Introductory Statistics and critical thinking

MATU-203 Final Project Instructions

Mastering the concepts in Introductory Statistics assists in building critical thinking skills, developing

businesses and organizations, and solving all types of problems that require data. But an understanding

of statistics extends beyond the ability to crunch numbers or use a software program. The ability to

collect, organize, and analyze data is the beginning. The ability to clearly communicate your results

to another person is the mark of true mastery.


The Assignment

In this assignment, you will choose a scenario with data – from one of 5 options provided at the end

of these directions under Project Topics – and you will construct a paper that pulls together the

statistics you have learned in order to answer a question. You will:

1. Introduce the main question, and explain the data that you will use to address it

2. Organize your data by providing appropriate charts, graphs and descriptive statistics

3. Analyze your data by conducting a hypothesis test

4. State your conclusions and recommendations

See the section Outline Of Material To Present below for a more detailed explanation of what you will

submit for each of these four sections.

The topics that you may choose from are

• Business – Analysis of Home Sales

• Health Sciences – The Effect of Caffeine on Heart Rate

• Psychology – The Effect of Colored Paper on Reading Speed

• Sociology – Level of Education and its Effect on Homelessness in Veterans

• Criminal Justice – Analysis of Poverty and Crime

At the end of these directions, under Project Topics, are the full descriptions for each of these 5 topic

options, including the data you must use in your analysis. Please scroll down and read through each of

these 5 options in their entirety before making your selection. You must select one of these 5 topics.

You may not select your own topic.





Outline of Material to Present

This assignment is broken down into four parts: Collection of Data, Organization of Data, Analysis of

Data, and Conclusion/Recommendations. Each part has a subset of questions and issues you must

address. Please ensure that your report includes a section for each of the 4 Parts listed below, and that

each part addresses ALL of the sub-questions listed.

Again, you must select one of the 5 topics provided at the end of these instructions in the section

Project Topics, and you must use the data and names provided within your chosen topic prompt.

Part 1: Collection of Data – Introduction and Primary Data Analysis (3 – 5 paragraphs):

1. Describe the objective: Before you can examine the data, you must understand the problem. a. Discuss the importance of this issue or situation. b. Introduce the company or organization you are preparing this report for, and explain

why it is important to them. c. What is the research question? In other words, what is the basic question you, as the

researcher, want to address? Why should we care about it? d. Was this an experimental or observational study? Explain.

2. Clearly and with sufficient detail, describe the population, sample, and collection methods in this study.

a. What is the population you are interested in? b. What is the sample, specifically? c. What is a plausible way the sample was chosen and why? d. What problems or biases might have occurred from choosing that type of sampling

method? 3. Discuss the type of data.

a. Was the data quantitative or qualitative? Explain. b. What is the level of measurement (nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio)? Explain.

4. Describe the variables a. What are the independent and dependent variables? Give the type, units, and more

specific information. b. Give examples of any confounding variables, lurking variables, and/or missing variables

and explain how they may be affecting your study.



Part 2: Organization of Data – Examination of Descriptive Statistics (graphs and tables, and

approximately 4 paragraphs)

Now that your data is collected, you need to organize it to identify characteristics and patterns.

1. Graph your data appropriately. Construct a scatterplot, bar graph, or other graph to show the nature of the data. For each graph, be sure you label the graph completely – that means give it a title, label the axes, and explain what that graph means in the context of this narrative.

2. Discuss whether the data is normally distributed. For this, use a visual inspection of a



Histogram and Normal Quantile Plot, as well as what you see in the data itself and what that means about the high and low ends of the data.

3. Calculate and present the three Measures of Central Tendency: mean, median, and mode. Provide both the value of the statistics as well as an analysis of what they mean in terms of understanding the sample.

4. Calculate and present the Measures of Variation: range and standard deviation. Provide both the value of the statistics as well as an analysis of what they mean in terms of understanding the sample.

5. Calculate and present the 5-Number Summary: minimum, Q1, median, Q3, maximum. Provide both the value of the statistics as well as an analysis of what they mean in terms of understanding the sample.

6. Identify any Outliers. You can do this using a visual inspection of the graph as well as the formulas from the textbook (HINT: Q1 – 1.5*IQR, and Q3 + 1.5*IQR).

7. Discuss any corrections: Based on your inspection of the outliers are there any errors that should be corrected? How would you correct them? Discuss the implications of this result.



Part 3: Analysis of Data – Examination of Inferential Statistics (tables of results, and appropriate

hypothesis test steps)

Assuming that all assumptions have been met, it is now time to analyze the data. Present a complete

hypothesis test.

1. Identify the claim. 2. State the null and alternative hypotheses, in words and in symbolic form. 3. Explain what type of test you will be performing (i.e. a test of two dependent means, a test for

correlation, etc.) and why that test is appropriate to address the main question you are trying to answer.

4. Select the significance level and determine if it is a one or two-tailed test. 5. Identify the test statistic and compute the value of the test statistic and the p-value. 6. Make a decision of whether to Reject or Fail to Reject the null hypothesis. 7. Restate your decision in nontechnical terms. That means, state your conclusion in a way that

anyone can understand; a final conclusion that just says “reject the null hypothesis” by itself without explanation is not helpful to those who hired you. Explain in ordinary terms what it means.


Part 4: Conclusion and Recommendations (approximately 3 paragraphs)

Summarize and explain your results. Provide recommendations.

1. What can you infer from the statistics? 2. What information might lead you to a different conclusion? 3. What variables are missing? 4. What additional information would be valuable to help draw a more certain conclusion? 5. What qualitative or quantitative data would you want to collect if you were hired to do a follow

up study?




Formatting Requirements

Your paper should be a Word document, with embedded charts, graphs, figures, and tables. It should

be APA or MLA Format, with name and page number on each page, and should include each of the


1. Title page: You should have a cover page. The cover page should have the specific title of your

study (Note: “MATU 203 Paper” does not clearly define the topic you are presenting), your

name, Brandman University, MATU 203, term, and year. You might find it helpful to include an

image of something representative of the study to provide a visual context for your report.

2. Write Up/Body: The body should be 5 – 8 pages with graphs, images, screen shots of data

output, and text included. Please use a “page break” to separate the cover from the body

and the references from the body and the appendices from the reference page.

3. References: Please include all articles, books, websites, publications, or other information

that helped you reach your conclusion. The references come after the main body and before

the appendix. At least two references are required, not including the textbook.

4. Appendices: You must have an appendix. The appendix goes at the end of your paper and

might be an additional 1-2 pages. In the appendix, include your given data as well as

supplemental charts and graphs outside of the ones included in your paper. Label the

appendices, Appendix 1, Appendix 2, and so on.


Academic Integrity

The University expects that students will conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner and respect

the intellectual work of others. Your paper will be submit through TurnItIn, which is a plagiarism detection

service. Your paper will receive a Similarity Report that represents the percentage of your paper that is

similar to or copied from other sources. Any type of plagiarism, including using work without referencing,

copying another paper, not citing references in the body of the paper, using a paper from another course,

etc., will be met with penalties determined by the instructor, including the possibility of failing the course,

and having an Academic Integrity Violation Sanction Report submitted to University administration. Note:

You may not use a paper you wrote from a prior course, even if it is the same class you are taking now,

without prior permission from your individual instructor. If you have further questions about academic

integrity, please contact your instructor and/or see the catalog.





Project Topics (select one of the topics and data sets below)

Study #1: Business

Mickey and Minnie Home Sales, an Orange County real estate company, wants to know if there is a relationship between the price a home sells for and the number of weeks the home was on the market prior to the sale.

Mickey and Minnie conjecture that the higher the price of the home, the longer the house will be on the market. They select a simple random sample of 31 recently sold homes in Anaheim for analysis and they want to know if the number of weeks to sale influences asking price. You are asked to organize and analyze this data, and present your results to the company with an appropriate hypothesis test.

Please present a report to the Mickey and Minnie executives that includes your data, results, and related evidence from national studies.


Asking Price (thousands), X Weeks to Sale, Y

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