How do quantitative methods help us to acquire knowledge of the real world? What are the ‘do's’ and ‘don'ts’ of effective quantitative research? This book provides students with a novel and useful resource for doing quantitative research. It offers students a guide on how to: interpret the complex reality of the social world; achieve effective measurement; understand the use of official statistics; use social surveys; understand probability and quantitative reasoning; interpret measurements; apply linear modelling; understand simulation and neural nets; and integrate quantitative and qualitative modelling in the research process. Jargon-free and written with the needs of students in mind, the book will be required reading for students interested in using quantitative research methods.

Interpreting Measurements: Exploring, Describing and Classifying

In this chapter we will start to get down to actually working with data—with sets of numbers—in order to get a grip on the world.1 Remember that this text is committed to exploration. Our approach to data is not a matter of testing pre-established hypotheses but rather ...

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