Sociology 390    ———    Social Statistics I   

    Fall 2012   ———   Cowden Building, Room 124   ———   Wednesdays 4:30-7:15




Office Hours



Stephen Kulis

UC 720 (ASU Downtown)

By appointment


Megan O’Donnell

CFS 101 (ASU Tempe)

Wednesday:  3:20-4:20

Thursday: 2:45-3:45



This three credit-hour course is an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics that satisfies the General Studies ‘CS’ (computer/statistics/quantitative applications) requirement. The course prepares you to perform and interpret fundamental statistical analysis in social science research: data description, cross-tabulation, t-tests, correlation and regression, and analysis of variance. Students learn to conduct these analyses by hand and by using a statistical software package. Classes combine lectures, demonstrations, and problem solving exercises.





Introductory Sociology (SOC101 or SOC301).  Students unfamiliar with basic algebra (see the self-diagnostic quiz below) should complete college algebra before attempting this class.

Required Text:

Frankfort-Nachmias & Leon-Guerrero, Social Statistics for a Diverse Society 6th  edition


·      Regular homework based on computer and pencil/ paper exercises.

·      Three non-cumulative exams: September 26, October 31, & December 14

·      Note: the last exam is during the Final Exam period, on a Friday (Dec. 14th) from 4:30-6:20

·      Bring your textbook to every class session.


·      Exams test your understanding of key terms and methods, their application to solving social science problems, and your ability to complete and interpret statistical calculations

·      You may bring one 8.5" by 11" sheet of notes and a calculator to these exams.


·      Each exam will be scored on 100 possible points: the first exam contributes 20% toward the final grade; the second exam contributes 25%; the final exam contributes 30%

·      Homework (90 assigned problems, 10 points each) contributes 25% toward the final grade.  The 10 problems with the lowest scores will be dropped before calculating the total homework score (800 possible points)

·      Grades will be assigned based on the final percentage of total points earned: 90-100%=A, 80-89%=B, 70-79%=C, 60-69%=D, less than 60%=E.  Plus/minus additions to final letter grades in the course will not be assigned.


Attendance at all class sessions is strongly advised. If absent, you remain responsible for all assignments, hand-outs or announcements made in class. We recommend that you swap phone numbers or email addresses with a member of the class to be able to consult one another if you miss class unexpectedly or have problems completing homework assignments.

Missed Exams:

Students who miss exams for medical or grave emergencies must present official documentation (e.g., physician's note) verifying their inability to attend on the scheduled test day and time.


Important class information, including the syllabus, practice tests, homework tips, homework answers, and SPSS resources, are on the class Blackboard site, which enrolled students can access through

Getting Help:

A key to success in the course is not to let yourself fall behind. For help, see the instructor or teaching assistant during office hours. The University Learning Resource Center provides free tutoring (see for locations and hours). Study with another student in the class.  Check the textbook website with review material and quizzes on each chapter ( We can also help you find a private tutor.



If you need disability accommodations or will miss class or an exam on a religious holiday, see the instructor at the start of the semester.  Such information will be treated confidentially. 

Academic Integrity:

Students are expected to abide by ASU’s Academic Integrity policy and code of conduct ( ), which defines academic dishonesty to include cheating, plagiarism, academic deceit, falsifying records, and inappropriate collaboration.  It specifies a range of sanctions that faculty can choose from when violations occur.  Cheating on tests or homework will be treated as serious offenses in this course. Penalties may include a course grade of XE (failure for academic dishonesty), suspension, or university expulsion.

Classroom Conduct:

To prevent disturbances to other students, cell phones and pagers may not be used during class sessions, including texting. These devices must be turned off or silenced. 


Calendar of Topics (Textbook chapter covered)

August 29: Introduction to statistics in the social sciences; frequency distributions (Ch. 1, 2)

September 5: Graphical presentations of distributions (Ch. 3)

September 12: Descriptive statistics: measures of central tendency (Ch. 4)

September 19: Descriptive statistics: measures of variability (Ch. 5)

September 26: First exam on Chapters 1-5; Introduction to normal distributions (Ch. 6)

October 3: Sampling distributions and the Central Limit Theorem (Ch. 7)

October 10: Estimation of confidence intervals (Ch. 8)

October 17: Logic of classical hypothesis testing involving means (Ch. 9)

October 24: Hypothesis testing involving proportions (Ch. 9)

October 31: Second exam on Chapters 7-9; Constructing and analyzing crosstabs (Ch. 10)

November 7: Chi-square tests of relationships in crosstabs (Ch. 11)

November 14: Measures of association for crosstabs (Ch. 12)

November 21: Regression (Ch. 13)

November 28: Correlation (Ch. 13)

December 5: Analysis of variance (Ch. 14)

December 14: Third exam on Chapters 10-14



·      Required homework exercises are listed below, with due dates. 

·      Homework is collected at the beginning of class on due dates. Homework CANNOT be accepted for credit after answer keys have been distributed or posted to Blackboard.

·      Homework can be turned in before it is due in class to the receptionist in the School of Social and Family Dynamics (Social Sciences building, 1st floor).  Clearly address it to Professor Stephen Kulis and ask to have it time stamped.

·      Homework will not be accepted as attachments to email.

·      Turn in the original copies of your pencil and paper answers and your SPSS printouts.


Guidelines and hints for assigned homework problems:

·      Make it easy to follow the sequence of problems and logic of your solutions.

·      Read the prior problems for hints about how to do the problems that follow.

·      Print neatly; don’t write in cursive.  

·      Do only assigned problems; turn in only SPSS printouts for problems marked above with an asterisk.

·      Clearly label each attached printout with a problem number.

·      Staple pages in proper ascending order.

·      Don’t scribble all over. Neatly transfer calculations you know are correct.

·      Don’t wait until the night before: you may have computer/printer problems.

·      Retain a zerox copy of the homework that you turn in, especially close to test dates.


Grading of each problem:

Perfectly executed=10;  Minor mistake(s)=9;  Major mistake(s)=8; Complete attempt, wrong approach=7;

Incomplete attempt, wrong approach=6;  No attempt=0


Assigned Homework Problems:




SPSS Problems*

Chapter Exercises (paper & pencil).

Due in Class on:


Top of p. 25*

from p. 25: #2, 4, 6, 8 

September 12


1*, 3*

4, 6, 8, 12, 14

September 12


1*, 2*, 4 (for #4 produce the graphics & explain why you chose them)

2, 4, 10, 12

September 12


3*, 4*(explain each choice), 5*

2, 4, 6, 8, 10

September 19


1*, 2*, 3*, 4*

2, 4, 6, 8, 10

September 26


1*, 2*

4, 8, 10, 14

October 10 



2, 4, 6, 8, 10

October 10


1*, 2*

4, 6, 8, 12

October 17


1*, 2*, 4*

2, 6, 8, 12, 14

October 24




October 31


1*, 3*

2, 4, 8, 10, 12

November 14


1*, 3*

4, 6, 8, 10

November 14


1*, 4*

2, 4, 6, 8, 12 (defend the measure you selected in 8 & 12)

November 21


1*, 4*

2, 4, 6, 10, 12

December 5


*Note: asterisked homework problems require that you attach your original SPSS printouts, not copies.  Before attempting SPSS homework problems, read the immediately prior section of your text labeled “SPSS Demonstrations,” which provide vital hints and reminders of how to operate the SPSS software.


Using SPSS:

Your text contains information, demonstrations, and homework problems using SPSS, a statistical software package that will allow you to analyze social science data sets.  All ASU students may access SPSS through the ASU computer network from any ASU computing site or via the internet.


How to Use SPSS at ASU Computing Sites  


How to Use the ASU Network Version of SPSS Remotely (from any computer connected to the internet)  


How to Download the SPSS Program to Your PC or Mac Computer


How to Find, Download, and Copy the SPSS Datasets for Your Homework

·        The datasets you will use with SPSS for assigned homework problems are available on the class Blackboard site under the “SPSS” tab. 

·        You can copy them by clicking on the file, select “Click here if the file does not open,” select “Save,” and then save the file to a folder on the computer you are using. We will also email all students with these datasets as attachments.  Download and save these files to your own computer if you plan to use that computer to complete your SPSS homework.


May We Suggest Strongly...

·        If using ASU computing sites, do your work well in advance of due dates, and anticipate a wait at busy times (e.g., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

·        Shortcut: Save the SPSS homework datasets on a USB flash drive if you will use SPSS at an ASU Computing Site.  After plugging in the flash drive to the site computer, you can just double click the SPSS homework dataset on the flash drive to start up SPSS.

·        If you are stumped on homework problems, study the adjacent odd-numbered problems for which there are answers in the book.

·        Visit the Teaching Assistant during office hours if you have any problems.  No question or problem is too simple, or “too dumb” to ask about.

·        We are using a well proofed text, but errors in formulas, answer keys, or typos sometimes escape notice.    If you encounter anything you strongly suspect is wrong, please email the instructor ( so we can inform the whole class.  Thanks.