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# Republic of the Philippines

Graduate School
Tacloban City

## Name of Reporter: ARGIE B. MABAG

Subject: Methods of Research
Topics: Computer Data Analysis
Level of Significance
Decision Rules
9-Step Hypothesis Testing

Data Analysis is the process of systematically applying statistical and/or logical techniques to describe
and illustrate, condense and recap, and evaluate data. According to Shamoo and Resnik (2003) various
analytic procedures “provide a way of drawing inductive inferences from data and distinguishing the
signal (the phenomenon of interest) from the noise (statistical fluctuations) present in the data”..

An essential component of ensuring data integrity is the accurate and appropriate analysis of research
findings. Improper statistical analyses distort scientific findings, mislead casual readers (Shepard, 2002),
and may negatively influence the public perception of research. Integrity issues are just as relevant to
analysis of non-statistical data as well.

## 1. Microsoft Office Excel 4. Stata

2. SPSS (Statistical Package for Social 5. MatLab
Sciences) 6. Impetus
3. Minitab

## WHY DO WE ANALYZE DATA

The purpose of analyzing data is to obtain usable and useful information. The analysis, irrespective of
whether the data is qualitative or quantitative, may:

## 1. describe and summarize the data 4. identify the difference between

2. identify relationships between variables variables
3. compare variables 5. forecast outcomes

## Considerations/issues in data analysis

1. Having the necessary skills to analyze 8. Providing honest and accurate analysis
2. Concurrently selecting data collection 9. Manner of presenting data
methods and appropriate analysis 10. Environmental/contextual issues
3. Drawing unbiased inference 11. Data recording method
4. Inappropriate subgroup analysis 12. Partitioning ‘text’ when analyzing
5. Following acceptable norms for qualitative data
disciplines 13. Training of staff conducting analyses
6. Determining statistical significance 14. Reliability and Validity
7. Lack of clearly defined and 15. Extent of analysis
objective outcome measurements

## Independent Variable (IV)

Variable that is either manipulated by the researcher or that won’t change due to other variable. Can be
thought of as either the cause of change in the dependent variable, or impacts the dependent variable.
Examples: Demographics such as gender, year in school; experimental/control group; time (pre/post)
Mabag, Report in Methods of Research: Computer Data Analysis…. Page 2

## Dependent Variable (DV)

Variable whose change depends on change in another variable (IV). Can be thought of as the “effect” due
to independent variable “cause”; the impacted variable. The researcher does not manipulate this variable.
Examples: satisfaction rating, course grade, retention in program, anxiety score, calorie intake, test score.

SCALES OF MEASUREMENT

A nominal scale is where: the data can be classified into a non-numerical or named categories, and the
order in which these categories can be written or asked is arbitrary.

An ordinal scale is where: the data can be classified into non-numerical or named categories an inherent
order exists among the response categories. Ordinal scales are seen in questions that call for ratings of
quality (for example, very good, good, fair, poor, very poor) and agreement (for example, strongly agree,
agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

A numerical scale is: where numbers represent the possible response categories there is a natural
ranking of the categories zero on the scale has meaning there is a quantifiable difference within
categories and between consecutive categories.

## Level of Significance (α)

Significance levels show how likely a result is due to chance. It is the probability of rejecting the null
hypothesis when it is true, sometimes it is also called the level of risk. This may be the more appropriate
term because it is the risk you take of rejecting Ho when it is really true.

Traditionally, the 0.10 level of significance is selected for political polling, 0.05 level is selected
for social science research, 0.01 for natural science, quality assurance and medical researches.
The researcher must decide on the level of significance before formulating a decision rule and collecting
the sample data.

Decision Rules

## When the level of significance (α) > probability value (p-value) OR

When the absolute value of the computed test statistic > test statistic tabular value

## Step 1. Make the Problem Statement

In thesis writing, this corresponds to the specific statement of the problem or the specific research
objective of a research paper. This is usually written in interrogative or question sentence form. However,
for the sake of statistical hypothesis test exercise, it can also be written in a declarative sentence form
and you need to write only one argumentative sentence.

Step 2. State the null (Ho) and the Alternative Hypotheses (Ha or H1)

It is necessary that both the null (Ho) and the alternative (Ha) hypotheses are written based on the flow
of thoughts outlined in the statement of the problem above. The Ho always conveys an equality
relationship which can be written either in affirmative or negated form. Always remember that the Ho is
formulated for the purpose of being rejected. Statistically speaking, you can say: “Reject the null
hypothesis” or “Do not reject the null hypothesis”, or “We fail to reject the null hypothesis”. It is common
to write or say, “Accept the null hypothesis” but take note that you are making a statistical statement,
and it is more appropriate to state any of the three former statements (in italics) when you indicate not
to reject the null hypothesis (Ho).
Mabag, Report in Methods of Research: Computer Data Analysis…. Page 3

Step 3. Identify the test statistic to be used and state a level of significance

This is the most crucial part of the hypothesis test since you have to be correct on what statistical
technique (test statistic) you have to employ based on the given problem situation. When you cannot
identify the correct test statistic to be used, then you’re solutions and answers from this step onward will
also be statistically and logically wrong. Mann (2004) defines “test statistic” as a rule or criterion which
is used to make the decision whether or not to reject the null hypothesis.

## Step 5. Formulate the decision rule and state the finding

Always bear in mind that the decision rule deals on “When to reject the null hypothesis (Ho)”.

## Step 6. Make a Decision

The decision is logically based on the findings stated in the preceding step. If α > p-value, then Ho is
rejected, otherwise it is not. Rejecting the Ho means that the Ha is carried into the succeeding steps, and
vice-versa.

## Step 7. Interpret and analyze of the findings and results

You need to re-state here the hypothesis being carried over, but make sure to provide further statistical
explanations of the analysis.

## Step 8. Discuss the implications

In this step, the implications is discussed by way of providing the “why(s)” of the findings and the
interpretation. It substantiates the interpretations outlined in step 7 to reach the conclusion by logically
explaining the reasons of the findings forwarded. In short, this provides the ‘why’ of the findings and
interpretation.

## Step 9. State the conclusion

In writing the conclusion, you need to go back to the given problem situation. There is only one conclusion
that must be drawn based on what is being asked in the given situational problem. Always bear in mind
that in the conclusion, there is no more use of any statistical term. Put simply, the conclusion answers
the question asked in the given problem. In any research, the conclusion answers the main statement of
the problem or the main research objectives. All the specific statements of the problems (research
objectives) are answered in the results and discussion part of the research report.

References:

Abocejo, F. T., & Panares, Z. A. (2014). Applied Statistics Handbook (Statistics Handbook I for Graduate
Students ed.). Cebu City: Gibeon Consultancy Services.

https://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matnat/ifi/INF4260/h10/undervisningsmateriale/DataAnalysis.pdf

## Statistics are like bikinis.

What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.