he task is to analyse a set of data using SPSS so that you can answer questions designed to test your understanding of statistical principles, techniques and interpretation. There is a choice of 4 assignment topics, each of which has a data set and an associated document indicating the assignment requirements (see Table 1). The data sets and their documents are on FLO.
The document for each data set gives some background to the study and information about the variables. The document also includes the assignment questions for that data set. Although the data sets are different, the assignments are equivalent in difficulty. The main difference between them is the topic of the study.
The data can only be opened using SPSS. When you open the data file, remember that clicking on the “Variable View” tab on bottom left of the SPSS data screen will give information about Variable Labels (description) and Values (meaning of scores).
An important requirement for the assignment is that you provide a conceptual interpretation (explanation) of the results. That is, you need to give an interpretation of the possible meaning of and/or reason for your results rather than just concentrating on statistical technique.
The interpretations or explanations that you offer needn’t be very elaborate, or represent formal psychology concepts. However, they should be plausible, thoughtful and offer a
conceptual explanation for the result. Think about the variables that you are analysing and what the results mean. When offering interpretations, don’t forget about effect size.
Although the data for these studies were made up, the assignment topics are loosely based on real studies and issues in Psychology. It will help if you imagine that they are real studies and place yourself in the position of the researcher who conducted the study. Think about what the study was trying to achieve and what the most important message(s) from the findings might be.