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Sociology 357Survey Assignment Due: Monday, December 15, 5:00 p.m.

in my office The goal for this assignment is to give you the opportunity to design, conduct, and analyze a survey of what UW students think about some topic: an issue, problem, event, etc. Unlike the qualitative interview, quantitative survey methods are designed to allow you to ask the same questions of a large number of people in such a way that peoples responses can be compared with one another. Like the previous assignments, this one features distinct planning, execution, and analysis phases. And like the previous assignments, this one is designed so that you can write the report as you go, rather than waiting until the last minute to throw everything together. It is important in this assignment to keep up with the schedule. The analysis phase of this assignment will be labor-intensive and technically difficult, so you dont want to be behind when you get there! Phase 1: Questionnaire Design Note: You should begin work on Phase 1 right now! You should have completed phase 1 of this assignment by Monday, November 24. Step 1: Choose a topic and dependent variable. Start with a simple question that you want to know the answer to: What do UW students think about _____________? Fill in the blank, and you have your topic, as well as your dependent variable: opinion about ________________. Step 2: Operationalize your dependent variable. Think of what questions you could ask in order to find out what people think about your dependent variable. Think of a number of different ways you could have people give their answers. Construct at least two measures of the dependent variable. Both the questions and the ways you are asking people to respond to the questions should be different. Step 3: Choose your independent variables. Think about ways that UW students differ. They could be demographic characteristics, identities, attitudes or opinions they hold, or something about their position on campus (e.g. Greek, major, cohort, etc). Select at least 6 of these as independent variables: characteristics of respondents that might shape their attitude towards your dependent variable. Step 4: Operationalize your independent variables. Think about the best ways to get respondents to report these characteristics. Construct one measure for each of your independent variables. Step 5: Write your research question. Choose one independent variable that you think will be most related to your dependent variable. Modify your research question by including it: How is _________ related to what UW students think about ___________? Step 6: Write your hypothesis. Write a hypothesis about what you think is the likely answer to this research question. Remember, your hypothesis should testable and falsifiable: you should be

able to imagine different results that would support or not support your hypothesis. Step 7: Construct your questionnaire. Construct a questionnaire that includes all of your measures of independent and dependent variables. Include several additional items in the questionnaire to make it less obvious what your research question is (and to make it less likely that your questionnaire format will bias the responses). Follow the principles of questionnaire construction discussed in the book and in class. Your questionnaire should have a minimum of 10 separate items/questions.

Phase 2: Execution Step 1: Pretest your questionnaire. Bring 3 copies of your questionnaire to class on Monday, November 24. Three students in the class will fill out your questionnaire and give you feedback about ways to improve the questionnaire. Step 2: Revise your questionnaire. Modify your questionnaire to correct problems and make improvements based on the suggestions of your classmates. Step 3: Choose a sampling procedure. Decide how you will get students to fill out the questionnaire. Consider who you want to get to fill out the survey and what would be the best way to get those people to take the survey. It is probably best to use some form of convenience sampling, due to the limited time constraints. Step 4: Administer the survey. You must collect a minimum of 30 completed surveys for this assignment, and you should have it completed by Wednesday, December 3.

Phase 3: Analysis Step 1: Create codebook. After you collect your data, you need to quantify all of your data. This is done because analysis of the data can only be done when all your data are in numerical form. Start with a copy of your survey, and assign numerical values to all response categories. For example, if you use a Likert scale, you could code the responses like this: (strongly disagree = 1, disagree = 2, no opinion = 3, agree = 4, strongly agree = 5). If you ask someones sex, you could code male = 0 and female = 1. In addition, you will have to assign a name for each variable, no more than 8 letters each. Your codebook will take the form of your original survey with variable names written to the left of each questionnaire item and numerical codes written next to each response category. After this point, the rest of the analysis will be done in the computer lab. Step 2: Construct dataset. After you create your codebook, you will have to input the data into a computer program so that you can analyze it. We will go over instructions for how to do this on

the computer at a later date. The program we will be using is called SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences), and you will have access to it through the computer labs in the Social Science Building. Step 3: Description of respondents (univariate analysis of independent variables). Use SPSS in order to help you describe the characteristics of your respondents. Consult the chapter on quantitative analysis in the textbook for guidance. For some variables, it is appropriate to report the mean, median, or mode. For some variables, it is appropriate to report the frequency distribution. For doing this, it is usually not necessary to present the data in the form of a chart or table; simply describing it is usually sufficient. However, if one of your independent variables uses a lot of response categories, it may be more efficient to portray the data in visual form. Use your best judgment about whether or not you should do this. Step 4: Correlations among independent variables. Use SPSS in order to check for correlations among your independent variablesi.e. how likely it is that one characteristic of your respondents is associated with another characteristic of your respondents. Step 5: Univariate analysis of dependent variable. Use SPSS in order to help you describe the information you found out about your topic/dependent variable. Depending on the measure, you may report mean, median, mode, or frequency distribution. Again, you may or may not find it useful to present the data in graphic form, but always describe it in writing. Do this for ALL measures of your dependent variable, and discuss the similarities/differences among the measures. Based on this analysis, choose ONE of the measures of your dependent variable that will best be able to answer your research question. You will use this measure of your dependent variable for further analysis. Explain why you are using that variable. Step 6: Bivariate analysis. You will now test your hypothesis. This is a simple analysis of the bivariate relationship between your chosen independent and dependent variables. The results you get will tell you whether or not your hypothesized relationship is likely to be correct or incorrect. Which technique of analysis you will use will depend on the nature of your variables.

Write the Report Your report should give a thorough accounting of the planning, execution, and analysis of this project. The report should be between 7-10 pages (double-spaced, 12 pt. font), not counting appendices. It should contain the following sections: a) Topic and Research Question: State your topic and research question. b) Dependent Variable: State your dependent variable and explain how you operationalized it (you are operationalizing the dependent variable in more than one way). c) Independent Variables: State your independent variables and explain how you operationalized them. d) Hypothesis: State your hypothesis about the relationship between your dependent


f) g) h)

i) j) k)

l) m)

variable and only one independent variable. Explain why you believe this hypothesis will be true. In addition, explain how you think the other independent variables might be related to both the dependent variable and your chosen independent variable. Questionnaire Construction: Explain what factors you considered when writing your questionnaire items and when constructing the questionnaire. Also explain what happened when you pretested the questionnaire and how you changed the questionnaire as a result. Sampling and Execution: Explain your sampling strategy and how you administered the survey. Description of Respondents: Describe the characteristics of your respondents (univariate analysis of independent variables). Correlations: Report on the correlations among your independent variables. Include the SPSS output showing correlations among all of your independent variables, and discuss whether or not there are any strong relationships among the characteristics of your respondents that are relevant to your hypothesis. Univariate Analysis of Dependent Variable: Follow instructions in description above. Bivariate Analysis: Include the SPSS output of the test of your hypothesis and explain what the results show. Interpretation: Explain what the results of your survey mean and what significance the results have for theory. Specifically say whether or not your bivariate analysis supports your hypothesis and why/why not. Also include a discussion speculating about how you think other independent variables might be related to your dependent variables, and finish with a discussion about what should be done differently in the future to give further information about your research question (e.g. different way to measure dependent variable, different independent variables to include in the analysis, etc.). Appendix A: Attach your codebook. Appendix B: Attach a printout of all the SPSS analyses that you did.