Statistics and Statistical Programming (Winter 2017)/Problem Set: Week 1

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Programming Challenges[edit]

Because this is our first week, there are no real programming challenges this week. What we have instead are some setup tasks you'll need to do before class.

PC1. Download and install R — You can do that from this webpage where you will have to choose based on your operating system.
PC2. Download and install RStudio — Download and run the "installer" from the "Installers" sections of the RStudio download page. You'll want to choose the one that is appropriate for your operating systems (e.g., Windows, Mac OSX, or GNU/Linux).
PC3. Get setup with git and Github — You should do two things before class.

Statistical Questions[edit]

Exercises from OpenIntro §1[edit]

Q0. Any questions or clarifications from the OpenIntro text or lecture notes?
Q1. Exercise 1.6 about identifying cases, variables, types, and research questions
Q2. Exercise 1.12 about populations, samples, and generalizability
Q3. Exercise 1.52 about means and medians from a histogram
Q4. Exercise 1.56 about skewness and choosing appropriate statistics
Q5. Exercise 1.64 about selecting certain types of visualization over others

Several of these questions draw from Study 4 of the following paper (although I don't think it critical to look back at that paper to answer of the questions):

Piff, Paul K., Daniel M. Stancato, Stéphane Côté, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, and Dacher Keltner. 2012. “Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behavior.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(11):4086–91. [Available through UW Libraries]

Empirical Paper[edit]

Hopefully many of you will have read this paper already. It's probably the most highly cited (and publicly discussed) paper to come out of communication over the last few years:

Kramer, Adam D. I., Jamie E. Guillory, and Jeffrey T. Hancock. 2014. “Experimental Evidence of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion through Social Networks.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(24):8788–90. [Available through UW libraries]

Although there are major ethical concerns with the paper, and we'll be coming back and talking about it a number of times this quarter, let's focus on the key issues of research design and the substantive takeaway.

For this paper, answer each of these questions and be ready to cite parts of the paper that support each claim:

Q6. Identify (a) the cases, (b) the variables and their types, and (c) the main research question of this piece.
Q7. (a) What do the treatment and control groups consist of in this study? (b) What type of sampling does the study use? (c) Describe the experimental manipulation.
Q8. Identify (a) the population of interest and (b) the sample used in the study. (c) Do you think that this study can be generalized from the sample to the population?
Q9. There is one figure in the paper (Figure 1). Walk us through the figure and explain what it represents and reflects.
Q10. (a) Summarize the results of the study. (b) What is the size of the effect? Is this meaningful? (c) Describe what you think the important takeaway from the paper is.