

SEPTEMBER
24 
This will be the first meeting of class. In place of reading from the texts, there will be a moving sermon. Today, I will answer the burning question, "Why Should You Take Statistics?" 

SEPTEMBER
25 
Janda, Ch. 1: "Statistics: Who Needs It? What Is It?" I distinguish between descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. The first part of the course will treat descriptive statistics; the second part covers inferential. This order is the reverse of most statistics courses, which cover probability theory and related topics necessary to statistical inference at the very beginning. I think it wiser pedagogically to begin with the simpler descriptive statistics, for which the research applications are more readily illustrated. 

SEPTEMBER
27 
Marty J. Schmidt, Ch. 1:
"Data: The Raw Materials of Statistical Analysis," pp.
1735. (Distributed in class). The philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead, put it this way: Through and through the world is infested with quantity: To talk sense is to talk quantities. It is no use saying the nation is large  How large? It is no use saying that radium is scarce  How scarce? You cannot evade quantity. You may fly to poetry and music, and quantity and number will face you in your rhythms and your octaves. There are several types of dataqualitative v. quantitative, discrete v. continuousand several "levels" of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. These are standard classification schemes, and you should learn them well. Relying on nominallevel measurement as a type of quantification, I will argue in class that all social analysis is quantitative. If you think otherwise, prepare your argument and be ready to dispute my position. 