Guidelines for the Data Base Project

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  1. Be transparent with your reader. Examine the code book carefully and identify three variables you think might be useful regarding your research question topic. Answer these questions:

 

  • What is the original bibliographic source for each of the three interval or ratio-level variables you are interested in? That is, where did the variable(s) come from? What original source?
  • How is each variable operationalized? How do they measure what they purport to measure? What do high and low values for the variables pertain to exactly? What year do the data reference?
  • Thinking about your research topic, which of the three variables you’ve chosen might be a good dependent variable? Why do you think that?

 

  1. Use SPSS to generate key statistics and graphs for each of your chosen variables.

 

  • Specifically, generate a table of statistics for the mean, median, and standard deviation values for the variables. Provide an analysis of themean and median values.
  • Generate a histogram for each of the three variables.Describe the story revealed by the data in the histograms. That is, do like we have done in class and identify what the data reveal in the stacks of data in the histogram. What is the mode value? What do the findings say about your designated dependent variable?

 

How to Complete the Project

 

The code book for the Quality of Governance data set is anAcrobat (.pdf) file. It is postedon Blackboard. It’s a large code book. One way to get a handle on the variables in it is to visit page 10, the Variable Overview page. It has links to all the variables in the code book and data set.

 

The data set itself is an SPSS data file. Thefile is also posted on Blackboard. SPSS is a modern statistical software program. It is easy and fun to use.  You need to be at a campus-owned computer tohave access to SPSSto do the project. Another option is learning how to access the software through the Virtual Computing Network (VCN). Any of the CTRL assistants can help you download the app. Campus owned computers are in the library, in the basement of Anderson Hall, and in the basement of the Kerwin building. I recommend going to Anderson or the library because there is a staff of assistants who will show you how to access SPSS and the data set. They can also show you how to use the VCN to gain access to SPSS.

 

Follow These Instructions

 

  1. On a campus owned computer, open Blackboard and click on the link to the Quality of Governance data base. Once SPSS has opened the file and you see the data in the spreadsheet, save the data base to a stick drive. That way you can save your work to the stick drive and then upload your table(s)to your Word file on your computer.

 

  1. Remember there are assistants in room 7 in the library who can show you how to access and use SPSS. They can also show you how to do slightly more sophisticated procedures such as data selecting on a group of countries such as Latin American or Middle Eastern countries if you want to prefer to do that. The variable in the data set that you need to make a regional selection is called ht_region. You will need to identify and use the value for a specific region, such as Latin America.

 

  1. Once you have generated your output in SPSS (tables and graphs), you’ll need to copy and paste your work to a Word file. Use the option paste special in Word. If you have trouble, use the screen shot feature on your computer to copy the outputas an image(s)and then paste it to your Word doc.
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