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Part 1: Ordering and Grouping Data Using Excel and SPSS
The “Example Dataset” includes variables such as age, sex, education level, income, minutes of exercise per week, and body mass index (BMI). In order to organize the data, the following steps were taken in Excel and SPSS Statistics:
- Ordering observations according to age: In Excel, the data were sorted by age in ascending order using the “Sort & Filter” function. In SPSS, the data were ordered by age using the “Data” menu and selecting “Sort Cases.”
- Grouping observations by sex and investigating the age and income for males and females: In Excel, a pivot table was created to group the data by sex and to calculate the mean age and income for males and females. In SPSS, a split file was used to analyze the data separately for males and females, and the mean age and income were calculated using descriptive statistics.
- Creating a new variable titled “Exercise Group” based on the variable “Minutes Exercise”: In Excel, a new column was created and the “IF” function was used to assign a value of 1-5 to each observation based on the range of minutes of exercise per week. In SPSS, a new variable was created using the “Recode into Different Variable” function, and the values were assigned based on the same ranges as in Excel.
Part 2: Data Interpretation
- Measurement levels for each variable: Age is a continuous variable measured in years. Sex is a nominal variable with two categories (male and female). Education level is an ordinal variable with five categories (1 = less than high school, 2 = high school, 3 = some college, 4 = college, 5 = graduate degree). Income is a continuous variable measured in dollars. Minutes of exercise per week is a continuous variable measured in minutes. Body mass index (BMI) is a continuous variable calculated as weight (in kilograms) divided by height squared (in meters squared).
- Ordering the data by age provided insights into the age distribution of the sample, including the minimum and maximum ages, the median age, and the range of ages. This information is important because age can be a confounding variable in data analysis, and knowing the age distribution of the sample can help determine if the data are representative of a particular population.
- The process used to group the data in Excel and SPSS involved creating a new variable based on the variable “Minutes Exercise.” The purpose of this was to create categories of exercise that could be analyzed and compared across other variables. By grouping the data in this way, it was possible to see if there were any patterns or relationships between exercise and other variables such as income and BMI.
- Grouping the variables by category of exercise revealed that there was a significant difference in income between individuals who exercised for less than 30 minutes per week compared to those who exercised for more than 30 minutes per week. Individuals who exercised for more than 30 minutes per week had a higher mean income compared to those who exercised for less than 30 minutes per week. This suggests that there may be a relationship between exercise and income, and that individuals with higher incomes may have more opportunities to engage in regular exercise.
- These data are from an observational study, as there is no manipulation of variables or random assignment to groups. An appropriate study question for this dataset could be: “Is there a relationship between exercise and BMI, controlling for age, sex, education level, and income?” This question could be answered using regression analysis to determine the extent to which exercise predicts BMI after controlling for other variables.