# Statistics for Social Science

Assignment Instructions

SOCI 332 – Statistics for Social Sciences

Final Portfolio Assignment

(WORD DOCUMENT BELOW ATTACHED WITH THE DIRECTIONS FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT)

Overview

One of the most crucial components of this course is developing a research project from conceptualizing a research problem and developing a number of measurement and statistical analysis approaches to bring evidence to bear on the problem. Throughout the class, you created a research study based on publicly available data from the General Social Survey (GSS). You chose data which were representative of your interests and satisfied your research question and hypotheses.

This Assignment meets these course objectives:

Describe and apply the concepts and logic of elementary statistics.

Conduct statistical analysis in SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).

Compare and contrast different types of data and the statistics that can be used to analyze them

Examine the differences between descriptive and inferential statistics and their use in the social sciences.

Form critical interpretations of quantitative research literature in sociology and other social sciences.

Complete and interpret descriptive and inferential statistical data analysis

Critically evaluate the quality of research design and evidence in published social research.

Instructions

The Final Portfolio Assignment is where you pull together the research you’ve been working on the first seven weeks of class. Using your weekly Forum posts, and the feedback from your classmates and instructor on your posts, construct a 6-8 page paper that fully explores your research topic in a way that provides the context and explanation surrounding the analyses provided in the paper. Your project should display you understand what you are writing about holistically, not simply going through the motions.

Citing literature about your research topic, be sure to set the stage for the data and analyses that you present. Briefly describe the General Social Survey as your survey instrument. Provide the questions, verbatim, that were asked in the survey which became the variable which you chose to use. You will also need to include the answer choices for each of them. This portion can be a table if you choose. Share and explain frequency table(s) an histograms or graphs to describe your data. Using the statistical tests you ran each week in class (crosstabs, tests of significance, measures of association), present the tests and your findings. Clearly identify and explain your hypothesis and the five steps of hypothesis testing as they apply to your paper. Explain the results of the statistical tests and pull in some literature to provide context, demonstrating how your results and research fit into the larger body of literature on this topic. Be sure to use proper APA formatting for citations and references. However, you do not need to include an abstract or table of contents. You can find guidance in APA by clicking here to access the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Because the project is a formal, you should include a title page and reference page. You may organize the paper based on the following headings:

Introduction – Introduce the topic based in current literature (briefly – show why it is important to study). Discuss why you chose the topic and what the purpose of the paper is. Give a brief overview of what you will cover.

Literature Review – Review 3-4 peer-reviewed sources that provide a background on your topic. These sources don’t have to specifically address the relationship between your IV and DV, but should address the topic and be somewhat related to your variables.

Methods – Briefly discuss the GSS (information you included in Assignment 1) as your data source. Identify and describe your specific variables, including the name, question, and responses (categories). You may state your hypothesis here, but do not go through the hypothesis testing steps until the next section.

Findings – Begin with a discussion of each variable individually, utilizing your frequency tables and charts/graphs. Then discuss your other analyses in logical order. Crosstabs are your first look at a potential relationship. Next, discuss the steps of hypothesis testing. Include the table of your significance test. Last, discuss the strength and direction of the relationship using measures of association.

Discussion – Discussion what you learned from the various analyses and draw any conclusions you found. Talk about any further research you think may be needed on your topic.

Note:

This course has “Resubmission” status enabled to help you if you realize you submitted an incorrect or blank file, or if you need to submit multiple documents as part of your Assignment. Resubmission of an Assignment after it is graded, to attempt a better grade, is not permitted.

Grading Rubric

View the grading rubric so you understand how you will be assessed on this Assignment.

Final Portfolio Assignment

100 %

Exemplary

4 pts

Accomplished

3.4 pts

Developing

3 pts

Beginning

2.6 pts

Did not attempt

0 pts

Introduction

10 %

Exemplary

Student provides rich, detailed introduction to the research topic.

Accomplished

Student provides an introduction to the research topic.

Developing

Student provides an introduction to the research topic, some detail lacking, more development needed.

Beginning

Student provides an introduction to the research topic, significant detail lacking, more development needed.

Did not attempt

No introduction to the research topic is provided.

Review of literature

20 %

Exemplary

Student presents context for the current study with more than three sources, two must be scholarly.

Accomplished

Student presents context for the current study with three sources, two must be scholarly.

Developing

Student presents limited context for study and only reviews two sources, at least one is scholarly.

Beginning

Student presents limited context for study and only reviews one source; the source is scholarly.

Did not attempt

Student presents limited context for study and only reviews non-scholarly sourc

GSS

5 %

Exemplary

Student provides detailed explanation of the survey instrument used for data collection

Accomplished

Student explains the survey instrument used for data collection

Developing

Student explains the survey instrument used for data collection. Some detail lacking, more development needed.

Beginning

Student explains the survey instrument used for data collection. Significant detail lacking, more development needed.

Did not attempt

Student does not include a review of the survey instrument.

Variables

5 %

Exemplary

Student identifies the variables correctly, levels of measurement, and presents all variable data from the GSS

Accomplished

Student identifies the variables correctly, levels of measurement, and presents all variable data from the GSS. Minor corrections needed.

Developing

Student identifies the variables correctly, levels of measurement, and presents some variable data from the GSS. Some corrections needed.

Beginning

Student identifies the variables- some may be inaccurate or missing. Levels of measurement may be inaccurate or missing.

Did not attempt

Variables and levels of measurement are not identified.

Frequency tables

5 %

Exemplary

Student includes a detailed explanation for frequency tables using relevant and cited material. Student provides frequency tables with detailed and accurate findings.

Accomplished

Student includes an explanation for frequency tables using relevant and cited material. Student provides frequency tables with accurate findings.

Developing

Student includes an explanation for frequency tables using relevant and cited material. Student provides frequency tables with accurate findings. Some detail lacking, minor inaccuracy.

Beginning

Section is incomplete- either lacking a table or explanation.

Did not attempt

Student does not include frequency tables.

Histograms or Graphing

5 %

Exemplary

Student includes a detailed explanation for histograms or other graphing using relevant and cited material. Student provides histogram chart and explains findings accurately.

Accomplished

Student includes an explanation for histograms or other graphing using relevant and cited material. Student provides histogram chart and explains findings accurately.

Developing

Student includes an explanation for histograms or other graphing using relevant and cited material. Student provides histogram chart and explains findings accurately. Some detail lacking, minor inaccuracy.

Beginning

Section is incomplete- either lacking a histogram/graph or explanation.

Did not attempt

Student does not include histograms or other graphing.

Crosstabs

10 %

Exemplary

Student presents crosstabulation data with accurate and detailed explanations.

Accomplished

Student presents crosstabulation data with accurate explanations.

Developing

Student presents crosstabulation data with accurate explanations. Some detail lacking, minor inaccuracy.

Beginning

Section is incomplete- either lacking crosstabs or explanation.

Did not attempt

Student does not include crosstabs.

Hypothesis testing

10 %

Exemplary

Student provides detailed overview of hypothesis testing using and citing relevant material. Student also lists and describes the 5 steps with regards to their study.

Accomplished

Student provides an overview of hypothesis testing using and citing relevant material. Student also lists the 5 steps with regards to their study.

Developing

Student provides an overview, but there are lacking details. Student may also be missing steps within the 5 for the process as relevant to their study.

Beginning

Student is missing one area (overview of hypothesis testing or the 5 steps as applicable to their study)

Did not attempt

Student does not provide this section

Tests of significance

10 %

Exemplary

Student runs correct test for correlations and appropriately presents the findings with detailed explanation.

Accomplished

Student runs correct test for correlations and appropriately presents the findings.

Developing

Student runs the wrong test but analyzes findings appropriately for that particular test.

Beginning

Student runs the wrong test and does not provide accurate explanation of results or student provides inaccurate explanations of the correct test; or student had one portion- SPSS test but no explanation or explanation without SPSS table

Did not attempt

Student does not include a test of significance.

Measures of Association

10 %

Exemplary

Student runs correct test for measures of association and appropriately presents the findings with detailed explanation.

Accomplished

Student runs correct test for measures of association and appropriately presents the findings.

Developing

Student runs the wrong test but analyzes findings appropriately for that particular test.

Beginning

Student runs the wrong test and does not provide accurate explanation of results or student provides inaccurate explanations of the correct test; or student had one portion- SPSS test but no explanation or explanation without SPSS table.

Did not attempt

Student does not include measures of association tests.

APA Format

5 %

Exemplary

Included APA formatted in-text citations and full references for all paraphrased and quoted work from other sources

Accomplished

Minor errors in APA formatting of citations

Developing

Multiple errors in APA formatting of citations

Beginning

Little use of APA format

Did not attempt

APA format not attempted

Grammar and spelling

5 %

Exemplary

Author makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content

Accomplished

Author makes a couple errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content

Developing

Author makes a few errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content

Beginning

Authors makes many errors in grammar and spelling that the intent of the paper is difficult to understand

Did not attempt

Authors makes so many errors in grammar and spelling that the intent of the paper cannot be understood.
Assignment Instructions

SOCI 332 – Statistics for Social Sciences

Final Portfolio Assignment (Due Week 7)

Overview

One of the most crucial components of this course is developing a research project from conceptualizing a research problem and developing a number of measurement and statistical analysis approaches to bring evidence to bear on the problem. Throughout the class, you created a research study based on publicly available data from the General Social Survey (GSS). You chose data which were representative of your interests and satisfied your research question and hypotheses.

This Assignment meets these course objectives:

1. Describe and apply the concepts and logic of elementary statistics.

2. Conduct statistical analysis in SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).

3. Compare and contrast different types of data and the statistics that can be used to analyze them

4. Examine the differences between descriptive and inferential statistics and their use in the social sciences.

5. Form critical interpretations of quantitative research literature in sociology and other social sciences.

6. Complete and interpret descriptive and inferential statistical data analysis

7. Critically evaluate the quality of research design and evidence in published social research.

Instructions

The Final Portfolio Assignment is where you pull together the research you’ve been working on the first seven weeks of class. Using your weekly Forum posts, and the feedback from your classmates and instructor on your posts, construct a 6-8 page paper that fully explores your research topic in a way that provides the context and explanation surrounding the analyses provided in the paper. Your project should display you understand what you are writing about holistically, not simply going through the motions.

Citing literature about your research topic, be sure to set the stage for the data and analyses that you present. Briefly describe the General Social Survey as your survey instrument. Provide the questions, verbatim, that were asked in the survey which became the variable which you chose to use. You will also need to include the answer choices for each of them. This portion can be a table if you choose. Share and explain frequency table(s) an histograms or graphs to describe your data. Using the statistical tests you ran each week in class (crosstabs, tests of significance, measures of association), present the tests and your findings. Clearly identify and explain your hypothesis and the five steps of hypothesis testing as they apply to your paper. Explain the results of the statistical tests and pull in some literature to provide context, demonstrating how your results and research fit into the larger body of literature on this topic. Be sure to use proper APA formatting for citations and references. However, you do not need to include an abstract or table of contents. You can find guidance in APA by clicking here to access the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Because the project is a formal, you should include a title page and reference page. You may organize the paper based on the following headings:

Introduction – Introduce the topic based in current literature (briefly – show why it is important to study). Discuss why you chose the topic and what the purpose of the paper is. Give a brief overview of what you will cover.

Literature Review – Review 3-4 peer-reviewed sources that provide a background on your topic. These sources don’t have to specifically address the relationship between your IV and DV, but should address the topic and be somewhat related to your variables.

Methods – Briefly discuss the GSS (information you included in Assignment 1) as your data source. Identify and describe your specific variables, including the name, question, and responses (categories). You may state your hypothesis here, but do not go through the hypothesis testing steps until the next section.

Findings – Begin with a discussion of each variable individually, utilizing your frequency tables and charts/graphs. Then discuss your other analyses in logical order. Crosstabs are your first look at a potential relationship. Next, discuss the steps of hypothesis testing. Include the table of your significance test. Last, discuss the strength and direction of the relationship using measures of association.

Discussion – Discussion what you learned from the various analyses and draw any conclusions you found. Talk about any further research you think may be needed on your topic.

Note:

This course has “Resubmission” status enabled to help you if you realize you submitted an incorrect or blank file, or if you need to submit multiple documents as part of your Assignment. Resubmission of an Assignment after it is graded, to attempt a better grade, is not permitted.

Grading Rubric

View the grading rubric so you understand how you will be assessed on this Assignment.

Final Portfolio Assignment

100 %

Exemplary

4 pts

Accomplished

3.4 pts

Developing

3 pts

Beginning 2.6 pts

Did not attempt 0 pts

Introduction 10 %

Exemplary

Student provides rich, detailed introduction to the research topic.

Accomplished

Student provides an introduction to the research topic.

Developing

Student provides an introduction to the research topic, some detail lacking, more development needed.

Beginning

Student provides an introduction to the research topic, significant detail lacking, more development needed.

Did not attempt

No introduction to the research topic is provided.

Review of literature 20 %

Exemplary

Student presents context for the current study with more than three sources, two must be scholarly.

Accomplished

Student presents context for the current study with three sources, two must be scholarly.

Developing

Student presents limited context for study and only reviews two sources, at least one is scholarly.

Beginning

Student presents limited context for study and only reviews one source; the source is scholarly.

Did not attempt

Student presents limited context for study and only reviews non-scholarly sourc

GSS 5 %

Exemplary

Student provides detailed explanation of the survey instrument used for data collection

Accomplished

Student explains the survey instrument used for data collection

Developing

Student explains the survey instrument used for data collection. Some detail lacking, more development needed.

Beginning

Student explains the survey instrument used for data collection. Significant detail lacking, more development needed.

Did not attempt

Student does not include a review of the survey instrument.

Variables 5 %

Exemplary

Student identifies the variables correctly, levels of measurement, and presents all variable data from the GSS

Accomplished

Student identifies the variables correctly, levels of measurement, and presents all variable data from the GSS. Minor corrections needed.

Developing

Student identifies the variables correctly, levels of measurement, and presents some variable data from the GSS. Some corrections needed.

Beginning

Student identifies the variables- some may be inaccurate or missing. Levels of measurement may be inaccurate or missing.

Did not attempt

Variables and levels of measurement are not identified.

Frequency tables 5 %

Exemplary

Student includes a detailed explanation for frequency tables using relevant and cited material. Student provides frequency tables with detailed and accurate findings.

Accomplished

Student includes an explanation for frequency tables using relevant and cited material. Student provides frequency tables with accurate findings.

Developing

Student includes an explanation for frequency tables using relevant and cited material. Student provides frequency tables with accurate findings. Some detail lacking, minor inaccuracy.

Beginning

Section is incomplete- either lacking a table or explanation.

Did not attempt

Student does not include frequency tables.

Histograms or Graphing 5 %

Exemplary

Student includes a detailed explanation for histograms or other graphing using relevant and cited material. Student provides histogram chart and explains findings accurately.

Accomplished

Student includes an explanation for histograms or other graphing using relevant and cited material. Student provides histogram chart and explains findings accurately.

Developing

Student includes an explanation for histograms or other graphing using relevant and cited material. Student provides histogram chart and explains findings accurately. Some detail lacking, minor inaccuracy.

Beginning

Section is incomplete- either lacking a histogram/graph or explanation.

Did not attempt

Student does not include histograms or other graphing.

Crosstabs 10 %

Exemplary

Student presents crosstabulation data with accurate and detailed explanations.

Accomplished

Student presents crosstabulation data with accurate explanations.

Developing

Student presents crosstabulation data with accurate explanations. Some detail lacking, minor inaccuracy.

Beginning

Section is incomplete- either lacking crosstabs or explanation.

Did not attempt

Student does not include crosstabs.

Hypothesis testing 10 %

Exemplary

Student provides detailed overview of hypothesis testing using and citing relevant material. Student also lists and describes the 5 steps with regards to their study.

Accomplished

Student provides an overview of hypothesis testing using and citing relevant material. Student also lists the 5 steps with regards to their study.

Developing

Student provides an overview, but there are lacking details. Student may also be missing steps within the 5 for the process as relevant to their study.

Beginning

Student is missing one area (overview of hypothesis testing or the 5 steps as applicable to their study)

Did not attempt

Student does not provide this section

Tests of significance 10 %

Exemplary

Student runs correct test for correlations and appropriately presents the findings with detailed explanation.

Accomplished

Student runs correct test for correlations and appropriately presents the findings.

Developing

Student runs the wrong test but analyzes findings appropriately for that particular test.

Beginning

Student runs the wrong test and does not provide accurate explanation of results or student provides inaccurate explanations of the correct test; or student had one portion- SPSS test but no explanation or explanation without SPSS table

Did not attempt

Student does not include a test of significance.

Measures of Association 10 %

Exemplary

Student runs correct test for measures of association and appropriately presents the findings with detailed explanation.

Accomplished

Student runs correct test for measures of association and appropriately presents the findings.

Developing

Student runs the wrong test but analyzes findings appropriately for that particular test.

Beginning

Student runs the wrong test and does not provide accurate explanation of results or student provides inaccurate explanations of the correct test; or student had one portion- SPSS test but no explanation or explanation without SPSS table.

Did not attempt

Student does not include measures of association tests.

APA Format 5 %

Exemplary

Included APA formatted in-text citations and full references for all paraphrased and quoted work from other sources

Accomplished

Minor errors in APA formatting of citations

Developing

Multiple errors in APA formatting of citations

Beginning

Little use of APA format

Did not attempt

APA format not attempted

Grammar and spelling 5 %

Exemplary

Author makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content

Accomplished

Author makes a couple errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content

Developing

Author makes a few errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content

Beginning

Authors makes many errors in grammar and spelling that the intent of the paper is difficult to understand

Did not attempt

Authors makes so many errors in grammar and spelling that the intent of the paper cannot be understood

Preference for Affirmative Action Policies

Professor A. Krieger

American Public University

Introduction

There has been a longstanding standard of institutional injustice throughout America’s history that has devastated and crippled entire groups of people. As a means to help rectify the past, and level the playing field for future success, affirmative action plans were enacted and aimed at “providing equal protection and equal access to members of these groups that have suffered the injustices and indignities of discrimination” (Cloud, 2006, p. 35). According to Department of Labor statistics, blacks are almost twice as likely as whites to be unemployed and when employed, make substantially less than their white counterparts (ACLU, 2012).

Many critics argue that affirmative action policies are still needed to remedy and compensate minorities for centuries of being disenfranchised while others think that enough preferential treatment has occurred. Some concede that these policies and practices lower standards of accountability needed to push employees to perform better, and are condescending to minorities who may be looked at as recipients of a system of preferential treatment as opposed to the reflection of hard work and personal achievements. Consequently, when minorities benefit from this perceived preferential treatment they must work twice as hard for the respect of their colleagues and peers (Messerli, 2010).

The purpose of this study is to see if gender influences a person’s preference to affirmative action policies.

General Social Survey

The General Social Survey (GSS) is a national survey that includes the responses of 2,044 adult Americans selected as a representative sample. The representative sample means that the data collected by these individuals is representative of the American population of adults 18 years and older. Although there is always the possibility of sampling error, the sampling error in this data set is plus or minus only a few percentage points (Babbie et al., 2013). Data from this survey began collection in 1972 and has collected data on more than 5,000 topics (variables) since. The GSS data were collected in face-to-face household interviews (Babbie, et al., 2013). The data for this research comes from the 2006 GSS dataset.

Variables

Here is the corresponding question for AFFRMACT that was pulled from the survey verbatim:

Literal Question

153. A. Some people say that because of past discrimination, blacks should be given preference in hiring and promotion. Others say that such preference in hiring and promotion of blacks is wrong because it discriminates against whites. What about your opinion — are you for or against preferential hiring and promotion of blacks?

IF FAVORS: A. Do you favor preference in hiring and promotion strongly or not strongly?

IF OPPOSES: B. Do you oppose preference in hiring and promotion strongly or not strongly?

Descriptive Text

AFFRMACT AA, and AB are recoded into a single variable, AFFRMACT. Hand Card AL contained responses 1-5.

Values

Categories

N

NW

1

STRONGLY SUPPORT PREF

1019

998

9.7%

2

SUPPORT PREF

728

715

6.9%

3

OPPOSE PREF

2762

2722

26.4%

4

STRONGLY OPPOSE PREF

5793

5874

57.0%

0

NAP

40036

40034

8

DK

595

592

9

NA

87

86

Summary Statistics

Valid cases

10302

Missing cases

40718

This variable is numeric

The nominal variable SEX will be used as (one of) the independent variable(s).

Values

Categories

N

NW

1

Male

22439

23305

45.7%

2

Female

28581

27715

54.3%

Summary Statistics

Valid cases

51020

Missing cases

0

This variable is numeric

Frequencies and Histograms

The histogram below shows the data on the variable preference towards affirmative action policies. A histogram is a form of displaying data graphically and is particularly useful when displaying data with a relatively large number of categories (Aron, et al., 2014). The data in the histograms graphically presents the information about the variable.

A frequency distribution is a numeric display of the number of times (frequency) and relative percentage of times each value of a variable occurs in a given sample (Aron, et al., 2014). Below is the frequency table for the AFFRMACT. From this table I can determine that 188 (9.9%) people “strongly support”, 136 (7.1%) “support”, 524 (27.6%) “oppose”, and 1055 (55.4%) “strongly oppose” affirmative action policies.

Crosstabulation

A crosstabulation is a matrix that shows the distribution of one variable for each category variable. Crosstabs offer the researcher a ‘snapshot’ of possible correlations between two variables of interest. In this case, for instance, is gender (SEX) related to or associated with the preference towards affirmative action policies (AFFRMACT)?

The crosstabs suggest that women are a little more likely than men to support affirmative action policies, but knowing the respondent’s gender does not help us enough in determining whether they support affirmative action policies. In reading across the first row, we see that women (11%) are more likely than men (8%) to strongly support affirmative action policies.

Research Questions

Research Question: Is there a difference among people when it comes to showing support for affirmative action policies?

H1- A person’s gender will influence their preference towards affirmative action policies.

H0 – A person’s gender will not influence their preference towards affirmative action policies.

Independent Variable- Gender

Dependent Variable- Preference to affirmative action policies

Correlations

Correlations refers to a relationship between two or more variables. Correlational studies search for relationships but cannot prove that one variable causes a change in another variable. In other words, correlation does not equal causation. Researchers use the correlation coefficient as a measure of correlation strength. This number can range between -1.00 to +1.00.

Gamma is a test to measure the strength of association between ordinal variables or in the case where there is a mixture of nominal and ordinal variables. In this study, one’s gender is a nominal variable but the preference to affirmative action policies is ordinal. As such, gamma was used to determine the correlation strength here. The gamma measure is -.076, or 7% and has been identified as a weak and uninteresting negative association.

Because the relationship between one’s gender and their preference to affirmative action policies was determined to be “weak and uninteresting” based on the gamma measure, race will be investigated. I ran the same test but replaced SEX with RACE.

Results focusing on RACE as an independent variable showed a stronger relationship. The gamma measure determined that the relationship between one’s race and their preference for affirmative action (-.377 or 37%) is evidence of a strong association and extremely interesting. This can also be interpreted as “if I were to try to attempt to guess one’s preference for affirmative action policies, I would be 37% more likely to guess right by relying on one’s race”. As such, the research hypothesis for the test of significance will be rewritten as follows:

H1- A person’s race will influence their preference towards affirmative action policies.

H0 – A person’s race will not influence their preference towards affirmative action policies.

Independent Variable- race

Dependent Variable- Preference to affirmative action policies

Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis testing is an efficient approach using systematic procedures to determine whether the results of a study support the hypothesis of the research. Researchers determine their hypothesis with their population in mind. There are five steps to hypothesis testing:

1. Restate the question as a research hypothesis and a null hypothesis about the populations;

2. Determine the characteristics of the comparison distribution;

3. Determine the cutoff sample score on the comparison distribution at which the null hypothesis should be rejected

4. Determine your sample’s score on the comparison distribution;

5. Decide whether to reject the null hypothesis.

Tests of Significance

Chi-Square

The Chi-square test is a test of significance which is typically appropriate for two nominal variables, ordinal variables, or a mix between the two (Babbie et al., 2013). This test is one of the most widely used and estimates the probability that the association between variables is a result of random chance or sampling error by comparing the actual or observed distribution of responses with the distribution of responses we would expect if there were absolutely no association between two variables.

The significance level of .000 (for the Chi-Square value of 210.656) is less than the .05 cutoff. Thus, we reject the null hypothesis. This means that we can conclude that the preference for affirmative action policies is different according to one’s race.

Conclusion

Affirmative action has broken down the barriers of inequality in a resistant two-tiered society, workforce, and school system. There certainly have been changes made. More minorities are enrolled in programs of higher education, employed in leadership positions, and belong to the middle-class as do many nonminorities (ACLU, 2012). Diversity is desirable and will not always occur if left to chance and individuals, workers or students, starting at a disadvantage need a boost. Minorities often start out their lives at a slight disadvantage than their nonminority counterparts in both education and employment. Historically, they commonly come from lower-income families and have fewer opportunities than whites (Messerli, 2010; ACLU, 2012), yet may be every bit as capable as white employees and students, but may not reflect such qualifications on paper.

Unfortunately, there are negative social perceptions surrounding affirmative action policies. A society cannot be color-blind and still consider race when making decisions. There is no association, correlation, or causation found between race and ability for job or school performance. This connection is part, if not the main reason why affirmative action policies were conceived. To then use it to catapult a minority into a position that he/she may not be prepared for or capable of goes against the very foundation and essence of the act.

Credentialism and meritocracy may be overshadowed by the minority status of an individual; the most capable candidate is no longer the most qualified when race and gender are considerations. Some concede that affirmative action policies lead to reverse discrimination. Contrary to most stereotypes, many minorities fall into middle or upper class while many whites live in poverty. Finally, these policies and practices are seen to lower standards of accountability needed to push students or employees to perform better. Many see them as condescending to minorities who may be looked at as recipients of a system of preferential treatment as opposed to the reflection of hard work and personal achievements. When minorities benefit from this perceived preferential treatment they must work twice as hard for the respect of their colleagues, classmates, and peers (Messerli, 2010).

Based on the statistical analysis of the data found in the General Social Survey, there is a relationship between one’s race and their preference to affirmative action policies. Researchers can use this data in their exploration into the current state of society and affirmative action policies. Perhaps follow-up research can focus on perceptions of affirmative action policies beyond one’s support or why the support is or is not there. Moving forward, researchers can also focus on any perceptions that may emerge based on one’s own racial make-up or designation to explain the support or lack thereof.

References

American Civil Liberties Union. (2012). Affirmative Action. Retrieved from www.aclu.org/racial-justice/affirmative-action

Babbie, E., Halley, F. S., Wagner, W. E., Zaino, J. (2013). Adventures in social research. (8th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE

Center for Education & Employment Law (2006). Higher Education Law in America, 7th Ed. Malvern, PA.

Cloud, R. C. (2004). Legal issues in the community college. New Directions for Community Colleges. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

NORC (2010). General Social Survey. University of Chicago. Retrieved from http://publicdata.norc.org:41000/gssbeta/index.html

Messerli, J. (2010). Should affirmative action policies, which give preferential treatment based on minority status, be eliminated?. Retrieved from www.balanced politics.org/affirmative_action.htm

11. Topic/Research Question

The proposed topic would be “Relationship between stress and job satisfaction”, using data on Employment/Labor/Class. The research question would be, “Is there a correlation between stress and job satisfaction?”

1. Variables

a. Variable names

Two variables would be required to answer the research question.

Independent variable: stress

Dependent variable: job satisfaction (satjobhv)

1. Variable names

The specific research question related the independent variable (stress) asked in the survey is, “how often do you find work stressful?”

The research question related to the dependent variable (job satisfaction) is, “How satisfied are you with your job?”

1. Justification of Variables

The variable “Stress” represents an important factor in workplace practices, which in can lead to adverse physical and emotional effects. The concept of “stress” in the context of workplaces occurs when an employee cannot meet job needs or conditions. This variable is chosen because it has direct effect not only on job performance, but also on motivation and satisfaction. It also provides a quantitative approach to measuring stress in workplace.

The variable “Job Satisfaction” is chosen because it represents one of the most important factors that influence a person’s beliefs and attitudes. Both variables have cognitive and behavioral aspects.

1. Correlation/Relationship

Since the variables “Stress” and “Job Satisfaction” have cognitive and behavioral aspects, one would expect a relationship between these factors in a given context. In the case of a workplace, one would expect job stress to how employees feel about the work. This argument is consistent with literature, which shows nexus between job stress and satisfaction (Bemana et al., 2013). Organizational factors such as work conditions and workload affect job satisfaction negatively. Lack of satisfaction can cause stress, but high job satisfaction can reduce the impact of stress. This suggests strong correlation of job stress and satisfaction.

References

Bemana, S., Moradi, H., Ghasemi, M., Mehdi, S., & Ghayoor, A H. (2013). The relationship among job satisfaction and job stress in municipality personnel in Iran. World Applied Sciences Journal, 22(2), 233-238.

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