Introduction to Quantitative Methods - SIMM16
About the Course
The aim of this course is for students with little prior knowledge of quantitative methods to develop an understanding of the basic concepts and fundamental principles guiding the use of quantitative methods, acquire basic practical skills with regard to the performance of statistical analysis and develop the ability to critically assess quantitative research. The participants formulate a research question that includes a hypothesized causal relationship and that can be addressed using an available dataset. During the course different techniques for processing and analyzing data will be introduced and the participants will, mainly under teacher supervision, work on answering their own research question using the tools presented to them in the lectures. Participants will also learn to assimilate and evaluate existing quantitative social science research as it is presented in scientific journals and/or reports.
The course will focus on 1) performing basic statistical analysis (of secondary data, using SPSS) and 2) comprehending and evaluating scientific papers based on quantitative methods (with focus on the participants own areas of research).
The course will be given in English. It does not presume any previous knowledge of statistics.
Excerpt from student evaluation
"One of the most satisfacctory aspects of the course was learning skills I never thought I'd be able to master. I've always hated math and frankly everything that deals with numbers, and wanted to
challenge myself by taking this particular course. I'm proud of myself for making this decision and doing my best throughout the course. I also liked how much freedom we students had in choosing our research questions and topics. The teachers were careful not to push us e.g. towards research problems in their respective personal areas of interest."