Statistical inference methods are used to conclude an entire population from a smaller group drawn from that population. Sampling distribution plays a central role in the concept of statistical inference. It involves repeatedly drawing samples of a particular size from the population of interest and describing how the sample results will behave. In sociology, the sampling distribution is used to understand how society behaves.
Scatterplots and Correlations
A scatter plot is used to describe the relationship between two numeric data. To come up with this statistical display, you have to plot each member of the dataset. For example, we can plot how the number of hours spent studying relates to the grade scored. On the other hand, correlation is the patterns we see in the scatter plots. A positive correlation is when one variable increases as the other increases. A negative correlation happens when one variable is increasing while the other is decreasing. Scatterplots and correlation are some of the data visualizing tools used in sociology.
In social sciences, most experiments are considered not possible or unethical. This is because causes that may interest sociologists cannot be assigned randomly. It is for this reason that most sociologists opt for regression models. For example, a sociologist may want to know if attending a church service weekly can make it less likely for a person to engage in crime. To find answers to this, the sociologist will rely on observational and non-experimental data. Equipped with this data, the sociologist will then compare the behavior of those who go to church weekly with those who do not go to the church using regression analysis.
Categorical Data Analysis
Categorical data is made up of variables that have finite values. These types of data can be interval, ordinal, nominal, or ratio. Categorical data cannot however be continuous. Sociology employs log-linear methods in the analysis of categorical data. These techniques have been extended over the last decade because categorical data is ubiquitous in sociology.