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HE RESEARCHER H3 MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY 85 The Typical American Is there such a thing as a typical American? In this of the average American based on measures of central tendency chosen by you from the 2012 General Social Survey (GS$2012. Choose variables that you think are the most important in defining what it means to be a member of this soch ety and then choose an appropriate measure of central tendency for each variable. Use this information to write a description of the typical American. We will also use this opportunity to introduce a new SPSS program. exercise, you will develop a profile for ten variables Step 1: Choosing Your Variables Scroll through the list of available variables either in Appendix G or by using the Utilities Variables command in SPSS to see the online codebook. Select ten variabies that, in your view, are central to defining or describing the typical Ame them in the table below. Select at least one variable from each of measurement. rican and list Variable SPSS Name Explain exactly what this variable measures Level of Me 5 10 Step 2: Getting the Statistics Find and click the SPSS icon on your desktop. Load the 2012 GSS (GSS2012) data set. Using the Frequencies Procedure for the Mode and Median The only SPSS procedure that will produce all three measures of central tendency is Frequencies. In this step, you will use Frequencies to get modes and medians for any nominal- and ordinal-level variables you selected in step 1 Click Analyze Descriptive Statistics Frequencies. In the Frequencies dialog box, find the names of your nominal- and ordinal-level variables in the list on the left and click the arrow button in the middle of the screen to move the names to the Variables box on the right. the Statistics button, find the Central Tendency box on the right, and click and Mode. Click Continue, and you will be returned to the Frequencies dialoa box. Click (uncheck) the Display frequency tables box so that SPSs will not produce frequency distribution tables. Click ok and record your results in the
DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS following table. Report the mode for all nominal-level variables and the ordinal-level variables. Use as many lines as needed 4 Mode VariableS SPSS Name Level of Measurement LEAR The Descriptives command in SPSS is designed to provide summ interval-ratio-level variables. By default (i.e., unless you tell it otherwise) produces the mean, the minimum and maximum scores (i.e., the lowestte scores, which can be used to compute the range), and the standard deviaton introduce the range and standard deviation in the next chapter Using the DescriptivesProcedure for the Mean ICs tion. We To use Descriptives, click Analyze, Descriptive Statistics, and Descri The Descriptives dialog box will open. This dialog box looks just like the Freque dialog box and works in the same way. Find the names of your interval-ta variables in the list on the left and, once they are highlighted, click the arrow the middle of the screen to transfer them to the Variables box on the right. Click and record your results in the table below, using as many lines as necessary ptives button in ox Variable SPSS Name Mean Step 3: Interpreting Results Examine the two tables displaying your results, and write a summary paragrap describing the typical American. Be sure to report all ten variables and, as appropih ate, describe the most common case (the mode), the typical case (the median), or ie typical score (mean). Write as if you are reporting in a newspaper: Your goal sth be clarity and accuracy. As an example, you might report that The typical Americ is Protestant and married.
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