Teaching plan for the course unit

(Short version)


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General information


Course unit name: Statistical Techniques for Social Research

Course unit code: 362524

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Guadalupe Cisneros Garrido

Department: Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics

Credits: 6

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 150


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture with practical component

Face-to-face and online



Supervised project


Independent learning




Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— In this course students learn to design an instrument to collect data and use it to extract and interpret relevant information.

— They do this by processing the data collected in observations of a population or sample in order to obtain tables and figures.

Students who complete the course successfully will be able to:

— Identify the sources for collecting data that respond best to descriptive statistical analysis.

— Use the summary statistics most commonly deployed in the set of instruments and techniques known as descriptive statistics.

— Describe the kinds of research in which summary statistics can be useful, and also the strengths and weaknesses of each kind.

— Calculate summary statistics.

— Interpret data, define variables and use the software package SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) to perform univariate and bivariate analysis.

— Interpret results.


Referring to abilities, skills

— Demonstrate independent learning skills.

— Demonstrate the logical thinking skills that are necessary for statistical analysis.

— Critically weigh the pros and cons of different instruments and techniques in the analysis of complex social realities.

— Identify the calculations required to obtain different kinds of information and results.

— Show thoroughness in the description of the results that are obtained using the instruments and techniques introduced on the course.



Teaching blocks


1. Introduction to the statistical analysis of data

*  1.1. Statistics and social science
1.2. Variables and variable types
1.3. Sources of statistical data

2. Univariate analysis

*  2.1. Analysing qualitative data

         2.1.1. Frequency distribution: tables and graphs

2.2. Analysing quantitative data

         2.2.1. Frequency distribution: tables and graphs

         2.2.2. Measures of central tendency: mean, median and mode

         2.2.3. Measures of non-central location: quantiles

         2.2.4. Measures of dispersion: range, interquartile range, variance, standard deviation and relative standard deviation

2.2.5. Measures of skewness: Fisher’s coefficient of skewness

         2.2.6. Box plots

2.3. Obtaining results using SPSS Introduction

3. Bivariate analysis

*  3.1. Joint and marginal distributions. ’Crosstabs’ and ’Correlate’.
3.2. Conditional distributions. Row and column profiles.
3.3. Statistical independence
3.4. Analysing the association between two variables
         3.4.1. Determining the direction of the association using the profile tables
         3.4.2. Measures of association: Cramér’s V
         3.4.3. Covariance, the Pearson correlation coefficient and lines of best fit
         3.4.4. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient

3.5. Obtaining results using SPSS Introduction

4. Index numbers

*  4.1. Calculating a simple index number
4.2. Splicing and shifting the base of index numbers





Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


AZOFRA, María José  Cuestionarios. Madrid : Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 1999.  Enllaç

FERNÁNDEZ FERNÁNDEZ, S.; CÓRDOBA, A.; CORDERO, J.M. Estadística descriptiva. Madrid : ESIC, 2002.  Enllaç

ROJAS, A.J.; FERNÁNDEZ PRADOS, J.S.; PÉREZ MELÉNDEZ, C. (eds.). Investigar mediante encuestas : fundamentos teóricos y aspectos prácticos. Madrid : Síntesis, DL 1998.  Enllaç

TOMEO, V.; UÑA, I. Lecciones de estadística descriptiva : curso teórico-práctico. Madrid [etc.] : Thomson, cop. 2003.  Enllaç


DIPUTACIÓ DE BARCELONA. Base de dades HERMES. < http://www.diba.es/hg2/menu_ini.asp >.

Web page

Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS). < http://www.cis.es/cis/opencms/ES/index.html >.

  Statistical information

Instituto Nacional de Estadística. < http://www.ine.es/ >.

  Statistical information

Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya (IDESCAT). < http://www.idescat.cat/ >.

  Statistical information

Electronic text

Rey Graña, Carlota & Ramil Díaz, Maria (2007). Introducción a la Estadística Descriptiva.[en línia]. Netbiblo, 2ª ed. Disponible a: <http://ruc.udc.es/dspace/bitstream/2183/11897/2/8497451678.pdf>