Statistic Methods for Social Science (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Claudio Capiluppi
Claudio Capiluppi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A dal Sep 21, 2020 al Oct 31, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

General learining oucomes Knowledge and understanding - Knowledge and understanding of the main process of social change Ability to apply knowledge and understanding - Ability to project and conduct researches on social problems and social needs of a specific territorial area SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES The aim of the course is providing a statistical reading key of the realty: starting from the study of the problems and errors inherent in the process of observation and measurement, it develops a reflection on the variability of the phenomena and the observed data, in order to understand how the whole empirical knowledge is in fact of a matter of sample nature. The students should realize that a statistical formed mind and the statistical tools are necessary to face the study of any observed phenomenon. By the end of the course the students will have acquired the knowledge and the skills necessary to statistically understand social change processes and to operate quantitative detection of the social needs of a specific territorial area.


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.
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.
Transformations of variables. Standardization. Synthetic compound indexes.
The normal distribution. Properties and applications.
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.
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 ?
Statistical testing of hypotheses. Hypotheses and assumptions. The test statistic and its distribution. The statistical significance. Tests on averages and percentages.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Capiluppi C. Appunti di Statistica Sociale Aracne 2012 978-88-548-5894-7
Borra S., Di Ciaccio A. Statistica, metodologie per le scienze economiche e sociali McGraw-Hill 2004 8838661626

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of a written test (Test).

Written Test (Test)

The written exam takes place in a computer classroom but does not require computer skills: the PC is used only to display the questions and enter the responses, after writing answers/solutions on the paper sheets. The test is presented as a multiple response test but is a normal written exam, which requires a complete, orderly and readable written answer for all the exercises and questions to which an answer is entered in the computerized questionnaire. Responses to theoretical questions, and even questions that do not require computations, must be adequately explained and justified in writing too. For the test to be valid, it is necessary to answer 2/3 of the questions (e.g. 20/30). Wrong responses are penalized. Unanswered responses (or with not correct writing) are invalid: any responses that are inserted in the computerized questionnaire but are not explained in the writing, involve a downward revision of the mark, and even its invalidation. Incomplete or incomprehensible written responses are considered invalid.
In the Test there are questions of different types:
- Theoretical questions: assess the level of understanding of statistical and methodological concepts
- Calculation exercises: indices or other statistical measures from numeric data provided in the text
- Theoretical exercises: they require linkages between studied arguments, definitions and properties, or to elaborate algebraic expressions to derive results in symbolic form
- Problems of various kinds: solvable with the help of statistical concepts and properties

On line didactic matherials

Exam Info
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Lessons Calendar
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