# Discussion: The Logic of Inference: The Science of Uncertainty

All models are wrong. Some models are useful.

â€”George E. P. Box (1919â€“2013)

Statistician

Describing and explaining social phenomena is a complex task. Boxâ€™s quote speaks to the point that it is a near impossible undertaking to fully explain such systemsâ€”physical or socialâ€”using a set of models. Yet even though these models contain some error, the models nevertheless assist with illuminating how the world works and advancing social change.

The competent quantitative researcher understands the balance between making statements related to theoretical understanding of relationships and recognizing that our social systems are of such complexity that we will always have some error. The key, for the rigorous researcher, is recognizing and mitigating the error as much as possible.

As a graduate student and consumer of research, you must recognize the error that might be present within your research and the research of others.

To prepare for this Discussion:

• Use the Walden Library Course Guide and Assignment Help found in this weekâ€™s Learning Resources to search for and select a quantitative article that interests you and that has social change implications.
• As you read the article, reflect on George Boxâ€™s quote in the introduction for this Discussion.
• For additional support, review the Skill Builder: Independent and Dependent Variables, which you can find by navigating back to your Blackboard Course Home Page. From there, locate the Skill Builder link in the left navigation pane.

#### By Day 3

Post a very brief description (1â€“3 sentences) of the article you found and address the following:

1. Describe how you think the research in the article is useful (e.g., what population is it helping? What problem is it solving?).
2. Using Y=f(X) +E notation, identify the independent and dependent variables.
3. How might the research models presented be wrong? What types of error might be present in the reported research?

Be sure to support your Main Post and Response Post with reference to the weekâ€™s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA Style.

# Learning Resources

Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Leon-Guerrero, A. (2018).
Social statistics for a diverse society (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

• Chapter 1, â€œThe What and the Why of Statisticsâ€ (pp. 1â€“21)

Wagner, W. E. (2016).
Using IBMÂ® SPSSÂ® statistics for research methods and social science statistics (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

• Chapter 1, â€œOverviewâ€
• Chapter 1, â€œAn Introduction to Quantitative Analysisâ€ (pp. 1â€“31)

• Chapter 2, â€œSome Basic Conceptsâ€ (pp. 33â€“63)

Introduction to Social Statistics: The Logic of Statistical Reasoning, 1st Edition by Dietz, T.; Kalof, L. Copyright 2009 by John Wiley & Sons – Books. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons – Books via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Note: You will use this software throughout this course to perform various statistical calculations.

#### Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016e).
Introduction and demonstration of SPSS [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.

In this media program, Dr. Matt Jones introduces the software used for quantitative analysis, SPSS, and demonstrates its use.

#### Optional Resources

• Skill Builder: Independent and Dependent Variables
• Skill Builder: Unit of Analysis
• Skill Builder: Levels of Measurement

To access these Skill Builders, navigate back to your Blackboard Course Home page, and locate â€œSkill Buildersâ€ in the left navigation pane. From there, click on the relevant Skill Builder link for this week.

You are encouraged to click through these and all Skill Builders to gain additional practice with these concepts. Doing so will bolster your knowledge of the concepts youâ€™re learning this week and throughout the course.