©SSRIC; Last Modified 30 September 1998

CLEG CNTY G96A 1 G96A 2 GWOM MSAS NESD
PWLT RELG 1 RELG 3 RELG 4 REPR TOLER TRUS

Definition of Exercises and Ways to Use Them in Class

Descriptions of the Exercises


Definition of an Exercise

Exercises contain a problem, (theoretical or statistical) a dataset and codebook and steps on how to answer the problem by analysis of the data set. Unlike the modules there is little or no theoretical material provided.

We hope that instructors will submit their favorite data sets and exercises to add to this location. Our homepage will provide a link to tell how to submit an exercise. As more material is added we will create a searchable index to find possible analysis exercises for a particular subject or analytical/statistical skill. The materials are available as downloadable word processing documents for printing or customizing by instructors.

Ways to Use Exercises in Class
  1. You can use them on an LED overhead projector or from an instructor's station in a computer lab for a classroom presentation or demonstration.
  2. You can provide links to them from your on-line syllabus for regular assignments or as independent and extra credit projects, with little or no modification. One advantage of this method is that exercises will have embedded links to the glossary and to the SPSS on-line text.
  3. Exercises and datasets can be downloaded in wordprocessing format which you can then modify, distribute via floppy disk, or place on a local server.

Descriptions of the Exercises

CLEG Exercise: CLEG is an instructional subset of 41 variables from a 1996 California Field Poll (FI9604) that compares public opinion on lawmaking by the Legislature and by the initiative process. The exercises are intended for beginning and intermediate students in political science, sociology, journalism, and communication. Students may produce FREQUENCIES, create new variables (RECODE), do CROSSTABS, and perform a REGRESSION on income by years of education.

CNTY Exercise: The California county data set and the MSA data set are both derived from the REIS and contain the same variables. The same exercises that are appropriate for the MSA data set [MSAS] are also appropriate here, and vice versa. A number of exercises are repeated, including the more difficult set of problems, exercises 6-8. These exercises concentrate on a question that has occupied economists for some time: are income levels in different regions (or countries) converging or diverging? Uses CORRELATION, COMPUTE, SIMPLE and MULTIPLE REGRESSION, ONE-SAMPLE T-TEST and PAIRED SAMPLES.

G96A Exercise 1: The data set used in this exercise is g96asp.por which is a subset of the 1996 General Social Survey. (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.) This exercise focuses on RECODE, COMPUTE, IF, and SELECT IF in SPSS. The exercises were written to accompany SPSS for Windows Version 7.5: A Basic Tutorial, by Richard Shaffer, Edward Nelson, Nan Chico, John Korey, Elizabeth Nelson, and Jim Ross. The ISBN is 0-07-366023-X. There is a version of this book (with accompanying data disk) currently available for SPSS 6. To order this book, call McGraw-Hill at 1-800-338-3987. The ISBN is 0-07-913673-7. You have permission to use this exercise and to revise it to fit your needs. Please send a copy of any revision to the authors.

G96A Exercise 2: The data set used in this exercise is g96asp.por which is a subset of the 1996, General Social Survey. (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.) This exercise focuses on comparing means using T-TESTS and ONE-WAY ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE [ANOVA]. The exercises were written to accompany SPSS for Windows Version 7.5: A Basic Tutorial, by Richard Shaffer, Edward Nelson, Nan Chico, John Korey, Elizabeth Nelson, and Jim Ross. The ISBN is 0-07-366023-X. There is a version of this book (with accompanying data disk) currently available for SPSS 6. To order this book, call McGraw-Hill at 1-800-338-3987. The ISBN is 0-07-913673-7. You have permission to use this exercise and to revise it to fit your needs. Please send a copy of any revision to the authors.

GWOM Exercise: The data set used in this exercise is gwomsp.por which is a subset of the 1996 General Social Survey. (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use.) The variables focus on women's issues such as abortion attitudes, women's work roles, etc. This exercise uses CROSSTABS and MEANS to explore the relationships among variables. In CROSSTABS, students are asked to use percentages, chi square, and an appropriate measure of association. In MEANS, students are asked to compare means to establish a relationship.

MSAS Exercise: The MSA (Metropolitain Statistical Area) data set (msassp.por) and the California county data set (cntysp.por) are both derived from the REIS and contain the same variables. The same exercises that are appropriate for the California county data set [CNTY] are also appropriate here, and vice versa. A number of exercises are repeated, including the more difficult set of problems, exercises 7-9. These exercises concentrate on a question that has occupied economists for some time: are income levels in different regions converging or diverging? Uses CORRELATION, COMPUTE, SIMPLE and MULTIPLE REGRESSION, ONE-SAMPLE T-TEST and PAIRED SAMPLES.

NESD Exercise: Exercises to Accompany Instructional Subset 1996 American National Election Study. Uses WEIGHT, RECODE, COMPUTE, CROSSTABS + CONTROL, CORRELATION, BIVARIATE and MULTIVARIATE REGRESSION.

PWLT Exercise: How does productivity vary by continent? Uses DESCRIPTIVE, T-TEST, CORRELATION, COMPUTE, and REGRESSION.

RELG Exercise 1: The data set used in this exercise is RELG9800 which is a combination of the 1998 and 2000 General Social Surveys. (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.)  The goal of this exercise is to create a measure of religiosity.  We will also validate our measure. Validity refers to whether we are measuring what we think we are measuring.  If we can show that we are measuring what we say we are measuring, than we have validated the measure.  Once we have validated the measure, we’ll see how it is related to other variables. The exercise uses CROSSTABS, RECODE, and IF in SPSS.

RELG Exercise 3: The data set used in this exercise is RELG9800 which is a combination of the 1998 and 2000 General Social Surveys.  (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.)  The goal of this exercise is to explore the relationship between religiosity and other variables using crosstabulation.  This exercise will focus on two-variable relationships and then on three-variable relationships.  The concepts of explanation, spuriousness, and replication will also be explored.  The exercise uses CROSSTABS and RECODE in SPSS.

RELG Exercise 4: The data set used in this exercise is RELG9800 which is a combination of the 1998 and 2000 General Social Surveys.  (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.)  The goal of this exercise is to think about a concept typically called religious fundamentalism and to consider how we might measure this concept using data from the General Social Survey.  Once we have decided on a measure, then we will explore the relationship between this variable and various forms of religious behavior and opinions on various social issues.  The exercise uses CROSSTABS, RECODE, and SELECT CASES in SPSS.

REPR Exercise: These exercises use the same data as the REPR Module (1997 data about members of the California legislature and their districts), but focus on the graphic capabilities of SPSS. The exercises are intended for beginning and intermediate students in political science, sociology, journalism, and communications. Students are asked to produce bar, line, area, pie, and Pareto graphs, as well as histograms and scatterplots. They are also shown how to export the data in Excel format for use with the graphic features of that program.

TOLER Exercise:  The data set used in this exercise is RELG9800 which is a combination of the 1998 and 2000 General Social Surveys.  (Some of the variables in the GSS have been recoded to make them easier to use and some new variables have been created.)  The goal of this exercise is to create measures of tolerance.  Once we have created these measures, we will see how they are related to some other variables.  The exercise uses CROSSTABS and COMPUTE in SPSS.

TRUS Exercise: TRUS is an instructional subset of the Distrust of Government Study conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates in 1995. It is consists of 47 variables including measures of trust, confidence, political participation, efficacy, opinion of the media, and numerous demographics. The exercises, which involve RECODE, CROSSTABS, and CORRELATION, may be performed by beginning and intermediate students in political science, sociology, psychology, journalism, and communication.


Back
Top
Home
Glossary
FAQ
Contact
Exercises