Social Statistics [Cognomi M-Z] (2013/2014)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Claudio Capiluppi
Claudio Capiluppi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem IIA, Sem IIB

Lesson timetable

Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5 from Mar 26, 2014  to Apr 20, 2014
Thursday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5 from Mar 26, 2014  to Apr 20, 2014
Friday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5 from Mar 26, 2014  to Apr 20, 2014
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 5:20 PM - 7:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5  
Thursday 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM lesson Laboratory Aula Informatica WIN  

Learning outcomes

The course aims to familiarize students with the principles and logic of scientific method, by introducing some basic concepts and tools in empirical research. Course objective is to provide a statistical vision of reality: starting with the observed variability of a phenomena, it develops a reflection on the variability and errors inherent to the process of observation and measurement, in order to understand how all the empirical knowledge is actually of sampling nature. It takes place as well as mindset and statistical tools are needed to address the study of any phenomenon. The first part of the course is structured around the concept of statistical distribution, and describes the methods for the analysis and synthesis of the information collected. In the second part of the course deals with the analysis of dependence between two variables, and discusses the concept of causality. Finally, the principles of statistical inference are presented: sample estimation and statistical testing of hypotheses, with the aim of making understood primarily their logic and meaning.


  1. The principles of scientific method and the validity of a research. By formulating the research problem to hypothesis testing. Observation and measurement processes. Types of variables and measurement scales. The concept of distribution.
  2. Study of the distribution of a variable and summaries of information. Frequency tables and graphical representations. Grouping data into classes. Indices of centrality: the position and algebraic averages. Indices of variability.
  3. Transformations of variables. Standardization. Synthetic compound indexes.
  4. The normal distribution. Properties and applications.
  5. Analysis of the dependence between two variables. Frequency of double-entry tables. Conditional frequencies. Independence and association. Indices of association. Dependence on average. Correlation. The linear regression. The method of least squares. Interpretation and evaluation of the model.
  6. Sampling and Estimation. The sampling error. Property of the estimate: precision and accuracy. The bias problem. The confidence interval. How do I determine the sample size ?
  7. Statistical testing of hypotheses. Hypotheses and assumptions. The test statistic and its distribution. The statistical significance. Tests on averages and percentages.

Assessment methods and criteria

Test + Oral examination.

Reference books

  1. Borra S., Di Ciaccio A. (2004) Statistica: metodologie per le scienze economiche e sociali, McGraw-Hill.
  2. Capiluppi C. (2012) Appunti di Statistica Sociale, Aracne.
  3. *Spiegel M.R. (1994) Statistica, Collana Schaum's, McGraw-Hill (exercises, out of print).