DAT Assignment 2: Chi Square

(For those of you looking for something more interesting, go check out the pictures I took walking around my neighborhood after the blizzard in DC this weekend.)

Following completion of the steps described above, create a blog entry where you submit syntax used to run a Chi-Square Test (copied and pasted from your program) along with corresponding output and a few sentences of interpretation.

The rest is past the jump.

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DMV Assignment 3: Managing Data

Once you have written a successful program that manages your data, create a blog entry where you post your program and the results/output that displays at least 3 of your data managed variables as frequency distributions. Write a few sentences describing these frequency distributions in terms of the values the variables take, how often they take them, the presence of missing data, etc.

More after the jump..  Continue reading

DAT Assignment 1: ANOVA

(For those following along, this is the second course I’m taking to learn SAS. It’s designed to be taken after the first course, but as I’m already familiar with the statistical concepts in both courses, I’m taking them concurrently. That does mean, however, that the order of posts will be somewhat jumpy as I’ll be posting assignments for ANOVA before completing the full set of descriptive analysis required for the first course.)

Create a blog entry where you submit syntax used to run an ANOVA (copied and pasted from your program) along with corresponding output and a few sentences of interpretation.
My responses after the cut.

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DMV Assignment 2: My first SAS Program!

Assignment instructions: Following completion of your first program, create a blog entry where you post 1) your program 2) the output that displays three of your variables as frequency tables and 3) a few sentences describing your frequency distributions in terms of the values the variables take, how often they take them, the presence of missing data, etc.

(Apologies for those of you not interested in reading raw SAS code, but for those of you who are, I’m open to suggestions for how to improve. This is fairly basic code, but useful for someone who’s never used SAS.)

Behind the jump for all the details.. Continue reading

DMV Assignment 1: Exploring institutionalized racism: Race and perception of law enforcement and opportunity for achievement between Blacks and Whites during the beginning of the #BlackLivesMatter movement

(A general note: I’m taking this course mostly for the opportunity learn SAS for data analysis. That said, my intent is to keep up with the course assignments, though likely with a lower level of rigor than desired by the instructors. While the topic I’ve chosen is of personal interest, and has some bearing on my professional work in higher education, it’s not within my main professional focus. Therefore, I will be cutting corners on conducting a full and proper lit review and may take the liberty of similar shortcuts in later assignments.)

Of the five data sources made available through the course, I’ve chosen to use the Outlook on Life Surveys data. Conducted in 2012 – in the midst of the recent spike in attention and interest by mainstream media in systemic/institutionalized racism prompted by the creation of the #BlackLivesMatter movement – the Outlook Surveys consist of responses to two internet surveys fielded between August and December 2012. The first survey yielded 2,294 responses (a 55.3% response rate) from a nationally representative panel of US adults (aged 18 and older) divided into four groups: African American/Black males, African American/Black females, White/other race males, and White/other race females. The survey sample contained a large oversample of African American/Black respondents. Panel members (and therefore members of the included sample) were randomly recruited using random-digit dialing and address-based sampling methodologies and households, where necessary, were provided with access to the internet and hardware to do so. The second wave of the survey consisted of interviews with 1,601 of the respondents from the first wave (a 75.1% response rate).

I’m most interested in exploring the relationships between race, social class, respondents perception of opportunity for success, and relations with law enforcement. Given a variety of evidence supporting a pattern of systemic racism (link is to a PDF) in the United States, specifically manifesting in police interactions with African Americans/Blacks, and the increased attention by mainstream media drawn to incidents of unequal response by police to incidents involving African Americans/Blacks starting with the death of Trayvon Martin, I expect to find that relations with law enforcement for African Americans/Blacks will be significantly more negative than for their white counterparts, and that, in particular, African American/Black males will report more negative relations than African American/Black females. I also expect to find interactions that may mitigate or exacerbate relations with law enforcement related to social class. Specifically, I expect that respondents who are both African American/Black and of lower social class will also report more negative relations with law enforcement. Further, given that systemic racism is not limited to interactions with law enforcement, but rather embedded and ingrained in our culture more broadly, I expect to find that African American/Black respondents also expressed lower expectations about their opportunities for success.

There are a number of items included in the Outlook Surveys that relate to the variables I am most interested in. By way of example, an indicator of social class could be created by combining responses to questions on personal income sources, access to cable television and the internet,  reliance on social services, highest level of education received, and/or home ownership status. Similarly, perception of opportunities for success could include respondent’s beliefs regarding their personal current and/or expected progress toward achieving the American dream, their expectations of success for their children or their children’s children, and/or beliefs about the relative equality of opportunity for Blacks and Whites. Relations with law enforcement are (fortunately) covered with only a small number of questions on the survey, though this simplicity may ultimately result in too broad a brush to describe the relationships in which I’m interested with sufficient specificity.

As I begin to work more directly with the data from the Outlook Surveys in the coming weeks, I expect that my variable selection will become more refined. For now, I have reviewed the codebook for the Outlook Surveys and highlighted those variables most likely to be of interest as I proceed. I expect that additional exploration of the data, specifically disaggregating the responses by race and gender into the four groups included in the responses, will prompt additional questions and the need for further review of the available data.

Fair warning

For various and sundry reasons, I’m participating in a few MOOCs this month on data analysis and interpretation. Yes, I already know these things and so the MOOCs are at best refresher content. However, we are likely becoming a SAS shop at work, which I’ve never had to learn, and the MOOCs – offered through Coursera by Wesleyan* – include specific guidance on learning SAS for data analysis.

One of the requirements of the courses is to maintain a public blog for various assignments related to the courses. I though briefly about starting a new tumblr for this purpose, but decided that adding another social media outlet to my existing bouquet might just put me over the edge. Therefore, I’ll be posting assignments here. You’re all welcome to comment (either directly on the blog or on the posts that push to Facebook or Twitter) if you wish, or to ignore them if you wish (I should hope that’s fairly obvious generally).

I’m not sure how frequently I’ll need to post for the courses, or whether I’ll work in posts between the required ones on other topics throughout the next month. The next post, though, will include information on the research question and data set I’ll be using for the courses, so you’ll know more then about whether you’ll want to tune in or tune out in the interim.

* Wesleyan offers the courses free if you take them as individual courses**, or you can choose to pay a certification fee to earn a specialization in Data Analysis and Interpretation. At the moment, I’m opting not to pay the fee for the specialization – it’s hopefully duplicative given my Masters degree! – but you, of course, have the option to “upgrade” later.

** The courses I’m taking (all at once because why not?) are: