Midterm Project

Goals

  • Able to critically examine a statistical study.
  • Able to identify the study’s basic components: research question, population, sample, variable of interest, sampling method, study design, etc.
  • Able to identify the internal and external validity threats of the study.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Find a statistical study on pewresearch.org that you’re interested in AND satisfies the following requirements:
    • It’s a inferential study (NOT a descriptive study): either observational or experimental study is accepted.
    • If you have question about whether the study you selected satisfies the requirements, post the question to Piazza (preferably) or send me an email!
  • Step 2: Quickly read (skim) the study!
  • Step 3: Read the study again! In details this time!
    • It’s very important that you read the study multiple times! Please don’t skip these steps!
  • Step 4: Identify the following components of the study:
  • Step 5: Focusing on the research question and the experimental/observational study to identify the following:
    • Is this claim based on an observational study or an experiment? And which type?
    • If an experiment, how strong is the internal validity of the study? (Any threats to a causal chain?)
    • If an observational study, what confounders could exist, and were they explored well in the data?
    • How strong is the external validity of the study (do the conclusions generalize to a wider population, setting, and time?)
    • Have the authors cherry-picked data to support their claim? (Graphs and tables are clearly and honestly represented, all pertinent information is available, if a drug study all side effects are reported!)
    • Does the argument stem from an objective data source, or simply anecdotal evidence?
    • Might these authors have any confirmation bias? (Already biased toward a certain conclusion? Who sponsored or funded this study?)
    • And as a final consideration… am I ready to make an important decision from this data? What further research remains to be done?
  • Step 6: Fill the Project Report template with your answers to the above questions.

Submission

  • Submit your report to the submission box on Compass by 11:59 PM on Friday, 07/10/2020.
    • Your report must follow the provided Project Report template.
    • Late submission is allowed up to 11:59 PM on Sunday, 07/12/2020. 20% late penalty will be applied on late submissions.
  • Note: Accepting file format: .docx (Microsoft Word file) or .pdf (PDF file).

Grading Rubric

Grading rubric can be found on Compass, on the assignment submission page.


Final Project

Goals

  • Able to critically examine a result of a scientific experiment.
  • Able to identify the study’s basic components: research question, population, sample, variable of interest, sampling method, study design, etc.
  • Able to identify the hypothesis test result, possible type 1 and type 2 errors of the study.

Technology Needed For This Project

  • A computer with webcam or a phone with camera or any other devices that can record a video.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Find a scientific study that you’re interested in AND satisfies the following requirements:
    • It’s a experimental study.
    • The study includes at least 1 hypothesis test.
    • Preferably, the study comes from a well-known, respectable journal/newspaper.
    • If you have question about whether the study you selected satisfies the requirements, post the question to Piazza (preferably) or send me an email!
  • Step 2: Quickly read (skim) the study!
  • Step 3: Read the study again! In details this time!
    • It’s very important that you read the study multiple times! Please don’t skip these steps!
  • Step 4: Identify the following components of the study:
  • Step 5: Focusing on one hypothesis test in the study to identify the following:
    • What is the null hypothesis?
    • What is the alternative hypothesis?
    • What is the significance level the test was conducted at?
    • What is the conclusion of the test? Reject/Fail to reject \(H_0\)?
    • What is the possible type 1 error? What is the possible type 2 error? Which error has larger consequences in this study?
  • Step 6: Film a video of YOU addressing the answers to questions in Step 4 and Step 5 above. Video length must be between 5 - 10 minutes.

Submission

  • Submit your video to the submission box on Compass by 11:59 PM on Friday, 08/07/2020.
    • You must be present and visible in the video.
    • Submit the link of your study in the comment box on the submission page. Failure to do so might result in the video not being graded.
    • Video length must not be longer than 10 minutes.
    • In your video, you must answer all of the following topics/questions:
      • Research question of interest
      • Population
      • Sample
      • Sampling method
      • Study design
      • What is the null hypothesis?
      • What is the alternative hypothesis?
      • What is the significance level the test was conducted at?
      • What is the conclusion of the test? Reject/Fail to reject \(H_0\)?
      • What is the possible type 1 error? What is the possible type 2 error? Which error has larger consequences in this study?
  • Late submission is allowed up to 11:59 PM on Saturday, 08/08/2020. 20% late penalty will be applied on late submissions.
  • Note: Accepting file format: .mp4, .mov, .wmv or .mkv.

Grading Rubric

You will be able to find the grading rubric can be found on Compass, on the assignment submission page.