Exploratory data analysis using the European Social Survey (AMS)

Kurs-Nr.: 08039 | Zeit: Do 8.30-10 | Raum: GD E2/208 | Semester: WiSe 2019/2020


Hypothesis driven theory testing is the textbook example of data analysis in the social sciences. In the absence of any hypotheses, however, social scientists often face the challenge of getting a general overview of complex data sets. Additionally, it is equally important to communicate the essence of the data to others comprehensibly and — first and foremost — fast.

In this seminar students are taught to analyze larger data sets automatedly and reproducably, and to export the results into nice documents, such as Word-, HTML- or PDF-files. Mostly, we are going to work with RStudio. At the end of the semester students are asked to produce a short automated report on a research question of their own choice using the skills acquired in the seminar.
1. Introduction into the usage of R and RStudio
• Smart setup
• Workflow
2. Reading and manipulating data
• Basic packages and functions
• Application example: European Social Survey (ESS)
3. Analyzing and visualizing data
• How to handle variable types and scales
• Descriptive statistics and, if applicable, inductive statistics
• Output: Presenting results and visualization techniques
3. Presenting results via ®Markdown and knitr
4. Automation
• Vectorization and loops
• Parameterization within R Markdown

Voraussetzungen für Studiennachweise / Modulprüfungen:
Module exams and study records can be obtained by working on exercises and writing a short seminar paper (~10 pages).

A basic knowledge of R is a prerequisite.

Gandrud, Christopher (2014): Reproducible Research with R and RStudio, Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Gehring, Uwe und Cornelia Weins (2009): Grundkurs Statistik für Politologen und Soziologen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. 5. Edition.
Wickham, Hadley (2016): Ggplot2. Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis, Basel: Springer International Publishing, 2. Edition.