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4.1 A situated practice

In the previous sections we considered the challenges facing the contemporary social sciences and the issues raised by thinking of social research as a situated practice. You will already have identified the ways in which the social sciences are complicated by the problem of researchers attempting to know and understand the social world they inhabit. At this point it is useful to develop a checklist of the ways that this has affected social research practice.


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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand how to start SPSS

  • define a variety of statistical variables

  • enter basic data into SPSS

  • carry out a statistical analysis that can test hypotheses.


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2.10.1 Mean and standard deviation for repeated measurements

In everyday terms, everybody is familiar with the word 'average', but in science and statistics there are actually several different kinds of average used for different purposes. In the kind of situation exemplified by Table 2, the sort to use is the mean (or more strictly the 'arithmetic mean') For
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Acknowledgements

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1. Join over 200,000 students, currently studying with The Open University [http://www.open.ac.uk/ choose/ ou/ open-content]

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3.1.1 Treatment or management?

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Is treatment (i.e. intervention) warranted? We mentioned this issue when we were discussing sociocultural or personal distress based definitions of abnormality. Intervention is not always desir
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