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# Assignment: Variables, Measurement, and SPSS

Quantitative research consists of testing andunderstanding relationships between variables. Researchers constructthese variables as measureable expressions of social phenomena. Modernstatistics provides you with a host of resources to answer questions,but each statistical test has a set of assumptions regarding themeasurement of the variables. It is therefore important to understandhow variables are measured because their measurement will influence thetype of analytic tools available to you.

SPSS is a statistical software program thatallows you to enter these variables into a spreadsheet format and recordthe measurements from a sample. Additionally, SPSS allows you toperform statistical analysis. Before launching into your analyses,though, it is important to understand how the variables are measured.That understanding will help you interpret the SPSS output.

In this week’s Discussion, you considered topicswith social change implications. For this Assignment, you will examinedata to analyze independent and dependent variables, determine how theyare measured, and decipher whether a social change question can beanswered and the implications for such change.

To prepare for this Assignment:

• Review the Learning Resources as well as the SPSS resources found in this week’s Learning Resources.
• Review, download, and install the SPSS software on your computerusing the IBM SPSS Installation and Registration document for PC or forMAC in this week’s Learning Resources.
• Using the SPSS software, open the Afrobarometer dataset or the HighSchool Longitudinal Study dataset (whichever you choose) found in thisweek’s Learning Resources and then choose two variables that interestyou.

For this Assignment:

Write a 1- to 2-page summary and include the following:

• A description of what the each of the variables measure.
• A description of the unit of analysis.
• A description and explanation of the levels of measurement for each variable (i.e., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio).
• Explain how you might conceive these variables to be used to answer asocial change question. What might be the implications for socialchange?

Support your summary using appropriate scholarly citations and references. Use proper APA format.

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