## 5.3.1 What is a histogram?

The simplest definition of a histogram is that it is a bar chart with the adjacent bars touching each other. Unlike a bar chart, histograms are usually drawn only with vertical bars. Generally, histograms are used to illustrate continuous data whereas bar charts are used to illustrate discrete data (distinct categories).

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When you have a large amount of data without an obvious link. For example, when your data shows shares of a whole, in which case, you would use a pie chart.

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The mode, or modal value, is the most popular value in a set of numbers, the one that occurs most often. However, it is not always possible to give the mode as some sets of values do not have a single value that occurs more than each of the others. Like the median, the mode can help us to get a better feel for the set of values. Retailers find the mode useful when they want to know which item to restock first.

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As a student, you're likely to engage in a variety of writing tasks. You'll almost certainly handle significant amounts of text and, depending on your course, perhaps also numbers or diagrams.

This section looks at the different way that you write using a computer, and also provides some referencing advice.

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With each of these diagrams, and with others you are trying to read, there are several questions you can ask.

• What is the purpose of the diagram, that is, what is it aiming to tell us?

• How is the information imparted?

• What assumptions does it make about our ability to understand it?

• What are we expected to remember?

• How successful is it in doing all
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Relationship diagrams are largely non-pictorial and aim to represent the structural or organisational features of a situation through combinations of words, lines and arrows, and a wide selection of boxes, blobs and circles. Examples of this type of diagram include the first diagram, entitled â€˜Some of the ways â€¦ spreadâ€™, in the Collee article (page 398). Some other examples are shown in Author(s): The Open University

Your course will recommend appropriate dictionaries, grammars and reference books.

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One of the things I said an essay should be is â€˜objectiveâ€™. What does that mean? Being objective about something means standing back from it and looking at it coolly. It means focusing your attention on the â€˜objectâ€™, on what you are discussing, and not on yourself and your own (subjective) feelings about it. Your ideas should be able to survive detailed inspection by other people who are not emotionally committed to them.

An essay should argue by force of reason, not emot
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To show your grasp of the ideas you have been studying you have to express them for yourself, in your own words. Your tutor will certainly be looking out for signs that you understand the centrally important issues. For example, Philip showed that he understood the significance of Ellis's point about women's loss of a household management role. But he was very vague about the effects this had on women's lives in the countryside, which suggests he hadn't really sorted out that part of h
Author(s): The Open University

We can see that Philip knows what a sentence is because he writes some perfectly good ones. For example:

In many ways going into urban life from the countryside was beneficial to woman of the upperclass.

This sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. It has a subject (urban life) and a main verb (was). As any sentence is, it is a self-contained â€˜unit of meaningâ€™. It m
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Now we will look at the way Philip and Hansa wrote and presented their essays. Did you find them both easy to read? As regards Philip's, my answer is, â€˜yes and noâ€™. It is sometimes easy because he has a fluent way with words. But it is often difficult because he does not use enough punctuation to help us make sense of his words, and because of certain mistakes he makes. I found Hansa's essay easier to read. Her writing is more technically correct and more assured than Philip's. But
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The task here is very different from our task when faced with numbers, where we need to deal with a high level of abstraction. Writing is often dense and multi-layered, and usually gives us, if anything, too much surface information about our subject. We need to make a mental effort this time in selecting and abstracting information ourselves. In order to do this effectively we need to be aware of the context of the writing. We need to check if we can, for instance, the political and s
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The gathering, presentation and assessment of evidence are crucial and indeed inescapable parts of the practice of social science, hence the crucial role of evidence in the circuit of knowledge (see Figure 1).

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This unit looks at the prevalence of maps in everyday life, their uses and their importance. From mental maps to public transport and street maps it moves on to historical and history-making maps. Along with assessing the political importance of some maps it examines how we read maps and looks at how to evaluate the information contained within them. Although maps might seem to be objective and factual the unit looks at the values embedded in both maps themselves and our perceptions of them.<
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There are three main techniques that you can use in order to read in such a way as to achieve your purpose: scanning, skimming, and focused reading. Let's take each in turn.

The technique of scanning is a useful one to use if you want to get an overview of the text you are reading as a whole â€“ its shape, the focus of each section, the topics or key issues that are dealt with, and so on. In order to scan a piece of text you might look for sub-headings or identify key words and p
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Starting with psychology
The most â€˜important and greatest puzzleâ€™ we face as humans is ourselves (Boring, 1950, p. 56). Humans are a puzzle â€“ one that is complex, subtle and multi-layered, and it gets even more complicated as we evolve over time and change in different contexts. When answering the question â€˜What makes us who we are?â€™, psychologists put forward a range of explanations about why people feel, think and behave the way they do. Just when psychologists seem to understand one bit of â€˜who we areâ€™
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The material below is contained in Social Psychology Matters, Wendy Holloway, Helen Lucey and Anne Phoenix, published in association with Open University Press, 2007.

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under creative commons licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is m
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Phenomenologists seek to describe people's lived experience, meanings and consciousness (i.e. the way we perceive, think and feel). They focus on how bodies are experienced at a subjective and intersubjective (relational) level. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844â€“1900), an early existential philosopher, insisted on the primacy of the body, and resisted mindâ€“body dualism, arguing for the unity of mind (or soul) and body:

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Many familiar themes have re-emerged in this section, together with the recognition that attention is involved in the assembly of remembered material as well as of current perceptions.

• Attention is associated with the generation of perceptual objects.

• In addition to being an essential part of external stimulus processing, attention influences remembered experiences.

• ERP data show that cortical signals derived from una
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When a sense organ (eye, ear, etc.) receives a stimulus, the event eventually causes neurons to â€˜fireâ€™ (i.e. produce electrical discharges) in the receiving area of the brain. The information is sent on from these first sites to other brain areas. With appropriate apparatus and techniques it is possible to record the electrical signals, using electrodes attached to the scalp. The electrical potentials recorded are called event-related potentials (ERPs), since they dependably follow
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