Variables, Measurement, and SPSS
Quantitative research consists of testing and understanding relationships between variables. Researchers construct these variables as measureable expressions of social phenomena. Modern statistics provides you with a host of resources to answer questions, but each statistical test has a set of assumptions regarding the measurement of the variables. It is therefore important to understand how variables are measured because their measurement will influence the type of analytic tools available to you.
SPSS is a statistical software program that allows you to enter these variables into a spreadsheet format and record the measurements from a sample. Additionally, SPSS allows you to perform statistical analysis. Before launching into your analyses, though, it is important to understand how the variables are measured. That understanding will help you interpret the SPSS output.
In this week’s Discussion, you considered topics with social change implications. For this Assignment, you will examine data to analyze independent and dependent variables, determine how they are measured, and decipher whether a social change question can be answered and the implications for such change.