Modules and Exercises

    On this page:

    • Modules. For use in social science research methods or substantive courses. Conceptual and substantive chapters, plus downloadable codebooks, data sets and exercises using SPSS or other statistical software packages.
    • Exercises*. Stand-alone exercises with downloadable codebooks and data sets, for use in introductory, substantive, or research methods courses in the social sciences using SPSS or other statistical software. Unlike the modules, they contain little or no theoretical material.
    • Ways to use these materials in class.



    Each module contains:

    • a theoretical perspective and background on an important social science topic,
    • a discussion of methods used to research the topic,
    • a set of exercises (with a data set) to teach analytic techniques for arriving at scientifically valid conclusions about the topic using SPSS or other statistical packages.

    List of Modules:



    Stand-alone exercises include problems (theoretical or statistical), one or more datasets, and steps on how to address the problems by analysis of the data. Unlike the modules there is little or no theoretical material provided. 

    Except as follows, the exercises use SPSS:

    • There are three versions of the Statistics exercises -- one for use with SPSS, another for use with PSPP,* and a third version using SDA (Survey Documentation and Analysis)**.
    • The first four exercises in the Field Poll gun control exercises use SPSS. The last two use SDA.

    *Other exercises written for SPSS can probably be run with little or no modification using PSPP, but this has not been verified. For more information on PSPP, see "Notes on Using PSPP" and "Differences between PSPP and SPSS," both written by Ed Nelson. 

    **For more information on SDA, see "Notes on Using SDA," written by Ed Nelson.

      List of Exercises: Primarily Methods/Statistics-oriented

      List of Exercises: Primarily Content-oriented

      #Winner of a 2019 MERLOT Classic Award in Sociology

      Logo, MERLOT Classics



      Ways to Use These Materials in Class

      1. You can use them from an instructor's station in a classroom or in a computer lab for a presentation or demonstration.
      2. You can provide links to them from your on-line syllabus for regular assignments or as independent and extra credit projects, with little or no modification.
      3. Materials can be downloaded; you can then modify them as needed, and distribute or place them on a local server.


      Last updated: May 27, 2019