & style of referencing.  Refer to author/s & date in body of paper, & include a reference page.   Use textbook as example for reference style.
  3. Briefly note the source of the data you will use for your analysis. What is your “N” (# of respondents)? Briefly evaluate data usefulness / limitations (e.g. refer to sample size, random selection, etc.).  NOTE: for any variable, GSS data often features missing data because that variable may not have been asked of all respondents for that “wave” of interviews. 
  4. Briefly describe the measurement of the independent and dependent variables you will use in your analysis (such as the “value label” or question; level of measurement; attributes, etc.). Briefly critique the measurement validity (e.g. face and content validity) of X and of Y. Because you will be constructing cross-tabulation tables, your variables need ideally to be limited to 2-4 attributes / values.  (If your variable is ordinal, interval, or ratio, you may need to recode it to another variable with 2-3 attributes as you have learned in SPSS assignments 14 and 15).  If you are creating an index (bravo!), describe the creation of that index and its items. Provide references where appropriate. 
  5. State your (2 variable) hypothesis. Briefly provide the theory or logic for your hypothesis
  6. DATA ANALYSES: Label (number and tersely describe) and order tables. Hint for printing: use “landscape” whenever useful. Please use “Cut and Paste” from data source to MS Word documents Omit redundant tables.

Using SPSS, conduct a frequencies data analysis of the 3-4 variables you will be using.  Briefly describe the frequency distributions, using the “valid percent” column because it omits missing data.  Note the mode category for each variable.  If you recode variables, provide frequencies of before & after recodes.  

  1. Using SPSS, conduct a bivariate (cross-tab) data analysis between X (independent variable) and Y (dependent); percentage tables by columns; and click on Chi2 (if using SPSS). Be careful to place X as column and Y as row! Provide bivariate cross-tab between T (control variable) and Y.

Interpret the tables across the percentages of the rows of the table.  State whether there seems to be a relationship between X and Y (refer to Chi2 and / or 8-10% “rule of thumb”), and compare percentages on the dependent variables across categories of the independent variable as we did in class.  If no relationship appears to exist, briefly describe / speculate about a possible reason. 

  1. Perform an “elaboration model” analysis with at least one 3rd / “control” variable (“T”). (Again, recode your variable into 2-3 attributes if necessary). Present the trivariate tables appropriate for assessing the effect of the control variable on the original relationship; that is, analyze each partial table for each attribute of the control variable. 

Briefly interpret the tables as you did in step #7.   Which form of the elaboration model BEST represents your results (i. e. compare partial tables with zero-order table?)  Why?  If necessary, use “ex post facto hypothesizing” (cf. Babbie) to explain (or speculate about) your results (i.e. why might “T” be relevant, or not).  What other variables might be relevant to your analysis?  

  1. Briefly provide a summary and conclusion about your research topic and your findings. E.g. how can you refer back to your hypothesis or your original article (step 2) or to other references?
  2. Separate Reference page
  3. APA format
  4. 6 pages 12 Font Times New Roman Double Space

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