Meeting of Doctors at the University of Paris
(Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris)
Ph.D. Dissertation Title: Applied statistics – Its use and scope in social scientific research. An essay in research methodology based on U.S. case studies.
This study examines the statistical tools available to social science practitioners. The last 30 years have witnessed a considerable development in statistical techniques, both numerical and graphical. This is in large part a result of the application of statistical methods to an ever increasing number of fields, and also of the emergence, barely 20 years ago, of the personal computer. Using real data from surveys and other studies conducted in the U.S., this research will show how important problems that arise in empirical data can be tackled by relying on well-known as well as relatively recent statistical techniques. Applied statistics is not simply an array of procedures; it is above all a way of thinking about empirical data, specifically how to discriminate between real and chance effects. This research endeavors to demonstrate that the role of applied statistics is to reveal both the meaning of the data and their limitations. The application of statistical methods to empirical data can often act as a catalyst to stimulate the sociological imagination.
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