Introduction to Survey Data Analysis
Dr Rob Johns, Essex University
13 - 24 July (two week course / 35 hrs)
Rob Johns is a Reader in Politics in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. Appointed at Essex in 2010, his previous post was at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Rob’s research is in the fields of political psychology, public opinion and electoral behaviour. He has published various books and articles based on analyses of public opinion data and is currently investigating the role of fear in political decision-making.
- It has never been easier to get hold of survey data. But they still need to be analysed. This course provides an introduction to a wide range of statistical techniques that are used with survey data. We begin with core concepts – means, deviations, distributions, confidence intervals, and so on – and then move on to the core statistical methods, covering cross tabulation, t-tests, analysis of variance, correlation, and various forms of regression. These methods will be demonstrated using the computer package SPSS and a variety of example datasets. Students can also bring their own datasets on which to practise the different methods.
- Participants will become adept in using a wide range of statistical methods for analysing survey data. These methods are widely used by both academic and professional researchers in a wide range of fields: political science, sociology, psychology, health sciences, sports science, marketing, and so on. Participants will also acquire a good working knowledge of SPSS, the most commonly used package among survey researchers, but support will be given for those wishing to use other software. In addition to boosting participants’ current skills, this course also serves as a springboard for the study of more advanced statistical methods – many of which are available in later sessions at the Summer School.
- This is an INTRODUCTORY course. Participants are not required or assumed to have anything more than basic mathematics. There will also be a full introduction to SPSS, the computer program that we will use.
- Since this is an introductory course, participants are not required to do any prior reading. However, those a bit nervous about confronting statistics may benefit from a quick look at the gentle introduction provided by:
- Salkind, Neil J., 2010. Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics (4th edn.), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.