Spring 2009

Lecture: Tuesday and Thursday: 10:00am - 11:30am (Location: Wallace 165)

Lab: Thursday: 11:30am - 1:00pm (Location: Stokes Library Computer Lab)

URL: http://www.princeton.edu/~mjs3/soc504_sp09.shtml

Instructor: Matthew Salganik

Preceptor: Dennis Feehan

This course provides an introduction to social statistics.

There will be weekly problem sets given out each Tuesday and due the following Tuesday. Many of the problem sets will involve the statistical package R. I know that the choice of R will lead to difficulties in the beginning of the semester, but there will be big payoffs later as you become more familiar with it. Regarding R, we will start slowly and assume that you do not have any programming experience. In addition to problem sets, students will be expected to complete a final project of some sort. These final projects will be due Tuesday, May 12th (Dean's Day); no extensions will be given.

There required texts are:

- Applied Regression Analysis and Generalized Linear Models by John Fox (2nd edition). Note that we will be using the 2nd edition.
- An R and S Plus Companion to Applied Regression by John Fox.

We will also read chapters from the following books, but these will be available on Blackboard:

- Introduction to Applied Bayesian Statistics and Estimation for Social Scientists by Scott Lynch.
- Visual Explanations by Edward Tufte.
- Regression Analysis: A Constructive Critque by Richard Berk.
- Observational Studies by Paul Rosenbaum.
- Counterfactuals and Causal Inference by Stephen Morgan and Christopher Winship.

Below are the readings assignments for each week. You should come to class having looked at this material and you should read it roughly in the order listed. I will distinguish the Fox books by calling them Fox and Fox (R book).

- Fox, Chapter 1.
- Lynch, Introduction to Applied Bayesian Statistics and Estimation for Social Scientists: Chapter 1 and 2. [Available on Blackboard]

- Vance, A. 2008. "Data Analysts Captivated by R's power."
*The New York Times*. - Fox (R book), Chapter 1.
- Fox (R book), Chapter 2.

- Tufte, Visual Explanations, Chapter 2. [Available from Blackboard].
- Gelman, A., Pasarica, C., and Dodhia, R. (2002). "Let's Practice What We Preach: Turning Tables into Graphs."
*The American Statistician*56(2):121-130. - Kastellec, J.P. and Leoni, E.L. (2007). "Using Graphs Instead of Tables in Political Science."
*Perspectives on Politics*5(4):755-771. [see also the code repository] - Fox, Chapter 3.

- Fox (R book), Chapter 2.
- Fox (R book), Chapter 3-3.4.
- Nagler, J. 1995. "Coding Style and Good Computing Practices".
- Code repository from Kastellec, J.P. and Leoni, E.L. (2007). "Using Graphs Instead of Tables in Political Science."
*Perspectives on Politics*5(4):755-771.

- Fox, Chapter 2.
- Berk, Chapter 2. [Available from Blackboard]
- Fox, Chapter 4.

- Fox (R book), Chapter 3.4.

- Fox, Chapter 5.
- Berk, Chapter 3. [Available from Blackboard]
- Abbott, A. (1988). "Transcending General Linear Reality."
*Sociological Theory*6(2):169-186.

- Fox, Chapter 6.
- Berk, Chapter 4. [Available from Blackboard]
- Cohen, J. (1994). "The Earth is Round (P < 0.05)."
*American Psychologist*49(12):997-1003. - Gigerenzer, G. (2004). "Mindless Statistics."
*Journal of Socio-Economics*33:587-606.

- No new reading

- Taubes, G. (2007). "Do we really know what makes us healthy?"
*New York Times Magazine*. - Freedman, D. (1991). "Statistical Models and Shoe Leather."
*Sociological Methodology*21:291-313. - Rosenbaum, P. (2002).
*Observational Studies*, Chapter 1. [Available from Blackboard] - Salsburg, D. (2001).
*The Lady Tasting Tea*, Chapter 18: Does Smoking Cause Cancer? [Available from Blackboard] - Cornfield, J. et al. (1959). "Smoking and lung cancer: Recent evidence and a discussion of some questions."
*Journal of the National Cancer Institute*, 22(1):173-203. [Available from Blackboard] - Morgan S.L. and Winship, C. (2007).
*Counterfactuals and Causal Inference.*Chapters 1 and 2. [Available from Blackboard] - Card, D. and Krueger, A. B. (1994). "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania."
*The American Economic Review*, 84(4):772-793. - Neumark, D. and Wascher, W. (2000). "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment."
*The American Economic Review*, 90(5):1362-1396. [SKIM] - Card, D. and Krueger, A. B. (2000). "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply."
*The American Economic Review*, 90(5):1397-1420. [SKIM] - Harding. D. (2003). "Counterfactual Models of Neighborhood Effects: The Effect of Neighborhood Poverty on Dropping Out and Teenage Pregnancy."
*American Journal of Sociology*109(3): 676-719. - Angrist, J. D., Imbens, G. W., and Rubin, D. B. (1996). "Identification of Causal Effects using Instrumental Variables."
*Journal of the American Statistical Association*, 91(434):44-455.

- No new reading

- Fox, Chapter 7.
- Brambor, T., Clark, W.R., and Golder, M. (2006). "Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analyses."
*Political Analysis*14:63-82.

- No new reading

- Fox, Chapter 8.

- No new reading

- Fox, Chapter 9.

- No new reading

- Fox, Chapter 11, 12, and 13.
- McPhereson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., and Brashears, M. (2006). "Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decacdes."
*American Sociological Review*71:353-375. - Fountain, H. (2006). "The Lonely American Just Got a Bit Lonelier."
*The New York Times*, July 2. - Vedantam, S. (2006). Social Isolation Growing in U.S., Study Says
*The Washington Post*, June 23. - Fischer, C. (2008). "The 2004 GSS Finding of Shrunken Social Networks: An Artifact." Working paper. [Available from Blackboard]

- Fox (R Book), Chapter 6

- Fox, Chapter 14.
- Fox, Chapter 15.1
- Gartner, S.S. (2008). Ties to the dead: Connections to the Iraq war and 9/11 causalities and disapproval of the president.
*American Sociological Review*, 73(4):690-695.

- No new reading

- Fox, Chapter 1.
- Raftery, A.E. (2001). "Statistics in Sociology, 1950-2000: A Selective Review."
*Sociological Methodology*31:1-45. - Manksi, C. (1993). "Identification Problems in the Social Sciences."
*Sociological Methodology*, 23:1-56. - Leamer, E. (1983). "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics."
*American Economic Review*73(1):31-43. - Young, C. (2009). "Model Uncertainty in Sociological Research: An Application to Religion and Economic Growth."
*American Sociological Review*, forthcoming. [Available from Blackboard] - Berk, Chapter 11 (What to do). [Available from Blackboard]
- Rosenbaum, Chapters 11 and 12. [Available on Blackboard]

- Heath, C. and Heath D. (2008).
*Made to Stick*, Chapter 1. [Available from Blackboard] - Heath, C. and Heath D. (2008).
*Presentations That Stick*. [Available from Blackboard]

- Gelman, A. (2007). "Struggles with Survey Weighting and Regression Modeling."
*Statistical Science*22(2):153-164. (see also discussions and rejoinder) - Winship, C. and Radbill, L. (1994). "Sampling Weights and Regression Analysis."
*Sociological Methods and Research*, 23(2):230-257. - Korn, E.L. and Graubard, B.I. (1995). "Examples of Differing Weighted and Unweighted Estimates from a Sample Survey."
*The American Statistician*, 49(3):291-295. - Survey analysis in R
- Kish, L. (1992). "Weighting for Unequal Pi."
*Journal of Official Statistics*, 8(2):183-200.