Lecture 2 MLOS 500_O 060812

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MLOS 500A Online Lecture 2:

MLOS 500A Online Lecture 2 Types of Questions

Three Basic Questions:

Three Basic Questions Descriptive: answers the question of “what is going on” or “what exists” What percentage of the population voted for a Democratic or a Republican presidential candidate? What is the distribution of Democratic versus Republican votes?

Some interesting descriptive answers:

3 Some interesting descriptive answers Voting results by state in 2004

Some interesting descriptive answers:

4 Some interesting descriptive answers Voting results by state population density in 2004

Some interesting descriptive answers:

5 Some interesting descriptive answers Voting results by county in 2004

Some interesting descriptive answers:

6 Some interesting descriptive answers Actual distribution between Republican (red) and Democrat (blue) expressed by scale in 2004

Some interesting descriptive answers:

7 Some interesting descriptive answers States where the margin of difference was less than 5%

Some interesting descriptive answers:

8 Some interesting descriptive answers

The important point is. . . .:

9 The important point is. . . . What can you INFER from the distributions portrayed by the maps? NOTHING

Three Basic Questions:

10 Three Basic Questions Relational: looks at the associations between two or more variables How do males and females say they would vote for a Democratic or a Republican presidential candidate? What is the relationship between study time and grades? What is the relationship between overtime and productivity in an organization?

Three Basic Questions:

11 Three Basic Questions Causal: determines whether one or more variables (e.g., a program or treatment variable) causes one or more outcomes Did a recent political advertising campaign change voter preferences? Does a change in work schedule result in higher productivity or satisfaction?

Three Basic Questions:

12 Three Basic Questions The three types = cumulative Relational assumes you can first describe (by measuring or observing) each variable you are trying to relate A causal study assumes you can describe the cause and effect variables and you can show they’re related Causal studies are the most demanding

Variable:

13 Variable any trait that can CHANGE VALUES from case to case

Questions Contain Variables:

Questions Contain Variables Questions help us identify the variables of interest Descriptive questions: Is there a relationship between overtime and stress? What kinds of behaviors do workers exhibit when stressed? What is the relationship between productivity and stress?

Questions Contain Variables:

Questions Contain Variables Relational questions: Do people working overtime experience more stress when they have comp time or when they are paid overtime? Does productivity differ between workers who are given comp time versus overtime?

Questions Contain Variables:

Questions Contain Variables Causal questions: Does changing a company’s policy on overtime reduce worker stress? Does the provision of on-site services reduce worker stress due to overtime?

Creating a Problem Statement:

Creating a Problem Statement Think of something in your company that interests or intrigues you Think of a problem that needs to be solved Do a little research and find out what others may or may not have said about your problem (Emerald database) Your problem statement is an argument for studying your topic

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