Practical 1: Advanced Quantitative Methods

2018-2019
This course is offered in Dutch. Some of the descriptions may therefore only be available in Dutch.

Course Objective

This course is a follow up of the first-year courses Methodology of
Social Science Research (Methodologie van Sociaal-Wetenschappelijk
Onderzoek), Descriptive and Inferential Statistics (Beschrijvende en
Inferentiële Statistiek) and Bachelor Tutor program II and III
(Bachelorwerkgroepen 2 en 3). This course focuses on the improvement of
quantitative (statistical) skills.

In this course, students receive a global research question that is
related to the course Social Capital and Networks that they follow in
the same period. They are asked to develop further this research
question and to study it using data that they receive from the lecturer.
This course focuses in particular on the formulation of the hypotheses,
the testing of hypotheses, the interpretation of the results of the
statistical analysis and the discussion of the results at a scientific
level. The statistical program that is used for the analysis is SPSS.

The follow up of this course is the course Research Practice 2 where
students improve their skills in qualitative methods of research.

Goals of the course:
After this course students should have knowledge on:
(1) The identification of a causal effect in research designs
(2) The role of multivariate regression analysis in finding a causal
effect
(3) How we can construct reliable indicators on possible several
dimensions of a latent (not directly observable) concept

…and the student should be able individually to:
(1) set up a research design that includes moderation or mediation;
(2) identify the dimensions of a concept using factor analysis and the
reliability of self-constructed indicators using reliability analysis
(3) carry out a multivariate linear regression with interaction effects
and interpret correctly its results
(4) test a research design that includes mediation or moderation using a
linear regression
(5) relate the results of the analysis to the theoretical literature

…and the student has the ability to:
(1) to write independently a (short) research report
(2) to discuss and comment on the work of her/his fellow students in a
constructive and critical way.

Course Content

The ability to set up and test intermediate-level research designs is an
important skills in sociological research. The aim of this course is to
fresh up and develop further the knowledge and skills in statistics and
methodology of social sciences that students acquired in their first
year. In this course, students learn how to set up and test a research
design that includes mediation or moderation. As far as statistics is
concerned, we focus on the construction of complex indicators with the
use of factor analysis and reliability analysis and on multivariate
linear regression with continuous and categorical predictors and
interaction effects. The course begins by freshing up the material that
is discussed in the course Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
(linear regression). This course is a follow up of the courses Bachelor
Tutor program II and II (Bachelorwerkgroep 2 en 3), the course
Methodology of Social Science Research (Methodologie van
Sociaal-wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - MTSWO) and the course Descriptive
and Inferential Statistics (Beschrijvende en Inferentiële Statistiek -
BIS). In this course, students develop and test a research design that
includes mediation or moderation. For this purpose, students receive
several datasets and carry out statistical analysis using the
statistical program SPSS. The research question is tackled with the use
of indicators that are constructed with factor analysis and reliability
analysis and the application of multivariate regression analysis.
Students are asked to interpret the results of these analyses and report
them in a partial individual research report which is the 'end product'
of this course.

The research themes for this course are linked to the course Social
Capital and Networks that students in Sociology follow in this period.
In this way, the methodological skills are linked to subject matter from
Social Sciences. In this course, the focus is on the performance of
statistical analysis and the interpretation of the results of this
analysis. Knowledge of statistical methods is tested also with 3
individual midterm tests.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, SPSS tutorials and online practice assignments

Method of Assessment

Individual paper with group peer review (70%) and 3 digital mid-term
tests that consist of MC and open questions (30%). A pass is required in
both parts.

Literature

Field, Andy (2017). Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS. Sage
Publications, 5th edition [From this book: chapters 6, 9, 11 and 18]

Target Audience

2nd year students BSc Sociology.
Students following the BSc program in B&O that follow the Sociology
Minor may choose this course instead of the course "Sociaal Kapitaal en
Netwerken".

Recommended background knowledge

Methodologie van Sociaal Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (MTSWO)
Beschrijvende en Inferentiële Statistiek (BIS)
Bachelorwerkgroep I en II

General Information

Course Code S_OP1
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition Dutch
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator dr. D. Pavlopoulos
Examiner dr. D. Pavlopoulos
Teaching Staff dr. D. Pavlopoulos
dr. M.F.J. van der Horst

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group, Practical
Target audiences

This course is also available as: